TROJAN UPDATE - Teacher Resources

TROJAN UPDATE - Teacher Resources

In This Issue

What’s the



December, 2011 Volume II No. 2

Trojan Flash Mob

Pita Kafley

Designs New

Foundation Logo


Named Best at


Mr. Brown’s

Classes Win

Feather Contest

Catalina Foundation

Grants for


Keesal Selected

Alumnus of the


Young Writers’


A Happy Holiday from the Staff at Catalina!

Euphonium players Jordan Weiland and Dustin Desilets prepare

for the Dec. 13th Holiday Concert, which also featured the Catalina

Mixed Choir and a guitar duet. Ms. Stewart led the band; Ms. Dluehosh

directed our chorus.

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

Dear Catalina Students and Parents –

As we get set to close the books on the first semester of this school year, I’d like to share with you some

items of interest and note that were part of our school’s growth and development over the last few months:

· Catalina was fully accredited by the national rating organization responsible for assuring that schools

are doing all that is required of them. An accreditation review team visited our school for two days

last month, reviewing significant documents, visiting classrooms and interviewing students, staff

and parents. The team looks at seven standard areas at each school it visits and, quoting from their

website, “considers all aspects of how institutions deliver quality education, which include teaching

and learning, vision and strategies, governance, data use, resources, and self- improvement.” To

learn more about the accreditation process, paste this link into your web browser:

· Our teachers continue to work in their classrooms and with each other to fully implement the

Essential Elements of Instruction decision-making model. All teachers in TUSD have been trained

in this model as of the end of this semester and are now focused on using what they learned with

their students. Each of our teachers has selected two faculty “study buddies” to work with them on

effective use of this model. They visit each other’s classrooms to conduct formative observations.

Administrators are also working with teachers on better use of the model, which emphasizes

frequent checks of student understanding during any given lesson.

· Assistant Principal Dave Berry has come up with an innovative and helpful

AIMS tutoring program for sophomores that we believe will help them

to pass the AIMS tests when they take them in February and April. By

analyzing student performance on other tests they took as freshmen and

in 8 th grade, Mr. Berry came up with a list of students who will most benefit

from this tutoring program. Students will be excused from one of their

elective classes to engage in the program right before the AIMS tests are


· Incidents of student behavior requiring out of school suspension have

declined drastically at Catalina over the last three years. During the 2009- Principal Rex Scott

10 school year, there were 120 suspensions during the first four months of

school. The following school year, that number was reduced during the same period of time to 80.

This school year, there were only 36 suspensions during that same span of time. These significant

reductions speak to the hard work our staff is doing with our students, but is also a credit to the fact

that our students are more focused on the work that they must undertake to be successful in school.

· The renovations in our Fine Arts wing are partially completed and will be completely finished by the

end of this school year. Work in the Auditorium and Little Theater is already done and both facilities

look terrific! We will be working with one of our feeder middle schools to share staffing resources

so that we are able to offer more classes in choir, drama and orchestra next year, as well as continue

our commitments to band, guitar and mariachi. Kudos goes to Assistant Principal Pablo Madrid and

Project Manager Ed Lees for their oversight of this important project.

· During two Saturdays in November, over 100 students, staff and neighborhood volunteers worked

together to plant trees, clear brush and weeds and beautify the campus and its perimeter. I want to

especially thank Catalina teacher Julie Kasper and her students for securing grant funds for some of

the campus beautification efforts and our friends in the Palo Verde Neighborhood Association for

their leadership and support of both these projects.

- Continued next page

TROJAN UPDATE December, 2011 Page 2

· Our 2011 state champion baseball and boys’ volleyball teams were honored during halftime at

the December 13 th basketball game and presented with their championship rings. I would like to

thank Athletic Director Ken Harcus for his leadership and caring in securing the funding for these

rings and would also like to express our gratitude to Superintendent John Pedicone for his efforts in

helping us to make sure that these athletes received the rings they earned through their hard work

and commitment.

We still have a great deal of work to do to ensure that Catalina is the school all of us want it to be. Please

visit the page on our school website that outlines the “shared vision” we have developed for our school: I am always eager and willing to hear your ideas, suggestions and

concerns. You can reach me at 232-8406, or e-mail me at

As always, thank you for the distinct honor of working with your children and this community. I am so

proud, each and every day, to be your principal!


Rex Scott



In October, the Catalina High School Foundation requested the help

of our student artists by offering them the opportunity to design the

organization’s first logo. The Foundation’s selection committee had

a difficult task choosing the best design as many wonderful designs

had been submitted for the contest. Pita Kafley’s design was chosen

to represent the Foundation and he received a $50.00 prize for his

winning entry. Ahreum Choe and Fabian Roman tied for second place.

Brenda Sanchez and Marqueisha Reed received Honorable Mention

with a nod for creativity to Marqueisha. Thank-you to all Catalina’s

artists who submitted work to the contest!


Second Quarter has been a busy, constructive time for the Fine Arts Department as documented by

the following department teachers.

