More narratives by the Senior English class

Texting and Driving / Natausha Ortega

Texting and driving is known as one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. I’m guilty of doing it, you’re guilty of it, and everyone else at time to time has been guilty of it. Cell phones have become part of our everyday lives. We use them for everything. We also use them at any time and any place, even while we are driving. Did you know that texting and driving is six times for likely to cause an accident than drinking and driving? Despite the facts, we are all suspects at looking at our cell phones from time to time while driving.

According to The Trifecta of driving there are three types of distracted driving distractions. These distractions are visual, manual, and cognitive. VIsual distractions involve taking your eyes off the road, meaning you look away to read the text message. Manual distractions occur when you take your hands off of the steering wheel, and this means that you have read the message and now you are replying. Cognitive distractions take your focus away from driving, and this means now you are more focused what is happening on your phone rather than paying attention to the road. These three distractions all connect to texting and driving.

Statistics show the percentages of causes and outcomes of texting and driving. Most of these outcomes are caused by teens between the ages 16 and 24. On average about 11 teens die every day because of texting and driving. 94% of teens understand the causes and outcomes of texting and driving, however, 35% of that 94% admit to doing it anyway. Furthermore, 21% of teen drivers are involved in fatal car accidents by texting. Teens are 100% more likely to be in a car accident while texting than adults. According to The National Safety Council, there are 1.6 million car crashes yearly due to cell phone use.

All it takes is one second for an accident to occur when taking your eyes off of the road. It only takes five full seconds to distract a driver. In that time you travel about the length of a football field without looking. It is impossible to pay attention to the road, read a message, type a message, and drive safe all at once. The message can wait; don’t risk your life or anyone else’s for a message.

Liz Marks was a teenage girl who was involved in a car accident due to texting. It left her blind in one eye, partially deaf, and unable to taste. Marks said, “Everyone else was doing it, so I thought I was invincible.” Unfortunately, she was wrong. The consequences caught up to her and almost left her lifeless. There are so many victims who never return home,who are put on life support, or have to learn how to live life again because of these tragic events.

Most people don’t think of the possible outcomes because, just like Liz mark, we all think we are invincible and that it won’t happen to us. It can happen. One look, one quick look is all it takes, and you will never know if you return home or not. If you do, who knows what physical or mental challenges you may face?

Do you want to be the reason someone doesn’t make it home after school only because you couldn’t put your cell phone down? Do you want to be the reason a mother or father doesn’t see their child just because you had to reply? Do you want to be the reason for you own crash because you had to snapchat, text, or tweet something? Think about the people you would affect and the families you would hurt. Ask yourself and think about these questions before putting your life or someone else’s life in danger.

Bullying / Adrian Hronich

Bullying is the act of harassing another person. I think if you are bullying someone else you should stop. Don’t get mad if they turn around and punch you in the face. There are two types of bullying; they are cyber and verbal.

Cyber is over the internet and verbal is face to face. If you see bullying happen it is up to you to step in and stop the bullying. If you are a victim of bullying let someone know.

In conclusion I think bullying is bad as is so stop bullying others.

Life in a Fish Bowl / Camryn Mileta

So I am going to assume, and please excuse me if I’m wrong, that you reading this right now, has been to a zoo, an aquarium, or my personal favorite Sea World. Sea World’s name is so ironic, because trust me it is NOTHING like the sea here. And yes, I am whale that “lives” in the oh so wonderful family enjoyment area, and performs acts I am trained to do rather than born to do. Anyways my point is, is that I assume you have been here or to something similar because 90% of people have been. Don’t be ashamed however, there is really no better way to spend your money and your time then to watch me and my fellow animals live and die in captivity. Sorry, excuse my attitude I guess I’m a little “ salty “ about not living in actual salt water.

I have lived here for many years, and lost count a long time ago. After seeing how people spend their days here, I still cant understand what is so great. They always seem to enter in the park in huge groups filled with mainly those lovely little things called children. Then they walk around antagonizing and staring at every form of animal, they eat food, and buy those cups with my body on the top. Creepy right? And then of course almost all of them come to watch me. Now, do you want to hear what that is like for me? Don’t worry ill inform you on that. I get fed my food early in the morning right on THEIR schedule, and wait around in this fishbowl sized water tank until they’re ready for me. Then those people in those stupid looking suits come to train me. They lead and bribe me with scraps of food and celebrate for themselves when I finally do as they please. Oh and by the way they didn’t teach me to do anything, I just got tired of them being in my tank. Anyhow, if I’m not training I’m performing. Yes for all of you, the moment you all wait for and spend your hard earned money on. I swim, I splash my tail, and blow my blow hole because for some reason you enjoy getting drenched in water. Then I’m finished, you head home, and the cycle continues with new faces every single day. Sounds enjoyable doesn’t it? Probably not, but that’s no bodies concern.

