Take a minute to recognize the achievements of our students for the 2015-2016 school year!

Click to see Super Student Successes for the 2014-20152013-20142012-20132011-2012 school years.

Featured in Maryland Art Education Association (MAEA) Publication

Fresh off her National History Day performance, Junior Claire Jensen was invited to become a Lily McKee High School Fellow at the Folger Shakespeare Library for the fall. This is great news for her, a deserving young scholar.  Check our page 20 of the MAEA gazette to see her published art history essay: Congratulations Claire!

They made it to Nationals!

A Poolesville team of Kent Ma (12), Suriya Kandaswamy (12), Karan Chawla (11), Matthew Feng (11), and Ishan Mundra (11) have qualified for the National Finals of the Air Force CyberPatriot competition (top 12 in the Nation). They were the first PHS team to even make it beyond the State competition to the Regional competition…but Nationals is amazing! 

This year we had 4 teams compete from PHS. They competed against 1638 other teams in their division. Click HERE for a video of the event!

BioGENEius State Winner!

Congratulations to senior Sriya Reddy, who was chosen as the winner of the Maryland BioGENEius competition. As a U.S. National BioGENEius Challenge Winner, she will participate in the 2016 International BioGENEius Challenges. She will be joined by at least 15 additional winners from all over the United States, Canada and Germany to compete in the 2016 International BioGENEius Challenges in June.


Congratulations also to seniors Emily Wang and Dhruv Patel who were named as runner ups in this competition!

PHS Students Advance to History Day National Competition

We are thrilled to announce that five students (3 entries) are moving on to National History Day in June. These students have advanced through the school, county, and state competitions to represent our school at the National contest at the University of Maryland. Poolesville swept the group performance category and took second in the individual performance category. These are the first students from our school to advance to Nationals.

Group performance: First place: Juniors Claire Jensen and Julia Fisher (topic was Rosalind Franklin and the Double Helix)
Second place: Sophomores Megan Tatum and Alice Walker (topic was the Enigma Code)

Individual performance: Junior Mackenzie Gross (topic was Charlie Chaplin)

Megan and Alice also won a special award for cryptography, as did Mitushi Khare for her individual exhibit.

Student Art Work in Youth Art for Healing Program

This year, thirty one Studio Art students participated in the Youth Art for Healing program which places student artwork in local hospitals to promote rehabilitation through art. Poolesville students collaborated to create 24 large paintings to be displayed at the MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital.

The following students participated in this project. 
Seniors: Benton Anthony, Ayana Arrington, Sukalp Bhatija, Liam Bourque, Candace Chen, Guido Frega, Gavin Hockenbery, Jae Hee Jang, Lily Huang, Eunice Jeong, Rachel Kitchen, Christina Lingfu, Michael Moran, Morgan Poss, Rosario Roque, Aleli Rumbaugh, Maryam Shahzad, Amanda Warfield, Kaylee Zou

Juniors: Jessica Bhattacharyya, Kenydi Cross, Bobby Deitz, Melissa Hall, James Klimkiewicz, Isabel Markoff, Natali Portillo, Beth Roberts, Rebeckah Trainor

Sophomores: Dewontay Ainsworth, Elise Evans, Tobias Whelan

Visualize Your Water Contest Results!

9th grade students are to be congratulated on their success in meeting the challenge presented by the Environmental Protection Agency's contest "Visualize Your Water". Alex Jin won the Chesapeake Bay Regional First Place Award and Clara Benadon and Sam Hull earned Honorable Mentions from the national contest.

High school students are challenged to use open government data sources to create compelling, innovative, and comprehensible visualizations that inform individuals and communities about nutrient pollution and inspire them to reduce nutrient levels that cause algal blooms and hypoxia in local watersheds.

Bronze Medals at ISWEEEP

Congratulations to seniors Divya Gandla and Aadya Bhaskaran for winning a bronze medal at the 9th Annual International Sustainable World (Energy, Engineering & Environment) Project Olympiad (I-SWEEEP). 385 highly qualified projects from 62 countries were entered from 564 young high school researchers. Participants enjoyed the opportunity to meet other students from different parts of the world while seeing that they are not alone in their commitment to find solutions to the globe’s sustainability problems. 

