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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 2018-2019 Poetry Contest Winners
Congratulations to the winners !
Click here to read the poems

The CFHS graphic design team of Morgan Postal, Matt Vance and Max Kowalcek placed 3rd in the Tucson Area High School Graphic Design Regional Championships on February 6. Max Kowalcek placed 1st in logo design. The team will compete at State in April. Their teacher is Kim Gassman.

KFC (Kasparov Chess Foundation) All-Girls National Champions Our Foothills team won the All-Girls National Championship sponsored by the Kasparov Chess Foundation of the United States Chess Federation. Team members are Aiya Cancio, Amber Fox, and Emma Wing. This was the 12th year of the competition but the 1st year that we entered a team.

The OGMS Chess Team placed second in the K-9 section at the Regional Scholastic Championships. The K-9 team consisted of: Justin Fritz, Preston Martin, Jacob Waitt, Rueshil Fadia, and Ryan Thompson. Preston received a medallion for scoring 3 points. Rueshil received an individual 10th place trophy, and Ryan received a trophy for being regional co-champion.

The eighth grade chess team placed third in the 2015 Arizona State Grades Championships last weekend. The team consisted of Rueshil Fadia and Ryan Thompson. Ryan also received an individual 5th-place trophy.

These Sunrise Drive students competed in the Arizona Scholastic State Chess Championships and won the K-1 Section 3rd Place Team Award: Aidan Chang. Eli Orbach, Thomas Vamos, and Royce Yao. Other Sunrise Drive chess players successfully competed as individuals: K-1 Competition (78 competitors) - Royce Yao- 2nd place; Eli Orbach - 24th place (highest ranked Kindergartner); Thomas Vamos -17th place; Aidan Chang- 64th place. K-3 Competition (115 competitors) Landon Chang - 87th place; Lucas Clemens- 93rd place.

On January 6, 30 CFHS students competed in 10 event at the annual DECA Southern District Competition at the Eller College of Management, UA. Our team had 9 1st place winners, 15 runners up, and 9 medals for exam scores. 1st Place: Amir Gaber, Alex Justus, Krystal Kennedy, Thalia Korte, Alex Lopez, Fernanda Lopez, Matt Rosenberg, Stephanie Treanor, and Anna Williamson. Runners Up: Nikki Baim, Emily Bleaman, Caitlin Darnyi, Sofia Gerhart, Kelly Hart, Perry Hutchison, Britney Johnson, Maddy Mack, Regina Miranda-Robles, Olivia Shaw, Grant Sturtevant, Stephanie Valenzuela, Demarques Wilson, and 2 other students. Medals for Exam Scores: Kelly Hart, Krystal Kennedy, Ben Kurtzman, Fernanda Lopez, Diego Nunez, Matt Rosenberg, Eric Ruboyianes, Grant Sturtevant, and Stephanie Treanor.

FIRST Lego League (FLL) - Adult Coach/Mentor of the Year, FIRST World Festival Charlotte Ackerman, FLL coach, was named Adult Coach/Mentor of the Year at the FIRST World Festival Championship held on April 25. The award goes to the coach or mentor whose wisdom, guidance, and devotion are most clearly evident in the team's discussion with the judges. Charlotte has coached over 60 FLL teams in her 12-year history of coaching in CFSD. Several of her former students wrote to FIRST Lego League crediting her teaching as their gateway to studying science at colleges like CalTech, MIT, Stanford, the University of Arizona, and Penn State.

FIRST Lego League (FLL) World Festival Championship Local Legends, our FLL team competing at the World Festival Championship, was nominated for four awards: Research, Gracious Professionalism, Innovative Solution, and Strategy & Innovation. Team members are Alex Chiu, Wesley Chiu, Michael Gross, Josh Tint, and Jeremy Wang.

Our middle school robotics team ,Local Legends, won the FIRST Lego League (FLL) state championship competing against more than 60 other teams from across Arizona. The team will represent Arizona at the LEGO World Festival in April 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri. The team members are Michael Gross, Josh Tint, Alex Chiu, and Wesley Chiu.

Code Name: JASON with Esperero 8th graders Sean Bergan, Andy Liaupsin, Alex Melde, Jason Peper and Jackson Tint, won the Robot Strategy and Innovation Award at the FIRST Lego League tournament. The award recognizes a team that uses engineering practices and a well-developed strategy to design and build an innovative, high performing robot.

