High School welcomes back students

Tony Parra

The teens of Portales High School put their swimming trunks and suntan lotion away on Monday, in favor of backpacks, collared shirts and goals for the new school year.
The first day of classes for Student Council President Russell Knudson and the Portales students kicked off with Monday’s assembly at 8:10 a.m. in the PHS Gymnasium. Technical difficulties kept Principal Melvin Nusser and Knudson from using the microphone, but each spoke loud and clear about what they expect from students.
“I want our students to be known for their good behavior when they go to other towns,” Nusser said. “I want to commend you, today, on your good behavior.”
Nusser pointed out the teachers, who were standing along the west wall of the gym. Teachers waved to the students, then headed to their respective classrooms to prepare for Monday’s first session.
Knudson’s day began with a speech about responsibility to students, all of whom attended an advisory session before their first class. During the advisory session, faculty members gave students handbooks and informed them about the different organizations and where to park their vehicles.
Following the session, Knudson headed to calculus, his first class. Knudson spent the first day in and out of such classes as government, English, physics and web design.
“I’ve got a full load,” Knudson said of his schedule. “It’s the best way to prepare for college.
“It’s stressful at times but it’s going to benefit me in the long run.”
Knudson’s involvement in the student council has increased as his time has progressed at the school. Besides being the student council president, Knudson also plans to be on the basketball, baseball and track teams. Furthermore, he is a member of the National Honor Society.
Other students have been awaiting the start of the new school year since May, when elections for the class presidents took place. During that timeframe, John Montiel was voted as the senior class president.
Montiel’s senior schedule contains the same English and government classes that Knudson has — these two classes are the only ones seniors are required to take. The seniors choose from the rest of the curriculum to create a beneficial schedule. Montiel chose agricultural wood shop and food services, a cooking class, among others.
“I’m going to go to college,” Montiel said. “I’m using my senior year as preparation for college. I plan to attend Eastern New Mexico University for the basics and then transfer.”
Montiel has his objectives for the school year lined out — and Monday was the first step toward completion of those goals, he said.