Cat Chat Newsletter - February 2017 

Dear Cienega Families,

Just recently, we successfully finished class schedule registration for the 2017/2018 school year. Current 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students selected their choices for next year's class schedule. If your student did not get a chance to register, please have them see his or her counselor as soon as possible.

Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Thursday, February 9th from 1:30 - 6:30 p.m. in the Student Union. I encourage all of you to join us and meet with your student's teachers to discuss his or her academic progress. 
If you need more than a few minutes to discuss concerns, please contact the teachers to schedule a time to meet during their office hours.
Also, consider joining us for Vail Pride Day on Saturday, February 18th at the Pima County Fair Grounds. Student work will be displayed, awards will be given out, and it is a great opportunity for the community to come together. 
We look forward to seeing you at conferences and Vail Pride Day. Your involvement in your child's education is an important part of keeping our Cienega community strong. 

Nemer Hassey
Parent Survey
Girls Soccer
Construction Class
AP Exam Fee Schedule
AP Science
Senior Parent Info
Senior Information
STUCO Happenings
College & Career Chronicle
Testing Corner
Spiritline Tryouts
Varsity Spiritline
CHS on AP Honor Roll
ACT Prep Courses
Yearbook Info
Poetry Out Loud Results
Volunteer Corner
Phat Cat Winner



#14 seed Cienega girls soccer fell 1-0 at #5 seed Campo Verde last night. To reference Winston Churchill, the girls left everything on the field-their blood, toil, sweat, and tears.

Cienega had two players who were fouled in the goalkeeper's box on separate plays, which should have resulted in two penalty kicks. Unfortunately, neither foul was called. This clearly impacted Cienega's chances of winning the match. Despite the setbacks, the girls never quit-ringing a shot off the right post in the waning minutes of the match.

Two players had cuts on their legs and one player played through a bloody nose that flowed like a crimson brook. The girls took everything in stride, playing like gladiators in an extremely physical contest.

This team achieved so much this season, snapping a 7-year playoff drought, winning a Winter Champions Cup tournament at Walden Grove over Christmas break, and beating Mesquite last Thursday in a play-in game for 5A State Playoffs.

Congratulations to all of the girls on the team and their coaches--Amber Bender (herself a former Bobcat great on the '07-'08 & '08-'09 elite girls soccer teams) and Hector Camacho-for re-establishing themselves as a dynamic force in Arizona High School soccer.

This roster is stocked with underclassmen, including 6 freshmen. This portends long-term greatness for this program.

If you see any of these student-athletes, please congratulate them on their effort, grit, and success. They truly deserve it.

# 0Jorie Paul JR.
#2 Gabby Jasso JR.
#3 Courtney Huddleston SR.
#4 Caitlyn Swift SR.
#5 Talia Williamson SO.
#6 Lyric Baker FR.
#7 Haley Harris FR.
#8 Haley Lawson JR.
#9 Savannah Robinson JR.
#10 Venezia Calderon JR.
#11 Alena Dillon SR.
#12 Gabby Placencia SR.
#13 Peyton Middleton FR.
#14 Layne Pullen SR.
#15 Savannah Sehoffner SO.
#16 Danielle Ward FR.
#18 Saydee Guzman SO.
#19 Mikalya Edris JR.
#21 Riley Bonner FR.
#22 Giselle Mata FR.
#00 Jordan Taylor Bacon SR.


Construction Tech Classes do well at SkillsUSA Region 6 Competition
All 22 Cienega Construction students worked hard and did very well! Two teams took top honors - 1st & 2nd place in the 2-person Carpentry 

Left to Right:  1st place: Andy Herreras, John Wright. 2nd place:  Beck Bingham, Gabe Rockafort 
Great job by all Bobcats!


It is never too early to pay for your AP exams in the bookstore. The attached AP Exam Fee Schedule was sent out earlier in the school year so that parents could plan to spread payments out over time.  This was intended to help families reduce the stress of paying for many tests at one time in the spring. Even though the final deadline to pay for AP exams is not until March 31st, we encourage you to pay early. The tests cost $93. There are scholarships available for students that need assistance and you have the option to use tax credit money. Please contact Eric Tatham at (520) 879-2864 if you have any questions.


