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Academic Competitions

Recent News

Alumni in the News

Outstanding Achievements

Media Releases

Here is a sampling of CFSD academic contest winners.

CFSD Congratulates the 2020-2021 Poetry Contest Winners.
Click here to read the poems


CFHS student Mallika Sunder won a National gold medal in the Scholastic Awards for her digital art painting. Her work will be exhibited in the National Exhibition in New York City, and a virtual exhibition will be coming in May to display the medal winning pieces.

The CFHS Chess Team won the 2020 State Grade Team Championship. Three of the team members finished in the top seven over all. Quinn Hudson won clear 1st  place with a perfect score of 5-0. Matthew Coy tied for 3rd place and finished 4th. Jonathan Martinex finished 7th. The Team is coached by Robbie Adamson.

The high school DECA team of 18 students competed in the DECA State Career Development Conference in Phoenix on February 21-23. Alexis Tretschok and Lauren Vaz placed 4th in the Entrepreneurship event. Melanie Dasch placed 5th in the Principles of Hospitality and Tourism event. Maddie Ballis and Melanie Dasch won exam medals for scoring in the top 10% in the state. Mariah Rocha, Isabella Estrella, Eddie Uche, and Joseph Vouvakis took home medals as section winners in their events. Lauren, Alexis, and Melanie now advance to the International Career Development Conference in Nashville, TN, April 28-May 3. Their teacher/coach is Jason Reinhardt.

The following social studies students qualified for State History Day competition: Natalie Aaronson, Atharva Deshmukh, Nizar Hadeli, Ingrid Heim, Calvin Holst, Sarah Kaddoura, Aidan Jackson, Ryan Kemmer, Jordan Knope, Gia Longo, Nadia Louri, Rebeca Moreno , Tess Nakonechy, Elyssia Salamanca-Fernandez, Alexander Reich. Their advisor is Summer McCall.

Marching Band
The CFHS Band capped off its undefeated season by winning the Nunamaker Award at the U of A Band Day. In addition to snagging the top award, the Band won four out of five captions: General Effect, Visual Effect, Music, and Auxiliary.  Their teachers are Renee Shane-Boyd, Ramon Sepulveda, Tina Walton, and Alex Meredith.

Orange Grove's "mathletes" team won the Southern Arizona MATHCOUNTS competition. Team members are Natian Kuo, Simon Rubin-Toles, Noah Wellman, and Alexandra Zega. Their coach is Chris Newton, OG math teacher.


Arizona Music Educators Association (AMEA) Regional Honor Band.
The following high school musicians were selected for the 2021 AMEA Regional Honor Band. This is the largest number from any high school in the state. Their director, Renee Shane-Boyd commented, “they are to be commended not only for the skill they have developed that allowed them to be selected, but their resilience in auditioning in this unusual time.” Piccolo – Emma Rowe; Flute – Gabby Ames, Olivia Baumann, Evangeline Cumming, Siena Davoli-Boen, Rohini Ghosh, Joseph Han, Claire Kross, Erin O’Rourke, Ella Pemberton, Emma Rowe, Noah Wellman; Oboe – Jonathan Clements, Connor Fitzgerald, Matthew Jacobs, Claire Kross; English Horn – Matthew Jacobs; Bassoon – Zachary Cramton, Wyatt Jackson, Eli Lefkowitz; Bb Clarinet – Kyle Cagno, Braden Cantor-Goldner, Nastacia Carter, Nina Cox, Megan Garland, Julia Hejl, Miranda Henderson, Adelynn Jensen, Anna Kang, Steven Klestadt, Audrey Lister, Lorenzo Mars, Dillon Peng, Amelia Prucinsky, Zach Russell, Kulindu Vithanachchi; Bass Clarinet – Jasmine Junker, Ben Wallace; Alto Saxophone – Alex Choi, Margot Nicholson, Andrew Smith, Daniel Sutherland; Tenor Saxophone – Joshua Raposo; Baritone Saxophone – Aidan Gee; Cornet/Trumpet – Will Ames, Megan Bime, Ian Britanik, Jeremy Bryant, Connor Cagno, Sevren Jackson, Sara Lessie, Winston Reese; French Horn – Ethan Dai, Aditi Ghosh, Matthew Hashim; Trombone – Shaurya Chauhan, Gavyn Epstein, Spencer Jacobs, Robby Pawloski, Hannah Seo; Euphonium BC – John Evans, Will Grobe, Andrew Lister; Tuba – Max Chaffee, Diego Jaquez, Elijah  Leviton; Percussion – Max Burrows, Anna Davis, Camille DeWilde, Logan Douglas, Avalon Garrett, Tyler Kebo, Mignon King, Lucy McLaughlin.
AMEA Regional Honor Choir. The following high school vocalists were selected for the 2021 AMEA Regional Honor Choir: Alexander Aguilar, Pierre Aoun, Jean Paul Aoun, Romit Banerjee, Chloe Bell, Morgan Hinkle, Tristan Holmes, Rene Navarro, Shawna Parsa, and Carolyn Zhao. Their choral director is Jeffrey Evans.


