Accolades 2017 - 2018

Take a minute to recognize the achievements of our students for the 2017-2018 school year!

Click to see Super Student Successes for the 2017-20182016-20172015-20162014-20152013-20142012-20132011-2012 school years.

Gold Medalist in the USA Physics Olympiad!

 Congratulations to junior Vincent Bian! He got a gold medal in the USA Physics Olympiad (USAPhO) test, and was invited to be a member of US Physics Team. The team invites only around 20 high school students each year, and will hold a two week intensive training camp at the University of Maryland. At the end of that training camp, five team members will be chosen as the “Traveling Team” to represent the United States Physics Team at the 49th International Physics Olympiad in Portugal.  

History Day State Winners!

 Congratulations to the Humanities teachers who have led students to surpass last year’s success in the state National History Day competition! We are sending twelve students to the national event next month; PHS is sending seven of the 18 entries from the state of Maryland. National History Day projects require students to research deeply and discerningly into a topic of their choice (this year’s theme was Conflict & Compromise), then create an argument-based academic presentation. 

Our national finalists (all Humanities juniors except Matthew):
Senior Paper -- 2nd place, Matthew Palatnik, 10th grade
Individual Exhibit -- 1st place, Macy Palmer
Group Exhibit -- 1st place, Gwen Boe and Bryce Davis (their project is on the mascot change at Poolesville High School)
Individual Website -- 1st place Leeah Derenoncourt
Group Website -- 1st place, Angela Wang and Julia Corfman
Individual Performance -- 2nd place, Isabel Huntley
Group Performance -- 1st place -- Holly Anderson, Samantha Stewart, Anusha Chinthalapale, and Calley Mullins


History Day State Winners


Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological, and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) Winners!

 Congratulations to Racheal Ssentongo and James Jackson, both won Silver Awards at the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological, and Scientific Olympics. 

Racheal’s research paper compared the long-term economics of carbon-fiber airplanes vs. aluminum airplanes. James research was on Relevant Feedback for Machine Learning.

Maryland General Assembly Page


General Assembly Page

Kudos to SGA Vice President Darryl Marshall who served as a page for the 2018 Maryland General Assembly. Darryl was selected as one of only fourteen pages from Montgomery County, including both public and private school students. In addition, Darryl was selected by the MD GA staff as an all-star page to work the last day of session (Sine Die).


National Silver Medal in Scholastic Art and Writing Contest!

The 2018 Scholastic Art and Writing Contest awarded Katya Scott, a Humanities Sophomore, a National Silver Medal for her Personal Essay. After winning a Regional Gold Key, this national award places Katya in the top 1% of all entries in the nation. Congratulations to Katya Scott and her English teacher, Ms. Gibson. We are proud to have Katya represent Poolesville High School in this year’s Scholastic Writing Competition. 

PHS Peep Thrills: The Winners of the 2018 Peeps Diorama Contest

The Colopeepum (#5)
By Gwendolyn Boe, Bryce Davis, and Taylor Ramirez


The empeeperor gazes down on two gladiators, one slain in the name of sport, his opponent’s spear sticking out of his sugary stomach. The other is triumphant, and gazing out at the peeple of the Roman empire. The different colors of Peeps represent the social strata of ancient Rome: Blue and yellow Peeps take in the action from the nosebleeds while upper class purple Peeps get a front-row seat to the carnage. 
On the exterior, deconstructed and reconstituted Peeps represent the Colosseum’s Doric columns. An expert spray painting job gives these Peeps the feel of a true ancient ruin, and the giant empeeperor gives the whole affair a sense of grandeur. 



Berpeepni’s Medusa  (#9)
By Kenza Tahri, Anna Akdag, and Emma Moon

Berpeepni’s Medusa

In place of snakes, Medusa’s head is covered in Peeps—and painted with several layers of stone-colored acrylics to achieve a “dramatic Baroque effect.” The team chose the Medusa, largely because they felt “Berpeepni” was the best Peep pun they could come up with for a classic work of art. Medusa’s head is a styrofoam base covered in clay, and the team replaced Medusa’s pained expression with the traditional three-dot face of a Peep.


