The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

All content by Laura Rivera
Students part of the Architecture - Construction - Engineering Mentor Program (ACE) pose for a photo shortly after being judged and awarded scholarships for their library construction project. Six students from McNeil were awarded scholarships and they collaborated with other students within the city of Austin to complete their buildings. “I was surprised that I didn’t get a scholarship of lower value just because I didn’t get one the year before because I forgot to apply,” senior Katarina Peña said. “So when I found out I got as much money as I did, I was pretty excited. My parents really wanted me to get a scholarship too because I’m going to school out of state, so I was on cloud nine.”

McNeil Students Excel in ACE Program

Laura Rivera, News and Life & Arts Editor
April 18, 2023
The Automotive Department competed at the SkillsUSA District Competition on Feb. 15 and had nine students advance to the state competition. They will travel to Corpus Christi, Texas during the last week of March to compete at the state competition. 


“The real key to getting the students to be successful is confidence, and by going to these types of contests, the students can gain that in their knowledge and hands on skills,” automotive technology teacher Ryan Arnold said. “Its one thing to learn about an automotive system and quite another to try to show that you have learned more about it than other students.”

Automotive Students Advance to State Competition

Laura Rivera, News and Life & Arts Editor
March 1, 2023
Assistant Principal Steve Schuhmann checks his computer for the latest administrative updates in his office located in Suite 3. 

“[Once I retire], I will be excited to not turn on a computer or cell phone on a daily basis,” Schuhmann said. “I will get a chance to slow down and appreciate all the great things life has to offer.”

21 Years of Service Coming to an End

Laura Rivera, News and Life & Arts Editor
January 27, 2023
Principal Mack Eagleton [left] and senior Aniruddh Mishra [right] pose for a picture shortly after Aniruddh received his 2nd Place Certificate from the US Congressional App Challenge. 

“I think the challenge itself is amazing,” Aniruddh said. “Enroll in the challenge and create your own app. If you don’t know how to code, learn how to code. That’s my number one thing that I’d say to anybody because it’s one of the most important skills coming up in the modern world.”

Senior Nationally Recognized For Original Website

Laura Rivera, News and Life & Arts Editor
January 12, 2023
Texas House Representative Celia Israel and former Mayor of Austin Kirk Watson debate on Austin PBS as part of the programs ATX Decides segment.

“It’s going to take tenacious determination to correct the wrongs of the past and I believe my policies are bold, visionary and forward thinking,” Israel said in an interview with KUVE. “I want to build inclusivity and equity. I’m running because people are hurting. This is not my Austin and if we don’t shake things up, we’re going to get to that elitist city that I don’t think any of us want to be a part of.”

Austin Mayoral Election Run-Off on Dec. 13

Laura Rivera, News and Life & Arts Editor
December 12, 2022
Aquatic science teacher Mark Romano poses beside the student-run tank filled with Neon-Tetras. 

“It’s important to have [animals in the aquatic science classroom] because students are probably asking themselves ‘When am I going to use this in life?’. Well, they’re making real life happen right here in the classroom by doing the trout program, learning how to start a tank or by just going over there and appreciating nature in its little boxed form here.”

Inside Romano’s Aquatic Science Classroom

Laura Rivera, News and Life & Arts Editor
November 17, 2022
McNeil and middle school choir students sing the US National Anthem at the Oct. 28 varsity football game as part of Choir Middle School Night. During the event, choir students encouraged middle schoolers to join the organization during their first year of high school and socialized with one another. 

“My favorite part of Middle School Night was just seeing the future choir students of McNeil and knowing that the program will be fantastic with them,” senior Class Captain and Secretary Elizabeth Severinson said. “Singing together and becoming proud of what you’re creating is the most rewarding experience.”

Choir Middle School Night Recap

Laura Rivera, News and Life & Arts Editor
November 3, 2022
The Principles of Education and Training class pose as a group before leaving to teach at Pond Springs Elementary School. 



“My favorite part about the teaching program is how we actually get to be student teachers,” senior Sohni Ballard said. “Teaching is such a hands-on experience based job, so it’s great that we have the opportunity to be in an actual classroom, instead of learning about it through a textbook.”

Students Teach at Pond Springs Elementary School

Laura Rivera, News and Life & Arts Editor
October 21, 2022
Incumbent Republican Texas Governor Gregory Abbott and Democratic former US congressman Beto O’Rourke will face off in a debate on Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. The General Election will take place on Nov. 8 and the last day to register to vote is Oct. 11. Early voting starts on Oct. 24 and ends on Nov. 4.

Abbott and O’Rourke To Face Off in Debate

Laura Rivera, News and Life & Arts Editor
September 19, 2022
Advanced and on-level biology teacher David Berry organizes and prepares the required materials for a science lab in his new classroom. At the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, he moved to the F wing after not having a permanent room for three years.

 


“The part I like the most about my classroom are the windows,” Berry said. “The windows let in all the natural light and I’m such a plant person, so I got to bring in all my plants and incorporate more life into my lessons. I think that nature has a calming effect, so having these plants in the classroom has been calming.”

Teacher and Students Reflect on New Wings

Laura Rivera, News, Feature and Podcast Editor
September 2, 2022

2022-2023 College and Career Campus Visits

Laura Rivera, News, Feature, and Podcast Editor
August 23, 2022
The official promotional banner for The Book of Boba Fett’s first season.

The Book of Boba Fett: A story that loses its focus

Laura Rivera, News Editor and Social Media Manager
February 18, 2022
President Biden signs 17 executive orders during his first day in office.

Recap of Biden’s First Year

Laura Rivera, News Editor
February 1, 2022
(workers left to right: Mackenzie Gordon, Ashaley Polino) The Thespian Brew begins serving drinks around 7:55 a.m and closes at 8:50 a.m.

[Photo] The Thespian Brew Returns to the Stage

Laura Rivera and Gabby Cohen, News Editor and Life & Arts Editor
December 13, 2021

Federal action against Texas Abortion Law

Laura Rivera, News Editor and Social Media Manager
September 30, 2021
Una parada del 2017 celebrando el Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana.

National Hispanic Heritage Month Begins (Spanish Version)

Laura Rivera, News Editor and Social Media Manager
September 28, 2021
Una parada del 2017 celebrando el Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana.

National Hispanic Heritage Month Begins (English Version)

Laura Rivera, News Editor and Social Media Manager
September 28, 2021
The official logo of the Mavericks Women in Science Club

Women in Science Club’s First Meeting

Laura Rivera, News Editor and Social Media Manager
September 1, 2021
Justice Stephen Breyer answering questions at Georgetown University Law Center

Justice Stephen Breyer Deserves to Remain on the Court

Laura Rivera, News Editor and Social Media Manager
September 1, 2021
Governor Kathy Hochul reading the Oath of Office as she becomes New York’s first female governor.

Kathy Hochul Officially Becomes Governor of New York

Laura Rivera, News Editor and Social Media Manager
August 27, 2021
Some of the main characters from “Cobra Kai” such as Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), Miguel Diaz (Xolo Mariduena), Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan), Samantha LaRusso (Mary Mouser) and Tory Nichols (Peyton List).  Image courtesy of Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81002370

Cobra Kai Strikes Back

Laura Rivera, Reporter
September 30, 2020
AP College Board Logo

Law Strikes College Board

Laura Rivera, Reporter
September 22, 2020
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