Ms. Stewart-

For the 3 rd consecutive year, members of the Trojan Pride Band are forming a small ensemble to perform

for community holiday events. The ensemble is scheduled to perform 12/11 for the Garden Flower

Neighborhood Association Holiday Party at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. The group will also perform at

the Community of Hope church seniors group on 12/15. We will wrap up the holiday season by performing

traditional Christmas carols in the halls of Catalina High Magnet School on Thursday, 12/15.

Ms. Bastin-

All the Beginning Art and Clay classes have had a productive semester. The Beginning Art classes are

working on Georgia O’Keeffe style oil pastel drawings. Clay classes are finishing decorative handle mugs,

candleboxes and final projects, using handbuilding techniques learned as the semester comes to an end.

TROJAN UPDATE December, 2011 Page 3

- From previous page

Mr. Faroulo -

We are currently working on single point perspective pen and ink pictures. Our subject is a winter

scene with log cabin and snow covered trees. Our final is a portrait of a Jaguar; we learned about the animal

and discussed the most recent sightings of this beautiful big cat in southern Arizona. When we return in

January we will be learning to draw the human head, starting with a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, and then

we will progress to portraits of other civil rights leaders.

Mrs. Ketchum-

Advanced Art demonstrated their abilities as graphic design artists by making their own jewel case

CDs followed by designing and silk-screening t-shirts.

Crafts students designed, created and decorated clay masquerade masks verifying form does indeed

follow function.

Students in Digital Photography/Printmaking classes researched a famous photographer, wrote an

essay about the photographer and then took a photograph emulating the photographer’s work. The photographs

were very successful and often it was a challenge to distinguish the professional photographer’s

work from student work.


On January 29, 2012 the Fine Arts Department will present an afternoon event showcasing Catalina

students’ musical, vocal, dramatic and visual talents in celebration of our newly remodeled Auditorium and

Little Theater. More “Curtains Up!” information to follow!

- Mary-Claire Ketchum, Fine Arts Dept. Chair

Mr. Harcus’s Athletics Update

Our Winter Teams are off and running and have been very successful

so far. The Winter Break will offer students at Catalina

a chance to rest and re-energize for the beginning of the 3 rd

quarter on Jan. 3 rd . Catalina’s Boys and Girls Basketball Teams,

Boys and Girls Soccer Teams, and the Wrestling Team will be

busy fulfilling family responsibilities, attending practices, or

involved in a Winter Tournament.

Catalina is fortunate to have all of you that are involved as

“Athletic Parents.” Parents offer support that involves time,

money, and the ability to help raise money to help programs

Ken Harcus,

Athletic Director

at Catalina provide the best for students. As you know, the easiest and best way to help raise money is

to make a personal Tax Credit donation, and/or to encourage family members, friends, or co-workers to

donate. Everyone gets the entire amount back in a tax credit.

At Catalina, we are striving to build an interscholastic program of which the school community is proud,

and one that neighboring schools and/or districts seek to emulate. Your students are helping to make this

happen. Thanks!

TROJAN UPDATE December, 2011 Page 4

AFJROTC Named Best Junior Marching Unit

Members of Catalina’s Air Force Jr. Officer Reserve Training Corps

were cited as Best Junior Marching Marching Unit at Tucson’s Veterans

Day Parade. Congratulations to members of the team and to leaders Lt. Colonel Robert Maldonado and

MSargeant Mark Wagner, photos inset.

Booster Club Needs You!

The Booster Club is a group of parents whose students are athletes at Catalina. We raise money by

running the snack bar after school and at athletic events. The event snack bar helps teams raise money

to use for items no longer paid for in the budget. When a team works an event they get $50 or 15% of the

sales, whichever is larger. We keep track of their funds and when the coach needs something for his team

he requests the money from us. It is a much easier process than getting their tax credit money.

If your student is an athlete, we need you! We need your help. It takes parents to oversee the

running of the snack bar, buying supplies, stocking the snack bar, etc. We have a lot of fun doing this for

our athletes. We meet once a month on the first Monday at 6:30 pm in the lobby of Hines Gym. Please

consider joining our group. The students might not always say it but they appreciate everything we do for

them. Hope to see you at our next meeting on January 9 th .

TROJAN UPDATE December, 2011 Page 5

What’s the ECAP?

On February 25, 2008 the Arizona State Board of Education

approved Education and Career Action Plans for all Arizona

students grades 9-12. We as educators believe that integrating an

Education and Career Action Plan (ECAP) process into all facets

of the school experience enables students to be lifelong learners

and problem-solvers, developing and applying 21st century skills

to their life experiences, as students, as workers, as consumers,

and as responsible citizens. With the ability to identify skills and

interests and to apply that knowledge to create their own ECAP,

our students will have developed needed skills to advance in a

more fluid, seamless transition, meeting 21 st Century technologies

and work place postsecondary requirements. An ECAP reflects

a student’s current plan of coursework, career aspirations, and

extended learning opportunities in order to develop the student’s

Rogelio Hernandez, Career/

Post-Secondary Counselor

individual academic and career goals. One of the ways that Catalina Magnet High School will implement

the Education and Career Action Plans will be by having each student create an AzCIS (Arizona Career

Information System) account.