Transient Peepbow (#10)
By Grace Bodmer, Julie Corfman, and Carly Dacanay


This diorama is based on artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s “Transient Rainbow,” which appeared in fireworks over the East River in New York City on a summer evening in 2002. “To achieve the dissolving yet radiant effects of Guo-Qiang’s fireworks, we intertwined small lights into the spray painted cotton ball rainbow,” the team writes. “Peep bunnies from all sides of the river watch in awe, some from boats and some on the shore. The blue Peep bunny to the far left holds the detonator that set off the fireworks from the shore.”


Johns Hopkins University Photography Winners!

John’s Hopkins University hosted their annual high school photography juried exhibition and competition last night. They received 299 submissions, and juried in only 52 photographs, including 5 from PHS: Humanities seniors: Diana Arias, Dottie Ballman, Rani Powell, and Dani Truland. Humanities junior: Julie Corfman.

Rani Powell took home 2nd place and Dani Truland took home 1st place!


 JHU Photography winners!


National History Day Winners Move Up to State Competition!

National History Day (NHD) students spent the 2017–2018 school year delving into a topic based on the theme
Conflict & Compromise in History. This year’s theme, Conflict & Compromise in History, required students to view history through multiple perspectives.

10 entries from PHS will advance to the state competition, which includes 20 students. That is 1/3 of the junior Humanities class and over 50% of the county winners.


History Day 2018(1) 



Paper: 2nd - Matthew P. 

Ind. exhibit - 1st - Macy Palmer

Individual performance - 1st - Isabel Huntley

Group performance- 2nd - Carly, Bev, Grace B

Group performance- 1st - Calley, Holly, Sam, Anusha

Group exhibits- 2nd - Gwen and Bryce 

Group documentary - 1st - Cassandra, Taylor, Tiara

Individual website- 1st - Leeah 

Group website- 2nd - Anna J, Kanika,

Group website- 1st - Julie, Angela

Citizenship participation award - Julie, Angela

Women's history award - Holly, Sam, Anusha, Calley 

High School Forensics Competition Winners!

The MCPS Cyber HSF was held on Tuesday, March 13 at the Germantown Campus of Montgomery College. With almost 200 students in attendance, Poolesville teams were able to grab 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in the Gold division. 
3rd place: “Sleepy Borgs” - Jane Liu Sabrina Su Kevin Su
2nd place: “The Aces Waitlist” - Jonah Tash Philip Wang Jagan Prem
1st place: “Justin Carry” - Oksana Tkach Justin Park Mitchell Fream

The competition was graciously hosted by Montgomery College. The content of the challenge (mystery) was developed by Poolesville students, Kevin Shen, Claude Zou and Ching-yuan Lin. They created an awesome competition for their peers throughout the county.

Maryland National Youth Correspondent Representative

Angela Wang (11) has been selected to represent Germantown, Maryland as a National Youth Correspondent to the 2018 Washington Journalism and Media Conference at George Mason University. 
Angela joins a select group of students from all over the country for an intensive study of journalism and media. Angela was chosen based on academic accomplishments and a demonstrated interest and excellence in journalism and media studies. 
National Youth Correspondents participate in a week long, hands-on, experiential learning through decision-making simulations that challenge them to solve problems and explore the creative, practical, and ethical tensions inherent in journalism and media. The experiential portion of the program is complemented by speakers who are well-known leaders in the media community. 
With distinguished faculty, guest speakers, and direct access to elite D.C. practitioners, the Washington Journalism and Media Conference offers aspiring journalists and student leaders an unparalleled experience, held at George Mason University’s state-of-the-art campus.

Girls Go CyberStart Winners!

Congratulations to Cindy Chen (12), Esther In (12), Oksana Tkach (11), and Sreya Vangara (12).  for First Place in the National Girls Go CyberStart Challenge.  They will be attending the Women in CyberSecurity Conference (WiCySCo) in Chicago this year!

Junior Science and Humanities Symposium Poster Presentations!