That’s how my days have been since as long as I can remember and probably until I can’t anymore. I didn’t think I was put on this earth to please humans day in and day out, But I also don’t think anyone cares. As long as I’m making people money, I’m doing fine. Besides I’m just a whale, they’re just monkeys, they’re just dolphins, and we are all just stupid animals. And this is Coming from an unpopular opinion of a whale of course, but I don’t see anything special in you humans, besides the amount cash you have to spend on these things. I guess I can thank you for listening to me though, don’t worry I don’t expect anything to change, or anyone to help. This is life, but let me tell you, it’s certainly not living.

Can You Defy Gravity? / Brianna Marquez

So you might think cheerleading isn’t a sport because we don’t “play” cheerleading. Well the reason we don’t play cheerleading is because what we do is much more than a game. People sometimes ask, “What do cheerleaders do?” Yeah we cheer, but it’s much more than that. We do the impossible. Coach says, “full up 360 to heel stretch.” “Okay what’s next?” “Full down reload to lib.” “Do you mean full down twist or full down rewind because we’ve got both?” We work our bodies day in and day out for four hours a day, six days a week, and eleven months out of the year to gain the strength we need to lift people. Yeah, that’s right, I said people. We don’t use inanimate objects likes balls, rackets, or gloves. We use our bodies to jump, flip, and lift one another. The lives of our teammates are literally in our hands.

According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, cheer holds the number one spot of major sports injuries to women. The number of cheerleaders that receive an injury when compared to other sports is five times more because we take impact with our bodies and do not have protective gear. We perform extreme stunts where “bases” throw “fliers” in the air, and all we have is the trust in one another that the girl being thrown stays tight and that the people throwing her are also going to catch her. Sometimes freak accidents happen and the result is someone getting hurt, but at all times we have to make sure we are paying attention and doing the jobs we need to do to reduce the result of injury. When there is one person out with an injury, there is an impact on the whole team simply because we don’t have the easy way out of just being able to substitute someone else in like other sports can. Everyone is assigned a certain part and in order for the whole routine to work everyone has to be present.

We spend countless hours of our time just to make what we do look easy. At times we learn a routine in 7 hours that takes just two and a half minutes to actually perform. We spend several hours of our practices conditioning that include doing cardio,weight lifting, or stretching to become more flexible. The rest of our practices consist of building a bond and trust between one another when we are working hard to perfect our stunts. Coach sometimes says we can’t move on to the next stunt until we’ve hit the stunt we are working on three times in a row. At times when too much talking is taking place or what was assigned isn’t getting done we have consequences to either run extra laps when a stunt fails too many times or make the stunt easier to make sure it hits every time by doing basic drills that we already know we can accomplish. Sometimes we don’t like the consequences because after a long practice no one wants to run extra laps, or it becomes a disadvantage to us on our score sheet for not meeting the criteria of difficulty when having to make a stunt easier.

The intensity of a competition is much more than it seems to be.. As a team we compete against more than one team at a time, and the worst part about it is the judges don’t care how long we have been working to perfect a routine, we only get one shot at that moment to show what we are capable of. From the moment you step foot upon the mats, you get an adrenaline rush that is sometimes impossible to control, and at times can reflect on the way you perform. And what most people don’t understand is that sometimes it is the littlest things that count that can make you a champion or make you a team that doesn’t receive a trophy at all because a girl didn’t point her toes in a jump, a tumbler’s legs were open during a back handspring, or a girl didn’t have a smile and show energy. The little things can sometimes make up points that allow you to lose by a half of a point or win by ten. Crowd involvement is also a big part of competitions. The judges look to see how well cheerleaders are able to lead their crowd and sometimes if you say the words too quickly the crowd can not always catch on to what you are saying. Therefore we as cheerleaders would not be doing our jobs of getting our crowds involved whether we are at a competition or at a game supporting our fellow sports teams.

