October 2013 Risley Post


The Risley Post

October 2013

   Volume 1, Issue 2  

2013 Open House Huge Success

On Thursday, September 12th Risley International Academy opened its doors and welcomed parents, students, and our school superintendent, Dr. Maggie Lopez to its annual open house.  Information was presented about the school and student TCAP scores by the principal and staff. Parents were able to visit classrooms throughout the building as well as numerous booths that were set up on the main floor with various community organizations presenting information on their services and availability to our community members.  Large gift baskets were raffled off and refreshments were served in the cafeteria.  It was a fun and informative night for all who participated.


Dr. Maggie Lopez looks on as she sits with Risley parents while Principal Macaluso shared information about all of the new programs being offered at Risley this year.
Dr. Maggie Lopez looks on as she sits with Risley parents while Principal Macaluso shared                                                                                 information about all of the new programs being offered here at Risley this year.


Risley Students Part of Library Ground Breaking

On September 24th community members, city and county government leaders, and Risley staff and students all gathered at the corner of Monument and 7th Streets to participate in the ground breaking ceremony for the new public library that is scheduled to open there next year.  Mr. Kouba led our Risley choir as they sang the Star Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful.  Other Risley students attended with their  teachers, and both Mrs. Macaluso and Mrs. Hausman were there as well.  The new library is going to be a wonderful and valuable resource for all Risley students and their families

Principal’s Principles

   Mrs. Charlotte Macaluso

 The first nine weeks is quickly coming to a close.  Students have received a progress grade check and will soon be receiving a report card.  Take time to reflect upon and evaluate your level of achievement.  If you are not achieving your academic goals- think about what steps you might take to improve your grades.  Here are some good ideas:

Taking good notes helps you stay focused in class.  A note-taking style, like Cornell two-column notes, can help you to organize information and lock it to memory.  Don’t forget the important step of going back and reviewing your notes and using them as a study aide.

Another thing you can do to further your own education is to ask questions.  Always ask questions when you don’t understand something.  Other students will appreciate your questions and teachers certainly want you to speak up when things need to be clarified.

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”  ---Confucius

From the Assistant Principal's Desk
Mrs. Amy Hausman

We have been having Roll Room meetings recently and will continue them until we have met with every Roll Room. The items we have been discussing include: lock-downs and disaster drills, technology, bullying, use of drugs and alcohol and how it affects you and your schooling, respect in and out of the classroom, dress code expectations, and students tardy to school and in school. The classrooms that Officer Smith, Ms. Celest, Mr. Gonzales and I have been in have been positive and we feel it is going great! We hope to continue the Roll Room meetings throughout the year. So, if there is something that you would like us to discuss or bring up, let one of us know and we will put it on the agenda. This is your school and we want it to be a place where everyone feels valued and safe.  All students have a voice and we want to hear from you!


Counseling Corner

Ms. Michelle Montoya

Recognizing Determined Students

As we approach the end of the first nine week grading period, it is important to recognize our many students who have achieved high academic standards and qualified for the Honor Roll, Merit Roll,  the B.U.G. Award, or a 4.0 Jacket.

At the end of each grade period, Risley International Academy hosts a Recognition and Award Assembly.  During the assembly, Honor Roll certificates are presented to students who have earned a Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) ranging from 3.99 – 3.50.  Students earning a G.P.A. of 3.49 – 3.25 receive a Merit Roll certificate.  Students who have worked hard and greatly improved their G.P.A. by .5 points or higher receive a B.U.G. (Bringing Up Grades) Award.  This can be achieved by raising your current grade by one letter grade in at least four classes.

Finally, students who have earned Straight “A’s” will receive the “Triple A” sweat jacket with the letter “R” on it.  The jackets are donated by Dr. Thomas Autobee, a local dentist, and former Risley Bear.  Dr. Autobee has been extremely generous to Risley and has purchased the jackets for over twenty years.

I would like to encourage all students to challenge themselves to be part of next quarter’s Recognition and Award  assembly.  Each of you have the intelligence to achieve great things, all you need is the desire!


