In 1965, a bond election was held and monies for the construction of a new elementary school were approved. The "New Crane School" was built and opened as a K-5 school in 1966. It wasn't until the early 70's that the school was given the "Pueblo" name.
Our first Principal, Charlie Smith, opened our new school building for team teaching. Large double classrooms housed as many as 75 students with one teacher and two aides. The approach was changed in the early seventies to the single teacher approach and walls were constructed to make standard sized rooms.
Kindergarten classes, for the entire District, were housed here in the late 60's. When kindergarten became a mandated program, a kindergarten program was established on each campus.
Our physical site, back then, could have come from a scene out of the old west. Our school was surrounded in cotton fields on all sides. A dirt road, from Avenue B, was the only access to get the students to school. In the front entrance, by the school office, the patio was not a patio, but only dirt and bushes. This area was later placed in adobe bricks and at the present, is a concrete patio. Teacher Tom Honaker recalled that it was very common, upon arriving at school in the mornings, to find several tumble weeds at the gated entrance, which needed to be constantly removed so you could pass through.
It was during the 1970 school year, that Yuma was hit with a tremendous hurricane which caused the Yuma Valley to be completely flooded. With our school being surrounded by cotton fields, the entire area was under water. Tom Honaker chuckled as he told the story of how cotton flatbed trailers were brought in to load our students (and staff) to take them to the highways to go home at the end of that school day. The school was then closed for a day or two with staff vehicles stuck in the parking lot for several days until the water receded. He said it was quite a sight to see!
Pueblo School had many fun activities and events going on in the 70's. Pueblo was the site for a unique summer Reading Enrichment Program which took place during the early 70's. Several of our District 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students were lucky enough to participate in this fun packed 6 week program which included a few out of town trips. One of these was a back packing trip to Oak Creek Canyon with teachers Sue Harlow, John Sells, Tom Honaker and Nell Anderson in charge. On one occasion, they went on a 3 to 4 mile nature hike and the kids all came in contact with poison oak, sending them packing ....... and scratching all the way home!
Another trip was spent in San Diego at a campground in the bay area. The students did a study and tour of the San Diego Harbor. Back at Pueblo, besides their morning reading program, students were able to do hands-on activities such as cooking, carpentry, etc. One summer the group built their own small house on the playground, and it remained there for several years.
Between the years of 1974 and 1978, Pueblo students in Judy Bishop and Tom Honaker's 5th grade classes had many memorable classroom projects which seemed to take on lives of their own ...... according to these two teachers. What started out as raising a few female rabbits and a buck in the fall mined in to having 40 rabbits by spring. Needless to say, they ended up forming their own 4-H Club and the kids showed them at the Fair. This, of course, turned into Lamb raising the following year. The quad area was a complete 4-H project. I hear the classrooms had a hard time keeping their doors open when the breezes headed their way!
Charlie Smith remained Principal till around 1975-76 school year and then Frank Irr
came aboard for a one to two year principalship. It was during this decade that all the
classrooms were responsible for putting on an annual "Extravaganza", whether it be a
musical or play. Some of these events are portrayed in Pueblo scrapbooks showing the
large involvement of staff and students, from making elaborate costumes to stage scenery
and decorations. Some of the plays were Cinderella, Charlotte's Web, Hansel and
Gretel and Tom Sawyer. They would prepare for weeks. The kids made their own sets
and made up their own script. Every child had a part to play in the production.
Of course we can't talk about the 70's without mentioning Pueblo's bicentennial
celebration with a "barn-raising" event put together as classroom projects. The barn was
a 10 x 16 foot greenhouse built by the students as part of a career education project.
Incidentally, the red, white and blue flowers grown were used to decorate the "bus circle"
during our bicentennial celebration. Tom and Judy did it again ..... got the kids involved
educationally, while they were having a great time!
DURING THE 80'S
Judy Bishop became Pueblo's administrator in 1977 and was the principal throughout the 80's. During this decade, many changes took place within our District and within our school. For instance, we all went to a K-8 system which brought about renovations to Pueblo, adding showers and special classrooms to hold home economics, shop classes, etc. This system was in place until approximately 1983 and then we established our current K-6 system. Also during the early 80's, we became known as a "neighborhood school"!