AzCIS provides comprehensive career information for students developing and updating

educational plans. Using AzCIS in high school supports lifelong career planning and promotes career

self-reliance. AzCIS includes tools that encourage self-assessment, exploration, research, goal setting, and


Many of our students have already created an account and they can log in at any time by going to and clicking in the High School link. If you have any questions or concerns,

you can contact me at (520) 232-8419 or send me an email at

Top Ten Tips to Help You Master a Language

10. List your reasons and motivations for learning the language – post your list on the wall to help you

stay focused and inspired

9. Listen to the radio or to podcasts online & sing along with music in the target language – this will improve

your vocabulary, pronunciation, and confidence

8. Read, read, read in the language you want to learn – books, magazines, websites, newspapers…

7. Watch movies with the target language (such as English or French) captions (subtitles) on to develop

your reading, spelling, and listening skills

6. Study online (see websites listed below for some options)

5. Create and use a personal dictionary – use it daily…add words, study words, translate words, use those


4. Keep a daily journal in the target language (write a little something on your own everyday in English,

Spanish, French, Chinese…whatever language you are trying to learn)

3. Study with your friends and family: practice together, encourage each other, have fun together with the

new language

2. Take risks and be ok with making mistakes, they are the key to learning

1. Practice, practice, practice!

- Continued next page

TROJAN UPDATE December, 2011 Page 6

- From previous page

Websites for English language study:

Breaking News English (

Dave’s ESL Cafe (

English as a Second Language (

English Club (

English Voices (

ESL Gold (

ESL Resource Center (

Free Rice Vocab Study Site (

Internet TESL Journal (

Learning Vocabulary Can Be Fun (

Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab (

Spelling Games (

Julie Kasper, ELD Department


From the English Department

From The Odyssey to Red Badge of Courage, grammar to

archetypes, sentence structure to college application essays, the English

department has been working to incorporate new ways to connect to

students’ prior knowledge and check for understanding. Our goal is

to identify gaps in student comprehension quickly so we can address

misunderstandings in class, reteach as needed, communicate struggles

and successes to parents via TUSDstats, and encourage students to take

advantage of the tutoring available on campus. Parents can support

this effort by helping students see correlations between their studies

and life beyond high school and making sure even the little assignments

are done in a timely fashion.

Second semester brings AIMS: reading and writing exams are in the end of February! The English

department offers many opportunities for AIMS and general tutoring before, during, and after school;

a student can always find help with assignments. As always, please keep informed of your student’s

attendance and progress by using your TUSDstats account log-in; showing up ready to learn and willing

to work is still the best way to prepare for any test. Encourage your teen to participate, ask questions, and

seek extra help when needed.

- Heather Pohlmann-Reilly, English Dept. Chair

- Continued next page

TROJAN UPDATE December, 2011 Page 7

2011-2012 Future Business Leaders of America

(FBLA) and Link Crew

FBLA and Link Crew have been very busy this semester. We have

been fundraising to replenish our funds that we used for our new

t-shirts, which are pretty awesome. One of our members, Oscar

Guerrero, designed our Link Crew t-shirts and they are really a hit.

In the month of November, we put together and collected food for

Stuff-A-Sack for Catalina’s families in need. This is an annual event

that Catalina FBLA members complete. Because of the generosity

of our Catalina Family, we were able to fill 25 bags with food to

help those who are less fortunate. In December we are working

on our Send-a-Smile project where we collect toys and supplies for

young school-age children. We then put the items in shoe boxes,

wrap them up, and deliver them to Casa De Los Niño’s. During

finals, we held a fundraiser called “Food for Finals” where we sold

donuts and hot chocolate to get students prepared physically for


Connie Lawson

FBLA Advisor

Link Crew Teacher

Link Crew has continued delivering lessons in the freshmen classes and are improving their

communication skills each month. They have delivered lessons on decision making, teamwork, and

honor. We have another delivery this month with a focus on bullying. One of the highlights of the Link

Crew going into the freshmen classes is the connection they get to make with the students at the end of

the lessons. The Freshmen Success teachers have told me that is what their students look forward to each


FBLA and Link Crew have many other activities planned throughout the year and will continue to remain


From the Health Office

Remember to update your contact information in the Health Office if you move or change your phone

number, have new allergies, or new health information. Immunization due notices will be sent out before

the winter break. If you receive a notice that you have immunizations due, please respond as quickly as

possible. Students who have deficiencies can be excluded from school until the needed immunizations

are received. We find that sometimes, students have actually received immunizations, but copies were

never brought to us.

If you have receive a referral to a health care provider outside of school, please return the referral to the

Health Office at school after the visit is made.

Thank you and enjoy winter break!

