May, 2012 - Tucson Unified School District

May, 2012 - Tucson Unified School District


May, 2012 Volume II No. 4

Congratulations, Class of 2012

Valedictorian Wendolin RodriguezAceves congratulates

her classmates at our May 23rd commencent, at which more

than 160 seniors switched their tassels from left to right

and became proud Trojan alumni.

See more photos at

Catalina Magnet High School 3645 E. Pima Tucson, AZ 232-8400 Fax 232-8401

Dear Families and Friends of Catalina-

Many thanks to all of you for everything you did to make sure that we had another terrific school year at

Catalina! When we return to classes on August 2 nd , we will be working hard to build on the successes of

the past school year and ensure that every student at Catalina is treated like the unique learner and person

he or she truly is. Here is a preview of some of what you can expect in the year to come:

We are always concerned with the fact that most students who leave Catalina do so because they are not

“on track” for graduation. To help those students, we will have three sections of PLATO credit recovery

built into the master schedule so that credit-deficient students have on-campus, teacher-supervised options

for making up credits from classes they have failed in previous years.

The Impact Team will meet weekly and will play a more central role in following

up with students with academic, attendance, and behavioral problems. Impact

Team members include administrators, counselors, and other concerned staff

members at our school. Our focus is to discuss individual students, the problems

they may be experiencing, and how to help them to be more successful in school.

We will have one full-time counselor working directly with English language

learners and certain recently “reclassified” English language learners to help

them with their graduation plans. These students now account for close to 40%

of our student population.

Principal Rex Scott

An administrator on special assignment will be working at our school on a part-time basis. His role will be

to work primarily with certain academically “at risk” students, their families, and their teachers on addressing

any problems that are impeding academic success.

We will have an “Algebra retake” course in place for students who fail this foundational math class. It will

be individually paced and the classes will be small so that students can get a lot of time and attention with

the teacher and tutors assigned to the class.

We intend to expand the use of our Response to Intervention classes to all grade levels, not just freshmen

and sophomores, and to base the work in these classes on building skills that will lead to success on the

state-mandated AIMS tests and in students’ classes.

Two instructional coaches will be working with our teachers to support them in their goals for professional

growth. We know that the academic success of our students is tied in with our efforts to improve

the quality of instruction in every Catalina classroom.

Many student errors in any classroom can be traced back to the fact that students are not well-versed

in “the language” of the course they are enrolled in. If every teacher at our school made more concerted

efforts to pre-teach, teach and assess student knowledge and use of course-specific vocabulary, that one

approach could help more of our students to better understand and master the content being presented

to them. It is crucial that students be given opportunities to use those words and terms in context. We

also know that teachers need to check for understanding on a frequent basis and that our students need

to be actively engaged in those checks. When students are asked to summarize in their own words what

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TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 2

has been presented to them, both they and their teacher have a better sense that they “get it.” Any written

summary required of students is made even more helpful if students are asked to use course-specific vocabulary

when they write them. Schools across this nation that have been more purposeful and systemic

in focusing on the importance of course-specific vocabulary and student summarization have seen large

gains in student achievement and confidence. If we implemented the use of a “vocabulary and summarization

log” in all our classrooms, they could serve as a true “running record” of a student’s work in each

of their classes. Our two instructional coaches will be able to provide assistance and support to teachers

with creating these logs for their students.

I will be scheduling monthly parent meetings so that you can share your concerns with me on a regular

basis. It will also be my goal to have a guest speaker, or topic at every meeting that will appeal to parents

of teenagers.

Our Student Council is organizing a student “pep club” called The Trojan Army that will do more to promote

student attendance and involvement at our athletic contests.

The student-run Trojan Advisory Group will continue its work to promote intercultural awareness on our

diverse campus and to schedule activities that celebrate the many different cultures and languages represented

on our campus.

There is always a lot to do during the summer to get ready for the coming school year, especially this year

because of the new calendar adopted by TUSD. Please be sure to check out the 2012-2013 calendar at If I can answer any questions about the new calendar,

or anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Rex Scott


Fine Arts

The 2011-2012 school year has been a very good, albeit

busy, year for Fine Arts. In January, we celebrated

our remodeled Auditorium, Little Theater, and Fine

Arts classrooms with the Curtains Up! afternoon highlighting

student and alumni creative and talented

work. Throughout the year, Fine Arts students explored,

learned, celebrated, and shared their work in

a variety of forms.


- Kaitlyn Matney - Ahreum Choe

Ms. Tammy Stewart - Mariachi Los Aventureros, the CMHS mariachi group, has finished the year in a whirlwind

of performances! In collaboration with our FEAST program, we performed at A & B lunches while

the teachers enjoyed a fabulous Mexican meal to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. We also enjoyed the awards

presentation at the 25 th Anniversary of the LEARN program’s “Celebrate Literacy.” The Davis Elementary

school mariachi group, directed by Jaime Valenzuela, joined us for a school wide Cinco de Mayo assembly

on May 4 th .

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TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 3

The Trojan Pride Wind Ensemble enjoyed a fabulous field trip to the Musical

Instrument Museum in Phoenix. It was fascinating to see all the instruments

from different countries, as well as the Arizona Centennial exhibit. In the “Experience”

room, students enjoyed playing many different instruments and experimenting

with a theremin and Nickelodeon player pianos.

The Trojan Pride Marching Band is anxiously awaiting arrival of NEW band

uniforms! The uniform design is spectacular!

Ms. Jill Bastin - The last quarter has been a busy one. The Clay/Ceramic classes

have been working hard on final projects. The projects are very exciting and

the students’ choice. Each student has designed and constructed her own final project using the knowledge

and skills she has been learning all year. Guitars, teapots, cakes, bears, and cartoon characters are all

among the outstanding final projects. The Beginning Art classes are working on weaving projects as we

end the year. It has been a great year for the art classes.

Mrs. Mary-Claire Ketchum - Crafts classes have been involved in a variety of projects implementing a range

of techniques and materials including hand sewn, bound books. The fabric book covers were decorated

with student designed stamps.