In other words, to be considered a sport you must have guidelines and rules to follow by, compete against another team, and requires an athletic physical activity. Just like any other sport we do a lot of physical activity and more. We follow guidelines and rules, we have to work with one another, we compete against other teams (more than one) at times just like any other sport would, and continue to support our other fellow sports teams. So yes we are a sport, but no we don’t just cheer. We defy gravity.


Opinion narratives by the Honors English class

My Life Behind the Wheel / Sarah Valdez

So, a couple nights ago, I ran over a screwdriver. I was driving downtown, about to turn on to Legion Drive, when suddenly I felt my back tire pop. Just kidding, it wasn’t my tire that popped; it was my mom’s new Ford Edge that she adores.  I stopped in the middle of the road and started to cry because I thought I had run over a cat, and it was mangled up in the tire. Instead of getting out to see what I had hit (like a smart person would do), I drove all the way back home.

I was actually hoping that my dad had filled the tire pressure too much, and that was the reason for the tire popping. So I ran inside and told my mother that the tire pressure was dropping fast. She went outside and saw that I might’ve hit a small screw. I told my dad the tire popped but left out the part that it was his nice Ford Edge leaving him to think it was my ugly old truck. I escaped the Sarah-Nicole-Valdez-What-Did-You-Do type of speech for the night. My mother took her car to the mechanic shop the next morning, and they ended up pulling a huge screwdriver out of it. Quite honestly, it was impressive that I hit the screw driver just right for the tire to be punctured. Just. My. Luck.

This actually isn’t the first time I have run over something that was quite strange. I was driving a golf cart once, and I ran over a kid. I guess his ball rolled underneath the cart, and I didn’t know, so I took off. I’ll tell you what, that was the strangest speed bump I have ever run over. But all is good, he got up and said, “Don’t worry; I’ve been hit by plenty of cars.” I concluded the conversation by saying, “Don’t tell your parents.”

Looking at this from a metaphorical point of view, sometimes in life, you’ll hit the strangest speed bumps, maybe a kid, maybe a screwdriver. We don’t know the road we are traveling on. We don’t know the trials we will have to face. The important part is about how these situations are handled. Did I let a small innocent child who was probably in plain sight and a humongous screwdriver, which odds are 99% of the population wouldn’t have run over, stop me from becoming a better driver? Of course not, but is it still a work in progress? Sure is, so buckle up my friends, and we will see what this road of life throws at us.

Home / Sydni Silva

One simple word
can make it clear
why you spend
your life living here.
Despite all of the dreadful thoughts,
some never comprehend
what has been taught.
You will soon realize
when you are gone.
You will miss the late night ice creams runs,
and washing your car for fun.
You will miss blasting your music
through town while only green lights show.
You will miss the wild grass
flowing out of the concrete,
dodging or hitting every pothole
on State Street.
The same faces you see
on your weekly trip to the store
One, two, three conversations
and most times it’s always more.
Everything that you thought was a bore
will eventually come to an end,
and you must decide
what to apprehend,
Even when you leave
you’ll have one thing to hold
and that one thing is

Evolution of Music / Autumn Archuleta

There is no doubt that music has evolved alongside the human race. As our society is changing so is the music we are creating and preferring. Every generation has had a certain style of music that resonates with them. In the 1970’s the outbreak of disco and hard rock occurred, with artists such as AC/DC, KISS, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Diana Ross, The O’Jays, and The Bee Gees. This generation of music was loud and upbeat, all of these artists would tell a story through their songs. From headbanging rock to upbeat disco there was no lack of great songs in the 70’s.

The 80’s saw an outbreak of dance music as disco fell out of fashion, although rock still had a presence in the 80’s it had become a softer rock and glam metal became popular. The 80’s had breakout stars like Madonna, Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and the Euryithmics. The music of these generations had a faster tempo that although it could be harder to sing along with was much more fun to listen to because of the simple fact that people enjoyed the instruments and the background music more than the lyrics. People would also sit and watch music videos for as long as possible on MTV.

The birth of radio changed the way music was listened to in a very short amount of time. Music has become less and less acoustic and more mechanized with the outbreak of different machines. The 90’s music style was all based on subgenres of pop music, which included dance-pop, teen pop, and hip hop. With bands and artists such as NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Boyz II Men, Spice Girls, Tupac, MC Hammer, and Ricky Martin. These artists all changed the way music was enjoyed, this generation revolutionized the sound of music with faster beats and a more mechanized sound.

