Honors, Awards and Special Programs
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Sylvia Grace, Career and Technical Education teacher from Casteel High School, received the highest honor given to Project Lead the Way teachers, "PLTW Outstanding Teacher," at the Project Lead The Way national conference in San Antonio. Project Lead the Way recognized Sylvia in front of hundreds of attendees, including teachers from across the United States.
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Casteel High students made 3,660 "sweet rolls" and delivered them to various veterans organizations around the valley.
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Fifteen Casteel High student volunteers assisted the Sun Lakes Rotary Club with their Walk with a Doc initiative. While members of the Sun Lakes Community walk at their own pace, they have the opportunity to choose from one of three walks with varying lengths on flat ground and to have questions answered by local physicians. Students assisted with registrations and participated in walking with Sun Lakes Residents and engaging in conversation along with encouragement. In addition, the Hamilton and Casteel Interact clubs assisted with the annual Sun Lakes Rotary Breakfast, which helps raise funds for the Sun Lakes Rotary club and all of their initiatives.
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Congratulations to lacrosse player Rylee Dockery (Casteel junior) who along with Kateri Hernandez (Hamilton senior), Reese Mastellon (Hamilton junior), and Gabriella Valadez (Perry junior) were chosen by the Women's National Lacrosse Team to represent Team Arizona and will be traveling to the President's Cup in West Palm Beach, Florida in November. The CUSD girls were selected based on skill, athleticism, and leadership and will join other lacrosse players from the state to compete on the national stage. This is the highest division in Arizona for girl's lacrosse, and we are thrilled to cheer them on! Pictured top, from left to right: Reese Mastellon, Kateri Hernandez, Rylee Dockery. Bottom: Gabriella Valadez.
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Counselor Rachel O'Brien and students from Casteel High School attended a Chandler City Council meeting Nov. 4 in association with a proclamation for Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life. Casteel students seek to bring awareness and spread the message that there is always someone who cares and who want to help students feel as if they have a safe place to go if they need help.
Casteel High - (2019-2020) The second annual diversity program was held November 1 at Casteel High. Under the direction of Bonnie McNamara, French Honors Society and French Club puts on the program for National French Week every year. This year, it was nicknamed the COLTure Day because they celebrated all the cultures of the Casteel Colts! They had Choir, Band, Project 15 dance, Asian K-Pop and Fan Dances, Folklórico and even a song in German. Exchange students from Norway, Denmark and Spain also shared their experiences.
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Congratulations to Casteel High teacher, Joshua Miller, who was one of five CUSD teachers surprised Thursday, October 31 with a 2019 Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers grant.
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Ms. Yard's AP Biology Students are playing "Cytosis," a biology board game where students model key cellular processes that keep each cell functioning properly within the body thanks to the Chandler Education Foundation Classroom Education Enrichment Grant.
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Mrs. Alyssa Pitner and Mrs Jenny Olson and their talented theatre students put on a spectacular Halloweenpalooza for the community. Over 800 people went through the haunted house that the theatre students created in the science wing. A Kid Fun Zone was a hit with the elementary kids, where they painted pumpkins, colored drawings, and met famous characters.
Casteel High - (2019-2020) The digital photography students visited Tempe Camera on Wednesday, October 30. This industry visit allowed students a first hand look at the sales, rental and repair shop and also the printing area. The tour included a behind the scenes look into a dark room along with witnessing how slides are scanned.
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Casteel High early childhood education classes volunteered at Feed My Starving Children during October, packing nutritious meals for hungry children around the world. Feed My Starving Children website
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Casteel High School wrestling coaching staff recognized custodian Rosa Orellana for all her efforts in keeping the wrestling room in excellent condition. In appreciation of all her hard work, the wrestling program surprised her with a gift basket before one of their workouts.
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Casteel High School senior Sadie DeShon was named a Samsung American Legion Scholar national finalist from Girls State. She will receive a $10,000 award. Samsung American Legion Scholarship website
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Congratulations to Dalton Card, the first ever defensive player to be nominated for the Ed Daugherty - Arizona Athletic Excellence Award.
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Casteel High students attended the National Honor Society (NHS) and National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) Arizona State Summit at ASU on September 12 to elevate our school's commitment to scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship.
