Emigrating to the United States: Mrs. Luna’s Story

Isaah Slowtalker   May 10, 2017

Between the age of 14 and 15 years-old, Luz Luna, or Mrs. Luna, a Bilingual Translation Aid at KCHS, emigrated  from Mexico to the United States where she eventually found herself here in Kirtland, New Mexico; she is currently a valued staff member at Kirtland Central High School (KCHS).


Mrs.Luna grew up in a Catholic Church dormitory for young girls. Separated and “protected” from the cultural taboos in today’s society, she describes the move from her home to Kirtland to be unlike anything she was used to. “[Moving here] was a big shock! The reason was because everything was very different.” The culture, the food, and the people were drastically different than Mexico through her eyes.


Mrs. Luna’s journey into the United States is one of the many immigration stories in the United States, however, at KCHS, not much talk is being made to discuss the difficulties immigrants face when becoming an American citizen.  “It’s very sad, not many people think of the challenges some kids face when they come here illegally. . . then get deported at [age] 18, The ‘Lost Ones’ is what I call them.” she stated. Mrs. Luna has told her story in hopes of helping others who are going through what she has experienced.


Once Mrs. Luna’s mother decided to marry on the other side of the border that separates Mexico from the United States, she had to leave the things she loved most: the food, the culture and her people.  “I think the food is a big part of your history, of who you are. [It’s] part of your culture.” Luna goes on to say, “I miss the happiness of the people. No matter what, they [are] always singing, dancing; that’s what I miss the most.”


Though Mrs. Luna misses her homeland and heritage, she does love the United States. “I love the simplicity. Moving here, there are a lot of connections [to be made] with people. I had freedom in Mexico, but here, this nation tries to help everybody.” Mrs. Luna had many struggles in life, but her story is one of strength, patience, and courage.


“Be patient,” she says, directing her advice to anyone who may be going through similar endeavors, “It takes time to learn English and the culture...always respect your own culture. If you respect your own culture, then you’ll learn to respect other cultures. The key is to have an open mind and an open heart to go with it.”

Kirtland Alumni Update Pt. II - Ilea Thompson

Layland Joe May 5, 2017

This week I got to interview a KCHS alumni, Ilea Thompson, about a few things dealing with college, and pros and cons about college.


Here is what she had to say.


Do you attend a certain college? If so what do you study?

“Yes I did at Dixie State University and I’m a communication major.”


What do you like about college? What do you dislike about college?

“I liked where I went to school and I didn’t like how much homework I had and how little sleep I got.”


What do you have to say to the students here at KCHS?

“Go to college. It will open tons of different options for you.”

Kirtland Alumni Update Pt. I - Kayce Culler

Layland Joe May 5, 2017

I had the chance to talk with one of KCHS alumni about what sort of things they are doing. I asked questions on if they attend college, and if they do what do they study, and what they would have to say to the students that are currently still in high school. 


The alumni that I got the chance to ask questions to is the class of 2016 salutatorian Kayce Culler. Here's what she had to say.


Do you attend college? If so what do you study?

“I attend New Mexico State University and i am an Animal Science major with an equine management minor”


What's the best part about college? What do you dislike about college? 

“The best part of college is getting to study areas you’re actually interested in while having the freedom to learn and grow as your own individual. The one thing I dislike is exams and the stress.”


What is your favorite thing to do when you're not in class, and when you're not stressing?

“My favorite thing to do has to be hanging out at the Aggie cafe with friends or playing intramural sports. There is always something to do on campus or in Las Cruces going hiking at the Aggie mountain or dripping springs is also a favorite of us students.” 


How did you stay motivated during high school? What was your GPA average?

“I stayed motivated by staying involved, being in multiple clubs/organizations as well as playing sports holds you more accountable and teaches you a sense of responsibility which makes it easier to focus on your grades.My non weighted GPA at graduation was a 3.9/4.0 and my AP weighted was a 4.1”


What do you have to say about Kirtland Central? Do you have a message for the students here?

“If i had to say anything to the students I’d honestly say stay motivated, find your passion and pursue it, and give 100% in all you do in high school because college is a whole new ball game worth playing. Everything you do in high school influences your future so be smart. I would also say that even though being at Kirtland Central feels like prison most days you’ll miss it when you're gone.”