Digital Photography/Printmaking students concluded their work with the “Three Me’s!” project. Based

on traditional triptychs, their finished work implemented an array of

information about the student artists with their self-portrait photograph as the central piece of the triptych.

The two side panels included a favorite quote, the student’s birth date and anticipated Graduation

date, self-descriptive words and their autograph.

Advanced Art students explored a mixed media project for their final project “What About Me?” Their work

represented vocabulary, images, memories, and plans for their future visually in hand drawn collage form.

- Mary-Claire Ketchum, Art Dept. Chair

TU notes with sadness that Ms. Ketchum has retired and will be having fun at

home with a brand new printing press. We love you and will miss you, MC!

Michael McGlynn,

Math Dept. Chair

From the Math Department

Mathematics is a sequential subject. The first year of Algebra is very important

as most of the other math classes use the knowledge gained from Algebra 1 as

their foundation. It is for this reason that we require that a student pass Algebra

1 before going on to Algebra 2 or Precalculus.

Next year the class of 2013 must have 4 years of Math credits to graduate. I

would like to recommend the course “Financial Algebra.”. This course will deal

with much of the math that you will encounter in “real life,”, things like loans,

banking, and taxes.

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TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 4

We would like to remind you of the importance of homework, note taking, and good study habits.

Homework is a very important part of mastering math skills. Math is a very complex subject, and it is

important that the skills learned in class are reinforced as soon as possible. Parents, most math teachers

will assign work every day, so please ask your child to show you their homework, at least occasionally.

You can also check your child’s progress by using the TUSD parents portal on the districts web site, grades

should be updated weekly.

It is usually helpful to do your homework in a quiet, well lit place with minimal distraction. It is also helpful

to set up a routine of doing your homework at a certain time each day. If you keep up with your math

homework, the class will be easier and your grade will benefit.

If you find that you are struggling with the math we have tutoring available before school, after school and

at lunch.

You can also make arrangements with your regular math teacher for help before or after school. Help is

always just a question away. Don’t be shy.

If you are planning to go to the U of A or Pima College, you will need to take a placement test for your

math classes. This is a comprehensive test so it is important that you study before the exam. There will

be material on the test that you may not have worked with for quite awhile.

See a math teacher if you need help. All you have to do is ask.

Anat./Phys. Students

Practice Dissection

Once again the students of Anatomy and Physiology

and Mr. Abate would like to thank the

Catalina High School Foundation for the minigrant

that allowed us to enjoy another awesome

week of fetal pig dissections. This year’s grant

provided the monies needed to purchase new

dissection tool kits. The tools are of higher quality

and thus allow for safer dissections.

Through the continued support by this foundation

our students gain a richer experience and

appreciation for the complexities of life and the relationship that all living entities share. Mr. Abate, the

Science Department, and all of the Anatomy and Physiology students are grateful for this wonderful learning


- Bill Abate, Anatomy/Physiology Teacher

TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 5

CMHS Cited for Outstanding Athletic Program

Athletic Director Ken Harcus proudly shows off our award

for hosting one of the finest athletics programs in TUSD

Great news! Catalina placed third in

the First Annual Superintendent’s Cup

Award competition. The award recognizes

the TUSD high schools that receive

the most points for success in sports at

state tournaments, individual awards,

sportsmanship, and team academics.

Courtney Pitts and Anthony Adun were

recognized as Catalina’s Athletes of

the Year for 2011-2012. Anthony was

also recognized for the “Reach Higher

Award,” for his work in overcoming obstacles

and adversity.

For most of this year, Catalina’s teams

were in resilient mode, springing back

into shape. Our teams had few seniors,

which meant that each new team member

had to establish a role on the team. Ever wonder about what coaches talk about after the game? A

long meeting usually means that roles are being re-established.

It was great watching your son or daughter from the best seat in the house, the bench. I watch the game

to see how team members contribute to the team’s goal of becoming a community of leaders. The main

lesson from Team Success 101 is “play like you practice”!

Throughout the summer, please continue to check the Catalina webite for athletics updates. We are waiting

to hear from the district if the sports participation fee will be increased from $50 to $65. Thank you

for your support and for coming out to cheer on your Trojans! Have a great summer!

ASL Grads Get Collector’s Item

Class t-shirts, sports t-shirts, team shirts -- we have all

kinds of shirts at Catalina that scream Trojan Pride, but

here’s one we’ve never seen before. It’s sure to become a

collector’s item.

American Sign Language teacher Natasha Escalada-

Westland congratulated the graduating seniors from our

ASL program with t-shirts printed with this clever logo,

written in SignWriting. What’s it say? “CHMS 2012” and

“Congratulations, Graduates!”

TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 6

Finding Voice Publication Celebration

On May 10, 2012, the international students of Catalina Magnet High

School filled the Catalina auditorium with their poetry, essays, dance, song,

fashion, hopes, and dreams. The annual Finding Voice Publication Celebration

was a tremendous success this year, drawing one of the largest

audiences ever. It was wonderful to see so many family members, Catalina

and Finding Voice Project alumni, and community partners and volunteers

in the audience. Thank you to everyone who participated and to everyone

who attended.

Etsehiwote Hunegnaw

Thierry Chibasa and Joseph Leonidas, two of the Finding Our

Voice Club officers, did a great job as MC’s. Zeljka Klipic, club vicepresident,

was wonderful in terms of helping to organize everything

and working closely with Bonnie and Ron Morlock, our outstanding

technology team. Special thanks also to Snehapriya Nalli

and Carine Kosseke for welcoming people and for being in charge

of magazine sales. And our biggest thank you to every one of the

amazing students who shared their life, their art, and their culture

in a presentation at this event: Omar Azat, Patricia Cole, Layth

Dakhil, Uma Dhimal, Dulce Diaz, Muzakeye Emmanuelina, Soraia

Briana Lalimo & CA Marshallese Dance

Fazya, Goma Gautam, Krishna Gautam, Carmen Gutierrez, Weijian

(Alex) He, Sharifa Hematkhel, Jian Ping Huang, Etsehiwote Hunegnaw, Zuberi

Idy, Filimon Kahsay, Krishna Katel, Shreejana Katel, Carine Kosseke Briana

Lalimo and her CA Marshallese dance group, Bisi Leonard, Joseph Leonidas,

Dawazam Magar, Kedar Magar, Mashel Nabi, Mursal Nabi, Zaroon Nasir, Bambi

Ndjibu, Egide Nduwimana, Devota Ntahuga, Mihad Rahal, Muna Timsina, and

Jose Velazquez.