The 00’s were similar to the 90’s in the way music was made and the way that it sounds. Music of the 00’s included artists and bands like, Destiny’s Child, Black Eyed Peas, Britney Spears, Ne-Yo, Aaliyah, Usher, Nickelback, Justin Timberlake, and Eminem. Music of this time was soulful and had a very strong message behind the loudness and the upbeat tempo, even though the people listening weren’t listening solely for the message. Another genre that was created in the 2000’s was pop-punk, artists like Good Charlotte, Blink-182, All-American Rejects, Green Day, Jimmy Eats World, and Third-Blind Eye. Most pop-punk artists were typically one-hit-wonders so there were many artists involved with this genre. Pop Punk is a music genre that fuses elements of punk rock and pop music. It typically combines fast tempos, loudness and distorted electric guitars.

The 00’s was the beginning of more mechanized music; with the revelations of metronomes, click tracks, drum machines, electronic keyboards, and sequencers, music became less organic and more energetic. In the early age of music the tempo was not always exact because real drummers were used instead of drum machines. Autotune also changed music because artists started to sound more mechanized and less authentic. New machinery has caused music to change drastically over the years. Music has become such a huge part of the human races everyday life, we listen to music when we are happy, sad, angry, or even bored, it has the power to influence our feelings in a way that nothing else can. The evolution of music has adapted to the human races preference as the years go by and it will continue to change in years to come as well.

Millennials: The Punching Bag for All / Brittany Fleming

Millennials. Millennials. Millennials. Who caused all these problems in America? You guessed it, Millennials. We do this. We do that — but is any of it right? Of course not.

Millennials are clichéd as being self-entitled children who believe the world owes us something. They say we want our parents to hand us everything we desire. Generation X, our parents’ generation, tells us constantly (really it’s more like nagging at this point) that if we want something we should shut up, quit crying, and just get a job. Good advice, really. If you want something, work for it. Hmmmm, now where should we work? Our options are limited being that unemployment is at 4.3%. I wonder which generation aided in that problem?  Regardless, yes, Mom and Dad, of course, I will work at McDonalds. No problem there. We can work at a minimum wage job just like 61% of this generation is forced to do. Boy, good thing we have an abundance of social security money to look forward to when we retire, right?

What’s next? Oh, I know- our clothes, for Pete’s sake, lay off about them. Yes, these jeans have holes in them. Yes, I bought them that way. No, they weren’t 50% off. Why don’t you go fix the holes in the economy, Harold? Don’t worry about my jean selection. Nobody was complaining (which really we should have been) when you were wearing your white acid wash bell bottoms. Style changes along with the times, so please don’t expect us to dress like we are straight out of an Ozzy Osbourne concert or like we have a corporate meeting at ten.

Wait, there’s more! “These kids and their darn phones now days” is literally a statement you can overhear at any nursing home or grocery store. Technology is the present and clearly the future. Technology is growing and moving on with or without us. A successful life in today’s time in almost every career choice involves technology. So yeah, Gramps, I am on my phone a lot. You’ll thank me later when I’m not living in your basement;  I can’t even get a job at McDonalds if I don’t understand touch screens.

Every generation is quick to hop on the newest upcoming generation for all their faults and shortcomings, but which generation raised the new troubled one? That’s like Georgia O’Keeffe screaming at her artwork for looking like woman’s genital region. It doesn’t make sense.  She’s the one who created the disaster.  The watercolors didn’t just hop up and paint vulgar looking flowers by their own thinking. My point is that it is pretty foolish of our elders to complain that we are awful when they are the ones who raised us.

If each generation was more understanding of the next, we would be less hostile towards each other. So, cut us a break, Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Grandpa. Times have changed, and so have we. We are ready to take on the nation day by day regardless of the clothes we are wearing, jobs we are working, or just how much we use those darn phones. Have faith, show some support, and do us all a favor, quit the nagging.

How Much Time Is Enough? / Richie Gonzales

Is thirty five minutes an adequate amount of time for lunch? I do not think this amount of time is enough for students to get where they need to go, and do what they need to do. Thirty five minutes may seem like a lot, but that time limit starts counting down as soon as the bell releases students from fourth hour. This time limit may be enough when everything goes smoothly at lunch, but not everything goes according to plan.

