Cat Chat Newsletter - September 2017 


Dear Cienega Families,
The end of the 1st quarter is just a few weeks away! This year is already moving so fast.
Now is the time to take a look at your student's grades and come up with a plan for the last part of this quarter. We have interventions in place for students for those that are struggling academically. Below are some academic interventions available at Cienega.
  • Fall Break Intercession: Intercession will take place over Fall Break during the 1st week only. Each class will run for two-days. Students' grades for Intercession are averaged with the grade they earned first quarter in the class. Instead of starting second quarter with a D or an F, students have the opportunity to start with a higher grade, giving them a better chance of passing the class for the semester. If you are interested in this program, please contact your child's counselor.
  • Free Math and English Tutoring: Tutoring is available each week. Please contact us for a schedule if your child needs extra help in those subjects.
  • SAT and ACT Prep Courses: In order to improve student's SAT and ACT scores, we are offering ACT / SAT prep courses for our juniors and seniors. This is a great opportunity to help improve scores. Contact us for information. ACT / SAT prep courses are on Saturdays.
Parent - Teacher Conferences are coming up and are a great way to connect with teachers and help create a plan for your child's success. Parent - Teacher Conferences are set for Thursday, September 14th from 1:30-6:30 p.m. We are encouraging parents to attend and meet with teachers between the PT Conference time frame of 1:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Lastly, there is a FREE App called SchoolWay. This App is another way for us to push information and communicate to parents and students. It is a one-way electronic communication from the school to smart phones, tablets, laptops and desktops of those who have subscribed to the App. If you have not already done so, we highly recommend every parent and student to download our SchoolWay app. Not only is it a great way to access all teacher emails and phone numbers quickly, but it will also text notify people of any emergencies that may occur.
To download the app, go to the App store or the Android Play Store and search for SchoolWay, or go 
to  for the web application.
1. Create an Account
2. Select your Role
3. Enter the following WAYCODE: roct44  
This will automatically link you to Cienega High School.
4. To stay informed with your grade level students, join any of the following groups:
Class of 2018
Class of 2019 
Class of 2020
Class of 2021
Thank you for your continued support in helping our students become college and career ready. 

Nemer Hassey
Ten students from the Cienega High School Astronomy Club traveled to Nebraska to view the total solar eclipse. They were one of 68 sites across the country participating in the Citizen CATE Experiment, a citizen science project designed to gather information about the Sun's corona. For the two and a half minutes of totality, the team photographed the Sun. The data they gathered will be added to the data of the other sites to make a 90-minute video recording the corona for the entirety of totality nationwide. The CATE team said it was a memorable, beautiful, and awe-inspiring, yet stressful experience. The morning of the eclipse, the team struggled to assemble the telescope and get aligned with the Sun in the midst of clouds and rain. Miraculously, everything cleared up just in time to set up and observe totality, successfully collecting the data. Students and sponsors will always remember this incredible experience and are looking forward to the next eclipse.  Movie rights are pending....
Dear Parents/Guardians,
The revised school meal handbook can be viewed on the school district website at under the School Meal Program tab or visit your child's school website. School lunch information may also be included in the student/family handbook.
Students in grades PreK-8 cannot be refused a school meal. I f a student in grades PreK-8 has reached a negative student meal account balance equivalent to three charged meals, they will then receive an alternate healthy meal. An alternate healthy meal will contain a sandwich, a piece of fruit, a vegetable, and milk. The alternate healthy meal will be charged to the student's meal account which will increase the negative balance.
High school students will not be permitted to charge a meal if the student meal account has a negative balance. A high school student will only receive a meal if their student meal account has a positive balance, or if they pay with cash.
Your family may qualify for free or reduced cost school meals. You can complete an application online at ; or pick up an application in person at the school or District's Food Service. Families are responsible for student meal account charges made before the free or reduced price meal application is approved - the approval is not retroactive. Please remember that a new free or reduced school meal application must to be completed every school year.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the District's Food Service Office at (520) 879-3913 or (520) 879-2015 or email .
Thank you,
Vail Schools Food Service

