Cat Chat Newsletter - March 2018 


Dear Cienega Families,
We are nearing the final stretch of the 2017-2018 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 third quarter grades from March 12-15. Call 879-2809 for information.
  • Spring Musical Anything Goes on April 6 & 7
  • Annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser on April 14, 2018. 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. As an incentive for students to perform to the best of their ability, students will receive the below increases and incentives in the below tested subjects.
  • Students who receive a Proficient on AzMerit for English and/or Math will receive a 3% increase to their final grade in both semesters 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 grade in both semesters in the corresponding class.
  • Students who receive a Proficient or Highly Proficient on AzMerit for English and/or Math will
    earn an exemption from the Fall Semester final exam for their English or Math class that they take in the 2018-2019 school year as long as they meet specific stipulations in those specific classes (more information coming soon).
  • Students who receive a Meets on AIMS Science for will receive a 3% increase to their final grade in both semesters in their biology class.
  • Students who receive an Exceeds on AIMS Science for will receive a 5% increase to their final grade in both semesters in their biology class.
I wish all of you a relaxing and safe safe spring break.

Nemer Hassey



Spring Intersession registration needs to be done through the bookstore by the end of the day on
Thursday, March 8th . The new Hybrid Online Spring Intersession is $75 for each class, with a maximum of two classes.  

2018 Spring Intersession Registration Form

2018 Spring Intersession Bus Schedule

Who:  Seniors still needing to pass SEP research paper or Portfolio
What: Mandatory SEP Intersession
When: Monday, March 12th through Wednesday, March 14th
9am- 1pm
Where: Ed. Center
Why: Graduation Requirement
This intersession is both MANDATORY and FREE for all seniors in order to help them finish the SEP graduation requirements. If you have any questions, please contact the SEP coordinators at the extensions below.
Brittany Matsushino
(520) 879-2809

Eric Tatham
(520) 879-2864

Congratulations to Rebecca Carrier for receiving the Crystal Apple School Counselor of the Year from the Metropolitan Education Commission.

Congratulations to Mr. Matsushino for receiving the Arizona Music Educators Association Excellence in Teaching Award and for his Induction into the State Music Teachers Hall of Fame.
Congratulations to Mr. Tatham for being selected as the National Federation of High School Associations West Sectional Softball Coach of the Year. 

The newest item in the Bookstore is a CHS Pop-socket! Get yours today for only $7!




Antonio Camacho was accepted into a premier U of A Summer research program: KEYS!   AJ Aguilar was selected to be a KEYS Mentor!

Cienega Science students at the U of A for a STEM conference in February.


The month of April will bring three tests to Cienega's campus.  Juniors will be taking the ACT test on April 3rd. All sophomores who haven't already taken the AIMs Science test will also be taking it on April 3rd.  The AIMs Science test is now online, which means all students will need to bring their charged Chromebooks to the testing.

AZMerit testing will no longer be during your child's English or math class, but instead will be treated just as the ACT, AP, and AIMs tests are.  There is a new schedule and your student will be given their assigned location for the testing days upon return from Spring Break.

Key things to note:

If your student's Chromebook is broken or malfunctioning, they need to get to the tech office before Spring Break.  That will provide time for it to be repaired before testing.

Practicing for the AZMerit can be done on your own and in class.  Please go to:

Try out the new read out loud feature that is now available to everyone!

AIMs Science is online. Practice on a Chromebook through TestNav, Select the Mic Check & Sample Tests

Seniors will receive additional SEP presentation practice, graduation practice and preparation, FAFSA completion, budgeting and credit lessons, study hall, AP study session, Life Skills 101 lesson opportunities during the new testing schedule.  Seniors will also be receiving their assigned locations the week we return from Spring Break.


Important Dates to Remember:
There is an extremely important senior parent meeting on April 19th 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.
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 SmartPhone. Go to to download the App. Join the Vail School District, then Cienega High School and then the GROUP: Class of 2018, or just enter the WayCode: nd53e4
Cienega Seniors are definitely C2G College! Over 200 college acceptance letters have been sent to the students in the class of 2018. 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 16. Also, we will be hosting a College and Military signing day on May 1st. Senior's who bring in their acceptance letter or enlistment papers will receive a free "College Bound" or "Military Bound" t-shirt to wear on that day of celebration.
General Senior 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 1st unless taking a Pima class. That deadline will be two days after the class has been completed.
  • If 9 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! An appeal may be scheduled after May 1st for illness or extenuating circumstances.
  • 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 "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 student's attendance and grades carefully so 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 4th quarter starts may not be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony in May.  