Jose Velazquez

These students were professional and courageous. They are future

leaders and we are so proud of the progress they’ve made both in

terms of language development and personal growth. They have

increased their confidence and established a sense of belonging in

their new homeland, the United States.

We hope you will pick up a copy of the 2012 Finding My Voice magazine.

They are only $5 and can be purchased from Julie Kasper in

Room M219 or Susan Curtis in the Family Wellness Center. We also

Bambi Ndjibu & Carine Kosseke hope you will purchase a copy of our new project book – the cover is

not the book – online by visiting

And, finally, we really hope you will join us for special

events like this next year. Visit our project website – www.

Zaroon Nasir – or the Catalina website for information

about previous projects and future events. Catalina

is the international heart of Tucson; join us to learn about

and celebrate the world!

- Julie Kasper, ELD Dept. Co-Chair and Finding Voice Founder

TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 7

2011-2012 Future Business Leaders

of America (FBLA) and Link Crew

Finishing up my first year as the FBLA/Link Crew Advisor is bitter-sweet. I

had many of my seniors as freshmen in Success class, so it has been an honor

being able to welcome them to Catalina four years ago and now bidding them

farewell to pursue their dreams. I will miss the many seniors who will be

graduating and moving on to bigger and better things; I have no doubt that

each and every one of them will be successful.

As the year comes to an end, we can look back and feel proud of what we

accomplished this year; the year really did fly by, but FBLA and Link Crew

students completed a wide variety of tasks. We continued helping Ms. Curtis,

in the Wellness Center, with the bread delivery which in the end helped many

of our students and staff.

Connie Lawson

FBLA Advisor

Link Crew Teacher

Link Crew continued with their lesson delivery, saying their goodbyes in April. Many of the freshmen

students have said they will miss their Link Leaders very much. Link Crew also hosted a recruiting

luncheon for next year’s Link Crew. I did something new this year and got teacher recommendations

for students they felt would be strong leaders and a positive addition to Link Crew. Link Crew students

created flyers and delivered them to 98 students. We actually had 67 students show for the Eegees

luncheon. From those 67 students, I have 38 students who said they are interested in being part of Link

Crew next year. What a great showing!

FBLA and Link Crew students continued fundraising activities. One of the best ideas that the students

came up with was to decorate and sell crowns for the senior assembly. The students really enjoyed

decorating the crowns and I have never seen just a beautiful display of headwear. The crowns were worn

with a great deal of pride and they really stood out at the assembly.

Two of my FBLA students attended the first annual Eller Business College High School Analytics

Challenge. Love Francis, Esmeralda Rodriguez, and I traveled to the University of Arizona where we met

with other Arizona high school students and Eller Business College Personnel. The students were given a

marketing project and had one hour to figure percentage increases, develop a marketing plan, and create

a PowerPoint presentation. Each student then had to present a portion of the project to a panel of U of A

judges. The day ended with a fabulous lunch and student connections that would not have happened had

it not been for this incredible opportunity. As we were leaving for the day, Love Francis was approached

by one of Eller’s Admission’ Deans who said Love did an outstanding job on her presentation. The Dean

said Love has what Eller is looking for and gave her a business card. I was so proud!

At the beginning of May, eight Link Crew students helped give campus tours to incoming freshmen and

parents. One of the highlights of the evening was getting to show off our Be Kind mosaic in the cafeteria.

I still can’t believe how quickly this year has gone by, but I am looking forward to next year. Good luck to

all my seniors; I will miss you!

- Connie Lawson, FBLA Advisor, Link Crew Teacher

TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 8

End-of-Year Cuisine and Cocina

One of the fun aspects of learning a foreign language is learning


So, for the end of the year, Mr. Cyr’s French classes are having

authentic French pastries for breakfast, “pains au chocolat” and

“danoises,” special-ordered from Le Delice bakery on the East

Side of Tucson.

Throughout the school year, Ms. Lara’s Spanish classes have

learned about foods associated with different holidays and

traditions in the Spanish speaking culture. For example, on

November 1 st and 2 nd students learn about Dia de los Muertos

(Day of the Dead) and partake in the traditional pan de muerto

(bread of the dead).

On January 6 th , el seis de enero, students sample

the rosca de reyes, a ring shaped pastry which is

typically eaten on this day. Finally, around Cinco

de Mayo, students visit a local restaurant, “Las

Margaritas,” and use their knowledge of foods

vocabulary and basic grammar to interact with

the waiters and waitresses in Spanish.

Bon apetit! ¡Buen provecho!

- Alicia Lara, World Languages Dept. Chair

Nurse Cindy Says “Beat the Registration Rush!”

Parents and guardians, did you know that you can reduce the amount of beginning of the year

paperwork you need to complete for registration? You can! By now you should have received a packet

of registration materials to complete for your Catalina student for next year. Complete it now and

return it to school. Please remember to sign the emergency card prior to turning it in!! If your child

needs immunizations, you will receive notice in the mail. It will include information on immunization

clinics which will be held this summer. Be smart—get it done early. Students must be current on

immunizations in order to start school in August.

- Nurse Cindy

TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 9

LEARN Center Marks 25 th Year with

Celebrate Literacy Evening

The LEARN Center’s Celebrate Literacy Evening

was held on May 3 rd , in the Ballroom of the

Doubletree Hotel. More than 400 students,

parents, business & community partners,

dignitaries, volunteers, and mentors attended

the event. This year’s program celebrated

the achievements of our current students and

highlighted some of our LEARN Center alumni.

