Cienega High School
Cat Chat Newsletter
November 2014    


Dear Cienega Families,


November is a great time of year to pause from our busy lives, take a moment to reflect, and be thankful.


Thank you for entrusting us with your children. It truly is wonderful showing up to work everyday to help shape the lives of 2000 teenagers.


We are thankful for our Bobcat Family here at Cienega High School. Our teachers and staff are some of the most hardworking, dedicated, school-spirit filled people around. Working beside people we respect and trust is priceless!


A special thank you to our wonderful and supportive community who helped pass Proposition 424. As Cienega grows closer to bursting at the seams, we will all soon feel the benefit of the override. We appreciate you taking the time to talk to your friends and family about the importance of keeping Vail great. Thank you for your confidence in us!


As always, we are grateful for your support in helping to get all of our students college and career ready.




Cienega's Administration Team

Copper Thunder Marching Band
NJROTC Happenings
We Honor our Vets
Volunteer Coordinator
Senior Info
Spring Break 2016
Tennis at CHS
Senior Portrait Info
College and Career Fair
Costa Rica
Keeping CHS Green
Bookstore Sales
SchoolWay App
FREE Tutoring
Phat Cat Winner




It has been a busy fall semester for Band Programs at Cienega. On October 25, Copper Thunder Marching Band earned a Superior rating at the U of A Band Day. It was their best score ever at that competition.



In early November, Cienega's Symphonic Band also earned a huge honor. They were invited to perform at the Arizona Music Educator's Association Conference in February. This was the result of several years work by Mr. Matsushino and the students.  Three years ago the group earned the school's first Superior with Distinction rating at the Area Concert Festival and piqued the selection committee's interest in Cienega's bands.  The following year after receiving a Superior with Distinction at the State Concert Festival, Mr. Matsushino was asked to submit a recording of the group. This resulted in their invitation to perform in February, and according to Mr. Matsushino, "this is by far the highest recognition any band program can be awarded and I am humbled by this selection.  If you see one of these amazing students please congratulate them on efforts."


Photo by Nan Cowley of Nan's Photography


Cienega Bands are also especially proud of Mr. Matsushino's nomination to be the Circle K Teacher of the Year.  Three of the nine finalists for this honor are from the Vail district. No other school district had more than one finalist!  At every upcoming UofA home basketball game one of the finalists will be featured with a video clip on the big screen - deserved recognition for representatives of our outstanding teachers.  Mr. Mat's picture and a few words from his application appear below.


"My classroom is not one-sided, where I have high expectations of my students and then I send them on their way.  I have high expectations of myself: what I can impart, draw out, and inspire. Sometimes the best way for us to all learn and refine ourselves is to bring in an expert in the field, a clinician, to teach all of us.  The students not only enjoy witnessing, but also actually learn from, when a clinician analyzes my conducting performance and is teaching me how to be more effective as an educator."   


We are so proud of you Mr. Matsushino.  We thank you for your dedication to your craft! 





The NJROTC Orienteering Team has qualified for the Area 11 Arizona Orienteering Championship.  The team will compete against Apache Junction HS, Thunderbird HS, Greenway HS, and Glendale HS on 31 January 2015 at Lake Pleasant, AZ.  The winner of this event will represent Arizona at Nationals in February.   




On Nov 8, 2014 the NJROTC cadets held their first Military Ball at Davis-Monthan AFB.  Over 160 cadets and guests enjoyed a night of military ceremony, fine dining, friendship and dancing.   







Joe Stull, Lt Commander George Murga, Farbod Safavi, Mike Fike, Gunny Sgt Juan Lara, Bob Maņas, Michael Keck, Tim Nichols, Charlene Crawford, Diane Ross, Dainah Graham and Tammy Krassy.

Pictured above are our veterans who served our country and serve our community today.  We thank you for your service! 