Coach Kerrie Bergan, an Esperero parent, won the Vivian Chen Adult Coach/Mentor Award (AZ FLL Coach of the Year) for her work with Code Name: JASON as well as meeting with other Foothills teams.

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 high school marching band earned a Superior with Distinction rating at the University of Arizona Band Day on October 25, 2014. Congratulations to all of our student musicians, Director of Bands Renee Shane-Boyd, and Tina Walton and Ramon Sepulveda, instrumental music teachers.


OGMS Math Counts Team took 3rd place over all out of 20 teams in regional competition. Ryan Thompson, 8th grade, took 3rd and will compete at the state level. Team members are Behind Abbassi, Miriam Arden, Sarah Brewer, Jeffrey Chen, Eli Lefkowitz, Peris Lopez, Max Rubin-Toles, Ryan Thompson, and Jacob Waitt. Christine Newton is their coach. Manzanita competed recently at the Southern Arizona Math Championships where over 330 students from Tucson and other parts of Pima County participated. Two Manzanita teams won overall 1st and 2nd place. Team members were Jad Bader, Nathan Kuo, Margo Lefkowitz, Elliot Liu, Devak Shah, Isabelle Simon, Noah Wellman, and Beri Yang. Individual awards were Elliot Liu - 1st place, Nathan Kuo - 2nd place, Noah Wellman - 3rd place, Beri Yang - 7th place, and Isabelle Simon - 8th place. Their coach was Kelly Taylor, 5th grade teacher. The teams will go to the state finals in April.


Orly Liu, first grade SDES, won the 1st prize in the 2015 Tucson Musical Teachers' Association (TMTA) Merit Scholarship Auditions. Orly competed in the Solo A Group which is comprised of second grade and younger students.

Odyssey of the Mind

The Manzanita Odyssey of the Mind team placed first in Arizona. The team went to World Finals in May. Team members are: Dillan Douglas, Brendan Miller, Bethany Zashin, Logan Douglas, Maggie Proebsting, Keana Kuo, Savannah Sarah Their coach is Jae Fagan, MZ music teacher.


CFSD Congratulates the 2017-2018 Poetry Contest Winners
Congratulations to the winners !
Click here to read the poems


The CFHS VEX Robotics "B" team qualified for the state tournament after competing in three qualifying rounds at Imagine Prep in Apache Junction on January 31. Additionally, CFHS won the VEX Robotics Sportsmanship Award.


Arizona State Science and Engineering Fair (AzSEF)
Four Manzanita students were award winners in the state science fair competition.
Simone Gelety and Nathaniel Cross won first place in behavioral sciences. Nathan Kuo won second place in chemistry. Maggie Proebsting won second place in plant sciences.

Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation (SARSEF)
Many CFSD students were award winners at this year's SARSEF science project competition. Note: Their teachers are shown in parentheses.

Canyon View Elementary School
2nd grade, 1st place
Ella Wiegand, How does my flower get power? (Jocelyn Dubs)

3rd grade, 1st place
Felix Fan, Good wipe, bad wipe, gentle wipe, harsh wipe (Melissa Schantz)

3rd grade, 2nd place
Julia Beskind, Is Ultraviolet-C light as effective as alcohol for cleaning your cell phone? (Melissa Schantz)
Sahasrakshi Dasika and Harini Rajendra, Shoo away pesticides? (Mary Clark)

3rd grade, 3rd place
Sahasrakshi Dasika and Harini Rajendra, Acid rain: germinators or terminators? (Melissa Schantz)

5th grade, 1st place
Aiden Baruch, Improving thermal performance of emergency shelter for hot climates (Cheryl Williams)
Bhargav Ghosh, Point of Parabola (Libby Hays)

5th grade, 2nd place
Emily Kamp, Germ in a Shepherd (Josef Torres)

5th grade, 3rd place
Rohini Ghosh, Experimenting with Tsunamis and Wavedepth (Libby Hays)

Manzanita Elementary School
5th grade, 1st place
Nathaniel Cross, What if Ringo's mom had made him play the violin? (Elizabeth Pagels)
Simone Gelety, Oh say can you sing? (Kelly Taylor)
Nathan Kuo, pH-antastic sourdough! (Julie Stigler)
Noah Wellman, What lives in the holes outside? Can Raspberry Pi help? (Julie Stigler)