Walking to their car and getting to the exit by Tiger Drive may take up to five minutes to get out of the parking lot. Depending on where they go for lunch the drive there may take anywhere from five to ten minutes. If a student goes to Mcdonalds or Sonic for example, they may wait in line for their food for five or even ten minutes. Then they must make the decision to eat in the parking lot of where they got food, or wait five minutes and drive back to school to eat in the parking lot. No matter which option the student chooses they still must have approximately five or ten minutes to get back to school.

If a student forgot money for lunch they might need to go home and eat, but maybe they don’t live close to the school. Forgetting a binder for an afternoon class or clothes for practice at home require students to go home at lunch. The drive there may take five to ten minutes, then the same amount on the way back. Students must rush to go home or get food then rush back to school, by this time lunch is almost over. Some students are allowed to eat in their fifth hour, but others may have p.e or another class that they are not allowed or able to eat in. After sitting in a chair for four periods then having to rush around and barely chew their food on their only “free time” from 8:00 AM to 3:15 PM is not beneficial to students.

Up until the 2014-2015 school year students and staff had forty-five minutes at lunch. This extra ten minutes may not seem like a lot, but during the school day ten minutes seems much longer. Students felt less rushed and had more time to make decisions. The little decisions like students wearing their seatbelts, or not pulling out in front of a car because there is more time to get back to school are quite important. Even if they seem insignificant they were taken into consideration  once or maybe twice because of having more time. Lunch is one of the most important parts of the day. Students and staff would benefit from having a forty-five minute lunch more than with thirty-five minutes. Lunch was forty-five minutes before so it can be done, five minutes less in two classes or ten minutes added onto the end of day are two options. Lunch should be a time for students and staff to relax and go where they need to go and do what they need to do.

Internet Cringe / Noah Schoonover

No one would have ever expected that the internet could become any more embarrassing than it was during the 90’s, but it has. However, it’s more cringe in a different way. We’ve shifted from neon font and ugly backgrounds to something much worse, at least in my opinion. But how? Let’s talk about internet user intelligence levels, clickbait, propaganda, and other world wide web waste. Any educated fellow in the 90’s would probably go running home to his mommy if he was told what would happen on the internet in the next century. While there are a lot of credible news sources, entertainment pages, and educational sites on the web, you truly can’t escape the endless amount of germy filth that coats the online servers these days. If you want to feel bad about humanity, you should start by looking to Facebook.

Mark Zuckerburg probably looks back at the ugly, deformed baby that he birthed in 2004 only to learn from his mistakes. For instance, if he ever creates another social media platform, he should hide the sign up page behind an IQ test. I mean, do we really want to give the power to spread mass propaganda to the same people who can’t name vegetables? Seriously. Do you honestly think these people are fact-checking? Every time I go online I see twenty five thousand shares on a post about Hillary and her master plan to rig the election with witchcraft. You can’t trust them. It gets worse, and it’s not just for one side; there are idiots in every group, in every class. You’re surrounded by them.

You’re scrolling through the muck and you see a life hack video. You probably expect it to be something remotely useful, maybe how to keep your neighbor’s dog from doing his business on your lawn, or how to keep your fingers from getting greasy when you’re eating chips. But no, you’ve just watched a video about glueing your phone case to a flower pot. And they never explain why, either. I couldn’t tell you, and neither could they. The problem with the internet is that all you need is views. All you need is a good title, a good clickbait thumbnail. The content is meaningless, and that’s why the internet has gone to hell.

Just like the trash you find on YouTube. Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of good creators out there, but they’re drowning in a pit of talentless idiots. These people are throwing together videos that have nothing to do with the title, and still getting money from it because they know how to use the system. But that’s just one case. There’s also a lot of creators that are just annoying, like the ones who make unboxing videos. Why does anyone watch a forty year old guy open stuff? I bet he doesn’t even wear pants below the camera.

If you’re hoping for some grand solution for this problem to be revealed, then your chances are as low as the content quality. There isn’t one. The internet standards will continue to lower our intelligence, and our intelligence will continue to lower the internet standards. Just feel assured that when we hit rock bottom, eventually the human race will die out. The only thing that will remain is lost data stored in ancient hard drives, and maybe some alien life forms can learn from our mistakes.

What Lies Beyond the Masks? / Halle Medina

Halloween: the one night a year where we can be whomever or whatever we choose. As children, if you were to ask us what Halloween was, we would say it was a holiday where we parade through neighborhoods dressed in costumes, breaking the one rule our parents drilled into our heads since birth: don’t accept candy from strangers. We would explain how it was a night where pranks are not only allowed, but encouraged. We’d describe a night that’s filled with death and the supernatural, causing fear, excitement, and wonder to pump through our veins along with the increasingly high amounts of sugar we were consuming. When we dressed up in a costume on Halloween, we weren’t just playing pretend; but we were magically transforming into all that character was.