The LEARN Center is 25-year partnership of

the Arizona Supreme Court and TUSD. We were

extremely honored to have Dr. John Pedicone,

Superintendent of TUSD, Catalina Principal

Rex Scott and Mr. Dave Byers, of the Arizona

Supreme Court in attendance to share some brief comments with us. Mr. Dave Byers started the Catalina

LEARN Center with Justice Frank X. Gordon for the AZ Supreme Court, in 1987. Interestingly, Dr. Pedicone

was not at TUSD at that time, but knows all about the LEARN Program because he was a Marge Gould’s

professor in her Master’s Degree program, and he attended our first Open House in 1987, and followed

the progress of the program over the past years.

Following the opening of the program, there were many happy and exciting surprises. All of Ms. Kasper’s

and Ms. Gould’s students were presented with Certificates of Achievement, and 80 students also received

flash-drives, earned by accomplishing the Challenge. Sponsored by our Mr. Steve Santa Cruz, our business

partner, and benefactor of 25 years, the Challenge requires students to have no unexcused absences,

Stretch Themselves, and work hard every in every class to improve their achievement.

The following students were presented scholarships from the Pima Community College Foundation:

Adrianna Lambe, Arnoldo Delgado, Pita Kafley, Diego Garcia, Bisi Leonard, Esmeralda Rodriguez, Fatuma


Three students received Herman Gould Memorial

Scholarships of $500 each for Pima Community

College: Angela Valdez, Juan Gonzalez, Krishna


The following students are this year’s laptop

recipients: Francisco Danese, Angela Valdez, Juan

Gonzalez, Sumitra Timsina, and Adrianna Lambe.

Francisco will attend the University of Arizona, and

plans to study Aerospace Engineering. Angela will

attend Pima Community College and plans to transfer

to U of A to earn a Bachelors Degree in nursing.

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TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 10

Juan Gonzalez will attend Pima Community College and transfer to U of A to study civil or aerospace

engineering. Sumitra Timsina will attend the University of Arizona and transfer to a university which

offers courses in dentistry. Adrianna Lambe will attend Pima Community College and to prepare to

become a Probation Officer.

Highlights of the program were the success stories presented by 4 of our alumni who graduated between

1993 and 1998. Jose Villalobos is now a Senior Systems Engineer taking college courses and celebrating

his 15 th year at TMC. Monica Monge spent 15 years in pharmacy at TMC. Daniel Camacho has a

Bachelors Degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology with a minor in chemistry. He received an internship

at the National Institutes of Health, doing research on Cancer. For the past 3 years, he has been doing

Cancer Research at the U of A Cancer Center. Shannon Roberts (now Dr. Shannon Roberts) received a PHD

in Human Resources. Shannon is the Director of Employee Relations and Chief Negotiator for TUSD

The Catalina ROTC Honor Guard opened the evening by presenting colors and with Cadet Rumor Jensen

leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance. The Saber Team created an arch of honor with their sabers for

the scholarships and laptops recipients to walk through to receive their awards. The fabulous Catalina

Mariachis, under the direction of Ms. Tammy Stewart, treated us to beautiful, festive music as everyone

enjoyed goodies and lemonade during the reception following the program.

- Marge C. Gould, LEARN Center Teacher


This has been an action packed year for our dance classes!

First semester we were busy with ballroom dance. The basics of the Tango, Triple Time Swing, Bachata,

Salsa and Foxtrot were taught. Choreography for these dances was put together for each dance, and our

dancers performed some of these choreographed pieces at our first school assembly.

In January, 40 dance students attended a Creative Dance Workshop which was featured in our last newsletter.

I also attended a two day Creative Dance Workshop. Both workshops were paid for by the Barbara

Mettler Foundation, sponsored by TUSD. It was a wonderful learning experience for both me and our students.

Because of cost and transportation issues, most of our students would not have been able to attend

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TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 11

this educational workshop, so when this fantastic opportunity came up, we snatched it! Instructor Carole

Marlowe was great, and it was wonderful to work in Ms. Mettler’s historic studio. We really enjoyed it.

In April, Anne Pollack, Capoeira instructor at the University of Arizona, brought a couple of her students

to give each class a one day workshop in Capoeira, a form of Brazilian dance and martial arts. Students

were introduced to a variety of Capoeira skills and movements. Ms. Pollack also gave us a brief history of

its origins, along with demonstrations of musical instruments used and music history. Capoeira is very

challenging and fun. Students got a “kick out of it!”

Throughout second semester, I had two guest hip hop teachers, come in to work with my each dance class.

These two young men, Rhey Orme and Matthew Love, were both products of TUSD schools. In their own

words, “we love to dance!”, and “someone taught us, and we want to do the same for your students.” For

both Rhey and Matt, dance is a passion and a profession. And that was evident based on their dedication

to our students. Each session was challenging and different. They taught choreographed work pieces. In

fact, they choreographed 5 separate dances, one for each class. And as many of you know, our students

performed at the last school assembly in April. It was great having Rhey and Matt teach a genre that is

very popular with our youth. If everything goes as planned, in the near future, we’d like to create a dance

team; one that will prepare students to compete against other dance teams throughout Tucson. We

haven’t had a team in quite a few years, so if enough students show interest, we’ll give it a try.

To add to what was mentioned above, students were taught a variety of fun social dances. Included were

some of the more popular line dances, such as The Boot Scootin’ Boogie, The Cotton Eyed Joe, Tush Push,

etc. Of course, we can’t have a dance class these days without The Electric Slide and The Cupid Shuffle.

And thrown in for good measure, students got a taste of a few old fashioned square dances, such as The

Virginia Reel and also a variety of international folk dances. Before finals started, I even went as far as to

teach an oldie but goodie, The Hustle, a disco dance from the 70’s! “Stayin’ Alive!!”