- Cynthia Wood, Registered Nurse

TROJAN UPDATE December, 2011 Page 8

Feathers for All

This November the Catalina

Student Council hosted their annual

feather drive. In this event, students

from their home room classes donate

a quarter for each feather. All of the

money collected goes to Pima County

Bar Associations Young Lawyers

Division (YLD) Holiday Party for the

children of St. Nicholas of Myra.

St. Nicholas of Myra is a charity

that works with children in group

homes and foster care here in Tucson.

The holiday party is an event held at

Math teacher Jonathan Brown, student contributors -- and more

than $300 of turkey feathers at 25 cents each!

Pump It Up in which the children of St. Nicholas of Myra get a chance to come and have fun and for some

of them get the only presents they will receive all holiday season. It is organized by members of the Pima

County Bar Association’s YLD. This is a group of young attorneys throughout Pima County that donate

their time and money to run this event.

This year the Catalina Student Council set a goal of $2000, a lofty goal compared to last year in

which they raised $1500. Although it was a lofty goal Student Council knew that the school was up to the

challenge and the students and faculty did not disappoint. After three weeks of selling feathers Catalina

raised over $2200 for the charity. The 3 rd period class that raised the most money was awarded a lunch

pizza party provided by the Student Council. For the third straight year Jonathon Brown’s class topped

the charts. His class alone donated in excess of $300. However, this year was not as easy as it had been

in the past, as challenges from Ms. Colon, Mr. Diffin, and Mr. Abate’s classes made Mr. Brown’s class sweat.

But in the end Mr. Brown’s class slowly pulled away to take the victory.

Student Council wants to thank everyone who helped raise money for this worthy cause. Next year

we want to raise over $3000!

- Sam Rolfe, Student Council Advisor



Pita Kafley Designs New Foundation Logo: The Foundation has used Catalina’s logo on its newsletter and

other items for the past five years, and the Foundation decided to have a student art contest to design a

new logo for its use. From the 25 entries, Pita Kafley’s design was selected, and he was awarded the $50

prize. Thanks to all the participants.

Alumni Honored: Three Catalina graduates were honored for their volunteerism on October 20. Heather

Moore-Martin, Class of 1987 and head coach of the boys and girls volleyball teams, received a Certificate

- Continued next page

TROJAN UPDATE December, 2011 Page 9

of Appreciation for her coaching. Jerry Ledesma, Class of 1972, and Justin McAllister, Class of 1999,

volunteered as assistant coaches for the baseball team. They also received certificates. All three alumni

coached their teams to state championships in 2010-11.

At the October Alumni Social, the following National Honor Society students volunteered to serve as

hosts: Karen Leon, Luz Orduno, Jackie Puliam, Nathan Reyes, and Nick Petropoulous. We thank you.

Two Students Seek Foundation Grants: Dhan Glabilly submitted a proposal to the Foundation for a $500

grant to purchase food for the Cultural Fair at the Boys and Girls Club. The board voted unanimously to

fund the proposal. Joseph Leonidas applied for a $300 grant for plane fare to Dallas, Texas, to attend the

Global Youth Peace Summit. The board also unanimously granted the proposal.

The Foundation encourages students to apply for grants to fund science and classroom projects,

educational travel, and other worthy endeavors.

Grants: The board voted to fund these 6 first semester grant applications:

1. Jama Dluehosh - $500 – for a mixed chorus and show choir, a stipend for an accompanist at $12/visit,

a CD player, and sheet music

2. William Abate - $475.50 – for dissection instruments to replace rusted ones in Anatomy and

Physiology classes

3. Natasha Escalada-Westland, Alicia Lara, and Joseph Cyr - $300 – for 7 webcams and earphone sets

for American Sign Language, Spanish, and French classes to interact with native speakers

4. Stephen Murray - $240 – for computer software to upgrade iMacs (otherwise the computers would

be disposed of) in the Integrated Science and AP Biology

5. Elliott Price – $368.55 – for 35 quality compasses for geometry class

6. Mary Cassidy - $100 - for a set of 25 headphones for Level 1 ELD students

- Margaret-Ann Fangmeier, Class of 1958

CHSF Board Member

Students and Catalina teacher

Elliott Price, right, team up at

the Catalina Foundation’s annual

fall meeting.

TROJAN UPDATE December, 2011 Page 10

CHS Foundation Grants Fall 2011-Spring 2012

Did you know that in addition to carrying the torch for our proud Trojan traditions, the Catalina

Foundation also funds classroom projects? Here are some of the recent grants:

Elliot Price (math teacher and NHS sponsor)

$363.55 to purchase 35 quality compasses to be used in geometry class

Mary Cassidy (Level 1 ELD teacher)

$100 for a set of 25 headphones for English language class

Dhan Galley

$500 to help support the Cultural Fair at the Boys and Girls Club on November 5, 2011 for refugee

students and their families

Mark Hanna

$110 (109.95) to take CHS girls to U of A Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Expanding Your

Horizons Conference

(registration and van rental)

Jama Dluehosh

$500 for Catalina Choir and Glee Club

Start-up funding to re-establish a Mixed Chorus and a Show Choir. Specifically,

**A stipend for an accompanist 1 day per week as a supplement to the District Accompanist who can only

come on Fridays. ($12.00 per visit, not to exceed $240).