BRONZE Energy Divya Gandla, Aadya Bhaskaran Analyzing the Efficacy of Dye‐Sensitized Solar Cells Using Various Natural Dyes United States ‐ Maryland

Student places 2nd in Ronald Reagan Great Communicator Series National Competition

Junior Vincent Li finished 2nd at the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Ronald Reagan Great Communicator Series' National Qualifier. This is a significant achievement as only 16 students from the entire nation is selected by the Ronald Reagan Foundation for this honor.

Congratulations JSHS Winner!

Senior Gayane Matevosyan will advance to the national Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) in Dayton, OH after winning the poster competition at the MD State Competition.

Model UN International Competition

The PHS Model UN Team competed in the Washington International Relations Conference hosted by American University. Our students competed against Model UN Teams from Washington, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the Republic of Georgia. 

Our students won 20 of 37 individual awards, culminating with winning the overall Best Delegation. Please congratulate the following students who won awards:

European Union
Esther In (10) – Netherlands – Verbal Commendation

UN Human Rights Council (We won every award on this committee)
Sapna Bagalkotkar (10) – Mexico – Verbal Commendation
Catherine Gao (10) – Vietnam – Best Position Paper
Jennifer Jang (10) – Luxembourg – Honorable Mention
Rami Homsi (10) – Bangladesh - Outstanding Delegate
Clara Jackson (10) – Japan – Best Delegate

African Union
Manisha Sunil (12) – Algeria – Best Position Paper
Nina Agrawal (11) – Zimbabwe – Honorable Mention
Angela Wang (9) – Senegal – Outstanding Delegate
Neil Agrawal (11) – Egypt - Best Delegate

NGO Committee
Paris Copeland (10) – Burma Border Project – Verbal Commendation
Iris Wu (10) – Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy – Best Position Paper
Victoria Archampong (10) – The Red Crescent – Best Delegate

Crisis Committees
Ryan Carroll (12)– Minister of Information, Myanmar – Best Position Paper
Fiona Whitefield (12)– Minister of Social Welfare and Reform, Myanmar – Outstanding Delegate
Ankit Sheth (12)– Minister of Finance, Myanmar – Best Delegate
Jackson Malmgren (11)– Minister of Interior, Thailand – Verbal Commendation
Laurel (Na Hye) Kim (10)– Minister of Culture, Thailand – Best Position Paper

Security Council
Heather Boocks (11) – Nigeria – Best Position Paper
Samantha Goldsborough (11) – Russian Federation – Best Delegate

Chesapeake Bay and Global Information Systems Winner

Alex Jinh, 9th grade GH student won $2,500 for her entry in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed competition using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. 


National History Day Winners


Poolesville was extremely well-represented at the Montgomery County History Day, which was the biggest it has been in five years. Despite the tough competition, we are sending 7 entries and 11 students on to the state competition on May 7. We are incredibly proud of the hard work of so many of our students.

Group performance: 
1st place Megan Tatum and Alice Walker, sophomores
2nd place Julia Fisher and Claire Jensen, juniors
Individual performance:
2nd place Mackenzie Gross, junior
Individual Exhibit:
1st place Mitushi Khare, junior
Individual website
1st place Theresa Dollar, sophomore
Individual paper
2nd place Dylan Zou, FRESHMAN!
Group documentary
Eamon Chen, Frank Yang, Matthew Lee, juniors

National History Day is a fantastic opportunity for students in middle and high school to learn about history while practicing their research and critical thinking skills. Students perform in-depth research on a historical topic, create a presentation in one of five formats (paper, exhibit, documentary, performance, or website), and receive feedback from judges that helps them learn and improve. 

The National History Day theme for 2016 is Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange. The 2016 Montgomery County History Day competition had over 260 students participate in the event and showcased their wonderful work to over 65 judges.

PEEP Diorama going to Semi-Finals!

Juniors Samantha Goldsborough, Crystal Wang, and Jacy Zhang have been selected as Washington Post Peep Diorama semi-finalists for their art historical work on the internationally acclaimed artist: Ai Weiwei. The slideshow can be found here:

Scholastic Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Winners

PHS had two Silver Medalists at the national level! 