Earlier this month a handful of students attended a free workshop taught by Pima Community College

Dance students. Following the workshop we were treated to a dress rehearsal of Pima’s “The Four Season’s”

performance. The show was amazing and inspirational. Who knew that Pima CC had such a great

dance program?!? We were fortunate enough to meet Pima and U of A dance instructor Aurora Goncalves-

Shaner. She, as well as Pima students, choreographed the 17 dances which were in their fall and spring

performances. One of my students, Angela Valdez, who’s enrolled at Pima, was so impressed and inspired,

giving her confidence and courage, has decided to continue with her dance education while at Pima. No

pressure, but I can picture Angela on stage, performing in a future dance production in Pima’s Creative

Arts Center.

Dance is not only a great form of exercise, but it inspires and can help bring out your creativity. Dance has

given many of our Catalina students the opportunity to work with their peers and also with members of

our Tucson community. Together with exhibiting appropriate dance etiquette, politeness, kindness, personal

responsibility, good attendance, cooperation, communication, memorization, problem solving and

patience, combined with learning how to choreograph and perform in front of an audience, my students

made this a very exciting and rewarding semester.

Students, families and faculty, have a great summer. Stay in shape!

- Rosa Lara, PE Dept. Chair and Dance Teacher

TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 12

He Did It! He Helped 80% Get Into College!

Hello from your friendly College and Career Readiness Coordinator! What a great year I’ve had helping

students from all grade levels prepare themselves for college! Again this year we have over 80% of our

senior class planning on attending post secondary education. Forty-five of our seniors have been admitted

to 4-year colleges and universities including UA, ASU, NAU, New Mexico State, Western New Mexico,

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Johnson & Wales University, and Vanguard University. Our seniors

have racked up a total of $3.5 million in scholarships and grants for college.

On Saturday, April 21 st I coached our Financial Face-

Off team at the event sponsored by the UA Credit Wise

Cats. Our team of students was comprised of members

from Ms. Gould’s English for the 21 st Century

Workplace class (Rumor Jensen, Angela Valdez, Marina

Cervantes, Francisco Danese, Johana Nunez, and

Silviano Vasquez). We had a fun day playing games

and answering questions about personal finance and

purchasing a home. Although we didn’t finish in first

place we brought home a trophy, $100, and learned a


Safio Mohamed

I also have had the great honor of attending award

ceremonies for two of our seniors this past month. Safio

Mohamed was honored by the Tucson Women’s Club at

a luncheon where she was awarded a $1,000 scholarship

for the UA. Joseph Leonidas was given the San Xavier

Kiwanis Club “Student of the Year” award at a special

breakfast held Saturday, May 12th. Among many other

special college scholarships awarded to a number of

our seniors this year, one of the most prestigious is the

Raytheon Tucson Management Club scholarship. Ms.

Jaclyn Pulliam will be honored at a dinner given by the

RTMC on June 21 st where she will be awarded $8,000 to

be used towards her college career at the UA.

You may have heard me say before “I love my job”. It is

true! I love helping students plan for college, apply for

college, and most importantly find the money to pay

for it! It is never too early to come see me about your

college plans (that means you freshmen and sophomores!).

If you or your student will be a junior or senior

next year please come see me as soon as you return to

school next fall so we can put your plan into action.

Joseph Leonidas

- Mark Hanna, College and Career Readiness Counselor

TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 13


It has been a wonderful year in the Beginning FEAST classes. This year we learned a lot, cooked a lot, and

had a lot of fun doing it. As the year closed we showed off our new talents by competing in a class Salsa

Competition. We used our knowledge of knife cuts, cooking techniques, safety and sanitation, teamwork,

and time management in this team cooking competition.

The final products were full of flavor, colors and textures, some

really packed a punch. Awards were given for Hottest Salsa, Best

Presentation, Most Flavorful, Most Likely To Buy, and Best Named

Salsa. We did not make it easy on our judges; each salsa was delicious

in its own way, using unique combinations of flavors and


“Jamaica Blazin’”

Hottest salsa of the day was awarded to “Jamaican Blazin” which

used ghost chilies and boy were the judge’s months blazing after

tasting Tanner Giessuebel, David Howe, Cooper Watsons, and

Yahya Rheinhardt’s creation.

Senior Toni Ruiz won two awards for her “Chili Coronation”. She

was awarded Best Name and Best Presentation. Toni taped into

her creative side while plating her salsa in the form of a red hot

chili pepper.

Chef Yim and the judges really enjoyed Tropical Mango Salsa

created by John Boese, Daniela Paz and Marquis Wellington of

her first period class. Judges comments included “Great with any

meal”, “Great for a BBQ” and “Very colorful and appealing to the


“Chili Coronation”

My personal favorite of the day was a pineapple mango salsa created

by Ada Licea, Fernanda Mendoza, Alex Daniel, and Kenedy

Rhode in my fourth period class. This fruity salsa was the perfect

combination of sweet and citrus flavors complimented with lot of

heat at the end from the habanera peppers that were added.

We would like to thank Mrs. Encinas, Mrs. Lawson, Mrs. Dunn,

Mrs. Morse, Mr. Berry, Mr. Madrid, Mr. Harcus, and Mr. Naegel for

taking the time out of their busy schedules to help evaluate our

culinary delights. A very special thank you goes out to Cesar Navarro

and Rudy Valencia who won the award for Best Guest Judge.

“Pineapple Mango Salsa”

Chef Yim and I could not be prouder of our young chefs; they all

did an excellent job. We are looking forward in continuing the fun

next year.

- Stacie Rios, FEAST teacher

TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 14

Changes to the Library this Past Year -- and

Looking Ahead

Such a fantastic year at the Catalina Library! I can’t believe it is already over. So many wonderful things

were accomplished since I started here. I have to give big thanks to all the library aides who worked in

the library this year as we never could have accomplished all that we did without them. They worked and

worked and worked, most of the time with a smile. They are the greatest!

