March Marfa ISD Journalism Dispatches

Superintendent news

By Samantha 

As I’m sure many of you all have heard, Mr. Aguero has resigned from his job as superintendent.

Mr. Aguero has been here since 2015. He has been with my junior class since fourth grade: first as a principal for two years, and since the 2016 departure of Mr. Peters, he’s been our superintendent. 

Mr. Aguero is very loved around the campus. You will see him in the hallways, and he will always tell you hello and ask you how you are doing. He’s also always at the sports events sitting front row in the stands cheering for his students. 

As students learned of the news of his departure, I decided to interview them. These are some of the things his fellow staff and students have to say about Mr. Aguero. A junior at Marfa High School, Liani Salcido, was a fourth-grader when Mr. Aguero arrived.

I asked her, “What are your thoughts on Mr Aguero leaving?”

“It’s sad because he did so much for the school, he’s definitely been one of the best superintendents,” she said. 

“How long have you known him for?” I asked

“Eight years!” 

“How do you feel about the new rumored superintendent?” I then asked. 

“I’m excited because I think he’s going to do a great job!” 

Since the initial writing of this article, Coach Alferez, the history teacher and a former administrator in Presidio ISD, has been appointed interim superintendent, but before that there was a lot of speculation, hence “rumored” at the time of interviewing. 

“I think Coach Alferez will be a wonderful superintendent,” says Joel Martinez, a junior. “He’s a real doer, he just gets things done, and he knows us really well on a personal level since he’s been our classroom teacher!” He went on to add, “And, Alferez has been getting a lot of phone calls from former Presidio staff, which means we might get a lot of new teachers.”

But back to Liani. “What is one of your favorite memories with Mr. Aguero?” I asked her.

“Seeing him in the hallways and always checking in on me and making sure I’m doing okay,” she responded.

Other students also said stuff like, “I’m sad to see him leave so soon, with our class graduating this year.” 

Another student said, “He is a very nice person who always says, ‘Hi,’ to me. He also always attended my basketball games. He made sure this year that our school was a safer environment for us.” 

A senior at Marfa High School said, “He always gave the best speeches about how he loved us kids, how he’d always be here for us. He really stuck through with that and was very helpful. He was very respectable, we will definitely miss his presence in the hallways.”

Mr. Aguero will be missed in the hallways of Marfa High School, wherever it is that he goes to next, they are lucky to have an amazing school administrator.


Staff changes at MISD

By Isaiah and Messiah

In this month’s article we will be discussing the possible departure of some of Marfa ISD’s teaching staff.

As everyone knows, at this time of year, rumors begin to fly about what teachers are coming back next year. The teachers that will be possibly leaving, according to those rumors, are Mrs. Murphy and Mr. Salgado; the teachers that we know of so far that will for sure be leaving is Mrs. Aguero and Superintendent Mr. Aguero. We decided to investigate.

First, we interviewed Mrs. Aguero about her thoughts and feelings about leaving.

Mrs. Aguero said, “Yes, Mr. Aguero and I are leaving. We put in our resignations. I’m not sure what I will be doing after this. I have been debating whether to retire or keep teaching. We are currently trying to find somewhere in-between where all of our family can be closer together.” (The Agueros have family in Odessa and Oklahoma.) 

Next, my partner and I decided to interview Mr. Salgado, who has been thinking about moving.

He told us, “At the moment I’m not sure if I will be leaving the school district now that my son is going to graduate. I am back and forth on what I want to do now –– whether to move closer to my family and relatives that I have from my hometown. But, to be honest, I do enjoy the community here and have made a lot of friends during my time here in Marfa. I also enjoy the district and my students that I have.”

Mrs. Murphy, the school guidance counselor, said, “It is a possibility I will be leaving next year. My husband is looking for a promotion, so if he does end up getting one, we will be moving.”

She went on to confirm, “I did put in my resignation, but if his promotion doesn’t come through, or if I come back, I would love to stay at Marfa. I would look for another position in the district.”

She then continued, “I think what our district will look like next year is that teachers will move here because of the four-day week.” 


Spring sports in full swing!

By Taryn and Darren

The spring sports season has started! That means everything is super crazy. In high school, students are able to pick softball, golf or track to play along with practices for the upcoming season of football, volleyball and cross-country. Everything is SO busy. 

Softball is having a game this Friday, March 31, and we all wish the Lady Horns luck! There was also a golf tournament Monday, March 27. Basically, this week, just like last week, has been insane. And that’s what it will be like until the end of the year: lots of kids will be absent while participating in some spring activity, from sports to regional UIL, one-act, or state VASE or science fair. There are so many people in all the sports/activities! My partner and I decided to interview his brother, Derick Campos, and Memo, both sophomores at Marfa ISD. 

First, we asked Derick, “How do you feel about this track season?” 