Gabrielle Lee May 5, 2017

The student of the week is Kendall Boyd. Kendall is a Junior, a well rounded student, taking AP and honors classes and playing sports. His favorite songs are “Power” by Kanye West and “Coming Home” by Diddy. His favorite foods are mutton, fry bread, stew, and steak. Kendall was recommended for student of the week by Mr. Soltes, his Honors Physics teacher.

“He’s always making sure that he get’s the job done, right on time. He always gets it turned in before the due date.This week the students haven’t really been taking the work seriously, but he’s continuing to do quality work. What I like about him is that he keeps asking questions. There are no missing assignments and his grade is excellent,” says Mr. Soltes.

The following is an interview conducted between a Kirtland Chronicle journalist and Kendall. 


Who is your favorite teacher and what is your favorite class?

“Mr. Kimball. AP Government.”


What are some of your hobbies?

“Cross country, track, watching TV shows- The Flash.”


What is your favorite thing about sports?

“When you just run and it takes all the stress out and you feel alive. It’s like rebirth, when you run.”



Are you in any clubs?

“No. I wanted to be, but it couldn’t work out because I have sports.”


Do you plan to go to college and where?

“Yeah. I plan to go to college once I graduate. There are multiple colleges… I plan to go to UCLA, U of A, or Oregon.


What are your career goals?

“Graduate in engineering. Probably mechanical or electrical engineering.”


What kind of music do you listen to?

“I think it would just be pop, hip hop, rock, country. Like motivation songs.”


What is your favorite TV show or movie?

“It would be “The Flash”. My favorite movie would be The “Dark Knight Rises”. When I was a little kid, my favorite movie was Dinosaurs, I think.” 


What is your favorite thing about school?

“How you connect with your friends and your teachers and you meet new people. And that bond that can’t be broken once you graduate.”


What is your least favorite thing about school?

“My least favorite thing would probably be closed campus.”


In one word, describe school?



Are you taking any AP or dual credit classes?

“For AP I’m taking AP Government. For next year, I’m taking AP Stat. Over the summer I’m probably taking dual credit classes that will get me ready for college. My mom said it would probably be best to take the core classes, get them taken care of. Classes that will get me ready for college. Probably something to do with engineering. Give me a key idea of which engineering program I want to go into.”

Student of the Week: Autumn Hastings

S.R. Lewis   April 10, 2017

The Student of the Week is Junior Autumn Hastings who is an honors and dual credit student. Outside of school, she participates in tae kwon do and enjoys classic rock music.


In one word, describe school.



Who is the best teacher you’ve had and why?

I’ve had a lot of really good teachers but I’d say some of my gifted teachers were some of the best even though they weren’t really teaching me. They paid attention to me and helped me out.


What do you like to do outside of school?

Outside of school, well, Monday nights I usually have work to do just to save extra side money maybe for college, and Tuesdays and Thursdays I have a tae kwon do class. Other than that I sit around, try to do homework, and read books on the side while watching YouTube.


What’s your favorite class?

Academically I would say either College Success or AP Government because, I don’t know why, it’s just kind of fun learning about stuff like that, but, actually, my favorite class would be drama even though I wasn’t doing so well in that.


Where do you want to go for college?

I’ve been thinking about University of Albany but I don’t think my credentials match that. Currently I’m leaning towards the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Since middle school, I’ve wanted to go to college for anthropology and I’m debating whether to be a liberal arts major or go to school for law.


What kind of books do you like reading?

Dystopian or fantasies.


If you were to have any superpower, what would it be?

I usually say teleportation, you know, time travel would be the obvious one but I always found teleportation more intriguing because I always thought it would be helpful to get to school on time or to just travel different places.

Profile: Ms. Stevens

Lynncia Martinez   March 29, 2017

Ms. Stevens is a Music Appreciation teacher, Jazz Band director, Concert Band director and a Marching Band director here at Kirtland Central High School. Ms. Stevens has been teaching for two years now, and is loving every minute of it. Ms. Stevens grew up in State College, Pennsylvania, a town slightly larger than Farmington, surrounding a large university called Penn State University, where her parents worked.