**Purchase a portable CD player to be used for rehearsal and can be connected to the Auditoriium sound

system ($100.00)

**Open a purchase order with Instrumental Music and Musicland to purchase sheet music (seed money—

they will do fundraising)

**Seed money to purchase fundraising items which will in turn fund travel and field trip expenses.

William Abate

$475.50 to purchase dissection tools that are NOT rusted for the anatomy and physiology classes

Natasha Escalada-Westland/Alicia Lara/Joseph Cyr

Authentic Language Use Video & Audio Conversation Exchange for Spanish, French and Deaf individuals.

$300 to purchase 7 USB pc Camera Webcam with microphone ($140+tax) and 7 USB pc Microphones

with headsets ($140 + tax) To enable students to record themselves on video or audio or have live

conversations in the language they are learning and receive replies from native speakers. Will engage

community native speakers and volunteers from school for the deaf, nursing homes and relatives who are

native speakers

Stephen Murray

$250 to purchase Mac OS X 10.3 and 6 optical mice to upgrade and modernize the web browsers for

biology classes to allow the use of 24 iMacs which otherwise are unusable.

TROJAN UPDATE December, 2011 Page 11



Samuel “Skip” Keesal was born in Chicago, and was raised on a ranch in Tucson

where he enjoyed roping. While a Catalina senior, Skip was active as a representative for the Red Cross and

his homeroom, president of both 4-H Club and Hi-Y, and a member of the baseball team, the debate team,

and the Senior Prom decoration committee. He graduated from Catalina High School in 1957, the first

graduation class.

After graduation from Catalina, Skip served in the United States Army, and then he attended The University

of Arizona and California State University at Long Beach (CSULB). Skip graduated from CSULB in 1962 with

a B.S. degree in Business. In 1965, he earned an LL.B. from the University of Southern California Law School.

Having worked for several law firms, Skip founded the law offices of Keesal, Young & Logan in 1970. The

firm has grown to 65 attorneys with offices in Long Beach, San Francisco, Seattle, Anchorage, and Hong

Kong. He has been named to the “Best Lawyers in America,” both in civil litigation and maritime law.

Skip has dedicated himself and his firm to the local community by supporting numerous charitable and

civic projects. He serves on the Board of Directors for Long Beach Area Council of Boy Scouts of America and

the YMCA of Greater Long Beach. Skip has recently joined the Board of Trustees at Long Beach Memorial

Hospital. Skip is a strong supporter of education and supports many programs sponsored by local schools.

In 1997, Keesal, Young & Logan was named as the “Outstanding Corporation.” The Children’s Health Fund

awarded Skip the “Big Apple” award for his outstanding contributions to children’s health care. Skip is an

avid supporter of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Long Beach.

In addition to skiing, Skip Keesal still participates in an occasional roping competition at local rodeos, a

pastime he has enjoyed since childhood. Skip currently resides in Rolling Hills, CA, with his wife, Beth.

- Margaret-Ann Fangmeier, Class of 1958

CHSF Board Member

TROJAN UPDATE December, 2011 Page 12


Hear ye! Hear ye! Step right up and see the Greatest

Show on Earth. Come right into our big top tent

and have the time of your lives. If you can’t tell by

now, our theme for this year’s grad night is “Circus,

Under the Big Top”. We have some absolutely

amazing things planned for our seniors. This is our

third annual grad night and each year it gets bigger

and better. The students will not be disappointed.

You would not believe how we transform the gym.

The food and snacks are going to be delicious. The

games are tons of fun. And the show that will be

put on (which we can’t say because we want it to be a surprise) will be incredible!!! This is an event your

student will not want to miss. The price is $50. No student will be turned away for lack of funds. We do try

and provide as many scholarships as possible. Have your student stop by the Finance Office and pick up

the paperwork.

If you would like to help, we can always use it, please contact Cindy Dunn at 869-6401.

From the Math Department

We would like to remind you of the importance of homework 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. 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.

We have tutoring available:

Tutoring is available before and after school on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursday from 2.45- 3.30.

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.

- Michael McGlynn, Math Department Chair

TROJAN UPDATE December, 2011 Page 13

Fetal Pig Dissection in Science

The Science Department and Mr. Abate would like to thank the

Catalina High School Foundation (CHSF) for awarding Anatomy and

Physiology a grant to purchase new Dissection Tools for use in next

semesters’ Fetal Pig Dissection Labs. This is the second year that

CHSF has awarded a grant for Anatomy and Physiology. Last Year

the Foundation purchased Fetal Pigs and this year students will

benefit in this important exercise by having safer and higher quality

dissection tools available.