I remember the Princess Leia buns on top of my eight year old head as I pranced around my grandmother’s neighborhood. With my white bed sheet dress and shiny belt while holding my blaster, I stormed through my town, not in search of just candy, but for adventure. Though my body was in the small town of Raton, my mind was in a galaxy far, far away. My minivan was no longer just a minivan, but was rather the Millennium Falcon as Han Solo and Chewbacca drove me to our next galaxy. You see, on that night, I was no longer the girl with the Dora the Explorer haircut but had metamorphosed into the beautiful and strong Princess Leia of Alderaan. I wasn’t the little girl whose biggest enemies were the bullies on the playground, but rather the stubborn princess who went on missions to save the galaxy. Halloween was a night where anything could happen and I could be all the things that I wasn’t.

As I stood and stared at the Darth Vader mask in front of me on the Halloween display at Walmart, I remembered that night from almost 10 years ago. I began to realize that maybe, Halloween isn’t just about the candy and the parties like we thought when we were children. The thing that made us love Halloween wasn’t the sugar or decorations or even the costumes, it was the sense of freedom we felt. A freedom that is much greater than what we felt when exploring in our neighborhoods while getting candy, but in the new-found action of self-expression. For one night a year we are allowed to be whomever or whatever we dreamed of being without judgement by society’s standards. Yet, this is only for one night out of 365 days. Why can’t it be like that all year?

The answer to this question is simple: fear. Some may be afraid of ghosts, demons, witchcraft, and even the paranormal, but is that what we truly fear? No, what we truly fear is to show who we are and who we wish to be only to have it rejected by those who surround us. I find it ironic that the night we are supposed to be the most fearful is in reality the night that we display the most amount of courage by simply dressing up as characters in costumes. But why do we pick these specific characters? There is something about them, some kind of trait or ability, that we wish we could possess. When someone puts on that cape and Superman costume, maybe they are admitting that deep down they just want to be someone’s hero, that they are strong and powerful, and what they do has meaning. When they put on that princess tiara, they can show that they are beautiful and vulnerable, and that beauty and vulnerability don’t make you weak. Maybe when you put in those vampire teeth, you can admit that you have a darker side, and that’s okay; sometimes you can be the villain. The need to feel beautiful, the ability to have a dark side to embrace, being wonderfully different, not just acceptably normal — these are all the things we are but cannot express without judgement. Sometimes the character you choose to dress up as gives more insight to who you are than anything you display in real life. When we mimic these characters, we are showing whom we long to be. We gain the courage to admit to the parts of ourselves that we try to hide, and the courage to pursue our dreams.

Maybe the masks we put on for Halloween aren’t as important as the ones we put on everyday. These masks describe who we are and who we truly wish to be better than the ones we decide to wear everyday. On a night that is known for it’s blood and gore there is a kind of beauty to Halloween for it provides our souls with the liberation and freedom to be true with themselves. To be all that we are and all that we hope to someday be, even if it is only for a night. Maybe someday we can live everyday like Halloween, fearlessly pursuing the answer to the question, “Who am I truly?” or better yet “Whom do I want to be?”. So when they ask you who you are for Halloween, you can answer honestly; myself, in all the ways I decide to be.

2017 BEST Robotics Game Day

The Raton robotics team (GRRT) had great success at the local Game Day competition. Many teams competed with their finished robots and exhibits at TSJC to determine who would progress to the regional level. Raton’s robot performed very well and their exhibit turned lots of heads. At the end of the day Raton took home six trophies: 1st place Game Award, 1st place BEST Award, Software Design and Simulation, Founders Award for Creative Design, Spirit and Sportsmanship, and Most Robust Robot. Because of their teams’ success, Raton, Primero, and Manzanola will be competing this winter in Denver.

Since local competition, the Raton robotics team has been organizing fundraisers to pay for their trip. These include a Denny’s Spaghetti Dinner, t-shirt sales, and a raffle for an unguided Cow Elk Hunt at Vermejo. If you are interested in a t-shirt or raffle ticket contact Jo Ahlm at 575-445-3541 before November 20th.