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Casteel High teacher Christopher James was interviewed by his U.S. Military students (class) about his experiences serving in Iraq. The Veterans Heritage Project was on campus to record the interview and discuss the upcoming publication of the interview. Casteel sophomore, Sydnee Watkins will write the story to be published in the Library of Congress and the Veterans Heritage Project Book. Furthermore, James encouraged other students, including sophomore Hope Henry, to interview and write a story about a family member who served and can share their experiences as well. Hope is interviewing her grandfather about his experiences in the Vietnam War and will have the interview and story published.
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Congratulations to Casteel High School sophomore Trey (Henry) Telfar III (pictured far left) who was selected by Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, Kathy Hoffman, for her African American Advisory Council.
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Congratulations to Ashlyn Drew who was named one of the Top 300 MASTERS (out of 2,348 nominees from across the U.S.) in the 2019 Broadcom MASTERS, a program of Society for Science & the Public. She and her science fair project, Heightened Hydroponics, will now compete to become one of 30 national finalists in the Broadcom competition. Press Release: Broadcom MASTERS Announces the Top 300 Middle School Innovators in National STEM Competition
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Congratulations to Unified PE teacher Beth Krohmer who was honored by ABC 15 as Nick's Hero of the Month. ABC 15 - Nick's Heroes: Chandler teacher is champion for students with special needs
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Casteel High School DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) Officers participated in the DECA Officer Leadership Camp at Lost Canyon in Williams, AZ in August.
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Casteel Colts students are multi-talented! Football center LeCharles Bentley Jr. also plays the violin in the orchestra program. Recently he and other orchestra students performed for the front office.
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Congratulations to Casteel English teacher Taylor Kerby who participated in an impromptu Storytelling Night competition on August 23 -- "The Storyline Slam" at Changing Hands in Phoenix -- and won! Fellow teacher Sarah Frechette also participated. We are so proud of our English teachers for taking risks and practicing their craft. About The Storyline Slam
Casteel High - (2019-2020) The Casteel Choir and our ASL (American Sign Language) Club sang and signed the national anthem at the Arizona Diamondbacks game on August 20 and did an outstanding job.
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Casteel High's Michelle Capriotti was awarded the National Education Association: Global Learning Teaching Fellowship. She is one of 42 teachers from around the country who will travel to Washington D.C. this October and then to Peru next summer. They will
be focusing on global learning and applying best practices to the classrooms and sharing with teachers from around the world their projects and research.
Casteel High - (2019-2020) Alexis Ngo and Quincy Lee, upcoming seniors in our CTE Sports Medicine Program, competed at the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) International Leadership Conference (ILC) during the summer of 2019. This is the first time Casteel High has ever attended the highest competition for HOSA. Both ladies faced tough competition from around the country and world including China, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa. Quincy fell short to the fierce competitors in her event for Medical Terminology while Alexis place 2nd overall in her event, Extemporaneous Health Poster! We're SO PROUD! HOSA International Leadership Conference - Summer 2019, Photo Album
Casteel High - (2018-2019) OUR GRADUATES:
We are proud to report that during the 2018-19 school year, Casteel High students earned:
Casteel High - (2018-2019) Casteel Junior High Academic Pentathlon, under the direction of Sheila Wilson, finished fifth overall at nationals in Nashville Tennessee. Additional awards include:
- A whopping $11,320,621 in scholarships!
- 1,826 hours of college credit (Dual Credit), and
- 11,381 hours of service learning
The team earned a total of 21 top 10 finishes. They represented Casteel well and made a big impression in their rookie year.
Casteel High - (2018-2019) Ms. Bandin's 10th grade geometry students went to I-Fly for their STEM field trip, which included a hands-on lesson in terminal velocity and indoor skydiving.