Three (3) CFSD Community Schools’ FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams won top awards at a recent Tucson regional tournament with 24 teams competing from around the state. They will advance to state competition. Innovation Award – Team 5151: Madison Chiem (SD), Simon Crawford (SD), Audrey Dessent (SD), Warren Moore (SD), Nicholas Pickard (OG), and Aiden Zhou (OG); Robot Design Award – 5155: Estaban Aguirre (OG), Sa’id Badereen (former OG student), Connor Belakovsky (EC), Landon Chang (OG), Braeden Gracy (OG), and Zac Young (OG). Motivate Award – 5153: EC students Owen CantorGoldner, Ethan Lin, Anthony Milo, and Christian Pierson. The theme for this year’s robotics missions and research challenge is physical activity. The teams are charged with finding ways to address the problem of inactivity, which has serious mental, physical and emotional health consequences. Their coach is Charlotte Ackerman, STEM Integration Specialist, with the assistance of volunteer coaches Mark Haye, Jenny Dessent, and Jesse Barrios. CFHS alum Nik Gruber refereed all of the robot matches that had to be filmed for submission.
A community team, The Couch Beaters, qualified for FLL state competition. Team members are Ethan Bialis (EC), Zeke Bialis (VV), Arianna DuPont (EC), Siena Mayfield (EC), and Sergius Sakali (VV). Their coach is CFSD teacher and parent Tiffanie Bialis.

Odyssey of the Mind
Ventana Vista's Odyssey of the Mind Team took 6th place at the World Finals' competition at Michigan State University; Orange Grove science teacher, was recently honored by Tucson Electric Power with a certificate and gift basket for her success at helping students learn about energy and energy conservation.

The CFHS Pioneer 327 won the Motivate Award for exhibiting outstanding teamwork and sparking enthusiasm for robotics at the FIRST Tech Challenge state championship. Forty-eight teams representing Arizona, California, Colorado, and Mexico competed for one of the five major awards (Inspire, Motivate, Connect, Think and Design). Team members are Jerry Barela, Josh Barlow, David Berk, Braeden Cantor-Goldner, Danil Clayton, Joseph Cohen, Delaney Endean, Nik Gruber, Mohamed Katbah, Dexi Lin, Ben Seckeler, Gianluca Tenino, Josh Tint, Jeremy Wang, and Noah Wellman. Their coaches are Charlotte Ackerman and Mark Haye.


The CFHS Science Olympiad Blue Team won the 2021 Division C State Championship, held virtually and hosted by Arizona State University. The Blue Team competed against 19 teams and placed in the top 10 in all 23 events, with 5 first-place finishes. The Silver Team captured first place in 2 additional events. Team members are Francesca Barela, Jerry Barela, Maria Cazzato, Om Chabra, Zac Cramton, Aditi Ghosh, Bhargav Ghosh, Rohini Ghosh, Ava Gill, Dean Gill, Zak Gruber, Rebecca Han, Joseph Han, Andrew Nesnadny, Margot Nicholson, Sarah Nielsen, Alycia Oh, Nicole Richards, Simon Rubin-Toles, Max Rubin-Toles, Anabelle Samuels, Stephen Shaw, Emily Song, Josh Tint, Mariasha Taariq, Kulindu Vithanachchi, and Noah Wellman. The team’s coaches are Terry Fortunato and Kevin Duong, CFHS science teachers.

Speech and Debate

Two CFHS Speech and Debate team members are among the 77 Arizona competitors for the National Speech & Debate Association championship ("Nationals"), which will be held online this year. Junior Josh Tint is selected as the first qualifier in the even Big Questions. Senior Husuf Rahman is named a second alternate for Congressional Debate. The competition takes place June 14- 20. Their teacher coach is Angela Hill.

Esperero 7th Graders Bryan Zhang is CFSD's 2020 spelling bee champion. Esperero 8th Grader Greta Moore is the 2nd place winner. Both Bryan and Greta will move on to compete in the Pima County Spelling Bee on February 15.

Theatre Arts
CFHS theatre arts students won numerous awards at the Southern Arizona Theatre Festival (SAFT). SAFT is part of a Regional AZ State Thespians Society Festival, which is part of the International Thespian Society. Twenty-three of our students participated in the all-day competition, winning the following team and individual awards: Tech Challenge - 1st Place, CFHS Backstage 2, 2nd Place, CFHS Backstage 2; Sewing Machine Thread - 1st Place, CFHS Backstage 1; Light Hang - 1st Place (and state record), CFHS Backstage 2, 2nd Place, CFHS Backstage 1; Knots - 1st Place, CFHS Backstage 2, 2nd Place, CFHS Backstage 1; Cable Coiling - 2nd Place, Backstage 2; Individual Certificates of Recognition: Jade Arrington, Acting; Maya Benita, Stage Management; Zuleyl Castro, Acting; Carys Lynch, Acting; Danielle Muller - Musical, Stage Management, and Sound Design; Annie Roche, Dracula Costume Design; Ellen Sipos, Costume Design; Jackson Sparrow, Acting; Lexi Tofel, Acting and Musical; Alex Zega, Lighting Design. Their teachers are Norm Testa and Amy Byroad.



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