Anticipating the first AV Talent Show

talent-show-posterJahvoan Galbearth, Aztec Voice

The Alta Vista Aztecs are hosting their first talent show in AV history. Staff and students are looking forward to this event that will take place Friday, Nov. 18. This is showcasing the students’ skills and talents for everyone to see.

Student Council has put together a talent show for the school to see other students perform.

Senior Omar Correa said, “I never knew how much talent we had in our school; I can’t wait to see them perform.”

The student line for auditions was long enough to occupy the judges all day.

Senior Teara Perry said, “I did not think so many people would try out. It’s going to be fun watching them perform.”

Student Council found out a way to connect with the student crowd. They chose to have two seniors host the talent show.

Sophomore Janae Galbearth said, “I think this will help reach out to the crowd and get the crowd involved with the talent show.”

The talk around the school is that the talent show will have a big turnout, considering the fact that Alta Vista has never had one. This just shows the school pride that most students have now.

Several teachers have put the talent show details out in the open. They support the talent show and believe this is a good idea.

Senior Dimitri Carrillo said, “This is something that has never happened at AV, and judging by the way the assemblies look for school pride, I think it will be a good turnout.”

According to several freshmen, they believe that this talent show will help them make friends and help them become more outgoing with other students. Knowing how our culture at Alta Vista is, this talent show won’t do anything but that.

Judges from our funders, Guadalupe Centers, have been chosen. This came into play when the Student Council talked about having student judges, but as the leaders of the school, they know that some kids are biased, and they want it as fair as possible.

The Student Council has done a great job planning this and getting everybody involved; they have more things planned for the school and cannot wait to show the school what they’ve got.

The secret residents of Alta Vista

Cindy Vega, Aztec Voice

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(This is not the AV mouse.)

This week the teachers were being really strict about having food in the classrooms and even taking food out from the cafeteria. It was because in the school there was a rumor going around that they saw a mouse inside a classroom – but later we find out it wasn’t a rumor; it was true that they had even taken a video of it.

According to the pest control company Orkin, mice tend to come inside homes because of the dropping temperatures. The infestations begin in the fall. Mice go inside to stay safe and warm. The mice enter through gaps in windows, the ceiling and sewer lines. Due to their body shape, mice are capable of fitting through holes much smaller than they appear.

Alta Vista junior Mayela Marron shared how she felt about having mice in the school.

“I am very appalled about hearing there was a mouse in the school. Now I have concerns about the kitchen, because I don’t feel comfortable eating at school knowing that there’s rodents,” said Marron.

Another AV student, sophomore Jessica Hernandez, shared how she felt on finding out the school had mice.

“I felt like the school was dirty and that it needed to be better taken care of,” said Hernandez.

Students at AV are worried about eating the school lunches because of the mice they have seen. They are disgusted and feel unsafe. They also feel as if the school is not very well clean and is dirty.

A junior at AV, Leonela Montes, shared what she feels the school should do to keep the mice out from the school.

“I think the school should invest in getting an exterminator to come and spray the whole school down, since it is a old building,” said Montes.

The students at the school think they should get an exterminator so that the mice can go away,  and also the teachers should really be aware of the students eating in their classrooms because that’s another big reason why mice are starting to go in. They also think mouse traps and other traps should be placed all around the school, and it can help in a way to stop the mice.

Junior Jose Acevedo shared how he thinks the students can help keep mice away.

“I think the students can stop taking food into class, and they can all also put their chairs on top of the tables at the end of seventh hour, so it could be easier for the people who clean at night,” Acevedo said.

Hernandez also shared how the students can help stop the mice.

“I feel like the students should stop eating in class and should pick up after themselves,” said Hernandez.  

All students attending the school should be aware of the mice they are causing by eating in classrooms and not leaving everything in the cafeteria. They should all learn to pick up after themselves and if they can’t, then they should not be allowed to eat in classrooms.

Montes shared about how she thinks not only is it the school’s fault of having mice, but it’s also the temperature change.

“I feel like not only is it that the school might be dirty and not…clean, but it might also be that it’s winter now and the mice are trying to stay warm,” Montes said.