5th grade, 2nd place
Brianna Brinkley, Ant Pheromones (Nina Hernandez)
Natasha Myer, Project wind (Kelly Taylor)
Maggie Probating, Soils that foil? The effect of soil type on radish growth (Jennifer DeBenedetti)

5th grade, 3rd place
Emmeline Close, The search for the Goldilocks ball (Kelly Taylor)
Melina Leonard, Hydroponic vs. organic growing systems (Elizabeth Pagels)
Elliott Liu, viewing stars with filters under light pollution (Julie Stigler)

Sunrise Drive Elementary School
Kindergarten 1st place
Class of 24, How to sink a marshmallow (Maura Baker)

1st grade, 2nd place
Basil Wood, Going the distance: which folded airplane design will fly the farthest? (Allycyn Jacobs)

2nd grade, 2nd place
Vivianna Colson and Ella Franklin, Hydrodynamics of swimming (Natani Sundstrom)

Reid Park Zoological Society Award
Madeleine Hazzard and Max Hagerty, Wild fire Do animals adopt? (Tieyan Gonzalez)

4th grade, 3rd place
Shaurya Chauhan and Travis Dover, Free power and energy from the sun (Denise Ybanez)

5th grade, 3rd place
Class of 4, Snazzy Sudoku - Can Sudoku help improve memory? (Michelle Luff)
Michael Lee, The case of the blue garlic (Teri DeFoor)

Ventana Vista Elementary School
Kindergarten 1st place
Ezra Mandel, How does your Jack-O-Lantern stay fresh the longest? (Leah Mandel)

1st grade, 3rd place
Ethan Bialis and Annalise Runyon, Which sunscreen is best? (Jennifer Olson)

2nd grade, 1st place
Zoe Wung, Traffic during morning drop-off and possible improvement (Shu-Fen Wung)

3rd grade, 1st place
Zoe Iacomini, Do you want a fluffy pancake? (Christie Lacomini)

3rd grade, 2nd place
Diana Klestadt and Steven Klestadt, Gabions save the soil (Ingrid Klestadt)

4th grade, 2nd place
Renee Li, Dull or shiny (Yan Lin)

Catalina Foothills High School
1st place
Sylvia Zarnescu, A novel approach to treatment for ALS through metabolomics in a Drosophila model (Terry Fortunato)

Speech and Debate
The following Catalina Foothills High School speech and debate team members recently competed in state and national qualifiers. The state qualifiers are:
Elana Quint - 1st place Lincoln-Douglas Debate, 1st place Impromptu, and 2nd place House 2 Congress.
Max Quint - 3rd place Lincoln-Douglas Debate.
Alexander Relich - 1st place Public Forum Debate and 2nd place Impromptu.
Sumhith Aradhyula - 1st place Public Forum Debate and 1st place Original Oratory.
Sena Maruflu - 1st place Dramatic Interpretation and 1st place Prose.
Erin Chapman - 5th place Dramatic Interpretation.
Natalie Tedards - 5th place Prose.
Madeleine Owens - 5th place Humorous Interpretation.
Congratulations to Elana Quint who took 1st place in Lincoln-Douglas Debate to qualify for National competition.
Their coaches are Chris Lambert and Taylor Johnson.


Jillian Smith, Esperero 6th grader, won the Pima County Spelling Bee on February 21. She competed at the state spelling bee on March 21.
Meena Venkataramanan, placed 1st in the competition of Medical Spelling at HOSA. She has qualified to represent Arizona and compete at the National Leadership Conference.

Theatre Arts

CFHS thespians achieved superior and excellent ratings at the State Thespian Festival November 21-22. The one act play, The Boys Next Door, qualified for national competition. The cast was Griffin Johnston, Jacqui Miller, Savannah Runge, Vaughn Sherman, Stefanie Tedards, Margo Vasquez, Justin Zeider, and Gabby Yadegari, tech crew. Individual thespian awards were achieved by Michael Beloit for Monologue; Arielle Deborah for Solo Music; Lily Martinez and Savannah Runge for Duet Music; Griffin Johnston and Vaughn Sherman for Duet Acting; and Samara Attridge, Marlise Karson, and Mary McCabe for Group Music. Their teachers are Terry Erbe and Norm Testa.


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