State College Area School District

Our Mission: To prepare students for lifelong success through excellence in education

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Recent Star performances in the State College Area School District

Alicia Lai, State High senior, has been selected as a 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholar. Lai is one of 141 outstanding American high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, service, and contribution to school and community. Scholars will be honored for their accomplishments in Washington D.C., from June 22-25. The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, appointed by President Obama, selects honored scholars annually. Of the more than 3,900 candidates who qualified this year only 141 scholars are selected. Each scholar is offered the opportunity to name his or her most influential teacher. Alicia named Gregory Somers, math teacher at State High.

The following high school students placed in the top ten in the State Technology Student Association competition for 2014:
Charlie Lu, Connor McCandless, Sarah Heininger, Emma Schaper, Gopal Jayakar, Steven Krupa, Ignatius Liu, Isaac Messner, Lucas Stewart, Justin Turenne, Nick Wanner, Mario Lestz, Geoffrey Billy, Phillip Hanold, Michael Hilton, Andy Luo, William Morrow, Andrew Robert, Ian Gregory, Raina Arnett, Noah Kaplan, Andrew Shu, Sean Colby, Jeffrey Podolski, Austin Findley, David Yang, Wesley MacDougall, Kristen Burnett.
First place was earned by: Ian Gregory, Raina Arnett, Noah Kaplan, and Andrew Shu.

State High DECA represented us well at the DECA International Conference in Atlanta, GA. Out of 200 competitors, State High DECA had five finalists and two medal winners. Students who were finalists: Taylor Evcic, Aaron Eck, Briana Wheatley, Alex Mellott, Katie Schu.
After the finals, the following students earned the following medal awards:
Taylor Evcic - third place internationally
Alex Mellott - Top 10 (top 5% internationally) and DECA National Social Media Correspondent
Dakota Campbell and Taraneh Ansari earned medals for Top Role Play internationally. Their coach is Robin Verbeck.

The Mount Nittany Middle School Technology Student Association Chapter (TSA) competed at the state competition with over 1900 students from PA. There were over 70 different events. The System Control Team of Luke Knipe, Jason Lee and Tejas Wein won first place.

Centre County Association of School Retirees Loretta Woodson Award was presented at the May 5 board meeting. Honored are Cindee Lago, Ferguson Twp. Elementary, Elementar/Title 1 Math Teacher, and Linda Grant-Oishi, Mount Nittany Middle School, Counseling Secretary. The annual award goes to a professional and a support person for their contributions to students and their education. 

Maddy Nyblade
, a senior at State High, received the national Philanthropic Education Organization Scholarship Award. Maddy will be attending Penn State Schreyer Honors College in the fall of 2014.

PA Secretary of Education, Dr. Carolyn Dumaresq, visited the District April 8 and commended all district schools on their excellent preparation of our students. She presented the Governor's Award of Excellence in Academics to five of our schools, including Corl Street and Ferguson Township Elementary Schools, Park Forest and Mount Nittany Middle Schools, and State College Area High School.

SCASD has again been designated one of 2014’s Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) by the NAMM Foundation. These districts and schools set the bar in offering students access to comprehensive music education. The BCME program applauds the efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders working to assure that music education is part of the core curriculum.

Haskel Canagarajah, sixth grader at PFMS, has won an honorable mention in Pennsylvania's Letters About Literature contest! In PA, 912 letters were received from Level 1 writers with only six honorable mentions, so this is quite an achievement!

Kate Hooper
, fifth grade teacher at Corl Street, is presenting at the 21st Century Teaching and Learning Convention in June.

Mount Nittany Middle School 7th grade student Erica Mi won the PA Department of Agriculture Middle School Award for her poster promoting Pennsylvania grown foods.

Raina Arnett,
a State High junior, was recently selected to the National High School Honors Orchestra and performed in a national showcase in Louisville, KY in March. The American String Teachers Association organizes the orchestra biennially to showcase the most talented young musicians in 11th and 12th grade from orchestras in each state. Arnett, a violinist, was the only student from Pennsylvania selected to be a part of this year’s National High School Honors Orchestra.

Patti Begg
, music teacher at Park Forest Elementary, has been selected to serve as the guest conductor of the 2014 PMEA ChorusFest Festival held at Glendale High School on May 2. She will be conducting several Hundred elementary singers from seven counties participating in the Festival.

Congratulations to Radio Park Students, Clare Marsh and Nico Cardenas-Miller, for writing precepts that will be published in author R.J. Palacio's new book, "365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne's Book of Precepts."