Marron also agreed with Montes. Mice don’t always come out because the place you live in or go to is dirty but because the mice start looking for a place to stay warm and safe, and since they can fit through any hole then it is really easy for them to find a place to go into.

“I feel like the whole mouse thing also has to do with the temperature change. The mice find places where they can stay safe and warm and, well, it happened to be our school,” said Marron.

Ready for Thanksgiving break

harvest-corn-1464825Kevin Castillo, Aztec Voice

Usually in November there is a long-awaited school vacation. Students are eagerly waiting not only to get a break off of school, but also to grub on the Thanksgiving dinner and to spend time with their family.

Junior Leonela Montes really enjoys her time out of school.

“I eat, because that’s all I do,” Montes said. “I also catch up on my sleep and do things I don’t normally do. I enjoy my time out of school.”

Montes also spends time with her friends and family over break.

“We gather the family together,” she said. “Everyone brings their food, and we have a party. There’s quality time spent with friends and family.”

Sophomore Cristian Guzman takes advantage of his time out of school.

“During this time I spend time with my family. I enjoy it because I work and get money,” Guzman said.

Guzman celebrates his Thanksgiving with his family.

“I help make food before we have the Thanksgiving dinner,” he said. “We eat together at the table and have fun.”

All fun and games

joystick-2-1242633Roberto Gomez, Aztec Voice

Video games: they have been debated for years. Some say it’s bad for you or it may help you in an unknown situation. It all just depends on how the video games are used. They could help with reflexes, memory and other things. In addition, it could lead to bad things if used unreasonably, like not being able to sleep, having fantasies, depression and antisocial behavior.

There are other benefits to video games, and they do help in some parts in life. If we use the time properly, then having this enhancement to our brains is wonderful. If the right games are played, they will make our senses even better.

According to psychologist Chacha Tumbokon, “Video games make learning fun. Your kid likes games because of the colors, the animation, the eye candy, as well as the interactivity and the challenge and the rewards of winning. The best way to learn is when the learner is having fun at the same time.”

On the other hand there are bad effects to playing video games, too. A lot of that has to do with violence because with violence in the world today it may not help with being social or decisions we make.

Tumbokon explained that “most of the bad effects of video games are blamed on the violence they contain. Children who play more violent video games are more likely to have increased aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and decreased prosocial helping,” according to a scientific study by Anderson and Bushman.

Some people don’t even get affected by those two factors or they may for one or the other. Other things people could get is video game withdrawal, which is having symptoms of a lot of bad things like anxiety, crying, headaches and nausea.

“I don’t know, I usually play three or four hours, and no video game withdrawal,” junior Jose Gonzalez said.

Other people have enough time to have their daily brain workout. To work out your brain a lot will help in life; friends will make it more fun.

“I play one hour of video games with my friends, and I don’t have much time and no video game withdrawal,” junior Reno Villanueva said.

Some people are just neutral: they either don’t play many video games or any type of game. They do it for the fun of it.

“I play them because they are fun and addicting, some of them, and I get bored since I don’t have a lot to do,” junior Angela Galaviz said.

Some people actually get to play a lot but on their phone, but still no video game withdrawal. They could end up with video game withdrawal if it becomes too much.

“I play a lot of phone games, and I have no video game withdrawal,” sophomore Guadalupe Calderón said.

Checking in on ECP

img_2095Roberto Gomez, Aztec Voice

The Early College Program is a program that takes students who have a high GPA and they can go to college and start their college credits; they can see their life as a college student a little and see how other college students feel about college.

College may seem hard or even boring to do, and in high school, students don’t like to even do school work here, but there are some who do like to do college work. So when people may complain about college, maybe it won’t be so bad – maybe it could be something to look forward to.

“ECP is better than high school,” junior Gabriel Cuellar said.

Or maybe ECP may not feel any different and just it could be as hard or boring, fun, calm or anything, just like college. College is like a place to be an adult, to be free or to be like high school all over again.

“College is a little more pressured,” junior Lucero Lopez said.

College can be a great time to do something new and special, and you or someone can make that time special. You can either do it alone or with some friends or relatives, and college can be for some not for others.

“College is good, and I get to learn new things, and it’s fun while I hang with my friends,” junior Perla Fabian said.