Featured Teachers

Mrs. Puffer

Ms. Puffer was born in Illinois. She attended school in Mississippi. She graduated from Biloxi High School- home of the Indians. For college she graduated from Otero Jr. College with an associate of arts. She received a B.A in Elementary Education from Adams State and has some credits toward a master's degree. The reason she become a teacher is she loves helping students to do their best. She has been teaching for  seven years but was a paraprofessional for ten years. She is married to a fire chief and has three children, one is in college, another is a freshman, and the last one is in 7th grade at Skyview Middle School. Outside of school she spends time with  her family, reads, watches her children play sports, hunt, and hang out at the lake. She has been to Mexico, California, and all over the eastern and southern United States. She loves how welcoming everybody is at Risley. Her goal is to have the students be the best students they can be and have Risley be the best school it can be.

 Ms. Rapp

Ms. Rapp was born in Pueblo, she went to Corwin Middle School and East High School. After graduation she attended Colorado State University -Pueblo, her major was mathematics, and her minor was education. She decided she wanted to be a teacher when she was in 1st grade. She wanted to be a math teacher because she had a teacher that made math easy for her and she wanted to do the same for others. She has been teaching for two years. She is happily married and has a sister and brother. She loves bowling, softball, board games and football. She has been to Disneyland, Michigan, Mesa Verde,  and to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The students are her favorite thing about Risley.

 Ms. Filpi

Ms. Filpi was born in Palm Springs, California, and her family encouraged her to come to Pueblo. She went to Logan Middle school near New Mexico. She went to several different colleges, her degree is in elementary education with a math minor. She comes from a family of teachers. She has a daughter, two brothers, two sisters, her sister-in-law, nephews, and her mom and dad. On her time off work she takes road trips and plays with her daughter. She has been to almost every state, including Hawaii.  She has also visited the Gulf of Mexico and Boston. She loves the positive culture and attitudes of students and staff here at Risley. She hopes for a fun year of learning.

 Ms. Yvonne Lanning

Ms. Lanning was born in Hutchinson, Kansas.  She relocated due to work. She attended Haven Middle and High School. For college she went to Colorado State University-Pueblo.  While there she majored in Elementary Education and Science. The reason she wanted to become a teacher is because it has always been her lifelong dream. This is her fourth year teaching.

Ms, Lanning has two daughters, two grandchildren, and one son-in-law. She loves to hike, bike, camp, and ice skate. She has traveled extensively in the United States. She hopes the students get excited about their life.

 Ms. Michelle Smalley

Mrs. Smalley was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota where she went to Whitter Middle and Washington High school. At the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, she majored in art education and with an emphasis in sculpture. Her teachers always inspired her to strive to be better. This is her first year teaching, but spent five years in afterschool and summer programs. She is in the middle of 5 children, and is the only one out of her siblings who is not married or has any kids yet. She loves hula hooping, art, hiking, movies, and reading. She has been to Dallas and Austin Texas. She loves the Pueblo community and has school spirit.  She loves the amazing staff here at Risley.  She also loves the students and encourages them to, “Never Give Up!”

 Mr. Mark Gaebler

Mr. Gaebler was born in Chicago, Illinois.  He attended Harold Richards H.S. and went to college at Colorado State University, Metro State, and University of Colorado at Denver.  He decided to become a teacher so he could pass on his knowledge to upcoming generations and has been teaching now for eight years.  He has two brothers, three sisters, and he is the youngest.  His father had a long career in the railroad and his mother was a stay at home mom.  He is married to his wife, Susan and they have two sons, the oldest who is a library technician and the youngest who is a student.  Mr. Gaebler enjoys spending time with his sons and working on graphic arts, 3D animation, and playing video games.  He also enjoys reading and writing in his free time.  Mr. Gaebler served our country in the military before becoming a teacher.  His favorite things about Risley are the students and their creativity and diverse interests.  He also says that the staff here at Risley is great to work with.  His hopes for the future are for Risley to be able to get newer computers and programs for students to work with.  When asked to share a favorite quote he said his is from General George Patton, “Finish what you start, or it will finish you!”

 Ms. Amy Maldonado

Ms. Maldonado was born in Pueblo and went to South High School. She then went to Colorado State University-Pueblo and earned a bachelor degree in Math and a Masters degree in Education. She decided to be a teacher when she watched her mom, aunts, and sister all become teachers.  She has been a teacher for  five years. In her free time, she loves to workout at the YMCA with Ms. Murphy. Her favorite thing about Risley is the staff and the students. When asked for a favorite quote she said, “It’s easier to change a negative into a positive”.

