Cat Chat Newsletter - March 2017 

Dear Cienega Families,
It's hard to believe, but we are almost in the final stretch of the 2016-2017 school year! This is traditionally our busiest time of year, so I'd like to highlight some upcoming events.
  • ACT Prep Courses Throughout the Spring (Call 879-2864 to sign up) 
  • Intersession Classes to Improve 3rd Quarter Grades (March 13-16, 2017) (Call 879-2809 for information) 
  • Spring Musical on March 31 & April 1 (Rock of Ages)
  • Annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser on April 22, 2017 (Call 879-2816 for information)
In the month of April, we will administer state mandated testing for our students. AzMerit, AIMS Science and the ACT are all scheduled throughout the month. As an incentive for students to perform to the best of their ability, students will receive the below increases to their final semester grades in the corresponding classes for AzMerit (Math and English) and AIMS Science (Biology).
  • Students who receive a Proficient on AzMerit for English and/or Math will receive a 3% increase to their final spring semester grade in the corresponding class
  • Students who receive a Highly Proficient on AzMerit for English and/or Math will receive a 5% increase to their final spring semester grade in the corresponding class
  • Students who receive a Meets on AIMS Science for will receive a 3% increase to their final spring semester grade in biology
  • Students who receive an Exceeds on AIMS Science for will receive a 5% increase to their final spring semester grade in biology
I wish all of you a relaxing and safe spring break.

Nemer Hassey
SEP Mandatory Intersession
Fine Arts @ CHS
Orchestra and Band
Regional Band
Chromebook Issues
Green Team Spring Project
AP Exam Fee Schedule
Academic Assemblies
Yearbook Info
Senior Information
STUCO Happenings
College & Career Chronicle
Testing Corner
Reteach & Tutoring
Volunteer Corner


Seniors and Parents:

There is a FREE mandatory SEP Intersession for any senior that has not yet finished either the Research Paper component or the Portfolio component of the Senior Exit Project.  This intersession is in place to help all students meet this graduation requirement.  The Intersession will run the first 3 days of Spring Break, March 13-15.  If your student has not completed either of these two components, please see the attached flyer for more information and call Eric Tatham or Brittany Matsushino with any questions.



On February 20-26 the Cienega Orchestra and Bands traveled to Orlando, Florida, to participate in two performances, the Main Street Parade at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World and a concert on the
Universal Orlando CityWalk's Lagoon Stage. The students were also able to work with a professional musician with the "You're Instrumental" clinic held at EPCOT and travel to the Kennedy Space Center, where they had lunch with Bob Springer, an astronaut who flew on the space shuttle Atlantis. 



Congratulations to the following students who participated in the Southeast Region Honor Band and Symphony Orchestra. The students competed against more than 530 students to earn the privilege of practicing and performing as a group at Buena High School on February 17 and 18. This is the most students Cienega has had qualify for these prestigious groups:

Savannah Barnes             Rebecca Lane
Emma Bauer                    Shirleen Lee
Grace Bauer                     Natasia Mata
Madison Beasley             Janneza Miranda
Michael Beccarelli          Sarah Montano
Douglas Byrd                  Tyler Myers
Antonio Camacho            Lily Nelson
Gabriela Contreras           Bianca Ortega
Ayla Delaney                   Jaime Osmun
Francisco Duarte             John Osmun
Rachel Evans                   Steven Phillips
Emily Foegle                   Taylor Ralston
Angela Genovese             Kathleen Ratz
Marcus Hawkins              Katie Schafer
Stephanie Honeker           Zach Scott
Bryce Hurley                    Kyle Stivers
Dylan Irvin                       Michael Synder
Maya Jackson                   Keana Utsey
Emily Joyner                    Baileya White
Samantha Knighton          Chase Williams
Thomas Koenig                Lily Zaspel
Katarina Korch            


With AzMerit testing fast approaching, this is the time to make sure that your student has a chromebook or laptop computer that is in good working condition.  If their chromebook has any issues at all, please see the attached flyer to find out what you can do to get it up and running.