As Ms. Stevens grew, she had the idea of becoming a music teacher in Grade 8; the music teacher and the class was always her favorite. Later on she attended State College Area High School, where she got more involved in band leadership positions. But not only that, she was in marching band, jazz band, concert band, choir, swing dance and she also played a lot of ultimate Frisbee with her fellow band-mates. After high school she attended Mansfield University in Mansfield, PA, where she studied music education.


Throughout your time being a band director here at KCHS, what was your favorite song to perform?

“Last year, the band played the first movement of Holst’s Second Suite in F and that’s always been one of my favorites since high school. So it was cool to direct as a high school band director.”


Favorite instrument? Then and now...

“My favorite instrument when I was younger was saxophone because that’s what I play but now I also really like French Horn and cello.”


What is your favorite thing about being a band director?

“I love creating music. When all the hard work of rehearsals pays off and you can share a beautiful performance with an audience, it’s just so fulfilling.”


With you being a band director, what mistakes have you learned from?

“There have been many times I’ve made mistakes because I didn’t trust my instincts and my musical training that I got in college. I’ve learned to trust myself a bit more and not to be afraid of being honest with my students and asking for their best efforts.”


What are some of your weaknesses as a band director?

“Being confident in my own style of teaching. The previous director, Mr. Schwartz had a very definite style of teaching and when I got here, I was still figuring mine out. Learning how to be confident in yourself and having your own teaching style, in front of hundreds of kids every day is not easy!”


What are some of your strengths as a band director?

“I am very passionate about music and making sure that a performance is as honest and true to what the composer intended. I think that one of my strengths is getting my students to not just play the notes on the page but to make it into real music.”


What are some of your responsibilities as band director?

“I have way too many! In addition to teaching classes, I’m also a conductor, a staff member, a musician, an accountant, a director and many other things, it seems! Not only do I teach, create music, but I also have to manage the fundraising efforts, all of the band bank accounts, all the purchasing of equipment, repairs, create budgets, plan field trips, fill out a lot of paperwork and THEN, I can create some music!”


Describe a typical week being a band director

“Every week is crazy! I’m usually here at the school by 7am, rehearsing sectionals for concert band or running early marching band rehearsals. Then I teach band in the morning, jazz band, music appreciation and sometimes I get to go to the elementary schools and help teach band there! When I get back to the high school, I usually stay late to teach sectionals again, help students get ready for auditions, honors bands or solo festivals. I participate in the School Improvement Team, that meets after school. I also teach some private lessons after school. On days when I don’t have anything after school, I try to catch up on grading or planning lessons. During concert seasons, I usually have several evening concerts, either my own or one of my colleagues to attend. During marching seasons, my Friday nights are usually dedicated to football games! When I finally get home, I usually crash, play with my cats, fall asleep and get up at 5am do it all over again the next day!”


Anything you would like to share with the students at Kirtland Central High School?

“I think Kirtland Central High School is a very special place. It is so unique and there is no other high school like it in the country, with such diversity in culture and such talent in many areas, from athletics, to the arts, to academics. It makes me sad when I hear students talking badly about their school. Sure, we have our issues, but so does every school. I’ve been to and seen a lot of high schools and I think that this is a high school that we all should be proud to be a part of. We should all take pride in where we come from and strive to make it the best place it can be, because there is no reason why Kirtland can’t be one of the best high schools in New Mexico. We just have to choose to make it that way, and put in the work to make it happen, for ourselves and for the community.”

KCHS Welcomes Freshman with Elective Fair

Monique Harris   Feb. 28, 2017

On February 15th the elective fair at our school was held in the Bronco Arena for the middle school’s 8th graders to come and search for next year’s electives.


Many of our students helped set up booths in the Bronco Arena for their clubs and sports. Each club and sport had a booth where they can talk about what they do and the advantages of their club. 8th graders then came over to search and explore the electives and sports that we have here at KCHS.


The 8th graders got the chance to look at what clubs and sports do, and they also got the chance to ask questions. They got to learn about the purpose of why we have electives and the purpose of what the electives do. As they walked around the booths to explore electives that interested them, they then signed up for that specific club/sport for their upcoming high school year.