Thank you so much for your GENEROUS support of the FISHER HOUSE FOUNDATION!  It's an AMAZING project and YOU can say with pride that YOU helped BUILD the Fisher House in Tucson!  What an HONOR and a BLESSING it is to be a small part of this event!  Our Cienega family raised $2585.00!!!  Woohoo!!!  Thank you for your generous donations, they ALL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!  Thank you to my many volunteers that helped sell our Paw Prints and Stars, YOU are a STAR!!! Thank you to our extended Cienega family and friends that donated...Jostens, CAT FRAT, Crest Insurance and Cody Ritchie, Great Waves Salon, Tino's Pizza, CHS Breakfast Club and Steve Taggart, and countless others, including 2 Teachers that matched their students donations...thank you Mr. Neil Katz and Mrs. Susan Botos!

Amy Burton
Volunteer Coordinator

Check out the coverage we received on Tucson Now




Cap and Gown Information:

  • The deadline to order your Cap and gown has passed. Go to to order ASAP.

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 2015

Testing Information



  • SAT registration deadline for the January 24th test is December 29th. Go to to register.


  • ACT registration deadline for the February 7th test is January 9th. Go to to register

Financial Aid:

  • Students and Parents may submit the FAFSA form AFTER January first, but NOT before. Go to for details.
  • To get a head start on the process go to to get your PIN. Both the parent and the student will need a PIN. You must have this in order to apply on line. This can be done now, so don't delay the process, get your PIN today!


  • In order to have the best chances of receiving scholarships or financial aid at any of the state universities, seniors should have already applied to these schools. Do not delay any longer if you have not yet applied. For out of state or private colleges, deadlines vary. Go to the specific college website for deadlines and information.


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

Attendance Issues:

  • Any student who exceeds six absences will not receive credit for that class. Schedule an attendance appeal with Tina Ehlers after December 1st to appeal the absence.




Dreaming of going to Australia and New Zealand?



Well now you can, and reasonably!

$4680 - If you act now, the monthly payments  

are super reasonable!

You only need a $95 deposit (online) to hold your spot

Monthly payments right now are 256.00 per month for this



ALL inclusive trip


March 15, - March 29, 2016 (Spring Break)


Here is the link for this fabulous trip!


There will be a ...

Mandatory parent information meeting on Wednesday,

December 10, 2014 at 6:00pm in room 323


If you sign up for the trip you are automatically eligible for monies raised from our fundraisers - it's free money for your trip!!

For past tours we have raised a few thousand dollars in a short time. We certainly have more time available to raise more for this trip.

You can also use tax credits 3 times before the trip! Also, Raytheon matches funds. Come to the meeting and let us show you how!


This trip is includes airfare, entrance to all exhibits,  

hotel and two meals every day!


A sneak peek into our trip:

New Zealand's thriving Maori culture and unique natural  

wonders draw visitors from around the world.

In Australia, Sydney greets you with its iconic sights:  

the Opera House, the tower and the harbor bridge.

Get up close to the famous local wildlife-koalas, crocs and kangaroos-and enjoy the stunning scenery and local history  

along the Gold Coast.





Have you ever wondered why our magnificent school does not have tennis facilities?  They are something that have been sought after but never achieved.  Tennis is a great sport that can be played by people of all ages and all ability levels, so it only makes sense to support the efforts of the Cienega Tennis Club to raise funds and promote this beneficial project.  Having these courts will impact many students and the Vail community.

The ways in which you can assist in this endeavor are by designating where your tax dollars go-to the club or to the future facilities (more information to come).  If you know of a business or group that is friendly to schools and athletics, please help by spreading the message and providing us with contact information to reach them about being a sponsor.  Another way you can help is to look through your closets for gently used tennis equipment and balls to help this club increase momentum and start practicing.  We have already received a couple of donations, but we are still in great need.  Thank you for your consideration.

If you have questions about this project, please direct your emails to Ciria Roddick at or call 879-1838.






Bobcat Parents and Partners:

My name is Rebecca Carrier.  I have worked with many of you before to help to make Cienega High School's College and Career Fair a huge success.  Our 2014-2015 Career Fair will take place on January 18, 2015  from 8:30 AM until 12:40 PM.  I hope you will consider coming to share you college, career, and career opportunities for our students!  We will have over 1,000 students circulate through the browse style fair throughout the day.  Most of these will be sophomores and juniors, but there will be some freshman and seniors as well.  If attending, please fill out and return the attached form to me at your earliest convenience (no later than January 16th please).  If you prefer, you can call me and we can discuss this opportunity further! Thank you for enriching our Cienega family.  I can be reached at 879-1825 or  Please download flier below.