State High junior Yoga Acharya traveled to Tajikistan as a National Security Language Initiative scholar in summer 2013. He was selected for the Foreign Language Workshop at the United States Military Academy at West Point's Summer Leadership Experience. He received a full scholarship from the NSLI sponsored by the Department of State to learn Persian in an immersive environment.

State High senior Brynna Ziegler has been selected as a Trustee Scholar at the University of Southern California. This prestigious award recognizes extraordinary academic achievement and student leadership. This is a full time tuition award worth $47,500 for the 2014-15 school year and renewable for eight semesters. Brynna will major in Illustration at USC.

The Math Counts Team from Park Forest Middle School claimed first place in the Math Counts State competition March 8 earning a perfect score in the team round. This is the third state championship in the past four years for Park Forest Middle School. The PFMS team was comprised of Aaron Li (7th grade), Jack Piazza (7th grade), Julian Sim (7th grade), and Thomas Sowers (8th grade). Baron Cao (7th grade) also represented PFMS at the state competition. The PFMS team is coached by Susan Owens and Rebekah Sjoberg.
The MathCounts team from Mount Nittany Middle School earned third place in the Pennsylvania Math Counts state competition. Mount Nittany's team members include Jasmine Cao (7th grade), Jackie Feffer (8th grade), Joey Feffer (8th grade), and Josh Miller (8th grade). Mount Nittany is coached by Rebecca Henry.

Joey Feffer placed first in the written round of the competition and won a $500 savings bond. He made a little bit of history as he was the top scoring 6th grader when he was in 6th grade, he was the top scoring 7th grader last year, and was the top scoring 8th grader this year. Joey earned a spot at the National competition at Disney World May 8-11. He, along with the other Pennsylvania students who placed individually in the top four, will make up the Pennsylvania team that will be coached by Rebekah Sjoberg.

State High Mock Trial team won the County tournament Mar. 5. Then won, for the 4th year, the Region 4 title and will now go to the State Finals. Steve Lachman, coach, Kristine Lai, Julia LaPlante, Isabel Restall, Alicia Lai, Evan O'Neill, Lina Duiker, Reilly Ebbs and Carol Hundal.

The State High Health Occupations Team won the second highest number of medals overall and the most first place finishes in the state at Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) PA state competition:
First Place: Jess Henderson - Sports Medicine, Alexis Corte- Veterinary Science, Nika Karpenko- Biotechnology, Catherine Campbell - Epidemiology, Jordan Weaver - Job Seeking Skills, Alice Lin- Transcultural Health Care, Kim Klima - Klickers- NOCTI-Medical Terminology

Second Place: Michelle Han- Medical Photography, Kim Klima- Nutrition, Paige Pammer - Medical Law & Ethics

Third place: Christen Lu - Pathophysiology

Chris Warren, Building Construction Technology teacher, was selected as the Economics Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year by Economics Pennsylvania. He will receive the Skodetis Family Award for Excellence in Teaching Economics on April 10 at an awards luncheon.

CISCO Networking Academy
students Michael Hilton, Mitch Strawser, and Dylan Peterman attended the PA Regional Competition-Intermediate Unit 10 for the first time ever and took first place in Web Page Design!

Noah Beattie-Moss was selected as concertmaster at both district and regional PMEA competitions and ranked number 10 in the state. He was selected last summer as one of only 12 in the nation for the Preludio Program, designed for very advanced students who are motivated to work in a demanding musical environment. He also is the founding member of a student quartet and assistant concertmaster of the Central PA Youth Orchestra.

Congratulations to all 21 State High All-State Musicians:
All-State Choir: Raina Arnett, Helen Fleischer, Jacob Huff, Olivia Lusk, Grace Kiver, Alexander Korte, Mahima Kumara, Jordan Santillo, Sean Toso
All-State Orchestra: Noah Beattie-Moss, Aileen McKinstry, Anna Miller
All-State Band: Luisa Bressan, Ryan Czekaj, Tim Gilpatrick, Abbey Harrington, Anna Hirsch, Sarah Lucas, Colleen McDonough, Ella Misangyi, Katie Reese
Food Service Elementary School Supervisor, Connie Wolfe, has been named Pennsylvania's Manager of the Year by the School Nutrition Association of Pennsylvania.

Hope Cox, Ryan Rider, from Mount Nittany Middle and Elizabeth Fisher, Mia Cavener, and Rachel Zhang from State College Area High School have their art on display at the PA Department of Education building in Harrisburg. The exhibit is sponsored by the PA Art Education Association and displays artwork from children all across PA in grades K through 12.