He replied, “It’s mid, it started off bad but not as bad as I thought it was.” 

My reporting partner Darren Campos agrees with that statement. 

The next question Darren asked was, “Do you think we’re going to state this year?” 

Derrick replied, “I think some guys we’ll make it, and some girls.” 

Next, we asked Memo how track season is going, and he said, “I was just telling Ms. Powers this — like, at first I thought it was gonna be so bad, but I’m actually enjoying it a lot now.” 

After that I inquired about our state prospects and he replied, “Probably? But also maybe not. I don’t know about the boys, but the girls will.” I wish the track and field teams good luck, and I hope Memo and Derick can believe in themselves enough to go to state!

Also, there was a UIL competition in Fort Davis that happened this past Friday, March 24. It went very well, and it was honestly fun! UIL competition is a lot of waiting for your event, which is tiring, just sitting there for hours. But, for journalism students Piper, Messiah, Isaiah, and I, it was our first high school meet since becoming freshmen. We all put up a lot of good effort and two of us freshmen will be going to regionals in San Angelo! We also have a few alternates, so we’ll see if they make it as well. 

In UIL, everyone has different opinions about it all, and the first person I interviewed was Piper, a fellow freshman at Marfa who participated in a lot of the competitions.

I asked her, “How did the UIL meet go?” 

She said, “Insane, off, and just all-out crazy.” (For those who don’t remember, the Friday UIL meet was preceded on Wednesday by one-act play regionals, whose bus returned at midnight, then a Thursday track meet that also got in late, and so by Friday, many students were VERY tired.) Piper continued, “But, for the people that did go, we did amazing considering that we really didn’t practice that much for it.”

The next question I asked was, “How did you feel about the results of the meet?”

She said, “I thought I would’ve done way better than I did, and I hope I’ll do better next year.”

Then I spoke to Messiah, another freshman at Marfa ISD. When I asked her how she thought it went, she said, “It was fun but it was so tiring to just sit there all day.” 

Messiah advanced to regionals in news writing for journalism (Ms. Powers is SO PROUD), and she said the accomplishment made her feel “good! But I’m still so sleepy,” she said, with a yawn.

In conclusion, the next nine weeks (all that’s left of this school year!) are going to get crazy with all the track meets, regionals, golf tournaments, softball games and prom coming on April 22. But I’m sure we’re all gonna get through it, and then it’s summer break!


Alamito college tour

By Alex

The Alamito Foundation is a local land conservation organization and youth empowerment program. Earlier this month, this foundation funded and hosted 10 Marfa High juniors and seniors to travel on a college tour before spring break! Caroline Travis and Conner Travis hosted this trip where the students traveled across the state. These special students included: Aubrie Aguilar, Andru Bentley, Alex Luna (myself), Samantha Martinez, Joel Martinez, Maribel Meraz, Isaac Nunez, Yvette “Kily” Ortiz, Janelly Pereria, and Fernanda Rivera. The college trip lasted from March 8-11. 

We packed our things and left Marfa, and headed to Boerne around 1:30 p.m. After arriving at the Airbnb, we got settled and passed out. The next morning we woke up and set out to tour Texas State in San Marcos. Here the students saw the bustling campus life and beautiful scenery nestled by the breathtaking riverside. Two current student docents from Texas State gave us the tour and the inside scoop on student life. 

After we got our fill of San Marcos, we left for our second location, UTSA (University of Texas San Antonio). We had the honor of getting a tour from none other than Marfa High School alumnus Odalys Chacon! Odalys walked us through the average campus life of a UTSA student, starting with the residential services and dorm rooms. We got a personal look at her dorm room along with helpful tips needed for living on campus. She then led us through the halls and even took us into an empty lecture hall to give us a speech on college success. Chacon was happy to see all the students from Marfa getting a glimpse of campus life, even going as far as mentioning how her tour with the Alamito Foundation two years ago had helped to inspire and bring excitement to her when she was applying to college.

During our final day, we woke up and got ready for our last tour of the trip. We drove three hours to College Station to tour Texas A&M. We got a look around the different dorm styles and resident services before watching a presentation on ensuring college enrollment. We then took a break and stopped for lunch at Panda Express before continuing our look around. We met with a guide who showed us how to harness our school pride by teaching us the different chants for each year, before telling us about the history of the statues around campus. After we finished up we headed back to the Airbnb where we all knocked out after absolutely devouring some Wingstop, although a few of us decided to forego much-needed sleep for a soak in the hot tub.

In conclusion, this trip really opened my eyes to life outside of high school. Besides our Target runs, late dinners, and hours of walking, which opened my eyes to bigger-city life, I also took time on the trip to understand that moving forward in life is a big step, and college is a whole different environment from high school. I can understand being nervous for something so new, but it’s so exciting! I almost didn’t go on the trip, but I’m so glad I decided to pull through. My outlook on the future seems more stable, and I’m glad I had the chance to experience such a great trip.