Junior Parents,

The administration of the ACT for all juniors on our campus will be held on Wednesday April 19th. Statistics show that students who prepare for these tests in an intentional way tend to score higher, and these scores can directly affect the amount of academic scholarship money that is offered by universities. Cienega offers ACT Prep classes that lead into this important college entrance exam. Please see the attached flyer for detailed information and call Eric Tatham at (520) 879-2864 with any questions.

ACT Test Prep Course


This year, Cienega's Green Team has partnered with Tucson's Watershed Management Group to create a greener and more water conservative campus by undertaking a major project: creating a pollinator garden on campus. At the beginning of this year, members of Green Team learned of the Watershed Management Group, which develops community-based solutions to ensure the long-term prosperity of people and health of the environment. Specifically, they provide people with the knowledge, skills, and resources to create more water conservative areas throughout Tucson.  Every year the WMG offers a $6,000 grant to schools within the Tucson area to go towards creating a rainwater garden. Dylan Irvin, Senior and President of Green Team, headed a team to write an application for the grant, and Green Team was able to secure the grant for Cienega. Members of Green Team worked with a representative from the WMG to come up with ideas for how to use the grant money. Because Cienega experiences some major drainage problems between the 400, 500 and 600 buildings, it was decided that the grant money should be used to create a water neutral pollinator garden in this area. Over the Spring Break members of Green Team, WMG and Cienega's NHS will be creating a more water efficient landscape around this area, using techniques taught to them by the WMG. Swales, berms, catchment basins and natural ground cover will be installed to better slow runoff to help alleviate much of the flooding that occurs during the monsoon season.
If you would like any more information or would like to help and get involved, ask any member of Green Team or check out the Watershed Management Group's website. Please, help us leave a lasting positive change on this campus, and make this Cienega's greenest year yet!


Attention Parents of AP Students:
It is time for the final push for your student to purchase their AP exams in our bookstore.  The final deadline for paying these fees is Thursday, March 30th.  A score of 3 or above in an AP exam qualifies them for college credit.  This is significant because it saves money on tuition and time spent working towards their degree.  The fee this year is $93 with a significant discount offered for students receiving free and reduced lunch.  Please call Eric Tatham at (520) 879-2864.


We will be starting a new Cienega tradition: Academic Assemblies!  We are really excited to share with you a new happening on our campus for recognizing our students' academic achievement, which you work hard to facilitate and support.  
They will take place one time per grade level per year during a PAWs time; after spring break we will have three: Sophomores on March 29th, Juniors on April 5th, and Seniors on April 10th.  We will email out the link for a live feed that Bobcat TV is providing so that you can be a part of the celebrating.



It is with great pride that we share with you that our Aquaculture Career Development Event team (CDE) has won back to back state championships. Students participating in this competition must identify native and non-native fish species, take a written exam, evaluate a water sample, complete a fillet, read a blueprint for an irrigation apparatus and create it to match and calculate feed ratios for a given species of fish in an aquaculture system. 
Members of the team are:

Trevor Crawford
Wyatt Edgell
 JC Wright
RJ Wright

NJROTC Cadets participated in "Love of Reading Week" and read to 2nd grade students at Desert Willow Elementary on 14 February 2017.  Cadets also supported the Copper Ridge Elementary "Spring Fling" on 3 March 2017.

On 4 March 2017 NJROTC Cadets competed at the Tombstone High School JROTC "Raider" Field Meet.  The meet was attended by various JROTC programs from Arizona and New Mexico.  Our cadets placed 3rd in the Obstacle Course, 3rd in the Humvee Vehicle Pull, 2nd in the Physical Fitness Challenge, and 1st in the Casualty Evacuation Litter Carry.


Important Dates to Remember:
There is an extremely important senior parent meeting on April 4th at 6:00 PM to discuss the changes in our graduation ceremony. Please make every effort to attend. The ceremony will be at the Tucson Convention Center and there are certain policies and procedures that all guests and graduates need to know about.

Important Senior Dates to Remember

Cienega Seniors are definitely C2G College!
Over 200 college acceptance letters have been sent to the students in the class of 2017. Over 100 of those are being recognized on our Wall of the Future. Each time a senior brings in an acceptance letter, they will be entered into a drawing to win an iPad to be given away at Honors Night on May 17th.