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.
Rebecca Hildenbrand - World History
Where were you born: Hazleton, Pennsylvania 
Where did you go to college: Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania 
What is your favorite movie: Clue, Finding Nemo, Braveheart 
What is your favorite TV show: NCIS and This is Us 
What is  your favorite sports team: Phily Eagles! Go Birds!! 
What was/is your favorite vacation: A tiny little lake in the middle of nowhere.
What is your favorite quote: " The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates  
What is your favorite thing about Cienega: The people and culture.
Brittanie Johnson - Adaptive English
Where were you born: Texas
Where did you go to college: University of Arizona
What is your favorite movie: Titanic
What is your favorite TV show: Game of Thrones
What is  your favorite sports team: Texas Rangers (baseball)
What was/is your favorite vacation: Possum Kingdom Lake
What is your favorite quote: " It doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile. Winning is Winning" (Fast and the Furious)
What is your favorite thing about Cienega: All the amazing students, who work their hardest every day!

Shannon Kennedy - Math 
Where were you born: Lisle, Illinois right outside of Chicago. 
Where did you go to college: University of Arizona for my BA, Walden University for my Masters
What is your favorite movie: Dumber and Dumber 
What is your favorite TV show: Big Brother 
What is  your favorite sports team: Chicago Cubs & University of Arizona Wildcats
What was/is your favorite vacation:  Madrid, Spain
What is your favorite quote: " Throw kindness around like confetti"
What is your favorite thing about Cienega: The Sports! Go Bobcats!

Shannon Kornachuk - English
Where were you born: Ft. Stewart, Georgia 
Where did you go to college: University of Tennessee 
What is your favorite movie: Star Trek - Wrath of Khan 
What is your favorite TV show: Monk 
What is  your favorite sports team: Republicans
What was/is your favorite vacation: Anywhere there's a beach 
What is your favorite quote: " I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Phil. 4:13 
What is your favorite thing about Cienega: The support and camaraderie  
Josh Kraemer - Film Production 
Where were you born: Landstuh, Germany 
Where did you go to college: U of A, Pima, The Internet! 
What is your favorite movie: Wild 
What is your favorite TV show: Westworld 
What is your favorite sports team: San Francisco Giants 
What was/is your favorite vacation: Disneyland!!! 
What is your favorite quote: "Get away from her you b!@#" Lt. Ellen Ripley in Aliens 
What is your favorite thing about Cienega: The community and the fact that most people genuinely care about the kids. 


week the Cross Country team will be heading to San Diego California for the Mt. Carmel Asics XC Invite. In each race the runners are split up by their grades so freshmen run against freshmen, sophomores run against sophomores, etc. The girls run 2.75 miles and the boys run2.95 miles. This course is known to be hard and full of hills which makes it harder for the runners. Here are some of the runners thoughts about the California meet:   
¨Yeah I'm looking forward to it, I guess I am excited for be able to get closer with the team and I want to able to go to the race and do better than I did this first time. I think it's fun to be able to have the opportunity to get out the state and get to race with my team.¨ Andie Peery, Junior.  
¨Yeah I'm really looking forward to the California meet and I'm looking forward to it because there are a lot of talented people at that race and it's big and I'm excited to take up the challenge and compete against people from all over¨ Bentley Bee, Junior.  
¨Of course I am looking forward to the meet and I'm really interested in getting to know the team better, I mean when you're in a bus full of people and you go on a trip like that it's more fun and I'm really just looking forward to the challenge of actually running at the course, Ive heard its a pretty hard one¨ Jacob Joines, Freshman.  
The athletes are a mix of excited and nervous for the meet but they have been training and are definitely ready. We wish them the best of luck! 