The dissections are an important component, especially in Anatomy

and Physiology, in that students are able to gain a greater

appreciation for the complexities of life and see for themselves the

similarities that many mammals share. This alone reinforces many

state and national standards for Science and is typically a hallmark

event for many high school students.

Reading about, having illustrations, and even watching “You-Tube”

videos about dissections can never replace the significance of

actually performing one first hand. And for this the entire Science

department says, “Thank you.”

- William Abate, Science Teacher

Welcome, Mr. Nitka! Farewell, Mr. Berrellez!

The Social Studies Department has been undergoing a change this year. Mr. John Nitka has joined the

Department as our Economics teacher for the seniors. Economics was added this year as a requirement

for graduation by the State. Years ago it went by the name Free Enterprise before the State questioned its

need and now the have figured out that students could benefit from the exposure to the economic structures

of the U. S. and the world. It is a semester course that splits the year with American Government

taking the opposite semester. Mr. Nitka came to us from Palo Verde and took the place of Mr. Eric Moore

who retired at the end of last year.

Also at the end of this first semester Mr. Raul Berrellez will be retiring to spend time with his wife and

family. Raul has been here 17 years at Catalina and has taught a variety of our classes in social studies

including Ethnic Studies, American History, and Government along with helping create our Mariachi program.

He will be missed especially because he was also our FRIEND!!!!

- Mark S. Shaffer, Social Studies Dept. Chair

TROJAN UPDATE December, 2011 Page 14

Dropout Center Helps the Less Fortunate

This is what the firefighters do with the money they raise

at the Chile Cook off! It involves the whole city and benefits

lots of schools. My job was checking in the TUSD schools

and I know there was a bunch from Sunnyside also. We let

them know how many boxes we can handle and at the end

of the event we all line up in our cars and they load us up.

It is very well organized and a fun project to be involved in

for community service. We will repeat the whole process on

the weekend of the 17th and I will bring another load here

to the school. The boxes have a huge whole chicken, carrots,

potatoes and the makings for a holiday meal including a

frozen Marie Callender pumpkin pie!

From the World

Language Department

- Susan Curtis, Dropout Coordinator

In the spring of 2011, the World Language

Department was awarded an EEF grant to help

purchase materials for an Authentic Language

Use Library. With these funds we purchased

computers and equipment that would assist us

in creating audio visual recordings of authentic

language spoken or signed by native speakers.

In the ASL classroom, Ms. Escalada-Westland had

a guest speaker from Gallaudet University come

and talk to her classes. Gallaudet University is

the only university for the deaf in the world. It is

located in Washington, D.C. and is now accepting 5% of their incoming undergraduates from the hearing

community. She is also in the process of making connections with the Arizona School for the Deaf and

Blind so that students can work firsthand with deaf students in Tucson.

In the Spanish classes, students in the advanced classes made storybooks of traditional Mexican legends

and will be visiting elementary schools in the spring to read to Kindergarten and 1st grade classes. The

native speakers will be videotaped and these videos will be used by the lower level classes as a source of

authentic learning.

In French, students are continuing to learn that French is used worldwide as an everyday language;

outside of Europe, French is spoken by over 100 million people on four other continents. The advanced

(third-year) students are currently preparing to recite a 17 th century fable by Jean De La Fontaine.

We also recently received a grant from the Catalina Foundation to help us purchase more equipment to

assist us with the Authentic Language Use Library which will include web cameras and headphones so

that students can communicate with others in the community via the internet.

- Alicia Lara, World Language Dept. Chair

TROJAN UPDATE December, 2011 Page 15

Young Writers’ Workshop

A Young Writers’ Workshop was held at Catalina High School on Thursday, Dec. 1. Approximately 100

TUSD students attended the event, which was funded with a grant from the Educational Enrichment

Foundation, and had an opportunity to interact with four published authors talk about the writing

process and the publishing process. The four authors were Stan Strom, author of Blue Ribbon Desserts

and Catalina graduate (1977); Robin Brande, local author of several Young Adult fiction books; Bob

Hunton, local author and former middle school teacher; and poet and slam artist, Logan Phillips. Writing

events and activities during 3 rd quarter:

Book mark contest – due Feb. 14. Templates will be sent to interested schools in January. Ask your librarian for a


Writings for TUSD student anthology to be “published” on EBM at U of A and available for sale at the Festival of

Books – due Feb. 3 in final form. Please submit them electronically to Students who

submit work that is included in the anthology will be invited to present their work at the TUSD booth at the Festival

of Books, March 10 and 11.

Students can post their writings on the Festival of Books’ teen blog, and get

feedback from other teens and authors.

Watch for the opportunity to conduct student interviews of authors, and create either a digital video that will be

played at TUSD’s booth at the Festival of Books, or via podcast. We will be looking for students to participate in

this! Contact Patricia McKelvy for more info: Start practicing for the poetry slams

that are coming up in March and April. Cash prizes are awarded at some of the slams held at Bentley’s House of

Coffee and Tea on Speedway. Check out for more information.