Casteel High - (2018-2019) Congratulations to our Individual and Relay Track and Field Division I State Champions for 2019:
- Ajay Maslanka - Bronze in Math, 4th in Science and 9th overall in Honors
- Tiara Furukawa - 4th in Social Science and 8th overall in Scholastic division
- Kendall Smith - 4th in Literature and 8th overall in Varsity division
- Ernie Clark - 4th in Science and Math
- Steven Donaldson - 4th in Science
Casteel High - (2018-2019) SENIOR HIGHLIGHT: Joshua Hattaway is always prepared for class, contributes to the discussions, and is a wonderful person. He is a Chandler Education Foundation Impact Scholarship award winner, has a 4.0 GPA and is an outstanding example of where hard work will take you. Josh will attend NAU on the Lumberjack Scholarship to study Mechanical Engineering. Casteel High Seniors Highlights
Casteel High - (2018-2019) SENIOR HIGHLIGHT: Emily Kellogg is extremely dedicated to her education, actively engages in her classes and encourages others to strive to be their best. A member of our Project Lead the Way Cybersecurity class, Emily has a bright future. She has earned a 3.6 GPA and will attend Chandler-Gilbert Community College on the Presidents Honors Scholarship to study Cybersecurity. Casteel High Seniors Highlights
Casteel High - (2018-2019) SENIOR HIGHLIGHT: Eli Ludwig is a respectful student who leads by example. The way he goes about his business, day in and day out, exemplifies not only the three Cs (Courage, Character, and Commitment) but also what being a baseball player and a short stop is all about. As a three year varsity starter, Eli has proven to be reliable on and off the field. He has been an anchor in the lineup throughout three region championship seasons and earned a spot on the All-State 2nd team during his senior season. Eli maintains a strong 3.8 GPA, all while taking AP classes and being a member of Casteel's Baseball team. He will attend NAU to study Criminal Justice. Casteel High Seniors Highlights
Casteel High - (2018-2019) SENIOR HIGHLIGHT: Lauren McGhee has good grades and does very good work. She maintains a GPA of 3.9 and will attend Chandler-Gilbert Community College as a Presidents Honors Scholarship recipient to study Business and Marketing. Casteel High Seniors Highlights
Casteel High - (2018-2019) SENIOR HIGHLIGHT: Lindsay Charvet is driven and determined to do her best and is very helpful to her fellow classmates. Lindsay exemplifies Courage, Character and Commitment with her work ethic and personality. She is one of the kindest, hardest workers at Casteel and maintains a 4.2 GPA. Lindsay will attend NAU on the Lumberjack Scholarship to study Pre-Med. Casteel High Seniors Highlights
Casteel High - (2018-2019) SENIOR HIGHLIGHT: Chloe Davis works hard, works great with others and is kind and helpful. Her dedication to academics is evident by her 3.97 GPA. Chloe will attend Chandler-Gilbert Community College on the Presidents Honors Scholarship. Casteel High Seniors Highlights
Casteel High - (2018-2019) SENIOR HIGHLIGHT: Connor Miller has a great attitude about being challenged as a learner and working to learn new skills and concepts. He is strongly committed to mastering whatever is presented to him, regardless of the difficulty level. Conner has a 4.2 GPA. His dedication to academic excellence demonstrates the characteristic of Commitment at Casteel. Connor will attend ASU on a Dean's Scholarship to study Pre-Med. Casteel High Seniors Highlights
Casteel High - (2018-2019) SENIOR HIGHLIGHT: Blaine Moran completed three years of engineering as an outstanding student. He is hard-working and pays attention to details. Blaine has a 3.92 GPA and will attend NAU on the Lumberjack Scholarship to study Mechanical Engineering. Casteel High Seniors Highlights
Casteel High - (2018-2019) SENIOR HIGHLIGHT: Maryssa Orta always works hard and strives to deeply understand whatever she is learning. She is consistently polite to teachers and classmates and is always willing to help her fellow students when they need help. Maryssa is a great student, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. She is committed to academics by always finding classes that are challenging, and has taken multiple AP classes at Casteel. Maryssa will attend U of A to study English. Casteel High Seniors Highlights
Casteel High - (2018-2019) SENIOR HIGHLIGHT: Rebecca Ray has been concert master for the Casteel Chamber Orchestra all four years, taking our school to Regionals for four years and two years to State. She has maintained a 4.56 GPA while taking a full course load of AP classes. Rebecca is a multi-talented student who is able to shine both academically and musically. She consistently demonstrates Courage, Character and Commitment in everything she does. Rebecca will attend ASU on the Presidents Scholarship and Special Talent Scholarship (Violin). Casteel High Seniors Highlights
Casteel High - (2018-2019) SENIOR HIGHLIGHT: Madison Officer is consistent in her efforts in calculus as she diligently works and tutors others in the class. She is generous, goal oriented, and positive. Madison has a 4.2 GPA while taking multiple AP classes. In addition to being an outstanding student academically, she also shines artistically in sculpture. Madison will attend U of A on the Wildcat Distinction Scholarship and three private donor scholarships to study Neuroscience. Casteel High Seniors Highlights
