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Student Spotlight

The Gutierrez twins competed in the 2016 junior Olympics in Clovis, Ca. They swim for Tule Nation Tritons swim club out of Porterville under the tutelage of David Gong. Diego won 9 medals and Xavier won 5. Diego received a gold medal in the 100 free with a time of 55:56. They competed in both individual and relay races. They are looking forward to several upcoming meets where Diego is a hundredth of a second from beating the all time record for the fastest 12 year old boy at TNT.

The Grades Awaken



I would like to give a special thank you to Michael Murdock for creating The Grades Awaken Trailer. Michael did an excellent job of editing to include Maverick Mustang in the trailer. Everyone at our Renaissance Awards assembly really enjoyed it.

Here is some information about Michael:

Graduated from Pioneer Middle School in 1998. I'm 30 years old, married 6 years with 2 kids. Graduated with a degree in Computer Science with and Emphasis in Animation. I've worked on 6 feature films including Ice Age 4, Men in Black 3, and The Peanuts movie, I also work on commercials, documentaries and just started a youtube page "murdockmotion" (where I've made two viral videos The Binks Awakens #1 & #2). I love movies and everything about them. The first time I ever dabbled in Computer Animation was at Pioneer in the Computer Wheel elective (Woodshop, art, cooking and computers) where I made a 3D Pokemon scene. Good times!!

Thank you again Michael,

Mr. Percival

Mr. Otto



Educator of the Year

By SPENCER COLE This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Posted: Tuesday, December 8, 2015 6:00 am

Local teacher honored; eyes state award

Bob Otto has taught at Pioneer Middle School for a long time. 

In his 35th year as an instructor, when asked how he has enjoyed his tenure at the school, he responded with a grin, “I still stay here.” 

Otto was recently chosen by the California League of Middle Schools (CLMS) as the 2016 Region 7 Middle Level Educator of the Year. It is the second time he has won the award. 

“It’s real humbling,” he said. “I work with a lot of good people, particularly at this school. There are some really excellent teachers, so winning is a little awkward.” 

Otto praised his “gifted” fellow educators at Pioneer, who, in his words, “are incredibly dedicated to teaching.” 

He said his award casts a positive light on the entire operation.

“It’s a great honor, not only for Pioneer Middle School and our students but also for Porterville Unified School District (PUSD),” he said. “It reflects well on the students.” 

Otto said his goal as a language arts teacher is simple.  “Help the students become better readers and better writers in order to be successful in high school and college,” he said.

Otto was nominated by Mary Mitchell, an instructional coach at Pioneer. “It has been a privilege to observe not only what Mr. Otto does in his classroom to inspire students, but also what he does as a site leader to inspire his fellow teachers,” she said.

The CLMS “Educator of the Year” award is given annually to 11 educators, representing regions throughout California, who exemplify educational excellence and have made significant efforts to implement elements of educational reform in middle schools.

Otto will be one of 11 finalists for the CLMS Educator of the Year award, to be bestowed at the league’s annual state conference in February. He represents Region 7, which consists of Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced and Tulare counties.

“Mr. Otto exemplifies the qualities of an outstanding teacher,” PUSD Superintendent Dr. John Snavely said. “We are very proud that PUSD not only had two nominations for this award, but that Mr. Otto was selected to represent our region. It is a well-deserved honor.”

The award was judged based on a letter of recommendation and a speech delivered by the nominee to members of CLMS.

Spirit Wear


Order your Pioneer Mustang Spirit Wear!


Click ORDER ONLINE to go to the website and then enter the Access Code: spirit6X3H. 


iPad Usage

by Austin

 In my opinion I think gaming in Pioneer Middle School has grown at a very fast rate. I think gaming is OK and the IPads in this school are great! I am a gamer myself and I haven't gamed in 1 day and I'm already going through withdrawl. I don't want the other students to end up like me, wanting to play a game so much they BEG their parents to let them play again. I think gaming in pioneer middle school gaming should be reduced. This would help kids and school and reduce the amount of kids texting/ playing gams in class. The majority of kids play games before doing their homework. I don't think that will end to a good conclusion. I hope you agree with this, as do some students that I have talked to.

Pioneer Changes


by Yulissa

Some things that Pioneer should fix is when kids get in the bus it gets too full and kids get squished. My suggestion for kids not to get squished on the bus and for it not to be so full is they should get two busses to drop off kids where they live and that way the kids won't be squished and not feel uncomfortable going into the bus.

Also the kids say that the lines for lunch are to long and that they close the cafeteria to early and kids have to get their lunch outside. They also need to have better food because some foods are not good. The student store should have more food than they have because they run out of foods. They could also make more money if they had better food like different kinds of chips and different kinds of drinks and other things that kids like. They should also have the student store open for more hours like during the morning.

They should also have a separate gym like only gym use. This would be better because sometimes when kids do P.E inside the multiple purpose room which is the gym ,cafeteria and sometimes parents meeting. This would also benefit the kids because they could play basketball, volleyball and any other inside games. The P.E teachers should get together and play games outside.