Raton Public Schools Board of Education

Mr. Andy Ortiz- Superintendent
Work: (575) 445-9111 Cell: (575) 707-9254

Ms. Kathy Honeyfield- President
Home: (575) 445-8108 Cell: (575) 445-8145
Appt. 7/1/13, Elected 2/3/15, Expires 2019- 4 yr. term

Mr. Ted Kamp- Vice President
Home: (575) 445-4381
Appt. 4/15/13, Elected 2/3/15, Expires 2019- 4 yr. term

Mr. Beaver Segotta-Secretary
Cell: (505) 400-9538
Appt. 6/10/13, Elected 2/3/15, Expires 2019- 4 yr. term

Mr. Jason Phillips- Member
Home: (575) 445-8020
Elected 2/7/17, Expires 2021- 4 yr. term

Mr. Abraham Elliott- Member
Phone: (719) 406-9180
Appt. 5/15/17, Expires 2019- 2 yr. term (filled a vacancy)

2017 BEST Robotics Kick-off

On Saturday, September 2nd, some members of the Raton Robotics Team traveled to Trinidad State Junior College for the third annual BEST Robotics kick-off. This year, the team has seventeen members ranging from 7th to 12th grade. Each year, a new theme is chosen by the team that received the highest score nationally two years before. The 2017 theme is Crossfire, a game based on fire and rescue. At kick-off, the competing teams were shown the game field and the tasks the robot will need to complete to earn points. Teams also received supply kits that contain the only materials the robot can be built from. Practice Day for the competition will be held at TSJC on October 7th, 2017. Teams are invited to test their robots on the field and receive pointers from other teams. Game Day is the following Saturday, October 14th. The Raton Robotics Team asks for you to come and give your support at our competition. Two teams will qualify to attend the regional competition held in Denver in December.

In previous years TSJC has received Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) grants to fund the robotics program but they are no longer receiving these grants. To keep the competition going smoothly, TSJC will need donations from the community. If you are interested in donating time, money, or supplies, please contact

Meet the 2017 Robotics Team!

We are the Raton High School Robotics Team. Our first year of robotics was 2015, and we have been competing ever since. We started our first year with nine members, and have grown to 12 last year and 17 currently. The team has qualified for and attended the regional competition in Fort Smith Arkansas twice and hope continue our trend of success. Here is a little bit about this year’s team!

It’s Noah! I’m a Senior at Raton High School and a robotics team veteran. I love woodworking, electronics, and anything computers. My favorite things to do are listening to music, driving, hanging out with my friends, and of course robotics. I usually will do anything to put off work, and I’m definitely #teamjacob. I’m a 90’s baby (by fifteen days) and I was born in Texas. I eat kolaches and burritos as often as possible, and my soul food is shells and cheese. My dad says creamy peanut butter is for wimps but I eat it behind his back. That’s it.

My name is Brooke Fleming. I am currently a Junior. My hobbies include playing tennis with my sister and the high school tennis team. Another hobby of mine is building and creating things from any materials I can get my hands on. I enjoy playing with my dogs and spending time with friends and family. This will be my 3rd year on the robotics team where I will be on the marketing team, along with writing in the notebook.

 Hey! I’m Rhianna Hopper and I’m a Sophomore. I will be 16 on November 9th. I enjoy coloring and eating as much macaroni as possible. Thursday nights are reserved for my favorite show, Project Runway. I am currently learning American Sign Language and Deaf culture to better communicate with a wider variety of people. This year in robotics I will continue to work on the notebook and build the marketing display as I have done the past two years.

My name is Benjamin Sanchez. I am a Sophomore and this is my 3rd year participating on the Raton High School Robotics Team. Like last year, I will be helping and working on the robot. Which includes programming and engineering. In my free time I like to experiment with my digital audio workstation, alberton, practice the drums, ski, run for track, code, weld, and woodwork. My future goals are to get good grades, get better at coding, improve my music skills, and go to college.

 My name is Jaden Martinez I am in the 10th grade. This is my 3rd year in robotics. I am a part of the engineering team. I work on the robot and the Solidworks drawings. My hobbies are playing video games. My favorite video games is the Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask.



My name is Ella Cleo Aurora Sanchez. I am currently a Freshman, and this will be my 3rd year of Robotics. During the past two years of Robotics, I have acted as editor for the Engineering Design Notebook. Several of my hobbies include drawing, painting, playing tennis, reading and writing. I also enjoy playing violin and listening to music. I am involved in the Raton High School Student Council as class president. I hope to have a fun and successful year in Robotics.