It was during this period of time that Pueblo became well known for their annual Halloween Carnival. The Pueblo P.T.A., staff and families all came together to make this a grand event. There were many weeks of preparation and hours manning the booths that made this a special and fun time for all the Pueblo families.
Another way parents got involved was our "Helping Hand" Program. This was a "neighborhood watch" program that gave our students a safe journey home.
In 1987, Pueblo was named as one of the top 15 schools in the A+ Arizona School contest. That was definitely a "feather in our cap".
HERE COME THE 90'S
This was about the time that our quad area acquired a new look .....A bird aviary was
built to house "finches". Of course, this started out as a few finches and, as they
multiplied, ended up with a house full. Judy and Tom were at it again .... It lead to the
"Great Finch Give-Away" which was a sight to see! As parents gave permission for their
child to bring home finches, they would come to school with their bird cages and Tom
Honaker would be seen in the middle of the aviary, trying to snag these finches for these
kids. (He came out looking pretty haggard at times.) After our summer renovation
program at Pueblo, the finch population was severely reduced.
Also, a "Tortoise Habitat" was built in the quad area about this time. Several large
tortoises roamed the area which gave kids a new perspective on how they lived and
It was in 1991 that Pueblo received a federal grant to house "Primeros Pasos" which was
a family literacy program and preschool all in one. This became a very successful
program under the direction of Mary Thode. Along came our "After School" Program
about that same time, This was in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Club. Many
activities were offered to kids including homework help. It was also around this time,
that Judy Bishop established a home work hotline for parents. This was the first "Home
Work Hotline" in the state and it was a huge success in helping parents and teachers
communicate their daily activities as well as giving parents an insight to their child's
home work assignments.
As Judy Bishop retired in 1992, Pueblo school was renovated and we began the 1992-93
school year with a "flesh new look" and a new administrator. Kristine Reed came on
board and first thing she did was change our school look with the color of teal. We
started our year with the reconstruction and remodel of our administrative office plus a
new health office was added at the front entrance of our school. We received an
upgraded air conditioning system plus new carpet and paint.
After all these years, the only thing that has remained the same on this campus today, is
the kitchen, stage and restrooms. All the other rooms have been used for various
causes ... for instance, the stage was once used as a classroom, the present counselor's
office was the teacher's lunch room, the nurse's office was originally where the assistant
principal's office is, then moved to where the IMC is located. The library was once divided into
two classrooms, the speech room was once the teacher's IMC and so on and so forth.
The teachers’ lounge near the main office is now housing one of our two computer labs.
Which brings us to our technology advances ... We have come a long way since Kris has come on board. Technology at Pueblo Elementary has progressed from an electric typewriter and a few tape recorders to a state-of-the-art computer lab with 28 Pentiums where all K-6 students receive computer instruction weekly. The lab is equipped with a scanner, networked laser printer and color printer. We also have two Power Mac's in a special classroom set up with 27" screens, for whole-class instruction, staff presentations, and parent programs. Our Apple lab, with 36 Apple computers is set up to teach students keyboarding and word processing.
It was during the mid 90's that our "Positive Recognition Program" was introduced. This is a reward incentive for our students who stay discipline-free for each 9 week grading period. A few of the rewards we have given to our kids are: Yuma High Choral airs assembly, AWC artists’ performances, Outdoor Fun Day, Outdoor Hot Dog BBQ during lunches, etc. This continues today to be a great inspiration for our students to stay discipline-free.
One of our big evening events that our families enjoy is our annual Multi-Cultural Night. Our grade levels pick a country to study and we provide cultural entertainment from around Yuma that includes dancers, musicians and singers. A delicious BBQ dinner rounds out this fun evening for everyone!