Overall, it was a great experience for both high school and 8th grade students. Our high school students got a sense of how to help and guide lowerclassmen and be involved with events that are useful. The 8th graders observed and gained information about our high school that we will be opening up to them. It was also a good way to get some familiarity of people and electives. It was a fun event for our fellow students to be welcoming our incoming freshman.

Student of the Week: Noah Miles

Brittany Wilson   Feb. 28, 2017

Our student of the week is junior, Noah Miles. After high school he would like to attend The University of Utah. For future aspirations, he would like to join the police force. Aside from running and studying he likes to hang out with friends and play football.


In one word, describe school


Who was the best teacher you ever had?

“Ms. Keeling”

If you could have the entire day to spend with a famous person who would it be? What would you do?

“It would be Tom Brady and we would play football.”

What do you like to do when you’re not at school?

“Go outside and play basketball.”

Do you participate in any extracurricular activities?

“I run cross-country and track.”

What are your career goals?

“Join the police force.”

Have you thought about going to college? Which college? If not, what would you like to do after high school?

“Yes I have and it would be University of Utah.”

What is your favorite thing about school? What is your least favorite?

“My favorite thing about school is that it’s close to home and the least favorite thing is that it’s boring sometimes.”

What is your favorite class this year? What is your least?

“My favorite is History and my least favorite is Chemistry.”

If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Why?

“I’d would like to go to Alaska to go moose hunting.”

What is your favorite TV show/movie?

“Ride Along 2.”

KCHS Hosts College Fair

Monique Harris   Feb. 21, 2017

On February 9th, the college fair was set up in the Karlin Gym to share information and applications with our students about colleges in our area.


Many colleges showed up to our school to present and inform students about colleges that are available in and around our state. There were some colleges from other states too such as colleges from Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. Most students were interested in ASU, UNM, NAU, and Fort Lewis. Students had the chance to ask questions about the universities and majors that were presented or talked about. The instructor of the colleges gave them applications and informal handouts that pertained to the lifestyle of a college student. Many students enjoyed it and were very interested in what the colleges had to say.


Students that went to the college fair were the seniors, juniors, and sophomores. All of the seniors went to fill out applications and get a little more info on colleges they were interested in. Juniors had the opportunity to find out more about colleges too and what they need to do next school year to achieve their college, as they become seniors. Sophomores got the chance to browse and scope out colleges that they were interested in and just general info on schools.


Junior Talijah Carlo was asked what she thought about the college fair, she said, “It was cool. I got to learn about qualities of colleges that I might be interested in, right now I’m interested in NAU and they gave me some good information. I can’t wait for next year’s college fair when I get the chance to fill out applications.”


It was a good opportunity for our students to come and check it out. Many found it useful and it helped out most seniors with applications. Although the college fair mainly pertained to seniors, it helped out some juniors and sophomores as well.

Student of the Week: Ashley Vincoy

Brittany Wilson   Feb. 20, 2017

Our Student of the Week is senior Ashley Vincoy. After high school she would like to go to University of New Mexico to become a Certified Public Accountant. Aside from studying, she likes to

read romance novels and watch the Vampire Diaries.


Speaking highly of Ashley, Mr. Badbaden told us, “she is willing to go an extra mile just to learn the subject. She shows exceptional citizenship by her willingness to help fellow classmates.”


Brittany Wilson sat down with Ashley this week to find out a little more about her:


In one word, describe school


Who was the best teacher you ever had?

“Either Mr. Soltes or Mr. Badbaden because they pushed me to do my very best”

Do you participate in any extracurricular activities?

“I’m in Robotics and Ignite and in National Honor Society.”

Have you thought about going to college? Which college? If not, what would you like to do

after high school?

“Mhm, probably University of New Mexico.”

What is your favorite thing about school? What is your least favorite?

“My favorite thing about school besides seeing my friends is learning new things even though

they’re difficult. I think that it’s going to be worth it. My least favorite thing is all the


What is your favorite class this year? What is your least?

“This year? I think it would be AP Statistics and my least is probably AP World History.”

If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Why?

“I would like to go to Italy because it has really good food and they also have a lot of beautiful

places I would like to visit.”


Check in next week to see our next Student of the Week!

Why It Matters: Financial Lit.