Using Multiple Programs to Plan for College and Careers
Current high school students have a variety of resources at their disposal to plan for college and/or careers. Of course students always have the option of working with the adults in their lives, parent, teachers, school counselors, etc. But one of the surprising things about our electronic-oriented society is the fact that so many students continue to underutilize many of the online programs that are available to them. Electronic resources are available to students any time of the day, and any day of the year. Some of the free programs are Big Future, Fastweb and AzCIS.
The Collegeboard offers an excellent, comprehensive college and career planning program called Big Future. It can be accessed at . Big Future provides high school students at every grade level with a step-by-step roadmap to college and careers. Students can learn what to do, when to do it and how to track their progress. They can learn about careers, explore colleges, learn how to get into colleges and discover ways to pay for college. Students do not have to have a Collegeboard account to use the Big Future program. Through this program, as students explore careers, they can also explore college majors and conduct a college search based on those majors.
Many people are aware of Fastweb as an excellent scholarship search resource. However, not as many people are aware that it as a helpful career planning tool. By linking onto student can gain invaluable information on salaries, career outlooks, career profiles, interning, interviewing and networking.
One of the most comprehensive online career planning tools available to Arizona students is the Arizona Career Information System (AzCIS). To access this website log on to Each Cienega student is required to establish an AzCIS account and complete mandatory educational and career action plans (ECAP lessons) in their PAWS classes. However, far more information is available to students through AzCIS than the required mandatory lessons. This invaluable tool can be used identify career clusters, sort occupations, deepen self-knowledge with a skills assessment, identify individual work values, search for colleges, find scholarships, and conduct a variety of self-assessments. Students can learn what it takes to find and keep a job, gain information about colleges, the military, and self-employment. AzCIS also contains a resume writing tool and links to other valuable college and career programs.
This article has focused on only three of the many programs available. Options for college and career exploration are numerous and only limited by the amount of time students want to commit to their self-exploration. By utilizing these tools in an effective manner, students can gain a better self-understanding early on and perhaps avoid the pitfalls of multiple career changes or costly major changes in college. To gain more insight and prepare for their future, students should focus on using these tools and sharing the information with the adults in their lives. Counselors are available to help students work on their goals.
Dainah L. Graham, M.S., M.Ed. 
College and Career Counselor


See below for the schedule for the ACT Prep classes that we have available on our campus throughout this semester.  This document contains dates, times, and teachers that will be helping your student to prepare for this important college entrance exam. You will also find the dates that the test will be given. If you have any questions, please direct them to Eric Tatham, Instructional Support Teacher (520) 879-2864.
ACT Flier

Contact Mrs. Roddick at or Ms. Rivera at for more information.

To sign up for or find out more information regarding this trip, click on the link below or contact Mr. or Mrs. Farr at   @ or

THANK YOU Rincon Rotary and the Cienega Rotary!

Cienega High school's Early Childhood Education program teaches high school students to work with younger students at the Vail Inclusive Preschool. Jennifer Jepson at Cienega High asked Rotary LOCAL for washable sensory materials which enhance preschoolers fine motor skills and allow for learning through play. The Rincon Rotary and the Cienega Rotary partnered to deliver these items which will not only help the preschoolers, but also the Cienega High students who will be administering the lessons.


Date of the Test: October 11th
When:  During the school day
How much?  $20.00 (this is tax credit eligible)
How many are available?   350 tests
Where to pay: Bookstore
Who?  Predominently 10th graders/11th graders, Bobcat Scholars

When purchasing, we need the student's first/last name AND 1st hour teacher.  Once the prep books are delivered, mid-September, they'll be delivered to the student in their first hour class.

For questions, please email Brittany Matsushino at


The 2017-2018 yearbook will be available for purchase on  Listed below are the prices as they will increase as the school year progresses. Pre-order early and save! September - January: $85, February - April: $90, May: $95.


The first quarter of the senior year is coming to a close. Look for a letter from Mr. Tritz in the mail over break. If your student is lacking credits, I will have them listed on the back of the letter. Please make sure to contact me (John Tritz) if you have questions or concerns. 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 GooglePlay to get the app.
Start applying to colleges and universities now! The University of Arizona, NAU and ASU have a rolling admissions process (first in, first processed) that will be used. Students wanting to apply for the Barrett Honors College at ASU should be aware of new changes in the process. The early action deadline to apply is November 1st.

