Howenstine High School

Howenstine High School

By . CREATED Jan 31, 2012

Producer: Martha Serda and Photographer: Chris Miracle

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - The return of What's Awesome About Your High School?

Nine On Your Side on Saturday Nights is proud to present the continuation of a very special series featuring Southern Arizona High Schools.  

In late December Nine On Your Side was there as local educators recognized Howenstine High School for performing excellence.  A school making a profound difference in the lives of students.  Howenstine High School students gave the Nine on Your Side team a tour recently to show off the best their sh cool has to offer.

"Tucson High, Cholla, Pueblo, Cholla, Pueblo."

These stellar students started their high school experience at other high schools, but chose to move to a smaller campus here at Howenstine.

Kirshna Modak, Senior, "We learn everything our teacher Charles Sillens, but we call him Chuck.  He teaches everything, but we start from scratch.  But because we're hands on.  First we start off building  just a box, then a bench, doghouse and when he sees we're pretty good at it, he puts us out in a house."

So why start with a doghouse?

Krishna Modak, "It's for those people who can't afford a doghouse.  There are many dogs out there that have no home.  Some are mistreated, so as part of service learning project we build doghouses, not only is that good for the community or for the people we are helping, ti's also good for us.  This is where we learn.  Before we go into the house we build a doghouse because it's basically the same structure.  You need the studs you need the walls.  You need the roof."

So Krishna leads us outside and unveils a very impressive school project.

Krishna Modak, "So this is our house that we've been working on since the beginning of the year.  Our habitat for humanity."

Krishan Modak interviews his teacher Chuck, "Why is this class in your opinion important?  Chuck answers, "Well I could answer that with asking a question and I could ask that of anybody, the teachers who teach the various subjects.  Do you feel ta ht where you live is an important part of your life?"

In this class Matt Dominguez discovered he had a talent that he'll take with him long after high school.

Matt Dominguez, Junior, "Basically if you live on your own and something happens like a plumbing issue, electrical goes wrong or you have to redo your ceiling or something.  This would be the school to go to learn how to do that."

Construction is just one specialized class for some Wall street may be calling.

Andrew Valenzuela, Senior, "I learned a Lot from Mr. Prather about stocks.  I actually went ahead and invested stocks because of his help.  It's a really interesting class.  It relay goes in depth about money and how to save and to prevent excess spending."

Andrew interviews his teacher Mr. Prather, "What would draw students to the program?  Business management. Also I'm teaching web design here.  So a personal interest in web design for both personal interest and school."

All students here feel a sense of belonging and a willingness to give back.

Aaron Peterson, Senior, "What's really great about this chill is community, because it's really based off of service learning.  Service learning is where we go help out the community in our school and help out  the community outside of our school."

Aaron interview the Librarian Jenna Marvin, "As a librarian, what do you think of Howenstine as a whole school?  In what way do you think Howenstine is really great?  Jenna Marvin, "I think we're the best keep secret in TUSD or maybe all of Tucson because of our small size and our small student to teacher ratio.  Students get alot of attention that they wouldn't normally get."

Aliah Drow agrees the close community has helped prepare her for success.  

Aliah Drow, Senior, "Being recognized throughout the campus.  I mean it's such a small campus that ever body gets recognized.  Everybody gets recognized for their unique skills and everything that they do."

Aliah interview her teacher, "What makes Howenstine an enjoyable place to teach? Diversity. What I appreciate about the students they seem to collaborate really well.  They get along together.  There's not a lot of peer disagreement."

Study Body President Chris Cancio believes the Howenstine method of teaching works for him.

Chris Cancio,  Senior and Student Body President, "I recommend Howenstine because you get the one on one teachers and you get a lot more help than other high schools."

Students at Howenstine say they will take way more than just a diploma.

Andrew Valenzuela, "We work a lot with the environment, with helping people, so I guess it makes sense to take care of what  you have."

For more information on Howenstine go to:

From the Nine On Your Side Team, thank you Howenstine Hawks.