Did you know the AP Biology class is raising funds and awareness for the importance of neuroscience research?  This years class has read deeply about a process called CLARITY and is in touch with the originators of the lab procedure at Stanford University.

These amazing students will delve deeper than ever before in a high school class to actually produce a transparent mouse brain.  After achieving this first goal, they will continue their experiment by working with UA researchers in the Optical Science Department to visualize specific neural pathways with fluorescently labeled antibodies.  Sound cool?  It is!  Learn more here: 


Senior parents, time is coming to end to get a senior ad in the 2017 Cienega yearbook. Contact Chance Calgher to get started today at 520-879-2847 or  Ads need to be completed by February 17


Hello Vail Community!  Cienega is a leader in the world of Positive Behavior Intervention and support, or PBIS.  Our team is made up of amazing teachers, counselors, clerical staff, security, and administration, as well as four fantastic students and two dedicated parents.  We meet throughout the year to discuss ways to make our campus a more positive environment where students are safe and can have the best opportunity to flourish academically and develop good character. 
If you are a parent of a Bobcat, you may have heard of TopCats, Phat Cat Cards, or Best Dressed Bobcats.  These are just a few of the programs that we use to try and reward the positive behavior that student exhibit.  Recently Matt Abney, host of a podcast who's purpose is to highlight different PBIS programs, contacted us and asked to interview members of our team.  If you're interested in the interview, you can hear it at the following link.

NJROTC Cadets competed on 28 January 2017 at the all services Arizona JROTC Orienteering Competition held at First Water Trailhead, Tonto National Forrest.  Out of 174 JROTC teams from 19 JROTC programs one of our cadet teams placed 1st in the co-ed category and 2nd place overall.

Cadet Davis Goolsby was awarded a 4-year full funded U.S. Air Force ROTC scholarship.  Cadet Goolsby has the option to attend any in-state U.S. Air Force ROTC affiliated public university. 


SchoolWay App:
If you have not yet downloaded the SchoolWay, I highly encourage you to do so. The senior counselor sends push alerts to your Smart phone, or texts or emails if you don't have a Smart Phone. Go to to download the App. Join the Vail School District, then Cienega High School and then the GROUP: Class of 2016, or just enter the WayCode: t0maph
Graduation Reminders: 
Cap and Gown and Announcements: Contact Jostens at 1-800-567-8367
Ceremony is Saturday May 20th
Graduation Rehearsal is Friday May 19th
Honors Night is Wednesday May 17th

Testing Dates :
There are only a couple more opportunities to take the SAT or ACT this year!
Go to for dates and deadlines for the SAT
Go to for dates and deadlines for the ACT
Or use the Counselor website for all of this information
General Reminders:
  • If your student is taking any courses through correspondence or Dual Enrollment through Pima, it is their responsibility to bring the transcript from that school to the registrar in order to get credit for the class and to be able to participate in graduation ceremonies. This deadline is MAY 1 st unless taking a Pima class. That deadline will be two days after the class has been completed.
  • If nine absences are accumulated in any class regardless of the reason, unless it is a school related activity, THE STUDENT WILL NOT PASS THE CLASS AND WILL NOT GRADUATE IF THE CLASS IS A REQUIREMENT FOR GRADUATION. Refer to the student agenda for exceptions to this policy.
  • Seniors planning on attending a four-year college should have applied to their schools by now.  You may lose valuable scholarship opportunities by procrastinating any longer.
  • Be sure to check the CHS Website for updated scholarship opportunities. The link can be found by entering the website at click on the "Counselor" link, from there click on "Scholarships". This page is updated regularly, so check back often.
  • Senioritis can sometimes creep up on students.  Please be aware of this and monitor your students attendance and grades carefully so that there will be no unhappy surprises in May when it is time to celebrate the graduation of your son or daughter from Cienega.
  • Please utilize PowerSchool on a regular basis and stay informed of the progress your son or daughter is making in his or her classes (