Shania S.   Feb. 12, 2017

“I believe Financial Literacy can prepare students for the realistic responsibilities once they are on their own”


Financial literacy is basically the ability to understand how money works in the world. It’s all about you, how to understand, manage, and make money, and how you can invest. There are a lot of beneficial lessons you can learn from taking financial literacy and it could have a huge impact on your life. It can prepare students like yourself for the real world and is the easiest simple visual math you can learn. It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman, senior, or college student; whether you are 13 or 26 years old, financial literacy is still very beneficial.


You don’t have to be good at math or a “math geek” to take and learn from her class. It’s literally for anyone who expects to eventually go and start life on their own. Today, budgeting, credit cards, and debit cards are very popular, very important, and very tricky. Taking Financial Literacy will help you dodge problems that you may have with these things.


Ms. Sabino has always been good at understanding numbers and spending other people’s money. That might sound a little weird, but it isn’t literal. Actually, she gave people advice on how they should spend their money. Ms. Sabino has learned from experience that it is very difficult to budget money and deal with credit cards and banks. She wished she’d learned about money management when she was a in high school and that’s why she teaches financial literacy, She wants to teach you and prepare you for what the world will throw at you.


“I believe Financial Literacy can prepare students for the realistic responsibilities once they are on their own,” says Sabino.

As one of Ms. Sabino’s students, this is my 2nd year in her class and I’ve learned a lot, I’ve learned many tips and skills that I had no clue about before, I’ve gained so much knowledge. Graduating and entering the “ real world “ is now more exciting than ever and I’m much more prepared for it. I highly recommend her financial literacy class to everyone!

Dual Credit Tips

Greg L.   Feb. 12, 2017

If you’re a high school student, chances are you’ve heard of dual credit. At Kirtland Central High School, dual credit courses are offered in order to allow students to experience the challenge that college courses offer, or will offer in the future. It is also available for students if they crave even more than just college experience, but the education that dual credit offers is much more complex and arduous than regular high school courses.


Really, everything is reliant on strategy in terms of success for academics. Even if you’re not currently enrolled in a dual credit course, these tips will lead you toward a better grade.


Be consistent: Set up a study schedule and follow it. Whether it’s weekly, daily, etc. A study schedule is imperative because it allows you to implement a system into your life that you can’t avoid. If you tell yourself that you will study on Tuesday, then make it every Tuesday of every week to study that particular subject.


Organize: Speaking of systems, try making some kind of organizational effort. This isn’t to be incredibly nit-picky about the way you organize. Keeping things the way they should be is up to you. It could be in a binder, a folder, even online. Organization is important, though, and if you’re not organized, you won’t be able to keep important documents that the instructor expects you to keep.


Do what works for you: There isn’t really a correct way to go about school, however there’s always a way to cater to your life and still have your academic schedule at bay. You can have everything online, or you can attend classes in person. There are differences in every individual’s way of going about all of these tips. So, keep an agenda, or even a bullet journal. Whatever you think will work for you.


Ask for help: Lack of confidence is a problem that everyone has. However, when you need help, you can’t expect your professor to read your mind. Don’t be afraid to send an email if you’re unclear about a certain topic. San Juan College offers tutoring at a designated center at the main campus in Farmington. (KCHS also provides a tutoring program, and you can even ask your high school teachers for help if you don’t understand something a college instructor gives you. There are always resources available for you, so give it a shot!)


Live a healthy lifestyle: Fatigue, hunger, and stress are all factors that lead to an unhealthy lifestyle and an unhealthy mind. Try to take breaks when you need them that don’t include hopping on your phone for a cheeky scroll through twitter. I know it’s tempting, but if you’re not concentrating on the task at hand, you’ll waste your stamina for the work and spend more time on social media. So, take good, quality breaks, drink water, and if you followed the advice for academic scheduling, then you shouldn’t be overly stressed.


Don’t just “go over” notes: The big mistake about taking notes is that it’s always there, hiding away underneath the “notes” tab in your binder, or crammed in an ‘everything’ folder. Then, whenever finals come along, you’re stuck looking at scraps of paper with random bits of information that you don’t really understand.


