Cat Chat Newsletter - October 2017 


Dear Cienega Families,
Welcome back from fall break! I hope all of you had time to relax, "catch your breath" and connect with family and friends.
We are now well into our 2nd quarter of the year. Please monitor your child's grades and overall progress this quarter. At the high school level, grades and credits are final at the end of each semester (December & May). Students must pass their classes to earn credit towards graduation. Additionally, please keep track of student absences. Excessive absences may result in earning "No Credit" for that specific class. Below is our attendance policy, which is stated in our student handbook.
Absence Policy: Each semester, if a student accumulates 9 or more absences in one class, it will result in a "No Credit". If you have circumstances out of your control and reach 9 absences, please appeal these through Mrs. Sheri Mitzel in order to earn credit. Her office is located in our Education Center and Library.
Just last week, the Department of Education released School grades for the 16/17 school-year. Cienega earned a grade of a "B". The new school grading system requirements were released late last year and they are much more difficult than our prior system. We now understand it better and will have time this year to improve on what we are doing. We already have put forth plans to improve. Ultimately, Cienega scored very well compared to schools across the state. Now that we can actually see the target, we can focus our instructional aim more effectively. 
Federal Impact Aid forms will be handled differently this year.  For your convenience you will have the option of filling the form out online. Some time today you will receive an email from the District Office with a link to your PowerSchool account.  If you choose to complete a paper copy, those will be distributed in your student's English class on Monday, October 23rd.  We are asking that all forms (online or paper copy) be completed/returned before Friday, October 27th. English classes are competing for an Eegees party.  The first class to return all forms completed properly (online or paper copy) will be the winner. In the past, Cienega has received over $20,000 for the completion of these forms and uses these funds for tutoring and support to our students. Your timely participation is greatly appreciated.
Homecoming is Friday, October 20th vs. Ironwood Ridge. This game features two of the best teams in the state. I would like to invite you to come support our band, cheer squad and football team for a special night.
Have a great quarter and please do not hesitate to reach out to administration, counselors or teachers if you need assistance with any concerns or questions.
We are Bobcat Nation!!!

Nemer Hassey


Cienega has fifteen new teachers this school year! We will be presenting our new teachers to you via this forum for the next couple of months.  We thought this would be a fun way for you to get to know them a little better.
Tim McConnell - Social Studies   
Where were you born: Danville, Pennsylvania.
Where did you go to college: Bloomsburg University
Favorite Movie: Braveheart
Favorite TV Show: Friends
Favorite Sports Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Favorite Vacation: Camping at Rickets Glenn Sate Park
Favorite Quote:  "If you put in the time good things will happen"
Favorite thing about Cienega: The weight room and the students.  
Christopher Patterson - Health
Where were you born: Tucson, Arizona
Where did you go to college: University of Arizona & Masters in Education From Grand Canyon University
What is your favorite movie: Braveheart
What is your favorite TV show: Game of Thrones
What is your favorite sports team: Arizona Diamondbacks
What was/is your favorite vacation: Hawaii (Maui)
What is your favorite quote: "Not all who wander are lost"  - JRR Tolkien
What is your favorite thing about Cienega: Amazing kids and amazing sports (especially wrestling).
Chelsea Robbins - Physics  
Where were you born: Metro Detroit, Michigan
Where did you go to college: University of Arizona and Delta State University
What is your favorite movie: Jurassic World
What is your favorite TV show: Bob's Burgers
What is your favorite sports team: Not Cowboys
What was/is your favorite vacation: Snowboarding in California
What is your favorite quote: "One two things are infinite, the Universe and human stupidity and I'm not sure about the latter" - Albert Einstein
What is your favorite thing about Cienega: The Community.
Melissa Rosanio - Inclusion Specialist  
Where were you born: Tucson, Arizona
Where did you go to college: University of Arizona
What is your favorite movie: Back to the Future
What is your favorite TV show: The Office (US)
What is your favorite sports team: Any national women's soccer team
What was/is your favorite vacation: Seattle, Washington
What is your favorite quote: "Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if only one remembers to turn on the light"
What is your favorite thing about Cienega: The Special Education Department.
Tony Torres - Transition Specialist   
Where were you born: Tucson Native
Where did you go to college: Pima College, University of Arizona (BA), Northern Arizona (M.Ed.)
What is your favorite movie: Nacho Libre  
What is your favorite TV show: Stranger Things (Netflix) 
What is your favorite sports team: Italian Soccer Team 
What was/is your favorite vacation: European Trip through Italy 
What is your favorite quote: "I'm a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it." - Thomas Jefferson 
What is your favorite thing about Cienega:
The school's administration team. Mr. Hadden, Mr. Nourse, Mrs. Middleton, and Mr. Hassey.  