As you know, scoring well on an AP exam is one way to earn college credit and save you money on tuition. Time is winding down for you to pay for AP tests.  Please bring your payment to the bookstore by April 3rd as the tests are being ordered on April 4th this year. We must have an accurate number of tests and need to make the order. If you are a member of the AP club and are expecting to use those funds for payment, please see Mrs. Stickney right away to make the arrangements. 
Things to note:
  • Each test costs $94 
  • Discount available for students on Free or Reduced lunch programs - See our senior counselor, John Tritz, for details.
NJROTC was busy during Vail Pride Day 2018.  Cadets presented the Colors at Opening Ceremonies, presented Colors at Academic Jeopardy and 1 platoon and the NJROTC band marched in the Vail Pride Day Parade.  The NJROTC program won the Judges Choice Award for the Vail Pride Day Parade competition. 

On 6 Feb 2018 NJROTC Cadets presented the Colors for the Arizona House of Representatives.  The cadets were honored to represent Vail at the State Capital.
Cienega is still offering ACT prep courses for anyone planning to take the ACT test this spring. ALL JUNIORS are scheduled to take this test on April 3rd, so it is crucial that you get in some preparation before attempting this important college entrance exam. The series of courses costs $35 and the payment should be made to the Cienega Bookstore.
Things to note:
  • Cost = $35 for a series of three courses
    Next series of three is March 17th, 24th, and 31st

Summer is quickly approaching and summer presents one of the most opportune times to take advantage of college and career exploration opportunities. There are usually many activities to choose from, but this year, for the first time the Grand Canyon University is offering free summer experiences with its Summer Institute program.
This is an amazing FREE opportunity to participate in summer institutes at Grand Canyon University is for rising high school juniors and seniors. Students are able to experience three days at GCU, stay overnight in the dorms, engage in campus life and explore academic programs such as engineering, computer science, hospitality, business and more. GCU covers the dormitory stay and meals.
To participate students must:
  • Be an Arizona resident
  • Be a student entering their junior or senior year of high school in the fall of 2018
  • Be 16 years of age or older
  • Have a 3.0 GPA (weighted)
The application deadline for this program is March 15! 
Flinn Scholars Program to host five information sessions this spring
The Flinn Scholarship Program, in partnership with Arizona's three state universities, provides enriched educational offerings that expand a Scholar's life and career options while creating the kind of stimulating, intellectually challenging environment that students might find at the nation's most selective colleges. The value of the Flinn Scholarship exceeds $115,000 and includes t he full cost of tuition and mandatory fees, plus room and board; funding for
a three-week summer seminar after the Scholar's freshman year in China and for at least one additional study-abroad experience;
funded participation in the Professional-Leadership Internship Program, exclusively for Flinn Scholars, at an Arizona company or organization; and mentorship from top faculty and exposure to Arizona and global leaders in business, government, science, and the arts.

College Find Me    
CollegeFindMe is an online program that connects students, school counselors and colleges worldwide to simplify and expand the college application process and foster an outstanding educational experience. This program works with students and colleges all over the world. Students can build their profile by showcasing not only their academics but also their talents. Colleges can then message students directly with offers to apply, fee waivers, scholarship opportunities and campus visits.

For more information about this free program, log on to 

Dainah L. Graham
College & Career Counselor
Bobcat Scholar Academy
(520) 879-2819



Congratulations to Caitlyn Motisko. Caitlyn was the Phat Cat drawing winner on February 16th. She won a perfume set from Abercrombie and Fitch. Congrats Caitlyn!

Congratulations to Steven Jensen. Steven was the Phat Cat drawing winner on Friday, March 2nd and won Skullcandy wireless headphones. Congrats Steven!




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

Cienega High School


3/9 - CHS Theatre presents "Blather, Blarney, and Balderdash" at 7pm 
3/12-3/23 - Spring Break
3/9 - Cap & Gown Orders Due

3/30 - No School

4/6 & 4/7 - CHS Theatre presents Anything Goes

4/19 - Senior Parent Night

4/28 - Prom

4/30 - Band Concert

5/2, 5/3 & 5/4 - SEP

5/7 - Choir Concert  



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

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 - Gianni Wanaka 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

Get your YEARBOOK today!


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.


Click for job openings here   


Cienega High School

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