How students are faring this year

img_1987Oscar Borjas, Aztec Voice

As you get home you are asked, “How was school?” It is an everyday routine, and it feels good knowing someone is interested in your learning.

“My school year is going pretty good, even though I got in trouble and I got detention” said sophomore Pedro Reyes.

“I don’t attend Alta Vista, but I’ve heard it is pretty similar to my school, which is Wyandotte,” said Ivan Gandara.

“My school year is going pretty good, better than my freshman year as well, so that is pretty good,” said Gandara.  

“I came from a school in Kansas, and AV is a good school, and I am really enjoying my year here,” said junior Byron Juarez.

“I like how AV handles everything and they make sure that we the students stay on track,” said freshman Francisco Diaz.

Many people are enjoying their school year, especially at AV as it works on making sure the students give their best of efforts.

Alta Vista also pushes students forward, and it gives them opportunities to make their grades improve, and that is something great.

Teachers make sure that each student understands the task they are given, and they will help one-on-one to help the students out.

“I really like how they do things here at AV and they make sure everything is on track. There is no teacher who says ‘no’ to helping out their student,” said sophomore Martin Ortiz.

The Retreat

Daniel Espitia Cuellar, Aztec Voiceimg_3452

A day dedicated to getting away from school. Students swinging quickly to reach the next rope, sweat dripping from their foreheads, “Assassin’s Creed” stunts being performed and muscles sore after the day.

On Oct. 27, seniors had their retreat. This retreat took up the whole school day, giving the seniors a whole day off.

They went to the usual place for senior retreat: Tucker Leadership Lab at William Jewell College. According to the principal, Ed Mendez, the senior retreat has been around for a while.

“The senior retreat has been around ever since Mr. Garcia was here, so about seven or eight years,” said Mendez.

Mendez said this was made to strengthen the bonds between the seniors during their last year here.

“The primary purpose of the seniors’ retreat is to build the community between the seniors, give them the chance to get to know each other better and to help them form bonds,” Mendez said.

Algebra teacher Ryan Marrs attended the senior retreat and said he had a really good experience, giving him good opinion about it.

“I think the senior retreat was a great opportunity for students to bond. The students seemed to really enjoy it, and I also had fun,” said Marrs.

Senior Jose Garcia said he also had a good time from the students’ perspective, and it made him feel good.

“The senior retreat made me feel cool. I felt like us students bonded more and all that good stuff,” Garcia said.

AV and the ACT

scanning-test-1243141Isabelle Bohlken, Aztec Voice

The doors were supposed to be open at 6:45 a.m., the students were told. Students huddled by the locked door in the dark chilly morning of October, second-guessing their choice to attend the ACT. Time ticked away until 7 when Principal Ed Mendez arrived to unlock the door. Irritated and cold students flooded the school straight to the cafeteria where drinks and donuts were promised, but they were met with an abandoned, dark building. Mendez shortly rushed in the promised items.

ACT is a nationwide test hat colleges look at. On the morning of Oct. 22, Alta Vista students (juniors and seniors) went to schools like University Academy to take the test.

The highest score you can get on ACT is a 36, but reaching 30 alone can potentially get you full ride scholarships to college.

Students were preparing for ACT with USATestprep. They have been reading in English and history classes. English teachers have also used NoRedInk to prepare the students.

Students also have prepped for ACT with ACT Aspire. The test predicts what you’ll receive on the real ACT. Aspire is taken in the same fashion ACT, so students feel prepared and know what they’re getting into.

You get another chance if you fail this one, but teachers highly recommend you do well on your first time.

The test is about four hours long.

Junior Gabe Cuellar said, “I felt like our Aspires were harder than the actual one. I felt over prepared, aside from the math. I think I scored a five because of the math portion; it was easy aside from the mat. I was aiming for the high 20s.”

“I feel like time went by fast, [so] I need to learn to control it,” junior Oscar Chavira said. “I don’t think I was prepared. I feel like I needed more practice using time wisely and when to skip questions and when to come back. My predicted score was about 18-19, so I’ll go with that on how I did. I think I scored this because I feel like the test went like it did in the practice tests. The ACT didn’t seem too difficult; the main problem was timing.”