As you know one of the main goals of a library is that it be clean and

well organized. This makes access to resources quick and easy for all

using the library. In various “storage” areas of the library were old

audio visual equipment, maps, and books that hadn’t seen the light of

day for years. So old they had the aides asking, “Miss, what is this?”

We went through these areas and all their contents to decide what

to keep and what not to keep. The aides cleaned and cleaned. We

removed so much old, outdated equipment and paper junk that we

now have areas that can be used for other more important functions

such as workspace, study space and meeting space. Our collection

had been continuously updated with new books for staff and students and new videos for classroom


One of the biggest changes to the library was the district’s “refresh” of all the old computers to brand new

ones. Many thanks go to our in-house computer tech Bonnie Morlock and her always helpful husbandvolunteer,

Ron, who help keep our computers and technology running. Due to their combined efforts the

library now has a “Lab” in the back of the library that full classes can schedule to support their curricular

work. Many of our students do not have access to technology in their homes so this is a huge benefit to

their overall education.

As a centralized school, Catalina is used quite often for all sorts of district and community meetings. Use

of the library by various groups from both inside the school and outside the school including tutoring,

Catalina Foundation, Professional Development workshops for district staff and various other district

trainings and organizations has expanded greatly. We try to make sure the room is presentable for all

who come to use it.

Looking ahead, I always hope that the library is looked at as an open, available and friendly place for

all who want to use it. I think we have accomplished that fairly well this year. I like knowing that

resources the students and staff need to support their curriculum and pleasure reading needs are things

we can make available. Sometimes this is hard to do when school budgets keep getting slashed but the

administration at Catalina values their library tremendously and they do all they can to provide much of

what we need. I applaud them for that.

Thank you to everyone here who welcomed me into the Catalina family this year. I am excited to be

returning next year! Enjoy the summer!

- Kate Gallion, Librarian

TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 15

“An Amazing Year at Catalina” - Ms. Morse

It has been an amazing year at Catalina. Students have made tremendous progress toward creating a

community and campus, which is celebrated. Response to Intervention, freshmen houses, Superintendent’s

Student Advisory Council and Trojan Advisory Group are all facets of Catalina that have made this

year truly remarkable.

In its first year of implementation, Response to Intervention

sought to provide support to students in reading

and math. The dedication of its teachers, Ms. Beran and

Mr. Greco, alongside the effort of students chosen for the

program, demonstrated how strong relationships and differentiated

instruction work together to improve student

progress. Over 200 students received services through the

course this year, and we expect to see long lasting results

from their participation, which will be evident in both current

and future academic success.

After its second year as a revamped structure, freshmen

houses also proved to be a powerful tool in assisting student

achievement. Four house teams, Griffin, Pegasus, Phoenix and Terra Firma, worked diligently to

address students’ needs through weekly teacher meetings, student and family conferences and regular

communication between the school and home. On May 16 th , houses came together to celebrate their successes.

In addition to games, music and prizes, this celebration recognized six student from each house

for their overall outstanding performance this year. Congratulations to all award recipients!

The work of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council (SSAC)

made a permanent mark on the Catalina campus this year, after

partnering with the Ben’s Bells Foundation to promote a kind

campus. During the week of April 22 nd , TUSD’s Community Transition

Program, SSAC and a remarkable number of Catalina students

worked meticulously over the course of two days to install a 10’x10’

mosaic in the cafeteria. (See photos on this page.) The mosaic is

adorned with the message to be kind and symbolizes the efforts of

a truly kind and collaborative community.

Trojan Advisory Group (TAG) is yet another amazing example of

student interest in making Catalina great. Although students invested

in TAG only began meeting in February, their excitement and

dedication to the cause speaks volumes. Preparations are already

underway to organize and facilitate a multicultural celebration

week in the ’12-’13 school year. Under the leadership of President,

Zeljka Klipic, Vice President, Love Francis, and Junior Representative,

Amber Hall we anticipate outstanding community events,

which promote Catalina’s vision, for next year.

- Mary Morse, Learning Support Coordinator

TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 16

2011-12 Social Studies

The Department is losing Bruce Murchison so he can take a year off for law school studies at ASU. He has

been at Catalina for five years and has always had dreams of law as a profession and has constantly been

concerned with issues of the legal field in his Mock Trial and Criminal Justice classes. Good luck, Mr. Murchison!

A wish for parents of our Social Studies students: if your student’s grades are in question call or e-mail

their teacher and get involved. Check his grade out online at TUSD Stats and ask the teacher first what is

going on in some cases and then talk to your child. Students should do well if they are completing work

on time, trying their hardest, asking questions, and paying attention to classwork and assignments.

Expect your student to get an “A” or “B” in all of their courses and let them know your expectations!

Booster Club Awards Scholarships

At the annual Honors Night for seniors two outstanding athletes each received

a $500 scholarship. Jaclyn Pulliam plans to attend U of A to pursue a

career as a pediatrician. Luke Wood-Hromidko plans to attend Pima, study

criminal justice, and become a border patrol agent. Both these students finished

the year in Catalina’s top 25, have outstanding recommendation letters

from their coaches, and are involved in amazing community service projects.

The Booster Club was immensely impressed with each and every application

we received. We have some amazing students here at Catalina and we are so

very proud of them.

- Cindy Dunn, Booster Club and Staff Member

- Mark Shaffer, Social Studies Dept. Chair

Link Crew members Fernando Zazueta,

ZamZam Hirsi, and Rodrigo Elenes teach a

lesson to freshman Phoenix House students

in Ms. Nabours’s third period Entrepreneurship


Catalina’s Link Crew, led by CTE Department

Chair Connie Lawson, has worked

relentlessly this year to help freshmen with

their transition from middle school to Catalina.

- Lysa Nabours-Childree,

Entrepreneurship Teacher

TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 17

Catalina English Department Looks to


The Catalina English Department is excited to offer thematic courses again this coming

year! Juniors and Seniors may choose to focus their English studies on psychology and

philosophy, mythology or war, instead of taking regular English 11 or English 12. All

courses, as always, meet the same objectives and prepare students for the requirements of

college and career.