 Ms. Montano

Mrs. Montano was born in Pueblo.  She went to Roncalli Middle School and then to South High School. She attended college at Colorado State University-Pueblo and majored in secondary mathematics with a minor in education and music. Her family has many teachers in it, and she wanted to carry on the tradition. She has a pet hamster.  In her family, she has an eleven year old son, a brother who lives in Texas, and her parents who live close by and visit often. When she's off work she likes to read, play chimes, and visit her family. She has been to New York, Utah, Las Vegas, California, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas. She loves the students and staff here at Risley and hopes she continues to grow as a teacher and that the students learn from her.


Music Notes


 Mr. Kouba says the music department is having a really   successful year so far. 

Upcoming events include:

-Fall Concert on October 15th at 7:00pm here at Risley, featuring choir, and both the jazz  and concert bands.

-Jazz band will play at first pep assembly (date to be announced later)

-The music department will provide the sound system and DJ  for the Harvest Dance on October 17th in the cafeteria.  


  Family Resource Corner

Mrs. Elaine Madrid- Family Resource Coordinator

 Would you like your parents to get more involved with your education?  I can help! As the family resource coordinator, my role is to encourage families to learn about the MANY ways they can support their children at Risley.  Families can get involved in a variety of ways.  Some examples include; attending family night events, saving Box Tops, serving food or help set up for events and even learning how to use the parent portal.  We are establishing a “Family Resource Corner” in the Media Center where families can sign up to get involved.  Talk to your parents and sign them up if they agree. I will take care of the rest! Your family is an important part of your educational experience and staying connected to school events is a fabulous beginning.  :-D

Risley PRIDE Leadership

Sponsored and Submitted by

Mrs. Linda Garcia & Mrs. Rachel Cesario

Mrs. Garcia and Mrs. Cesario both sponsor PRIDE Leadership, which is our school’s student government organization. The students who participate  in PRIDE leadership will become leaders in our school and encourage others to do the right thing. Right now we’re really excited because we have over fifty students in the group.  All students are invited to join the group.

This year our goal is learning and practicing leadership skills. PRIDE  Leadership is involved with the dances, Veterans Day Assembly, research, writing, celebrating, fundraising, student incentives, student of the month recognition, decorating lockers for birthdays and good luck on game days, and providing tutors for 21st century. The exciting event this year is writing and publishing information on the history of the Eastside community.  We'll interview elderly residents on the eastside and write their stories. Those are just a few of the activities planned so far. We have others that are too numerous to mention. We couldn't do these activities without the continued support of the teachers and the generous help of the students.

If you are interested in joining PRIDE Leadership, stop in and see Mrs. Cesario or Mrs. Garcia today!!!


Security Spotlight-by Officer Smith

Bullying is more common than most people would think. 30% of teens in the United States are involved in bullying. This means  that if you have a group of 10 people 3 out of that group have been effect by bullying.

Bullying is defined as unwanted, aggressive behavior among school age children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated or has potential to be repeated over time. Each year in the United States there are over 5.7 million teens who are either the victim of bullying, the bully or even both. To put this in perspective of how many people that is, you would have to take the whole county of Denmark to equal the number of teens that are affected by bullying in the United States each year.

Bullying comes in three general types:    1.Verbal Bullying      2.Social Bullying     3.Physical Bullying

Cyber bullying is a form of bullying that consists of using cell phones, computers, and tablets to communicate on social media sites that include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, text messages, chat, and websites. Don't become the person that now regrets being the bully or being the witness that never said anything to stop the bullying. By talking to someone you are not snitching, you could possibly be saving someone's life. Life is precious and you have no right to treat people in a way that makes them feel that their life is not worth living. Tragic stories from people and families that have been bullied can be found everywhere. Here are a few examples:

-11 year old boy commits suicide in Colorado City, Colorado in 2011

-Bullying possibly one of the reasons the Columbine HS shooting happened in Littleton, Colorado in 1999

-Ex-NFL cheerleader bullied over internet in 2009

-14 year old girl hangs herself from being bullied because of her popularity and good looks in 2012

 Remember, all of us need to do our part to prevent bullying so tragedies like these NEVER happen again. 

 “Knowing what's right doesn't mean much unless you do what's right.”-Theodore Roosevelt