Seniors contemplate the future

By Zaley

The last six weeks are coming up. This is a milestone moment for seniors, so I decided to interview some of the Class of 2023 on their post-secondary plans.

Aubrie Aguilar, whose interests include creativity, painting and animation, plans to attend ASU in San Angelo, majoring in studio arts and minoring in marketing. She aspires to be a freelance artist or a community art teacher (emphasis on community, not a school teacher).

Alexis Gonzales’ interests include helping make a better community and setting a path for younger generations to follow wonderful careers. She doesn’t plan on going to college, but will go to Border Patrol Academy and maybe pursue a degree in business later on, because Border Patrol will fund your schooling. Alexis aspires to be in Border Patrol.

Lesly Torres describes herself as adventurous, exciting, and active. She plans to attend Sul Ross and major in health sciences while playing college volleyball. Her backup plan is to attend cosmetology school. Lesly aspires to be a nurse. 

Nathan Pena’s interests include life, fire, and nature, and plans to complete an EMT course, go into the Air Force as an airplane fire rescuer, and come out as an EMS or firefighter.

Ummi Chanez likes running, makeup, and watching TV shows. She plans to attend TCU and major in marketing. She aspires to become a marketing manager.

Samuel Salgado, whose interests include robotics, engineering, and home maintenance, plans to attend UTRGV, majoring in mechanical engineering. Samuel aspires to be a mechanical engineer. 

Hopefully all the seniors, not just the few who shared, are able to work towards their aspirations and become successful, whatever that looks like for them!


Review on the play “Silent Sky”

By Tori

As all MHS students know, the entire junior high and high school took most of the day off on Tuesday to visit Alpine for a matinee. The play “Silent Sky” was performed at the Sul Ross Auditorium. This play was about a woman named Henrietta Swan Leavitt, whose love for astronomy was immeasurable. She was born in 1868 though, and so her road to being a scientist was difficult. She decided to take her passion for astronomy to the Harvard College Observatory as a volunteer. Although she was constantly looked down upon by men, her persistence and tenacity led her to build up an astonishing legacy of discovering 2,400 variable stars between 1907 and 1921 and laying the groundwork for important scientific discoveries by famous men like Hubble. The play also twisted in some love drama, which was heart-wrenching!

My personal review on the play: it was fantastic! The props, the outfits, setting and the actors did a wonderful job presenting the historical times and the struggle for women to do anything (like have the right to vote, or look through a telescope). The emotion throughout the entire play was very strong and well-played. There was a steady rhythm of the plot and smooth transitions to other characters and settings. 

Overall, this play was astonishing and well performed. Thank you to the teachers and those who drove us there to enjoy the play and eat pizza!


Chinati education makes sculptures

By Chris & Sam

Each spring, the Chinati Foundation partners with Ms. Powers, the MHS art teacher, to make a large-scale project that goes on display. This year, mark your calendars for Wednesday, April 26, for the opening of the MHS Store installation! Many will remember the opening for the cardboard sculptures of two years ago that were placed on the football field and then destroyed by a freak hail storm. Last year, large paintings on plywood panels were displayed in the Arena at Chinati. This year, you will have noticed the mess coming from Ms. Powers’ room, because we’re making sculpture! 

Each student has been assigned to create three pieces from many materials of choice, including felt, plaster and wood. As they’ve progressed, some students have created personal themes that connect all of their pieces: for example, Vinnie’s are “trap” themed, while many students are focusing on making art about their favorite foods or pastimes. 

Overall, the comments from students on this project have been very positive. Things such as nail polish, boxing gloves, pizza, sub sandwiches, ice cream trucks, Hot Cheeto bags, and many other things are being made inside the art classroom. Aundrea, a senior, is making a giant peanut butter jar, which is actually really funny since she is allergic to peanut butter. Vinnie, a junior, has created one of what I think is the best projects in here so far: a plaster pair of boxing gloves. 

“What do you think about your boxing gloves?” I asked Vinnie.

“I think the overall style I was going for was accurate, and they look good.”

“Is this the only thing you’re making?”

“So far I’ve also made a bottle made from felt…and ummm, I’m currently working on a flocked piece of chicken. And the boxing gloves that have been completed.”

“What is your overall opinion on this partnership with Chinati?”

“I think that it’s helped instill a better understanding of art, and my predisposition about what art is,” said Vinnie.

Mr. Roch, the education director at Chinati, is the leader of the projects along with Ms. Molly and new intern Angela. They are all very creative, patient and helpful. We all have worked with Mr. Roch before, he has always been around MISD. He was even our pre-K teacher at one point. Ms. Molly was also a helper for online art class during COVID.