Mythology and Folklore is a course offered to both juniors and

seniors. It is an elective that will provide one English credit to

the student that successfully completes the course. The course

content will focus on a variety of myths, legends, folktales, and

fairy tales from many cultures. The initial focus will center

around Archetypes, the Greeks, as well as Norse myth, and the

modern influence of mythology on our culture. There will also

be a variety of investigations of persisting modern myths, fairy

tales, folktales, and legends. The classic text, Mythology, by

Edith Hamilton, will be a primary text, but other more modern

texts will also be used. We’ll also look at the influence of

popular culture and myth’s influence on popular culture. Film

study and the analysis of mythsys will also be incorporated. The creative student has the

chance to thrive here with many opportunities for enrichment awaiting them.

War has been part of the human experience since time immemorial; war has tested

humans in every way, causing pain and suffering, defining heroism and cowardice. In the

Literature of Holocaust and War class, we will be reading works addressing aspects of

witness, survival, genocide and heroism.

Psychology and Philosophy of Literature will use modern and classic stories and poems to

explore major schools of thought in the cognitive sciences. The first portion of the class

will survey a history of psychology, theories of intelligence and development, the normal

and abnormal personality, and memory and perception. The philosophy semester will dig

in to philosophical reasoning and arguments, the mind/body issue, morality and ethics,

and existentialism. This in an honors class, students will be expected to read and write

each day outside of the classroom. An absolute must-have class for anyone interested in

the art and science of the mind and brain.

- Heather Pohlmann-Reilly, English Dept. Chair

TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 18

Catalina Foundation Update


Sarah Lavetter McCraren ‘91 has a unique combination of professional experience which spans across a

wide range of industries and businesses.

Sarah spent eight years at the Kimberly-Clark Corporation in their Global Health Care manufacturing

sector, and she has been a small business owner in both service and manufacturing industries. She was an

administrator for three years.

Sarah joined the Catalina High School Foundation to lend support to its objectives. Her business skills in

budgeting, cost analysis, and management will benefit the Foundation. Sarah volunteers her time at her

son’s school and supports fundraising activities for his youth football organization. In Sarah’s free time, she

continues to develop her yoga and meditation practices. The Board welcomes Sarah and appreciates her

many talents.


Junior Amber Hall, the Catalina Foundation’s new student representative, is a busy gal. She will be taking

pre-calculus and honors third-year Spanish as well as third-year culinary classes next year. Amber passed

the AIMS test as a sophomore. She volunteers at PetSmart most Saturdays with an organization called Save

Animals from Euthanasia (S.A.F.E). “I play varsity golf and soccer. Soccer is my passion and I plan to play

on club teams while I’m in college. I’m not sure what I will study in college, but it will be with dogs and

cats.” Amber is a member of the Catalina TAG committee. Amber is “very excited” about being a part of the

Foundation. Welcome to the Board.

- Margaret-Ann Fangmeier, Class of 1958, CHSF Board Member

Life Skills Activities

Our Life Skills class offers a variety of learning

opportunities, such as art, health, cooking

classes and nutrition, computer, fitness, and

much more. The unique quality of our program

allows us to fulfill each student’s individual

needs. This semester we collaborated

with Flowing Wells High School, and we participated

in many social activities. Among our

activities were a Staff Appreciation Picnic at

Flowing Wells, Pima County Fair, Prom, bowling,

and a graduation party. We also received

tennis tackets and balls and some lessons from

Mark Swenson, USTA South Arizona Community

Program Coordinator. Thanks, Mark! This will get us ready for Special Olympics tennis next year.

Wishing all a good summer -- see you next year!

- Jackie Fortier, Ex Ed Teacher

TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 19

1 Credit and $10 an Hour - Trojans to the Rescue

Students in Monica Holden’s Lifeguarding class receive certification in CPR, First Aid,

and lifeguarding. But many students earn even more -- jobs with the City of Tucson as

lifeguards at our public pools. Congratulations to our Trojans and Tucson summer

lifeguards -- Robert Beal, Cade Borel, Krystlynn Creedon, Tuan Do, Kristy Encinas, Michael

Gard, Colin Judstra, Cole Kowalski, Jaymz Lewis, Alexis Lujan, Brittney Milhoulland,

Andrue Rodriguez, Robert Switzer, and Stephen Zadro-Young! And a big shoutout

to Ms. Holden!

CMHS Pilots and Mechanics Reach New Heights

It’s been wonderful, rewarding and trying within the Aerospace program

this year. On the flight side of the program, Nick Petropoulos and Nathan

Reyes received their private pilot certificate by overcoming a grueling schedule

set upon them. I am truly proud of all the student pilots (Dustin Desilets, Amy

Federico, Alan Garcia, and Paul Robledo) for all the hard work and time they put

forth. We have started interviewing for next year’s pilots and see nothing but

greatness coming from them. Good luck!!

This year in the structures area the students have started putting an engine in our Pitts aircraft

under the guidance of former program graduate Jason Lees. We are hoping to have it running before the

school year ends. I want to congratulate the following juniors -- Moises CuellarValenzula, Edward Federico,

Daniel Feuerbach, Gabriel Hopkins, Philip Marlin, Dennis Nguyen and Carlos Rios -- and the following

seniors -- Andres Aldaz, Reginald Demic, Cody Erickson, Luis ValenzulaGardoni, and Fernando ZazuetaCarino

-- for passing their state assessment test and beating the statewide average. Way to go guys!

I want to say thank you and good luck to all the seniors departing the Catalina halls to embark on

their next adventure. I have truly enjoyed the past four years with you and look forward to hearing about

your successes. I look forward to the classes of next year and what they will teach me!