For more information, please contact

Freshman House Update

As first semester comes to an end, we continue to

see amazing progress toward a truly amazing school

climate and fantastic efforts to implement structures

and supports, which ensure the success of all students

at Catalina. Through the work of our Freshman

Houses, Response to Intervention courses and collaborative

efforts of our staff, our school community

demonstrates is commitment to Catalina’s goals and


On December 8 th , Griffin, Pegasus and Phoenix Houses came together to celebrate student achievements.

House officers planned games, house presidents presented speeches and house teachers granted student

awards. Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Maria Menconi, attended the celebration. It was a wonderful example

of student spirit and dedication to everything that makes Catalina staff and students exemplary.

- Continued next page

TROJAN UPDATE December, 2011 Page 16

Our Response to Intervention courses have, also, made great strides to reach our most deserving students

of additional support to aid in their efforts toward graduation. Starting next semester, students will be

recommended for services based on a formula using standardized tests scores, in addition to their demonstration

of standard mastery through the first three formal reporting periods in first semester.

As always, students and families in need of assistance for grade, attendance or other concerns are encouraged

to contact me, Catalina’s Learning Support Coordinator. I am always happy to assist in discussing

opportunities, resources and/or setting up conferences to remove barriers to student success.

- Mary Morse, Learning Support Coordinator

College and Career Readiness

“Catalina Goes to College” is our motto and that has been manifesting

itself in many ways around here lately! We have had

visits from the UA, NAU, Pima, Cottey College, Cochise College,

the Naval Academy, Northwestern University, and other college

admission representatives. In October I accompanied 6 freshmen

and sophomore students in attending the Pima Mathematics

Competition at the Downtown Campus. The students got to hear

the lead scientist on the UA Mars Phoenix Rover project, tour the

campus, as well as participate in the competition. In early November

I took seven budding young scientists to the Expanding

Your Horizons conference sponsored by the University of Arizona

Women in Science and Engineering organization. Last week a

group of eight seniors and I got a tour of Grand Canyon University

in Phoenix.

Mark Hanna,

College and Career Readiness


This past Thursday evening we held our 5 th Annual Catalina College Financial Aid Night. Over 100 folks

got important information on what college costs and how you find the money to pay for it! But here is the

most important news I can give you – as of today we have 11 seniors admitted to the UA, 11 admitted to

NAU, 4 admitted to ASU, and 2 admitted to Embry Riddle among others! It is certainly true that “Catalina

Goes To College”!

Reminder, when that ball drops in Times Square at midnight on December 31 st it means that it is FAFSA

(Free Application for Federal Student Aid) time for all seniors who are US citizens or permanent residents.

You may go to (not!) to complete with your estimated 2011 earnings

or have your student come see me for a worksheet that they may return to me so that I can assist them

in completing the on-line application. Either way, for many of you, it’s free money for college from your

Uncle Sam!

As always, feel free to contact me for anything college related! Also make sure that you are on my College

and Scholarship Newsletter email list by emailing me at or calling (520) 232-

8418. Have a wonderful holiday, a safe and happy new year and remember – “Catalina Goes to College!”

TROJAN UPDATE December, 2011 Page 17

Catalina Flash Mob!

On Saturday, October 15 th , approximately 90 of our Catalina

students participated in a very special event at Tucson’s Meet

Yourself Festival. In coordination with The Let’s Move Campaign,

over 5000 Tucson youth participated in a flash mob


For those that don’t know what a flash mob is, Wikipedia defines

it as “a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public

place, perform an unusual and sometimes seemingly pointless

act for a brief time, then disperse, often for the purposes of

entertainment, satire, artistic expression.”

This performance was far from pointless. To assemble this many participants is no small feat. AND to be

able to synchronize 5000 kids to dance a 5 minute aerobic/dance routine is very difficult to do! Using Beyonce’s

song “Move Your Body”, a song she created just for the Let’s Move Campaign, was motivating, and

our students thought it to be entertaining and fun. Mixing current hip hop dance moves with a little flavor

of Latin salsa added for good measure helped kids burn a few calories! I can also guarantee you that this

great workout raised their heart rates; and dancing in 90 degree weather also worked up a sweat!

Students had so much fun learning this dance that about 75 of them volunteered to perform it for the

entire student body at our Winter Assembly, on October 18th. And once again, they carried on the tradition

of mustering up enough courage to perform in front of their peers, and to show off their dance skills.

Great job and thank you dance students!

I also wanted to thank the parents of these students for allowing them to participate in these great events,

and also, thank you for providing their transportation to and from the Tucson Community Center.

From the Physical Education Department, Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones.

Exceptional Education

- Rosa Lara, Physical Education Dept. Chair and Dance Teacher

The Exceptional Education department has been very busy. Our seniors are planning for “life after high

school” by applying to various post-secondary programs and completing the Compass and other college

assessments. Renee Donovan, our job developer, has been working with many of our seniors on these


Resource teacher Carol Ann Sharrock has begun co-teaching an Earth Science class with Mr. Zwick. There

is a lot of planning to set this up, and both teachers are working hard to refine their respective roles in

this teaming situation and determine the best ways to deliver academic area content to our students.