“How is it working with the students of MHS?” I asked Mr. Roch.

“It is an absolute joy, and I feel lucky to work with all of the students,” he responded.

“Could you describe the project?”

“The project was initiated by Ms. Powers,” Mr. Roch replied, “She asked that we do something with sculpture this year, something three-dimensional. That led us to thinking about some of the art works at Chinati, as well as art around town. So we took a visit to Camp Bosworth and the Wrong Store. From there, we brought in plaster and a variety of materials, sewing machines, wire, fabrics and what not. I then shared with the students that we will be making a store filled with art that is inspired by everyday objects.” 

“What are your opinions on what the students have created?” I asked.

“The work created so far is remarkable, and I can’t wait to share with the public. Each student has their own unique interpretation of an object. A nail polish bottle that is 2-ft tall is still a nail polish bottle, and also something else. I feel fortunate to be a part of this.” 

But just as art is being created, so is a mess: from Ms. Powers’ art room down through the library lies a pathway of dried plaster dust (mainly from Crocs.) Efforts have been made to prevent this, but the mess continues to fill the hallways and the library. Mr. Roch has placed a mat inside and outside the doorway, so this has helped stop the spread. Ms. Powers’ students: Make sure to wipe your feet before leaving the classroom. 


Ferret update

By Piper 

Over spring break, my family dragged my brother and I to Fredericksburg and then San Antonio. It was overly-eventful for a week I wanted to dedicate to sleeping.

We visited a WWII museum in Fredericksburg, and saw the riverwalk dyed green for Saint Patrick’s Day. There were many small events in-between and a lot of walking. 

Of course, seeing my dad come back from Georgia, I hounded him about getting a ferret. We called many, many, pet stores. No ferrets. Each pet store directed us to a new pet store, until one put us on a waiting list for ferrets. Apparently, there’s some sort of ferret shortage!? That, or their breeding season (usually March-June) was late. 

So, after I was placed on that waiting list, we were sitting in our hotel room when my dad asked if I wanted an opossum. Of course, I said yes. It’s an opossum. I read an article about how to take care of them, specifically a short-tailed Brazilian opossum. 

So, some random lady on Craigslist went all the way to San Antonio to deliver an opossum to my parents and I in a parking lot. 

Thus, Felina entered the picture. 

We collected the opossum, we got a terrarium for her, but we did not have a name for her. We struggled with naming her because I wanted to name her after a musician or a song. Polly, such as Polly Pocket, was discussed but discarded when other names were brought up. Courtney for Courtney Love, Kurt Cobain’s wife and Hole singer, was also discussed, and stuck for maybe three days before we decided it sucked. It stuck for those three days mostly because I kept claiming if I got a ferret I would name him Kurt Cobain, and my mother made the comment how my opossum would then need to kill my ferret. That’s a hilarious joke to those who know the conspiracy theory that Courtney killed Kurt. 

Ophelia was discussed, because Ophelia played quite a bit on the road trip along with Delilah, Jolene, Maria, Michelle, Olivia, Heather, Stacy, or any other classic name displayed in a song. 

Eventually, we made the connection: she looks like the Zootopia character Fru Fru. The connection to the name Fru Fru was made to Felina, a woman named in the song “El Paso” by Marty Robbins. My brother, Jonah, loves Marty Robbins. He isn’t interested in mainstream music much like our father, and the song is easily memorable, hence why it was brought up. Thus, Felina the opossum was introduced.

Don’t get me wrong, I still want a ferret. I’m still on that pet store waiting list. I’m still going to push for a ferret 100%. But now I also have an opossum, and when I do get a ferret, his name will be Billie. Billie Joe. It will be named for my favorite band Green Day’s lead vocalist because I’m psycho and already making his guitar for my art project. 

Until ferrets and opossums unite, wish me luck, Shorthorns. 


End of the year approaches!

By Katana

The last months of school can be a stressful time for both students and teachers, as there is often a lot of pressure to complete coursework, prepare for exams, and wrap up the school year. Additionally, many teachers may feel added stress due to end-of-year evaluations, grading, and administrative tasks.

It’s important for students to try to stay focused and motivated during this time, and to seek help and support from their teachers if needed. Additionally, teachers can help alleviate some of the stress by being understanding and supportive of their students, and by taking care of their own mental and emotional health as well. Engaging in self-care activities like exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones can help combat the stress of the end-of-year rush.

I spoke to Kiko, he said the last six weeks are very important and scary, but he’s ready for summer. I asked Marissa, and she said she’s also ready so she can make so many memories in summer. Lastly, I asked Derick, he said it’s crazy the school year went by this fast, and that it’s crazy we only have two years left of high school. When I asked my favorite teacher, Ms. Lara, about the end of the year, she said she is happy and ready to chill in the summer with no work or kids!