As the second quarter begins, many exciting things begin to happen in the senior year. Students are receiving their college acceptance letters and are seeing their hard work has paid off with their school and scholarship offers from colleges and universities around the country. When students bring in their acceptance letter, they receive a free "College Bound" T-Shirt that I request they wear proudly every Wednesday to show their Commitment to Graduate to their future has paid off.
  • FAFSA night is Thursday, November 9th in the Student Union at 5:30 PM. Get assistance completing the form. All seniors should be completing this form if you are college bound, even if you don't believe you will qualify. Most schools require the FAFSA to be completed if you are getting awarded some type of aid from their school. Click here for a FAFSA worksheet to assist you in this process.
  • Start applying to colleges and universities NOW! The Arizona universities have a revolving admissions process (first in, first processed). Right now, a decision is made in about 4 - 6 weeks. Additionally, the student will be notified if a merit based scholarship has been awarded. This helps plan for added savings if needed or for finding additional scholarships.
  • College Representatives are now on campus regularly. Have students stop by Mr. Tritz's office for a schedule of dates.
  • College night is Tuesday, October 24th at the Tucson Convention Center from 6:30 - 9:00 P.M. Parking is free. Hundreds of colleges from across the country will be available for questions.
  • Fall Testing Deadlines for SAT and ACT:
    • All seniors attending a 4 year College or University must take the SAT OR ACT. It is strongly recommended to take it this fall if a student has not already done so. Practice tests are available in the counseling office.
December 9
November 3
December 2
November 2

  • Scholarship opportunities are listed and updated on the Cienega Website on the "Counselor Page." View the site often for regular updates.
  • Any student taking online classes other than VDLP, MUST complete the course and deliver a transcript to the registrar prior to May 1st. Failure to do so will result in possibly not participating in the graduation ceremonies.
  • The deadline to order Cap and Gown and Announcements from Jostens is on November 15th. Go to to order.
  • If you have not already done so, I strongly encourage you and your student to download the SchoolWay App and join the group called "Class of 2018" for important information that is push notified throughout out the year. Go to or the App Store or GoogleWay to get the app.
 You can contact me at 879-1843 or

 Come by the CHS Bookstore and check out all our new Cienega spirit wear.
Books are available at CatFrat's Popcorn stand during FRIDAY NIGHT HOME FOOTBALL games or in the front office with Amy Burton, our Volunteer Coordinator.   Get yours now!!