My name is Baylor Walton. I am a freshman at Raton High School. I enjoy writing, playing the piano, drawing, playing basketball, and running track. I am very big on family! I also love the beach and big cities. This is my third year participating in Robotics. My role on the team is the photographer. I am also a part of the marketing team.


Hi I’m Zebadiah and I’m a 14 year old 8th grader at Raton High. I enjoy woodworking, playing baseball, and golf. My favorite baseball team is the Cubs and my favorite player is Javier Baez. I have been in robotics for two years now. My interest in writing and woodworking definitely helps with the fact that I do a little bit of everything on the team. Last year I helped build the robot and I even wrote in the notebook a little bit. This year I hope to do even more for the team.

My name is Lauren Lucero and I am in 8th grade. My hobbies are writing and reading and more. I’ve been in robotics for two years so far. I wrote some of the notebook last year in robotics. I also was part of the building of the robot and this year I am doing the same thing.



My name is Riley Hopper and I’m an 8th grader at Raton High School. I have been on the robotics team for two years. In robotics I work on marketing and help write the notebook. Outside of robotics I enjoy playing basketball, volleyball and running track. My favorite basketball team is the Golden State Warriors. I also enjoy woodworking and drafting.


Hello, I’m Lane I’m 14 years old and an 8th grader at Raton High School. In my free time I enjoy riding my dirtbike. I race motorcoss in the state of New Mexico and Colorado. I have placed second in the New New Mexico motocross series. This year is my second year on the robotics team. Last year I was on the engineering part of the team. This year I also plan helping to build the robot.

My name is Armondo Valdez I am in 7th grade. The school I attend is Raton High school. I favor art because I can express myself through the colors and shapes. I also like to play video games everyday after school as a pastime to relax and unwind. My favorite subject in school is agriculture, and even math. This is my first year in robotics, I’m really looking forward to it!

My name is Cole Hopper. I am in 7th grade and go to the Raton High School. I enjoy playing soccer and video games. My favorite soccer team is Manchester United. My favorite food is cherry Jell-O because it is fun to make. This is my first year of robotics. I am going to support the team by help with engineering and some software development.


Hi, I’m Cayden. I am in the 7th grade at Raton High School. I like playing football, basketball, baseball, and running track. My favorite football team is the Baltimore Ravens, and my favorite basketball team is the Toronto Raptors. This is my first year in robotics and my job in robotics is helping with software.


My name is Erica and I am a seventh grader. I am a girl and I like art. I like to play the guitar. This year I will turn 13 but I am currently 12. I love to draw and hope in the future to use animation as a career. This is my first year in robotics and I look forward to it. I will be learning programming for the robot.


My name is Sydney E. Elliott and I am a 7th grader. I like to sing and play sports like soccer, volleyball, and basketball. I love to watch college and professional football. It is my favorite sport. My favorite color is blue. My favorite food is mashed potatoes. I have never been in the robotics program before.


My name is Emilia Rose. I am in seventh grade. My hobbies are art, music, animating, sketching and swimming. My favorites are reading and writing, I like gymnastics, and my favorite color is blue. My favorite food is alfredo, though I like chicken and mashed potatoes. Chocolate is an all-time favorite. I also do ballet. This is my first year in Robotics.


¡Hola! I am Mrs. Ahlm, the proud advisor of the totally awesome Raton Robotics Team. I sorta like this crew of youngins. Their commitment and drive keeps me energized and excited to see what adventures we will have together for each new season. I consider this group to be a jewel in my 23 year teaching career. I do have an “outside” life where I enjoy long walks with my German Shepherd, Gracie. I spend most evenings preparing meals of game meat, Mexican cuisine, and lots of vegetables with my husband, Lief. From Kick-off Day to Game Day he is my #1 support, so I can dedicate as much time as possible to this crew of mine and still keep up with my other teaching duties.


I am Liz Wick, and I have been teaching science for 21 years; 20 of those years have been here in Raton.  In addition to teaching 8th grade science, Forensic Science, and Geology, I also mentor RHS robotics.  My role with the robotics team is primarily the marketing and exhibit aspects of the competition.  In my free time I enjoy being outside with my family.  We can often be seen walking the dog, hiking, playing soccer, and kayaking.  I also appreciate time alone taking part in Cross-Fit and simply reading a book.