Another special event for Pueblo families that has become a tradition over the past
several years are our "Christmas Under The Stars". This is usually scheduled for the
middle of December and the entire school gets involved. Our grade level classrooms
prepare and sing Christmas Carols in our open quad area during the evening. Families
bring blankets to sit on while they sip hot chocolate and enjoy old fashion Christmas
caroling and everyone joins in. Speaking of our quad area, our former bird aviary is now
home to our outdoor iguana habitat ......the kids enjoy looking for our new 3 foot
iguana and watching him growl
Other new programs which have been implemented within the last few years include our
student Peer Mediation Program, Mastery Math Program for our 4th, 5th and 6th grade
students, and our school-wide Tutoring Program. They have all shown to be a real
One of these, our tutoring program, was inaugurated by Kris before the 98-99 school
year began. This program helps kids who need additional assistance in academic
subjects. This incorporates the help of several of our instructional aides, as tutors, for students
who are one or more grade levels below where they should be. Music teacher, Elizabeth Phillips was called upon to coordinate our program and develop a schedule which changes weekly to
suit all of our teachers and students. At the present time, we have grown to sixteen
tutors working with approximately 70 students. The results have been extremely good,
with a large number of students succeeding in attaining grade level or better skills so that
they could be "graduated" out of the program to make room for other students who need
help. Teachers, parents and students all have benefited from this very successful
If you happen to see Kris and a few of her teachers eating lunch on the roof, in their pajamas, don't be surprised! They are seen often doing this Student Council stunt as a fundraising challenge for our student sales.
Some things never change. You can still walk into our Pueblo office and find our same friendly office staff to greet you and make you laugh, who have been there as long as anyone can remember: Shari Leeper, Carol Riley, and Pammie Nordmeyer!
LEADERSHIP WITH LAURA HURT - years????
Proud Pueblo Panthers – Power Up Panthers!!!! 2006 the Old Pueblo was torn down….a
Reconstituted version - Pueblo Elementary School with the Proud Pueblo Panthers was starting the learning curve..
It’s a dream; it’s belief; imagine it together – and together they did! 2006 Pueblo teachers were sent to Mesquite School. Laura Hurt was the principal at that new school. Dr. Kristine
Reed was to be the principal at the Reconstituted Pueblo and was busy helping develop plans for the school. A new “old” principal was brought into the school district to work at HLS when Dr. Reed left. In February of 2007 change was in the air! The “old” principal was asked to take Pueblo School. In a flash, the principal said, “Oh, wow, that sounds like fun!”
The days started and Lynn O’Connor was head over heels with her latest assignment. She was thrilled to be opening her third new school. That was the charm to be sure!
The school opened in August ??, 2007, with almost 800 students! Parents stood in line while the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent helped out in the office. All the office staff were new to their positions! We had no computer connections or phone lines. The weather was hotter than usual and the paperwork from the “Portable Pueblo” got lost along the way.
Parents had to redo all the paperwork. Oh, my, they were good spirited! They were given ice water and a place to fill out the forms. Everyone wanted to have their children in the new school. Tempers were contained and smiles were everywhere. A brand-new school! Hooray!
30 teachers gathered to make the school come to life. The staff started with 11 brand-new first time teachers. That was an exciting learning adventure for everyone! During the next few years the “True Blue” Panthers would work on rigorous Standard’s driven instruction and move from having a warning year for AYP to Performing +! Teams of teachers were able to work together during the day and work they did. In 2010 new Curriculum Guidelines were developed by many teachers throughout the district. Crane’s quality for educational teaching reached the top 22% in the state. Much to be proud of the three students from Pueblo were in the city-wide mile-wide billboards. We were Powered Up!
Life for the Proud Pueblo Panthers was to build a dynamic learning team for adults and students. Teachers began working with “Write Up a Storm”, power teaching that became Whole Brain Teaching, Rigorous instruction with fun! Parents were invited and involved in the school from the very beginning. The PTO became a strong support for students and staff.
The Site Based Council met monthly and discussed important issues dealing with ELL programming, Title I compacts and mandated processes and procedures that must be accomplished!
The students became very active in PBIS – all students knew they must be Respectful, Responsible and Safe. Student Council was very visible and became leaders for many flag raisings and morning announcements. Students won the Yuma county spelling bee, county grand championship for science, outstanding band and choir competiton and held many district 1st place positions in sports. All in all Pueblo Panthers had a great growing time.
In 2011, Ms Linda Sullivan came to the school as the principal. She brought bright new ideas with focused attention on student growth. Parents were eager to meet the new principal.