- Matt Trumbull, Aerospace Instructor

TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 20

Dropout Prevention Helps Keeps Eyes on Prize

I wish you could see the faces of a senior student when

he or shee sees the caps and gowns for graduation. All

of the hard work and effort is evident in the royal blue

and white attire. You can see a change in the faces and

the shoulders are suddenly squared and a young person

sees the future on a hanger. They made it and soon

they will walk across the stage and move on to the next

chapter in their lives.

Here at Catalina we have bunches of caps and gowns

that we lend to the students for that special night of

celebration. With the help of the Catalina Foundation

and others we have built a supply of graduation attire.

Right now we have a rack all ready to go to students.

The names are attached and the tassel enclosed. They

will thrill their parents, inspire their friends, and remind

us all why we do what we do on a daily basis.

The next time our students wear a cap and gown will

be when they graduate from college and I hope they remember

the high school that got them to that momentous

day. For now I think I will hang a cap and gown in

my office to remind the students how wonderful it is to

wear the school colors and celebrate a graduation.

Congratulations, seniors, and thank you to all the hardworking

people at Catalina. A huge than you to the

Catalina Foundation for all the support it offers.

- Susan Curtis, Dropout Prevention Specialist

TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 21

ELD Students are Readers -- and Authors

Ms. Samorano’s students have put together the second issue of their magazine, “Stories from the Heart

and Mind: Say It With Poetry!” Please enjoy the whimsical poetry and the fun pictures we have taken

throughout the year at

Students have been learning about poetry, figurative speech,

research, and career planning. Many students met the class’s

Sustained Silent Reading requirement and read 200 pages

this semester. Quite a few students exceeded that requirement

and participated in the SSR contest. The winners were

Limbert, who won first place by reading 1164 pages, Neelam,

who came in second with 921 pages, and Amanuel, who

placed third with 847 pages. Congratulations!

I also want to congratulate the following students for receiving

recognition and awards for their academic excellence:

Limert, Abdirahman, Esteban, Purna, Sharifa, Devota, Dawazam,

Amanuel, Shamam, Ngan, Harira, Mihad, Neelam, Sabitra,

Anjan, Layth, Krishna, and Maddiel.

- Ari Samorano, ELD Teacher

2012’s “Under the Big Top” a Big Success

Thanks to the efforts of dozens of

parent, staff, and student volunteers

and the hard work of a committee that

spent the year planning, Catalina’s

Grad Night, “Under the Big Top,” was

a big success. From just after graduation

until 5:30 a.m. the next morning,

seniors enjoyed fun, games, food, acts,

and fellowship with their friends from

the Class of 2012.

See more photos of the fun through

the link at our website, http://edweb.

TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 22

Exceptional Education Department News

As the year draws to an end, we will bid farewell to several students who are leaving us and graduating.

Some will be moving into community programs and others on to post-secondary sites. It is exciting to

reflect on the growth each student made in his/her time with us. We wish them well as they move on to

the next chapter in their lives. Although we need to finish this year, we need to remind parents that for

any returning student with an IEP, it will be necessary, if they have not done so, to complete the enrollment

paperwork for next year immediately to insure transportation is in place for the first day of school

in August.

Our teachers are working hard to complete IEP paperwork before the end of the

year. Parents should expect to receive a copy of their child’s IEP progress report

the week after school is out, if not sooner. Many teachers are having end of the

year activities to celebrate their students’ successes!

We will have some changes in our department next year in staff and classes. Ms.

Ezzo will be moving to a resource position for English, and we will have a new,

yet to be determined, teacher in her former classroom for students with multiple

disabilities. Additionally, we will have a new resource teacher who will be focusing

on working with general education teachers to modify curriculum for our students and supporting

academics with academic core classes. This is new position for us. We are working with general education

teachers to develop a plan to have an “inclusion” class in each core academic area next year in which

a resource teacher will be in the classroom to assist with accommodations.

We wish everyone a safe, relaxing summer!

- Marilyn Calhoun, Exceptional Education Dept. Chair

Chemistry Experiments with Mr. DipHin

Students in Mr. Diffin’s Chemistry

classes identify the pH

of common household items

using anthocyanin, a chemical

found in red cabbage.

Anthocyanin changes colors at

different pH’s and is the reason

for some of the color variation

seen in plants.

- Bernie Diffin,

Chemistry Teacher

TROJAN UPDATE May, 2012 Page 23

We Will Miss You!

As the 2011-2012 school year closes, we bid a fond and sad farewell to four wonderful colleagues,

each of whom brought rigor, humor, care, and kindness to her classroom and leaves

us now for the fun of retirement.

Anne Bedford, ESL Teacher

Her colleagues will miss her kind and unassuming demeanor, behind

which lies years of experience and expertise in teaching ESL. There

are hundreds of non-native English speakers, Trojan alums, who are

leading successful lives because of Ms. Bedford’s wisdom. Thank you,

Ms. Bedford, from all of us!

Susan Bellamy, Math Teacher

A respected member of Catalina’s Terra Firma community, Ms. Bellamy

has taught some of our toughest math classes to many of our

college-bound students. She’s known for her high standards and

incredible math expertise. Best wishes and thank you, Ms. Bellamy!

Mary-Claire Ketchum, Art Teacher

When her retirement was announced just before graduation, the

entire Class of 2012 rose to its feet as one, turned to the back of the

auditorium where she quietly sat, and gave her a loud and heartfelt

ovation. What can we write to equal that?

Cathy Pishos, Science Teacher

Site Council leader, Science Department chair, environmentalist,

wonderful mentor to new science teachers, and a relentless

student adovocate, Ms. Pishos will leave a hole in our school

and in our hearts that will not be quickly repaired.

The puppies’ gain is our loss!

TROJAN UPDATE Vol. II No. 4 May, 2012

The Trojan Update is a quarterly publication of Catalina Magnet High School. All

rights reserved. View this quarter’s newsletter in living color at our website, Produced on a Mac, of course, using Adobe

PhotoShop, InDesign, a brand new coffee pot, and with huge thanks to all the Catalina

staff members who took the time to contribute articles and photographs!

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