Alex Raup, PFMS English teacher, and Craig Herzing, PFMS guidance counselor, were honored at the annual PA Association of Student Assistance Professionals Conference at the Penn Stater. They received the award for creating online referral and reporting forms that are used throughout secondary schools in our district and at Penns Valley High School and at Bellefonte Middle School. This award is presented to a member who has expressed and demonstrated a key vision for student assistance in PA and to the PASAP organization. Through this vision, the individual has made important contributions both to the PASAP organization and to the cause of student assistance.

Aliana Walters
, Corl Street student, won first place in PSU's Insoluble Science Challenge and earned a scholarship to the science camp of her choice. Here's a link to her winning video.

Robin Verbeck, High School Business Education teacher, was named PA DECA Advisor of the Year at the DECA States Leadership Conference.

Over 2,000 members converged in Hershey February 26-28 for the 63rd Annual Pennsylvania DECA State Career Development Conference. The Roar Store received National Re-Certification. State High won chapter awards: PA Gold Level Program of Work, National Membership Campaign award, and Top Community Service Award for raising top fund in the state for the B+ Foundation.
Trophy winners:
First place: Jonathan Smith, Aaron Eck, Alexander Mellott, Emily Wong, Julie Harvey, Kyra Rogan, Robin Derr
Second Place: Dakota Campbell, Emma Lee, Kendall Allen, Tanner Rex, Allea Toso,Tasha Burman
Third Place: Samuel Schwab, Taylor Evcic, Katie Schuh, Brianna Wheatley, Thomas Leach, Nick Crawford, Alyssa Clayton
Fourth Place: David Irish, Ben Gingher, Emily Beyer
Fifth Place: Nick Miller, Lucas Trombley 
6th Place: Jack Crean

Medallion Winners:
Oliva Sham, Samuel Schwab, Aaron Eck, Nick Miller & Lucas Trombley, Emma Lee & Kendall Allen, Emily Wong & Julia Harvey, Jonathan Smith, Tanner Rex & Allea Toso, Dakota Campbell, Alyssa Clayton, Tasha Burman, Katie Schuh, Brianna Wheatley, Alexander Mellott, Thomas Leach & Nick Crawford, Kyra Rogan & Robin Derr