Casteel High - (2018-2019) SENIOR HIGHLIGHT: Casteel High senior Austin Ponsness has a true gift for working with individuals with special needs. He treats everyone as his best friend and appears equally happy whether on the basketball and volleyball court or working in the special needs classroom as a peer facilitator. Austin is comfortable in his own skin and non-judgmental of others with differences. Austin understands and embraces the hard work necessary to be successful and achieve one's goals. He is a true role model to his peers and to the students he works with every day. Casteel High Seniors Highlights
Casteel High - (2018-2019) SENIOR HIGHLIGHT: Alexia Stewart values higher level learning and is never fearful of a challenge. She is courageous about working through any obstacles that confront her. She is an outstanding member of our school community and assists others by working as a Peer Facilitator. Alexia is also a member of both the band and choir programs at Casteel. She has earned an impressive 4.4 GPA and is clearly headed for a bright future. Alexia will attend U of A on the Wildcat Distinction Scholarship to study Pre-Pharmacy. Casteel High Seniors Highlights
Casteel High - (2018-2019) SENIOR HIGHLIGHT: Kyle York has good grades and does outstanding work. Kyle has earned a 3.75 GPA and will attend Northern Arizona University in the fall on the Lumberjack Scholarship. Casteel High Seniors Highlights
Casteel High - (2018-2019) SENIOR HIGHLIGHT: Maddie Zook shows leadership both in the classroom and on the soccer field. Maddie is kind to all and has worked hard to graduate with honors. She spends countless hours on the soccer field and has been recognized as a scholar athlete. Maddie has a 4.0 GPA and will attend U of A on the Wildcat Excellence Scholarship to study Business. Casteel High Seniors Highlights
Casteel High - (2018-2019) SENIOR HIGHLIGHT: Bryce Mortensen consistently exemplifies the three Cs of Courage, Character and Commitment. Bryce has not missed a wrestling practice in three years and is always the last to leave a facility, cleaning up any trash and leaving the the place better than he found it. A great student, Bryce will receive the Arizona Dairy Council's All-American Wrestling Award for his academics and service. Casteel High Seniors Highlights
Casteel High - (2018-2019) Casteel High's chorale students recently traveled to New York with their teacher, Cami Clausen. They were participated in a private clinic with a cast member from Mean Girls (Broadway show) who taught them a dance combo and a Broadway music director who gave Broadway tips and taught harmonies from the show. They performed at Queen's College for an adjudication panel who gave Casteel a 98/100 and said they had "something special." They performed with other top choirs from around US and Canada in a Nationals choir at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Dr. Z Randall Stroope.
Casteel High - (2018-2019) Congratulations to the Casteel DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) chapter on their amazing success at their first International Career Development Conference (ICDC) competition in Orlando in April. Sam Perez was one of 15 students from Arizona who qualified for finals, was recognized for a top role-play, and placed in the top 10 overall in Professional Selling against over 200 other competitors from around the world. The Casteel chapter also received an award for having the highest percentage increase in chapter membership from last year to this year in all of Arizona! CTE Programs Photo Album: Casteel at the International Career Development Conference - April 2019
Casteel High - (2018-2019) SENIOR HIGHLIGHT: Casteel senior Sam Perez is an outstanding student. In April, he placed in the top 10 in the "Professional Selling" category at the International DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) competition in Orlando, Florida after competing against more than 200 students from around the world. Additionally, he was the only student from CUSD to move onto finals, and one of about 15 students from Arizona to make it to the top 10. Sam has been accepted into Barrett, The Honors College at ASU. Casteel High Seniors Highlights
Casteel High - (2018-2019) The Casteel High School Symphonic Band and Symphonic Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Drew Eary, traveled to Chicago, Illinois to participate in the 2019 Heritage Music Festival. They earned first place wins with Gold and Silver Ratings.
Casteel High - (2018-2019) Casteel HOSA (Future Health Professionals, formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America) and Sports Medicine Program students qualified in the top three of their competitive events at the HOSA State Leadership Conference to qualify for the HOSA International Leadership Conference at Disney World in Orlando, Florida this summer! Photo Album: HOSA State Leadership Conference - April 2019
- Mens 4 X 100 Relay: Brandon Thomas, Matthew Abrahmson, Isaiah Newcombe and Collin Gapen
- Womens Pole Vault: Taylor Starkey
- Womens Javelin Throw: Tyla Biggs