Here are some note-taking tips and references you should try out:

Mind mapping method

Cornell (it’s tedious, but the questions allow you to think like the test)

Outline Method

Correlate highlighter colors with specific topics/terms


Read the handouts If the instructor hands you a paper, or sends you a document, you are expected to go over it. Try annotating the document, and writing down things you need to remember. At the beginning of the year, you will also receive a “course guide,” which is almost like a high school syllabus. This is important: read everything inside the document. If they require a certain book to go by, or a format for the essays you submit, it will be in the course guide.


The college learning experience requires more effort than high school courses, and you can’t pass without trying a bit more than usual. There are rewards, though. Once you’ve completed your dual credit class, it’s a class you won’t have to pay for once you go to college full-time. You can even earn an associate’s degree. It will look excellent on your resume, showing employers and admissions directors that you are motivated and willing to go far beyond what you need to. If that hasn’t convinced you yet, think about all the learning experience you will gain from the classes of your choosing. If you’re interested in psychology, anatomy, creative writing, even pottery, you are able to do so with dual credit.

Why It Matters: Chemistry

Avery Begay   Feb. 12, 2017

Chemistry is everywhere and everything, mixing certain chemicals making delicious food items, medication, and utensils we all us. It may sound boring but chemistry can actually be fun when you think of it.


We, the students, have to learn chemistry because of academics and the branches of science to demonstrate how our body works, how medicine can be formed or created … basically how the world works in different ways. It is very important to learn about this specific topic because we can understand everything that makes our curiosity build up more and more. By that, Ms. Angie Walker, a chemistry teacher of regular and honors class, explain how chemistry is a way to help solve our curiosity..


“Chemistry… It’s Everywhere! Chemistry is a way to start making decisions like your social emotions and your skills and problem solving. As a mentor and teacher, it can help you with what scientific major you want to get into”  


Chemistry can get into a lot of majors for college such as Analytical chemist, Chemical engineer, Healthcare scientist, clinical biochemistry, Forensic scientist, Pharmacologist, etc. It nearly takes three to four years to get your Master’s degree or you’re Bachelors degree if you’re looking to major in science. For most KCHS science teachers, it took them about three to four years. Some went beyond to learn more.


Ms. Walker gives a diagram of what chemistry falls into. Math into physics, then falls into chemistry, then brakes off into three different categories of Bio, space, and earth science. She gives multiple examples of the human body functions, and life growing around the world. The most interesting example she gave was about a crime scene. How you can analyze bonding patters and examine if the substance dissolves or bubbles in particular liquids.


As for all kind of sports, the best way to explain chemistry is your diet. For example, wrestlers. They have a certain weight they want to be. To gain weight, they eat more than they usually do and they lift weights for the muscle. If they want to lose weight, they drink lots of water, maintain their diet by eating smaller or they don’t eat at all. See, Chemistry!


Chemistry is like an extra pair of hands that can discover many unknown and new things in life to develop new results. The more data we get, the more experienced and smart our daily lives will improve. Chemistry can be fun when you put your mind to it.

How to Stop Procrastinating

Layland Joe   Feb. 8, 2017

When you get released from school at 3:25 pm, you are drained and too lazy to do any homework, all you want to do is go home, hop on that comfortable couch and watch TV until dinner time. After dinner you just stare at the stack of homework you have in front of you, but you are too lazy again to do it and set it aside. But don’t worry I am here to give you some tips and tricks on how to stop procrastinating, because we all do it.


Put away the phone: One of the main things that interferes with a high schooler's daily life is the use of phones. Cell phone devices are pretty distracting when it comes to doing homework, so you have to build up the courage to put your phones away. I know it’s hard and depressing but you’ll make it out alive, remember you’re a trooper!


Get organized: Being organized is a huge benefit to ending procrastination, everything is organized and not cluttered inside your bag which makes life easier. Take about 10 minutes out of your “busy” life and organize it. For example, after every class put your homework inside a folder that you don’t use for any other classes then when you get home take the folder out and do your homework and get it over with.


Plan ahead: Planning ahead could really help you out. When you are in class and get assigned homework, you should probably write it down with the due dates just so you know what worksheets to do and not get overwhelmed by the time deadlines creep up on you.


Create your own work space: My last tip for you is to create your own work space. Some might think that it’s really dumb but if you want to get your homework done and over with, you should make your own personal work space. You can do this by perhaps going the extra mile and build a hut so you can do what needs to be done.