The purpose of co-teaching is to allow a general education teacher and an exceptional education teacher

to work together within the content area curriculum to increase the success of students with IEPs in a

specific class. The special educator brings expertise in modifying classroom content, as well as, clarifying

each student’s accommodations for the general education teacher.

- Continued next page

TROJAN UPDATE December, 2011 Page 18

Ms. Jackie Fortier writes: We participated in Special Olympics Bowling. Mohamed Hassan took home gold,

while the team of Kim Crowder, Cesar Navarro, Emily Dawley-Hill, and Rudy Valencia took silver. Thomas

Gray, Ian Sibley, and Daniel Teran took home the bronze. Everyone had a great time! We are now looking

forward to the spring events! We also would like to thank Arizona Institute for Sports Medicine for providing

physicals for our students. We have enjoyed our cooperative learning experiences with Flowing

Wells Independent Life Skills Department. Additionally, we have participated in UApresents In the School;

“Water Is Rising” and “Las Guitar’s de España”. They were great performances!! Some of our community

ventures have been to Access of Tucson, De Grazia Gallery In the Sun, Tucson Museum of Arts, and a city

wide dance at Armory Park. We are looking forward to more educational outings next year!

Teresa Castle’s students continue to volunteer at Eldorado Elder food program. They assist with preparing

the food and setting up the eating area and service the food. Although it is the season of giving, her

students work at this site throughout the school year.

Valerie Ezzo’s students are making dog cookies. These yummy organic products are prepared as orders

are received by Ms. Ezzo’s students. Cost of the cookies is $1.00 per bag. Discriminating dogs report

“grrrreat and tasty!” Contact Ms. Ezzo at 232-8481 for more information or if you want to place an order.

Janet Lumsden continues preparing her students for life after high school with her community transition

program. Her students work on careers, interviewing, resumes, employment opportunities, job training,

aptitudes, and personal growth choices.

Dorothy Holtzman’s students have been very successful with their job skills class. They are learning

social, money, and job skills as they take orders from our Catalina staff for Baggins, Chick-fil-A, and Trader

Joe’s 3 days a week, travel to those sites to pick up the orders, and deliver them staff upon their return.

Several of her students, also, participate in a program at the VA hospital where they are learning valuable

job skills by volunteering in several departments. Job developer, Renee Donovan, and job coach, Lisa

Wood-Hromidko are accompanying them to the VA once/week.

Parents should anticipate receiving IEP goals progress reports over the semester break. We appreciate

their flexibility as we schedule annual IEP meetings with them. Additionally, we’d like to thank the Catalina

staff who provides information to us about our students at the IEP meetings. Parents should receive

a copy of the finalized IEP sometime within the week following the meeting. If they have questions or

concerns they may either contact their son/daughter’s IEP case manager or the Exceptional Education

office at 232-8641.

Our EECT (exceptional education compliance tech), Gwen Miller is retiring. Her last day of work is January

3 rd . Gwen has worked for TUSD over 17 years. She was a teaching assistant at Mary Meredith at the

beginning of her career before she moved over to her current position as an EECT. Prior to working for

TUSD, Gwen spent 12 years as a program manager for a group home system. We will miss her greatly!

She has been an integral part of our department and the “go to” person whenever we had questions.

Happy retirement, Gwen!

Happy holidays to you all! Best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year!

- Marilyn Calhoun,

Exceptional Education Department Chair

TROJAN UPDATE December, 2011 Page 19

Catalina’s YOTO Students Win PVNA Holiday

Food Challenge

The Palo Verde Neighborhood Association

recently held it holiday food drive and

the winners, collecting the most pounds

of food for those in need, were Catalina's

YOUTH ON THEIR OWN students. Here

are the number of pounds collected by

neighborhood quadrant, plus what was

purchased at Costco with the $475 collected

from neighbors:

SE - 312

NE - 106

NW - 585

SW - 253

Costco - 275

Total 1531 pounds

INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE CHANGED OUR WORLD: Everyone who donated non-perishable food in your

quadrants, and collectively the neighbors who donated $475. Canned chicken, salmon, tuna and beef were

purchased, along with fresh chicken thighs, pork sirloin roasts, bacon, cheese and bread. Our AGI Walgreen's

at Grant & Alvernon donated $150 in canned protein (chicken/ham/tuna/chili-beef/meat soups).

- Ronni Kotwica, PVNA President

Improved Trojan Website Gets Blurb in Daily Star

“View Catalina Magnet Site in 10 Languages

“Catalina Magnet High School's website is now available in 10 different languages.

“The translator, powered by Google, offers visitors the option of viewing the site in Arabic, Chinese - simplified

and traditional, French, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian, Russian and Spanish.”

- December 12th Arizona Daily Star

TROJAN UPDATE Vol. II, No. 2 December, 2011

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,

TROJAN UPDATE December, 2011 Page 20

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