College night is Tuesday, October 24 th 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.

College Representatives are now on campus regularly. Check the Class of 2018 Web page on the counseling link for updates, or download the SchoolWay APP and join the group Class of 2018 to get push notifications.

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.
Scholarship opportunities are listed and updated on the Cienega Website on the " Counselor Page." View the site often for regular updates.

Financial Aid night is September 21 st at 6:30 in the Student Union. The FAFSA is now open on October 1 st and uses the 2016 taxes for income. Parents are highly encouraged to attend this event. Representatives from U of A and Grand Canyon will be there to answer questions.

 You can contact me at 879-1843 or

Construction Class Students recently finished two new playhouses for the PreK schools on the Cienega campus. These community service projects were a great learning experience for Cienega students and will be enjoyed by children for years to come.  Great Job!


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.


TSW Artisan Crew will be participating in this event. We will be selling handmade artisan products and plants from our Rincon Nursery. You will find us behind the barn in our nursery!




Congratulations to the NJROTC Physical Fitness Team for their First Place finish at the Buckeye Union High School Air Force JROTC "Toughest Team" Challenge, which was held Saturday, 26 August 2017.  Our cadets beat out 9 other JROTC teams from across Arizona.

On Friday, 8 Sept 2017, NJROTC Cadets assisted Senita Valley Elementary with their annual "Mud Adventure".  At the event cadets assisted runners and manned activity stations along the mud course. 

Dear Bobcat Families, Volunteers and CatFRAT Members, 

CatFRAT is looking for volunteers to help with two immediate events (donations of food/drink and volunteers) and a few home varsity football games selling popcorn and water. Please let us know if you can volunteer and or donate to any of the events/dates listed below. 

Staff Luncheon - THURSDAY, 9/14
Desserts - Finger Food/Bite Size Desserts 
Snacks - Granola Bars, Chips
Water - Bottled Water 
Soda - Canned Soda (diet, regular and caffeine free)

Set-up - 9:00am-11:30am
Serve - 11:00am-1:30pm
Clean-up - 1:15pm - 2:30pm ish 

Non-perishable items can be dropped off anytime next week, Monday- Thursday, between 8am-4pm and perishable food items on Friday morning, between 8am-11am

Bobcat Student of Success Event - Wednesday, 9/20  
Need (2) Volunteers

Varsity Home Football Games - Popcorn Sales with CatFRAT  
Friday, 9/28 - 5:30-10pm 
Friday, 10/20 - 5:30-10pm
Friday, 10/27 - 5:30pm-10pm

Thank you again for your consideration to our many requests!
Amy Burton 
Volunteer Coordinator 
(520) 879-2811 

Vail Community Programs has many options to fit your family's needs and the interests of your children!

Enrichment Camps: 
We are excited to announce our 2017 fall camps!  Give your child the ultimate Fall Break experience that will expand their interests in a whole new way! Each of our Fall Enrichment Camps is designed to provide your child with a unique adventure. Our campers will get active, create art, travel and explore the sciences! 

Vail Discovery Camps:
Join us for 3 fun-filled weeks of discovery and exploration! We provide a well-rounded camp experience that includes fun with fitness, innovation and discovery, in a word, and art! Campers will take part in field trips and water days as well! VDC camps are held at 6 convenient locations across the Vail School District!
Sign up today... our camps are filling QUICKLY!

We look forward to sharing the fall break with you!
Let's create memories that will last a lifetime!

Heather Stough
Vail Community Programs
Camp Program Coordinator
 (520) 879-3938





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


Cienega High School


9/11, 12, 13,15  Benchmark Testing

9/14  Parent/Teacher Conferences

9/19 Cat Frat Meeting

9/20 Bobcat Student of Success

9/22 Dodgeball Assembly  

9/25 - 10/6 - Fall Break

10/18 - Federal Impact Aid Forms Distributed
10/21 - Homecoming Dance



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.