Senior Julia Jordan – Photography (Julia was one of 6 MD winners in photography selected out of thousands of entries)

Senior Grace Howard – Flash Fiction (Grace was one of only 2 flash fiction winners at the national level from MD) 

They are both invited to attend the big ceremony in New York City in late spring. 

Science Montgomery Awards Results 

Three PHS students were chosen to represent Montgomery County at ISEF, the International Science and Engineering Fair. Seniors Jihoon Jang, Vineet Shah, and Diwakar Ganesan have been selected to represent Montgomery County at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona. Cherry Zou was selected as the alternate if one of the chosen finalists is unable to attend. 

PHS also had three students qualify for international competition at ISWEEEP International Sustainable World (Engineering, Energy, Environment) Science Olympiad (Divya Gandla (11), Aadya Bhaskaran (11), Shraeya Madhu (11)).

In addition, PHS students claimed numerous awards at the Science Montgomery Awards Ceremony.

In the biology category, the PHS winners were:
First: Amber Liu (12) and Jihoon Jang (12)
Second: Luckshika Arudchandran (9) and Sanna Madan (12)
Third: Daniel Ovetsky (12), Megha Guggari (12), and Chris Look (12)
Honorable Mention: Gayane Matevosyan (12) and Heartson Fan (12) 
In the chemistry category, the only PHS winner was:
Honorable Mention: Sylvana Aho (12)
PHS won all the awards in computer science:
First: Cherry Zou (12) and Diwakar Ganesan (12)
Second: Avanish Yendluri (10), Amogh Narendra (10), Rohit Chari (10), and Kenneth Jiang (12)
Third: Alex Ting (12) and Jonathan Ni (12)
Honorable Mention: Vaishnavi Sesetty (10), Devin Smedira (11), Riley Wilburn (11), and Suriya Kandaswamy (12)
PHS was also a strong presence in engineering:
First: Vineet Shah (12)
Second: Alex Ives (12) and Rolane Qian (12)
Third: Dhruv Patel (12)
Honorable Mention: Rohan Dixit (12), Grace Kim (09), and Na Hye Kim (10)
In physics, our students won the following awards:
First: Shraeya Madhu (11), Aadya Bhaskaran (11), and Divya Gandla (11)
Second: Trishul Nagenalli (12)
Third: Jeremy Rubin (12)
Honorable Mention: Sreya Vangara (10) and Jean Young Kim (12)


Click HERE for a complete list Community Awards Presented by Community Organizations in support of young scientists and engineers

Student place at Innovative Defense Technologies (IDT) Programming Contest

Innovative Defense Technologies (IDT) Programming Contest for Area High Schools Innovative Defense Technologies , provider of automated solutions for complex systems, announces the winners of its annual High School Programming Contest. Poolesville High School finished third. IDT’s annual student competition focuses on innovative methods of implementing automated software testing while solving a proposed problem. 




The Poolesville High School team, coached by Mark Estep, consisted of Sophomores Cindy Chen, Parth Oza, Jagan Prem, and Kevin Shen. 

 “The contest problems we create are modeled on real challenges and provide students with hands-on experience in delivering software,” said Seth Watts of IDT, “The problem this year involved concepts such as RESTful web services, data management, data presentation, and algorithms. Ultimately the teams developed fully functioning package tracking applications similar to ones you might see from USPS, UPS, or FedEx. We were impressed by the quality of the solutions presented by the winning teams.” 

See more at:

Students recognized at Folger Secondary Festival

Our Shakespeare Club presented an excellent performance of King Lear at the Folger Theatre during the Folger Secondary Festival.

Seniors Julia Link and Declan Jeffries won Excellence in Acting Awards.

Junior Anastasia Goldberg and Freshman Josh Tiren won Commitment to Character Awards.

Congratulations to Senior Mercedes Blankenship, the student editor and director who probably had to work more independently than any director in years past and put together a great show.

Honorable Mention!

 We are happy to have had two honorable mentions in the National Documentary Contest, C-SPAN StudentCam:
Kelly Simonson & Yogi Bhut - 10th Grade
"The Tax System"

Comcast Rebecca Ruvinsky, Megan Tatum & Michael Hendricks - 10th Grade
"Promoting Prison Reform: Benefiting More than Just Prisoners"

They made it to Nationals!

