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Vail student nominated for prestigious program that encourages medical careers

Vail student nominated for prestigious program that encourages medical careers

Cienega High student chosen for summer medical program

A Cienega High School 10th-grader was nominated for the Congress of Future Medical Leaders.

Honors student Amrit Singh will be a delegate during a three-day event in Lowell, Massachusetts, in June.

He will join students from across the country to hear experts talk about leading medical research and advances, get advice from deans at top medical schools, hear stories from patients who are “living medical miracles,” and meet teen medical science prodigies, a news release said.

The program is for high school students who want to be doctors or go into medical research fields, and the summer event is meant to provide a path, plan and resources to help them achieve their goals.

Tucson-area students learn work skills at Pima job event

More than 100 Tucson-area high school students attended the “JA You’re Hired Challenge” on Feb. 28 at Pima Community College West Campus.

This annual event allows students to practice work readiness skills such as interviewing, problem solving, public speaking and interpersonal communications through a series of competitions.

The event included 75 volunteers from businesses throughout Southern Arizona who acted as judges, mentors, workshop facilitators and more.

The following students and high school teams won honors for their achievements:

Junior Achievement Dress for Success Challenge Outstanding Champions: Owen Abbey, Ethan Carlton, Tanay Mure and Jesse Wold from Vail Academy and High School; Cadeaux Bejamin from San Miguel High School; and Daphne Pallanes from Pueblo High School.

Networking Challenge Champion: Armando Molina from Tucson High Magnet School.

TEP Power Team Challenge Champions from Empire and Vail Academy high schools: Andrea Encinas, Colleen Gaitley, Shelby Gundry, Marisa Myer, Ivanna Rodriguez-Renteria and Susie Sanatana.

Vantage West Interviewing Challenge Champion: Jonathan Musgrove from Vail Academy and High School.

Toastmasters 60 Seconds to Success Challenge Champion: Kyara Singh from Tucson High Magnet School.

BBB Excellence in Ethics Challenge from Vail Academy and High School: Eli Beutler, Ethan Carlton, Colleen Gately and Audrianna Hugo.

Ron Bush Cyber Security Challenge: Cadeaux Benimana from San Miguel High School; Jenny Cichy and Kaily Rockwell from Vail Academy and High School; Andres Cruz from Tucson High Magnet School; and Jasmine Pinon from Empire High School.

Hughes Creative Marketing Challenge Champions from Tucson High Magnet School: Omar Gomez, Erick Gonzalez, Angel Karlett, Marisa Lara and Armando Molina.

Sunnyside educator wins teacher excellence award

Tucson Values Teachers awarded its February Teacher Excellence Award to Gabrielle Halko, an orchestra teacher at B.L. Lauffer Middle School and Los Niños Elementary School.

Halko has spent her 17-year teaching career in the Sunnyside School District, a news release said.

Her colleague Tia Tsosie-Begay nominated Halko for the award: “Her positive energy and dedication to students makes her stand out. Gabrielle is a beginning orchestra teacher in a high need area.

She has continued to encourage her students to stretch their music abilities even after leaving her orchestra and often takes time to watch her students in recitals outside the classroom.”

Every month Tucson Values Teachers selects a Southern Arizona teacher as the Teacher Excellence Award recipient, to receive $250 from the Helios Education Foundation, a $100 gift card for classroom materials, as well as school supplies.

To nominate a teacher go to

Marana Schools foundation set to honor employees, students

The Marana Schools’ 2340 Foundation will give out employee awards and high school student scholarships and induct hall of fame honorees at its seventh annual Celebration of Excellence luncheon on March 13 at 11:30 a.m. at the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, 15000 N. Secret Springs Drive in Marana.

Outstanding Staff awards, sponsored by Chasse Building Team, Waste Management and Arizona Furnishings, will be given to Roadrunner Elementary School teacher Karla Clapper, DeGrazia Elementary School secretary Linda Bell and Roadrunner Elementary School principal Kristina Brewer.

The 2340 Foundation is awarding scholarships to 11 Marana School District seniors.

From Marana High, the recipients are Ashlyn Crews, Kiara Earley, Danielle George, Chalen Lozano and Catherine Sorensen.

From Mountain View High, the recipients are Madison Brown, Isaac Castillo, Trevor Johnson, Corinn Olson and Jessica Williamson. From MCAT High, the recipient is Margo Cenac.

As well, Marana High graduates Jonathan Hagmaier and Matthew M. Muller and Mountain View High graduate Pam Simon will be recognized as the 2020 Marana High School and Mountain View High School Hall of Fame inductees.

Dan Marries, KOLD News 13 anchor, will act as master of ceremonies.

For more information on the 2340 Foundation call 520-682-4774 or go to

Bloom Elementary student wins $5K grant for photo

A student at Bloom Elementary School won $5,000 for his school through the Ghouls and Goblins Grant contest from the Dairy Council of Arizona by submitting a photo of a decorated milk jug jack o’lantern.

Bloom celebrated Max Smith’s win with a school-wide assembly on March 6.

The Dairy Council was scheduled to present Smith with a check and distribute milk to all the students, a news release said.

Arizona Cardinals player Ben Patrick was also scheduled to spend an hour with students.

Contact reporter Danyelle Khmara at or 573-4223. On Twitter: @DanyelleKhmara

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