SchoolWay App:
If you have not yet downloaded the SchoolWay App, 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
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 (
  • Too many seniors have still not passed their Senior Project Paper or Portfolio. If your senior has a class called "SEP Ineligible" on their schedule, be aware they must have a passing grade by spring break or they will be required to attend intercession to complete this portion of the SEP. Students who do not have a passing paper and portfolio when the 4thquarter starts may not be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony in May.



Developing Coping Skills to Handle Stress
Being a teenager is tough, and stress can be a huge part of teen life. Unfortunately, stress is also a normal part of life that we cannot completely eliminate. Students who don't learn to effectively cope with stress can resort to destructive behaviors. Students who develop stress coping skills cannot only improve their mental health and well being, they can improve their general outlook on life as well as their academic success. There are many techniques that can help teens to cope with stress, but there is no one technique that works for all.
A first step in managing stress is to identify personal stress triggers. This can be achieved by keeping a daily journal. Journaling helps to build emotional intelligence; it is also a great outlet for processing emotions and increasing self-awareness. It provides an excellent venue for clarifying thoughts and feelings.
There are many health-promoting activities that help to alleviate stress. These activities include exercise, yoga, being with friends, listening to music, and practicing deep breathing. Students should be encouraged to pursue enjoyable activities such as art, music, reading, and blogging. By pursing fun activities, teens can connect with others and learn to feel good about themselves by focusing on their strengths and assets.
While it is the goal of most students to do well in school and engage in social, creative and physical outlets, teens need to strive for 8 hours of sleep each night. However, getting at least 8 hours of sleep is often difficult to achieve. The Mayo Clinic and the National Sleep Foundation both recommend that teens between the ages of 14 and 17 get 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night. Activities should be individually tailored to enable students to get the necessary amount of sleep. " Time stress" is one of the biggest stressors most people have to manage. Students must take care to not overschedule themselves. They should make a schedule and stick to it. There are many ways to remind themselves by using their electronic devices to send email or text reminders to address high priority tasks. By taking care of the important tasks first, teens can have more time to relax and find time for equally important enjoyable leisure activities. Everyone experiences stress differently. We should all strive to recognize our triggers and identify tools and techniques to manage our stress effectively.
Spring Break
While spring break is an excellent time to regroup, relax and just take it easy, it is also an opportune time to help minimize fourth quarter stress. Spend an hour or so each day reviewing subjects or concepts that are difficult or confusing. Look ahead and preview fourth quarter classwork. Get started on big fourth quarter projects. Do a little prep work for upcoming standardized tests each day. By setting aside just a little bit of time during your break to prepare for next quarter, you can eliminate a lot of stress for the remainder of the year.
Be sure to do something relaxing and enjoyable each day.
Enjoy the break!
Dainah L. Graham
College & Career Counselor
Bobcat Scholars Academy
(520) 879-2819


Parents please aim to make sure that your student is present at school for the following important testing dates:  

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

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, then it is 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 him/her in completing their SEP prior to March10th; it would be extremely helpful.

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




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.


Thank you to our FABULOUS Bobcat Student of Success Volunteers and our CATFRAT VPD Volunteers, woohoo, YOU GUYS ROCK!!! Thank YOU for a FANTASTIC VPD!!! 

The SEP's are coming, the SEP's are coming! 

~~ Save The Dates ~~ SEP (Senior Exit Projects)  
Wednesday, May 3rd - 3:45-7:30pm
Thursday, May 4th - 3:45-7:30pm
Friday, May 5th - 1:00-4:30pm (1/2 day of school)
Please call or email me to volunteer one or more days. NO experience necessary, instruction given. Thank you for your consideration!

~~ Please let us know if you would like to GOLF with us or DONATE to our Silent Auction for our 17th Annual CHS Golf Tourney at Del Lago on Saturday, April 22nd, benefits student athletics. Hope to see you there!  
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! 



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


Cienega High School


3/13 - 3/24 - Spring Break

4/4 - Senior Assembly and Senior Parent Mtg.

4/12 - Junior SEP Meeting

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 -  Sandi 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

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CHS Online Store
Spirit Wear & More!

 Click here for Online Ordering  





Job Openings

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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.


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Cienega High School

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