Third Quarter - Planning for Next Year
During the last two weeks of January all Cienega high school students in grades 9 through 11 participated in a very important annual pre-registration process. Students were provided a copy of their current high school transcript; the purpose of receiving a current transcript is two-fold. Students learn how to conduct a credit check and are able to see how many credits they have earned to date.
It is important for students to be aware of how many credits they have earned, learn how to calculate the remaining credits necessary for graduation, and plan appropriate future courses needed to meet their post high school goals. During the pre-registration process, students also learn how grade point averages are calculated and how honors and advanced placement courses can help to boost their grade point average, class ranking and opportunities for scholarships. During this time, students also learn about Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Joint Technical Education District (JTED) courses.
The first week of pre-registration involves students reviewing options and planning their courses for next year. Students are then instructed to take their plans home to review with their parents or guardians. During the second week, students return with their plans and enter their course requests into PowerSchool.
Students with erroneous transcripts should contact their counselor to learn how the transcript error can be corrected. Occasionally a middle school math grade is not reflected or a newly transferred student will have a blank transcripts. It is better to resolve any transcript issues early rather than waiting until senior year. Students who are deficient in credits must also meet with their counselor to learn how to rmake up the deficit.
If you are a parent who has not seen your son or daughter's plan for next year. Please ask your child to show it to you. If you are a student who has not pre-registered yet, be sure to make an appointment with your counselor so you can choose courses for next year.
More Summer Opportunities
The Youth Summer SERVE Program is the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System's premier youth volunteer program that provides selected students with valuable work and life experience while affording them the opportunity to serve our Nation's Veterans. Space is limited so interested youth should submit the application package to Voluntary Service no later than March 3, 2017.  Contact: Mandy Martell, Voluntary Service Specialist,   (520) 629-1822.
Boston University Pre-college Programs - Study at one of the world's top teaching and research universities. Available programs: High school honors courses, Research in Science and Engineering, Academic Immersion & Summer Challenge. For more information, visit:
Dainah L. Graham
College & Career Counselor
Bobcat Scholars Academy
(520) 879-2819


March 7th/8th Technology check in English classes
March 27th-31st Practicing AZMerit in classes (Math and English)
April 10th/11th AZMerit Writing
April 12th/13th A AZMerit Reading Part 1
April 17th/18th AZMerit Reading Part 2
April 24th/25th AZMerit Math Part 1
April 26th/27th AZMerit Math Part 2

AIMS Science
April 5th
April 19th
Recap of PSAT data dig . . .
On January 10th and 18th during PAWS Mr. Tatham and Mrs. Matsushino hosted PSAT Data Digs.  Students examined their tests in more detail, learned about the scoring, discovered ways to study and prepare more, and planned when to take the SAT.  Results have been available online at  Students' results are being passed back throughout the month to help them study and prep before the SAT, which will be hosted on campus June 3rd.
SEP Intersession information . . .
Parents, as you know, the Senior Exit Project is a Governing Board approved graduation requirement.  Our expectation is for all seniors to graduate with their class.  As such, if your senior is not passing either the paper or the portfolio by February 17th, then it will be required that they attend SEP Intersession, which is mandatory and free, during the first three days of spring break.   Your students' teachers are working with them and providing tutoring hours for extra help.  Mr. Tatham and Mrs. Matsushino have worked with your student to develop a plan that will have them completing their SEP.
Please talk with your student to see what has been suggested and if there is anything that you can do to assist your student in completing their SEP prior to February 17th; it would be extremely helpful.

SEP Intersession is March 13-15th, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm.




Cienega just received some very exciting news!  Our district was awarded the prestigious AP Honor Roll Award for our work with Advanced Placement students last year.  This award is given to schools that both increased the number of AP tests taken and the number of AP scores at a 3 or higher.  This is significant because these scores are directly related to college credit earned for our students! Please encourage your student to take an AP course next year; college money and time is being saved!


Reteach and tutoring for the second semester will resume the week of January 9th. Please see the attached Reteach and tutoring schedules for each math and English teacher. If you have any question, please contact Eric Tatham at (520) 879-2864.