The entire SMCS program prepares students over four years for success in the senior-level poster presentations; Anu Sekhsaria and Soni Singh are the teachers who start their focused work with the seniors over the summer. The following three students have been invited to present their research at the prestigious and highly-selective Maryland Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS). The poster presentation is on March 14, 2018 at University of Maryland, College Park. 

Divya Katti
Amogh Narendra
Philip Wang

Shakespeare Club Wins at Folger Shakespeare Club Competition!

Members of the Shakespeare Club participated in the Folger Shakespeare Club and won the following awards:

Stephanie Lehrman and Jenny Stoughton won the awards for student directors (for Hamlet) along with their stage managers, Holly Anderson and Maddy Peek. 
Ben Gherman won the Excellence in Acting Award (highest award for acting). 
Melanie Staszewski won the Distinguished Acting Award. 
Tabitha Fisanich, Sean Fitzgerald, and Jacob Pelzman all won Super Supporting Actor Awards.

The entire ensemble ALSO won the award for the performance with the judges citing the intelligent reading of verse, the execution of a high concept, and the ability of the entire cast to commit, stay in character, and communicate the high stakes and emotion of each moment.

Scholastic Regional Writing Awards

Gold Key Winner
Katya Scott - Personal Essay/Memoir, “A Flower in my Heart”

Silver Key Winner
Emillia Medina - Flash Fiction, “The Rabbit by the Window”
Brenn Hardaway - Personal Essay/Memoir, “And a Half”

Honorable Mention Winners
Saloni Maskey - Poetry, “America Lied”
Amanda Chu - Poetry, “Backwards” and Personal Essay/Memoir,  “Immortal”
Racheal Ssentongo - Personal Essay/Memoir, "Sanyu Babie's Home"

Scholastic Regional Art Award Winners

Congratulations to our fifteen Scholastic Art Award Winners and their outstanding teachers and mentors, Shannon Heaton, Nora Schaefer, and Cam Petke! These students- from all four houses- brought home a total of twenty-five distinguished awards from the hundreds of thousands of entries. Please congratulate them as you see them!

Gold Key Winners
Sofia Bzhilyanskaya - Digital Art, Dark Sand
Elise Evans - Digital Art, No Fear of Becoming Like Mom
Victoria Naumov - Digital Art, Star Whales and Digital Art, Looming Shadows

Silver Key Winners
Elise Evans - Digital Art, Holly
Carol Lee - Photography, Rain Colored Glasses
Joyce Ma - Drawing & Illustration, Marsh
Amanda Mossman - Photography, Silent Sunday
Victoria Naumov - Art Portfolio, Character Concept Art and Design, Pantheons of Kreas, Digital Art, Pantheons of Kreas and Digital Art, Fin
Jessica Pavelle - Photography, The Chemical Hunter
Julia Pavlick - Drawing & Illustration, The Beginning
Jennifer Stoughton - Digital Art, Cielo (Dreamscape)

Honorable Mention Winners
Navya Chintala - Drawing & Illustration, Light pollution
Julia Corfman - Photography, Continuous
Theresa Dollar - Photography, Stars and Stripes
Victoria Gruber - Drawing & Illustration, Infection
Chloe Insalaco - Painting, Tyler and Painting, Adam
Carol Lee - Painting, New Year's Day
Joyce Ma - Drawing & Illustration, Island Girl, Drawing & Illustration, Eagle, and Painting, Annapolis
Julia Pavlick - Drawing & Illustration, June Twenty Fifth
Manchun Xiao - Painting, Lemonade

16 Seniors named as National Merits Scholarship Semifinalists 

Congratulations to the following Seniors on being named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists!

Joon Bang
Mitchell R Fream
Benjamin M Gherman
Esther In
CaiusA Kim
Daniel D Lee
ParthR Oza
Justin S Park
Gavin F Prebilic
Jagan R Prem
Eric S Qian
Samuel K Rosenberg
Kevin Shen
Kevin L Su
Sreya Vangara
Claude Y Zou

National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.