SCASD's David Rockower, former middle school teacher now State High librarian, shared powerful experiences in his article about combating bullying and "growing a strong classroom community" in Education Week Teacher, November 4.
Congratulations to State High Thespians on their outstanding performance of The Birds Dec. 6 & 7 at the PA State International Thespian Conference.
Awards received included: The Technical Theater Scholarship to Jordan Sugg, a Performance Cash Award to Zak Kalp, a Select Performance Award to Sadie Spivey, and 2nd place in the Technical Theatre team competition. Zak Kalp was named All-Star cast member and this year's Performance Hall of Fame and Jordan Sugg was added to this year's Tech Hall of Fame.
Paul Heasley, agricultural educator at State High, is one of only six individuals nationwide who received the National Association of Agricultural Educators Ideas Unlimited Award on Dec. 7 at the NAAE annual convention. To enhance sustainability and vegetable production concepts for elementary students, Heasley came up with the “Grow House.” The house is a playhouse-like structure made of cattle panels, zip ties, and real-life plants. After assembling the house-shaped structure, he placed it in the elementary school’s garden. Heasley and his students planted plants around the house’s perimeter that grew up to create the walls and roof.
K-12 Coordinator of Music, Robert Drafall, has been awarded the 2013-2014 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 4 Citation of Excellence in Teaching Award.
Lori McGarry, 5th grade teacher at Park Forest Elementary, was named the 2013 Pennsylvania History Teacher of the Year. The award was co-sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation on behalf of its Preserve America Program, and the History channel.
Halee Wasson, the President of the State College Little Lions chapter, and Heather Wasson, the Vice-President, both seniors at State High, received Keystone Degrees, the highest state FFA degree, in January at the PA Mid-Winter FFA Convention. Heather is a former Pennsylvania State Alternate Dairy Princess and Halee is the current Centre County Dairy Princess. 
Three of our outstanding seniors, Alicia Lai (arts), Joseph Lin, and Alexandra Tabachnikova have been nominated as candidates for the United States Presidential Scholars Program. This program is one of the Nation's highest honors for high school students. Established in 1964 by executive order of the President, it recognizes and honors some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. Each year, up to 141 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students.
2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Essay, Poetry and Art Contest winners:
Junior Art Contest Winners - Grade 4: 1st-Noah Klatt-Willy, 2nd-Katy Liu, 3rd-Erik Martin, Honorable Mention-Lilly Fitzgerald, Ivy Macalus
Intermediate Poetry & Art Contest - Grades 5 & 6: 1st-Margo Novikov & Liz Orlova, 2nd-Mary Behr, 3rd-Kate Hooper
Senior Poetry & Art Contest Winners - Grade 7: 1st-Shirley Zhang & Jenna Zhang, 2nd-Owen Wilson Lloyd, 3rd-Erica Mi, Honorable Mention-Katrina Wanna, Ezra Raupach-Learn & Spencer Perry
Senior Essay Contest Winners - Grade 6: 1st-Gareth Prebble, 2nd-Sara Conklin, 3rd-Julia Rush, Honorable Mention-Grace Moyer, Lydia Grace Wolf 
State High Building Construction Technology students accepted the First Place award for the Outstanding Student Chapter of the National Association of Home Builders at the International Builders Show in Las Vegas on February 5.
Senior Remington Derdel was one of 31 Most Outstanding Students recognized in the nation out of 1600 secondary students by the National Association of Home Builders at the International Builders Show in Las Vegas. He is a dual program completer in Building Construction Technology & Architecture. He was also the Entrepreneurship Challenge County Winner for 2013 for best business plan.
Delta junior Deb Gilmore took first place in the Regional Shakespeare Competition February 17 in Harrisburg. She will go on to compete in the National Shakespeare Competition in May at Lincoln Center in New York City. Julia Laplante, State High senior, took third place at the competition. Students from ten schools presented sonnets and soliloquies from the works of William Shakespeare, which were then judged by a panel of Shakespeare scholars and actors.
State High's Science Bowl Team, sophomore Gopal Jayakar, junior Jacob Van Hook, senior Sajal Datta, senior (and captain) Joe Lin, and senior Sicong Shen, won their qualifying regional competition and are advancing to the National Finals in Washington, D.C., in April. The team advisor is James Bleil. The National Science Bowl brings together thousands of middle and high school students from across the country to compete in a fast-paced question-and-answer format where they solve technical problems and answer questions on a range of science disciplines including biology, chemistry, Earth and space science, physics and math.
A number of State High track and field athletes have met the qualifying standards to compete at the very limited and elite Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaching Association State Meet March 1.
60m Dash: Haley Crawford and Niara Valentine
200m Dash: Haley Crawford and Niara Valentine
400m Run: Victoria Crawford
800m Run: Emma Cousins and Natasha Fedkina
Mile Run: Larissa Burka and Hannah Catalano
Pole Vault: Megan Fry
4x200m Relay: Taylor Campbell, Haley Crawford, Niara Valentine, Monye Valentine, Olivia Watkins
4x400m Relay: Chandley Book, Emma Cousins, Victoria Crawford, Natasha Fedkina, Kaelyn Yoder
4x800m Relay: Larissa Burka, Emma Cousins, Victoria Crawford, Natasha Fedkina, Kaelyn Yoder
60m Hurdles: Rachel Wylie

4x200 Meter Relay: 1) John Smith 2) Noah Woods 3) Kellin Valentine 4) Tristan Daman 5) Max Herbst 6) Jordan Weaver
4x400 Meter Relay: 1) John Smith 2) Kyle Adams 3) Mason Post 4) William Cather 5) Chris Golembeski 6) Kellin Valentine
4x800 Meter Relay: 1) Chris Golembeski 2) Mason Post 3) Kyle Adams 4) William Cather 5) Alex Milligan 6) Anthony Degleris
60 Meter Dash: Tristan Daman
400m Run: Mason Post
800 Meter Run: William Cather
Mile Run: Alex Milligan
Long Jump: Bryce Williams and Kellin Valentine
Triple Jump: Bryce Williams and Kellin Valentine
60m Hurdles: Jon Smith
Ronald McDonalds' House Charity presented a check for $17,250. to Bill Hughes, Park Forest Middle School Technology Education Teacher, and Dr. Karen Wiser, Principal. The funds are to facilitate the purchase of a state-of-the-art computer numerically-controlled (CNC) laser for integrative STEM lessons.
The Girls Basketball Team is the District 6 champion and will play in the state tournament.
Last Modified on June 10, 2014