What Are Your Career Goals?
Career planning is an ongoing process involving knowing oneself, exploring options, making decisions and taking action. An excellent time to begin career planning is during high school. Students who identify a career path during high school can avoid wasting time pursuing a career path that does not fit their aptitudes or interests. They can also avoid costly major changes in college or heading down the wrong career preparation path.
One of the first steps in developing a career plan is to know oneself. High school is an excellent time for students to think about their interests, preferences, skills and values. A person may be artistic, athletic, analytical, an indoor person or an outdoor person. Students should critically examine their strengths and weaknesses. A good place to begin is to ask oneself the following questions: Where am I at now? Where do I want to be? What type of lifestyle do I aspire to have? What do I like to do? What is important to me? What do I want out of a job or career?
A good second step is to explore options. Students should take elective classes and participate in extracurricular activities that are interesting to them. In this way, they can refine their interests and explore potential career paths. This may mean participating in informational interviews, job shadowing, internships, work or volunteer opportunities related to their chosen field.
Finally, students should seek opportunities to learn and experience more about their interests. They need to investigate the occupational outlook for their chosen career path, learn about the typical work conditions, salary and opportunities for career advancement.
There are numerous tools available for interests. One excellent tool is the ASVAB. On Friday, November 17th, from 8:40 AM - noon, Cienega High School students will have an opportunity to participate in the ASVAB Career Exploration Program. The ASVAB is a multiple aptitude test that measures developed abilities and helps predict future academic and occupational success. Research has shown that students who participate in the ASVAB Career Exploration Program: experience less career indecision, enjoy greater confidence in making career decisions, consider more thoughtfully heir options than students who do not participates in the ASVAB CEP. Students and parents can learn more about this free test by checking out the following website: . The test is available to students in all grade levels. Interested students can sign up with me in my office in the 100 building.
Dainah L. Graham, M.S., M.Ed. 
College and Career Counselor


The NJROTC Academic Team placed 1st at the Apache Junction High School NJROTC "Brain Brawl", which was held on Saturday, 23 September 2017.   A Brain Brawl is an academic competition among cadets presented in a game show format similar to the TV game show Jeopardy and College Bowl.  All 10 Arizona NJROTC programs competed in the event.  The 1st place finish qualifies the team for the March 2018 NJROTC Regional Brain Brawl Competition which will be held in San Diego, CA.


At the last home meet of the year we had the senior night to recognize the seniors and their accomplishments during the cross country. One of our athletes Kira Emma broke the girls record on our home course for the second time in a row.  This past weekend the Cross Country team went up to Mt. Lemmon to train on hills that will help them for the course in Sectionals. In two weeks the team will head up to Rio Rico to take place in the sectionals race. That will then lead them to help them go to State for a 3rd   year in a row and hopefully place and allow for are boys and girls team to be able to get medals. Here are some of the athletes thoughts on Sectionals and State:

Ayden Schilb, Freshman
I feel we have put in a lot of hard work and we've been training for a chance to compete in our section and at state. I feel like it is a good place to see how we are as a team and as individual runners. At state we are gonna see how far we have progressed through the season and see how far we've come as a team.

Ciara Zak, Senior
I think the season has gone very well and we have placed well at our past meets and invitationals and have a chance to compete at sectionals and state. I'm excited for sectionals and we have ran the course multiple times so we know what to expect and see how we are going to do as a team. I'm excited for state and it'd be really cool if both teams make it because we have the potential too. And this is my last year and I'd love to be able to experience it with this team.

Coach Burnham
The season has gone very well and we have had the largest team we have ever had and everyone has improved throughout the year. Through this year we have had a lot of fun moments and friendships have been made. I feel like we have a very good chance at placing very high at state and the boys possibly winning it and an individual championship but nonetheless we are going to do very well. Are division at state is extremely competitive and I feel that we have a chance to place higher then we have before.
Bobcat Families, 
CatFRAT has an immediate opening for a new SECRETARY. Please consider joining our small but AMAZING team! Contact Michelle White, our CatFRAT President directly at for more information. 
Join CatFRAT for our monthly meetings on Tuesday nights at 6:30pm in the Dr. Tricia Pena Library and Education Center. Scary, spooky snacks provided!
*** Please Save the Dates *** 
------------------------------ -------------------
* November 28th* - Date change 
* December 19th* - Cancelled 
January 16th
February 20th
* March 27th* - Date change  
April 17th
May 15th -    
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Thank you for your donations of food and drinks for our staff luncheon during parent teacher conferences! CatFRAT would also like to thank our POPCORN VOLUNTEERS for making our popcorn sales so successful at our home varsity football games! 
Great News... We made State playoffs and  need more  popcorn volunteers for our first round of state playoffs on FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3rd, from 5:30-9:30pm, 3-5 volunteers, if possible.  
Don't forget to get your 2018 Entertainment Book for a NEW LOW PRICE of $25 available now through October 31st.  There are over $350 savings in Rita Ranch and Vail alone! Books are available at CatFrat's Popcorn stand during FRIDAY NIGHT HOME FOOTBALL games or in the front office with Amy Burton, our Volunteer Coordinator.   Get yours now!!