College and Career Fair Flier





Cloud forests, active volcanoes, waterfalls, ziplines,  beach days, whitewater rafting, kayaking, horseback riding, sloths,  tropical butterflies:  if any of that sounds like you, you just might be a Costa Cat! Cienega and Andrada are going together to Costa Rica during Spring Break,  March 10-18.  The deadline to enroll on this amazing adventure through EF Tours is November 20th.  Tax credits can be used to pay for the trip.  25 students are already set to travel.   See Dr. Rathman in room 512 or Mrs. Conrad in room 524 for details/questions at any time. Pura vida !   


Email Mrs. Conrad or Dr. Rathman at:  or 




Have you noticed the new green recycle bins around campus?  The Green Team, Cienega's science and environmental club on campus, wrote and received a $500 grant to make our campus greener.  Over the course of the semester 15 new bins are being built from old 55 gallon barrels into functional recycle bins.  The Transition from School to Work program is vital in making sure that all recycling is collected appropriately.  You can do your part to encourage others to recycle bottles and cans in these bins, and now since there are more of them, you should start to see them at the Football and Track stadium, Softball & Baseball field, and all across our campus.  When you can do your part, when you can encourage others, help make CHS greener and encourage our school's recycling efforts!  Green Team is also working on planting up to 20 more trees around our campus and raising funds to purchase and install a water bottle filling station at existing water fountains on campus.  If you'd like to help make these projects a reality and make your campus greener, or to find out more of what Green Team does, stop by a meeting in room 520 on Fridays at lunch!





Student Agendas are being sold in the bookstore of $8.  Laptop Covers are only $15.  Get yours today!




If you haven't already downloaded our School Way APP click on the link below... it's that simple!











Congratulations to Jesse Summers for winning the Phat Cat drawing on Friday, October 31st... Jesse won an Apple TV! Congrats Jesse!

Congratulations to Erin Langemead for winning the Phat Cat Drawing Friday, November 11th.  Erin won an iPhone 5 Life Proof Case.  Congrats Erin! 



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


Cienega High School


11/21 ASVAB Testing

11/27 & 11/28 - No School - Thanksgiving

12/5 - Josten's Ring Ceremony

12/8 - Art Show 5:30-6:30pm

12/8 - Cat Frat Meeting 6:30 in Library

12/8 - Choir Concert 7pm

12/12 Cocoa and Cram 3:40 - 6pm
Freshmen Only

12/16 - 12/18 - Finals for students - half day

12/22 - 1/2 - WINTER BREAK

1/10 - Winter Formal

1/12 - Cat Frat Meeting 6:30 in Library

1/19 - No School Martin Luther King Day  



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 - Cathy Ochoa 879-2816 
Senior Counselor
John Tritz - 879-1843 

300/700 House
Assistant Principal
Julia Kaiser

Secretary - Kim Thielke 879-2855
Freshmen Counselor
Eric Boxley - 879-2854


400/600 House/Athletics      
Assistant Principal
Kelly Hadden
Athletic Director - Whitney Holland - 879-1813            

Secretary - Chris Rich  879-2892
Counselor A - L
Dainah Graham - 879-2819

500 House/Special Education/Security          
Assistant Principal
Dean Nourse
Secretary - Teri Tatham 879-2874

Counselor M - Z
Colette Clendaniel-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!


Follow Us on FACEBOOK 



Follow CHS on Twitter 


CHS Online Store
Spirit Wear & More!

Cienega Stadium Chair

Cienega Stadium Seat


Only available at our on-line store.


 Click here for Online Ordering  



Support Cienega while supporting your back. Convenient pockets hold concessions and necessities. Features include: 600 denier polyester. Adjustable straps on each side of seat for perfect fit and easy carrying. Large zippered pocket for additional storage. Dimensions: 17"w x 15.5"d (seat)




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.  Go to


Would you like an extra 4 pages in your yearbook that you design?  This year, you can buy an extra 4 pages to be put in only your yearbook.  Go to  

for more information.