Students remember to pre-order your yearbook for $90 right now by going to and typing in Cienega in the box next to  "Get Started Now". Price of the yearbook goes up to $100 once they arrive in April. Please Contact our Yearbook advisor Chance Calgher with any questions. 


Our yearly Poetry Out Loud competition was a HUGE success! Please help us congratulate Karrigan McClellan, who won first place, Blake Gregory who was RIGHT behind her in second place by a slim margin, and Jacob Robinson, who placed third. All of our contestants did beautiful performances. Thank you also to Mr. Tritz for helping us with logistics, and to Mrs. Duron and Mr. Salvagio for being judged in the competition. 


SEP is coming - save the dates...times TBA soon 
Wed., May 3rd
Thurs., May 4th 
Fri., May 5th - 1/2 day for students

Thank you to all that have attended fundraisers, donated or supported our Cienega Bobcat students and staff, VPD and the Vail School District! Our volunteers and community partners are Incredible, thank YOU! 
Please contact Amy Burton at (520) 879-2811 or to volunteer. Thank you for your consideration! We LOVE our CHS Volunteers!!! See you at VPD! 


Congratulations to Aaron Gonzales for being our Phat Cat winner on February 3rd. Aaron won a men's Fossil watch. Congrats Aaron! 

Congratulations to Michaela Vasquez for being the Phat Cat winner on January 20 th. Michaela won a woman's fossil watch. Congrats Michaela!



Thank you, parents, for your support of Cienega. We truly appreciate your involvement! 


Cienega High School


2/9 - Half Day for Parent/Teacher Conferences

2/13 - Cat Frat Meeting

2/14 - Track & Field Parent Meeting

Astronomy Club
Star Party

2/17 - Half Day

2/18 - Vail Pride Day

2/23 & 2/24 - Rodeo Break

3/13 - 3/24 - Spring Break

4/4 - Senior Assembly and Senior Parent Mtg.

4/14 - No School

5/1-5/12 - AP Exams

5/3 - 5/5 - SEP Presentations

5/5 Half Day

5/17 Honors Night

5/19 Baccalaureate

5/20 Class of 2017 Graduation




Cienega High School
Vision Statement
Cienega High School creates an educational environment utilizing partnerships among community, parents, and staff to assist students in maximizing their academic potential and promoting life-long learning.
Front Office   - 879-2800     Attendance   -  879-2803   
Bookstore     -  879-2824 
Registrar       - 879-2812

Health Office - 879-2810
Volunteer Coordinator

Front Office/200 House   
Nemer Hassey
Secretary - Chris Rich 879-2816 
Senior Counselor
John Tritz - 879-1843 
Bobcat Scholars Counselor
Dainah Graham - 879-2819
300/700 House
Assistant Principal
Dean Nourse

Secretary - Kim Thielke 879-2855
Freshman Counselor
Eric Boxley - 879-2854

400/600 House/Athletics     
Assistant Principal
Kelly Hadden
Athletic Director - Whitney Holland - 879-1813            

Secretary -  Sandy Morrison
Counselor A - L
Colette Alvarado 879-2904

500 House/Special Education/Security          
Assistant Principal
Kim Middleton
Secretary - Cassandra Bahrychuk 879-2874

Counselor M - Z
Sylvia Lewandowski-879-2817

Special Education Secretary Patty McKnight 879-1804
Communications Coordinator
Elizabeth Taggart - 879-2878  
CHS website:               


Silhouette Photography - 886-1710  (Senior pictures for yearbook)
Sodexho - 879-2090 or   

District Office - 879-2000

Transportation - 879-2475

Get your YEARBOOK today!


CHS Online Store
Spirit Wear & More!

 Click here for Online Ordering  





Job Openings

Are you looking for a job?


The Vail School District is looking for dynamic, energetic and positive staff members. Please click on the link below for the job descriptions, qualifications, salary guide, and the application process.


Click for job openings here   


Cienega High School

It's that time of year again to pre-order your yearbook.