Please find the schedule for Free Tutoring that we have available on our campus throughout this school year.  On this document you will find times, locations and teachers that are available for math and English tutoring.  If you have any questions, please direct them to Eric Tatham, Instructional Support Teacher (520) 879-2864.


Congratulations to Azalie Gladson.  Azalie won the Phat Cat drawing in September.  Azalie won a 2017-2018 Yearbook.  Congrats Azalie!


~ Happy Halloween Bobcats ~ 

Thank you for your deliciously generous donations for our staff luncheon during our parent teacher conferences, you've spoiled us, again! Thank you to all of our FABULOUS volunteers that helped us setup, serve and cleanup this AMAZING luncheon, CHS Volunteers ROCK!!! Thank you to our Friday night football popcorn volunteers, WOW! The faithful and the few, way to go Bobcat Volunteers!!! 
------------------------------ ------------------------------ ----
I'd also like to thank some OUTSTANDING student volunteers assisting with the Bobcats Helping Bobcats Food Pantry and Lunch Program, they've been AWESOME!!! Lexi Taylor, Wow, gorgeous posters and your time and attitude have been invaluable to me and this program! You have a kind, fun, gentle soul and a heart of gold! Thank YOU Lexi!!! Naomi Mortensen and Aracelly Silva, thank you both for helping us kick-off this program! I've had so much FUN with the three of you girls! Thank YOU! Thank YOU Ms. Jennifer Jepson for jumping right in with your students and making this new program ROCK!!!

Thank you to our CHS families, parents, grandparents, staff and the VAIL VIKINGS for giving so generously and freely with your hearts, time, energy, in food and monetary donations! WOW, WOW, WOW!!! Cienega is blessing others by paying it forward within our own community.
Bobcats Helping Bobcats indeed! 

~ Upcoming Volunteer/Donation Opportunities ~ 
Friday, November 3rd - 5:30-9:30pm 
CatFRAT Friday Night Football Popcorn Sales
Hosting 1st round State playoff game at CHS 
3-5 volunteers

Wednesday, November 29th - 9:30-11:30am
Bobcat Student of Success - Student Union 
3 volunteers

Wednesday, December 20th - 9:30am-2:30pm
Staff Luncheon - 1/2 Day-Finals  
Crockpot Soup and Chili Luncheon
Need volunteers:
Set-up - 9:30am-12:00pm
Serve - 11:30am-1:30pm
Clean-up - 1:00pm-2:30pm 
Donations of
SOUPS, CHILI, Breads/Rolls, Salads/Dressings, Desserts and Drinks. Please watch emails for more details. 
Cienega is thankful for our GENEROUS, Kind, Caring, Hardworking and FUN VOLUNTEERS! Bless you this Fall Harvest season! 
Amy Burton 
Volunteer Coordinator 
(520) 879-2811 



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


Cienega High School


10/18 - Federal Impact Aid Forms Distributed
10/20 - Homecoming Football Game 
10/21 - Homecoming Dance
10/26 and 10/28 - Drama Production "Radium Girls"
10/30 - Student Council Haunted House 
11/1 - Half Day for Students
11/4 Cheer Showcase
11/10 - Veterans Day No School
11/20 - Band and Orchestra Concert
11/21 - Cat Frat Meeting 
11/22, 23 & 24 Thanksgiving Break
11/29 - Bobcat Student of Success 
12/20, 21 & 22 Finals  
12/25 - 1/5 Winter Break  



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

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.