Junior Roxana Rodriguez commented, “The ACT was okay. It felt like I was taking the MAP test back in fifth grade, but my whole future depended on what I got. No pressure, right? I didn’t pay attention when we did the ACT sessions. I think I scored about a 17-20; I say that because I didn’t prepare for the test, and I’m not expecting anything above average.”

When confronted with the thought of college with the scores that determine acceptance or not, a lot of students mentioned going to UMKC, since the requirement is 19 and above.


“I say that because I didn’t prepare for the test, and I’m not expecting anything above average,” Rodriguez said. “I want to go to UMKC.”

“Right now I feel like I’ll be going to UMKC,” Cuellar said.

“I haven’t really decided on colleges. I need to look into more and their requirements,” said Chavira.

The advice Rodriguez had was, “It’s not that hard if you study and put in effort.”

AV students celebrate Dia de los Muertos

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Students played four square as part of a class competition during the Halloween and Dia de los Muertos assembly on Oct. 31.

Wendy Vega, Aztec Voice

At the assembly on Halloween, students and teachers talked about Halloween and Day of the Dead. They also said what the Day of the Dead was and more about it.

First, they had a Halloween costume contest. Many people from different grades went up to compete, but only two could win. They waited until the judges had their answer. The winners for the best costumes were junior Roberto Gomez and senior Juan Marin.  

Sophomore Alejandra Munoz said, “ I really liked their costumes because they were really unique from the other ones.”

Then they talked about what the Day of the Dead was; it’s about gathering your family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. They set up altars to remember the dead, and images of loved ones who have died are placed on the altar.

Everything on an altar has special meaning. Their favorite meals are placed on the altar as offerings. The candles represent fire and are a light guiding them back to visit the land of the living.

The sugar skulls are crafted from pure sugar and given to friends as gifts. The colorful designs represent the vitality of life and individual personality.

Pan de Muertos are baked in the shape of bones and dusted with sugar. They’re also meant to represent the soil.

Everyone learned a lot about the Day of the Dead. We all learned something new or things that we already knew before.

Sophomore Sebastian Rodriguez said, “The assembly went alright for me because some of the things they said about the Dia de los Muertos I already knew, but I also learned why [we] Mexicans celebrate it and what the sugar skulls and other things represent.”

After that was done, they started playing four square. They got two students from each grade to play, and the sophomores took the win.

Sophomore Osiris Herrera said, “ I really enjoyed playing four square. It’s been a really long time since I’ve played, and I had so much fun. It’s also nice that we won. I thought that we were going to lose, but we didn’t. Tito and I played really well.”

Election reactions

Alex Guzman, Aztec Voice

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AV held an assembly celebrating students’ identities and heritage on Nov. 10 after the 2016 election.

You could hear a pin drop. FOX 4 News announced the newly elected President of the United States: Donald Trump. Students’ jaws dropped in dismay. Social media was in an uproar with protesters and other families in the nation expressing their feelings.

On Nov. 8, our new President of the United States was elected – Donald Trump. Even though Trump did not win the popularity vote, he won based on the electoral college.

Students from Alta Vista were in disbelief.

Junior Aaron Ramirez stated, “I can’t believe a person like Trump even had a opportunity to be able to run for president. It just shows how America has come to.”

According to the Huffington Post, the electoral college is a system in which there are 538 electors who cast votes to decide the president. Voters will not necessarily only be voting for the president, but they will also be voting for which candidate will receive their state electors. The candidate who receives the most electoral votes will win the presidency. If the candidate wins 270 electoral votes, then they will automatically win.

After the presidential election, there was a hectic crowd of protesters in the nation. Recently in Kansas City at City Hall, hundreds of citizens came together to peacefully protest the presidency. Protesters rioted: “That’s not my President!”

Students in Alta Vista felt the same way.

“He’s the going to be the president, and I get that, but that doesn’t mean I have to respect him,” said freshman Ryan Ruano.

Families in the nation were not only outraged but also fearful, mainly due to intentions of Donald Trump wanting to deport undocumented citizens from the country.

Senior Eyborit Esquivel said, “I’m afraid that he and other people have the justification for being hateful towards others.”