A Poolesville team of Kent Ma (12), Suriya Kandaswamy (12), Karan Chawla (11), Matthew Feng (11), and Ishan Mundra (11) have qualified for the National Finals of the Air Force CyberPatriot competition (top 12 in the Nation). They were the first PHS team to even make it beyond the State competition to the Regional competition…but Nationals is amazing! 

This year we had 4 teams compete from PHS. They competed against 1638 other teams in their division.

CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program. At the center of CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. The competition puts teams of high school and middle school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company. In the rounds of competition, teams are given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems and are tasked with finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the images and hardening the system while maintaining critical services in a six hour period. Teams compete for the top placement within their state and region, and the top teams in the nation earn all-expenses paid trips to Baltimore, MD for the National Finals Competition where they can earn national recognition and scholarship money.

National winner of American Computing Machinery/Computer Science Teachers Association Award.

Senior Cherry Zou was selected today as one of four national winners of the new American Computing Machinery/Computer Science Teachers Association award. Four winners are selected annually and each is awarded a cash prize and cost of travel to the annual ACM/CSTA Cutler-Bell Prize in High School Computing Reception where students demonstrate their programs and discuss their work. 
The judging committee had this to say about Cherry's project:

  • We were pleased to receive many high quality projects this year and the judging was a difficult process for the committee. Your project stood out as one of the top four. 
  • Your excitement about the work you have done was unmistakable. You have done an impressive job in learning about a new field and accomplishing something in it. My advice to everyone is to follow your passions into your studies and your career. There is no substitute for having a job you look forward to doing every day. 
  • Excellent study of a contemporary issue and research field, Detailed learning and use of machine learning, tools and techniques applied to stylometry. I was also impressed by your thoroughness. 


Two Students earn President's Volunteer Service Award Honors!

Junior Sophia Mense of Poolesville and Senior Nicholas Evans of Gaithersburg, students at Poolesville High School, have been honored for their exemplary volunteer service with a President’s Volunteer Service Award. The award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country, was granted by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of President Barack Obama.

Congratulations to Three Intel Semifinalists!

Seniors Rohan Dixit, Sanna Madan and Emily Wang, PHS Seniors have been chose as Intel Semifinalists!  

Rohan Dixit: Increasing Safety and Accuracy in Automation Systems with Real-Time Robot Monitoring.

Sanna Madan: Computational Analysis of Driver Pathway Relationships Across Twelve Major Cancer Types

Emily Wang: An Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for Detecting and Differentiating Between H3N2v and Seasonal H3N2 Influenza Viruses

The Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS), a program of Society for Science & th Public, is the nation's most prestigious pre-college science competition.  Alumni of STS have made extraordinary contributions to science and hold more than 100 of the world's most distinguished science and math honors.  Each year, 300 Intel STS semifinalists and their schools are recognized.

Debate Team Results

PHS sent 17 Debate Team pairs to the playoffs this year, our largest number to date!
5 teams advanced to the round consisting of 32 team pairs. Nina Todd (10), Victoria Archampong (10), Cherry Zou (12), and Candace Chen (12) placed in the top 32 overall.
3 teams advanced to the round of 16 team pairs: Ryan Carroll (12), Daniel Arze (12), Diwaker Ganesan (12), and Dhruv Patel (12) finished as Octofinalists
Then, Karan Chawla (11) and Seoungkyoon Bong (11) made the semifinal round, finishing in the top 4 and tying the best finish ever by a PHS pair.
Overall, the PHS Debate Team placed second in the school competition.

National Science Bowl, Maryland Regional High School Results




The Poolesville Science Bowl Team A winning 3rd Place in 2016 Maryland Science Bowl Competition:
Vincent Bian (9th gr ), Ishan Mundra (11th gr), Seungkyoon Bong (11 gr ), Kevin Su (10th ) and Devin Hoover (9th )

Science Olympiad Winners!

Our Science Olympiad Team won the following awards at the Central MD Tournament.  The AA League is the most competitive, while the other leagues are for rookie competitors. Cherry Zou and Rolane Qian are the team co-captains and deserve a lot of credit for the success of all the team.  

Team A (AA League): 
Hydrogeology, 6th Place 
Ankita Sharma & Tanvi Shah  

Write it Do it, 4th Place 
Cherry Zou & Rolane Qian  

Chemistry Lab, 4th Place 
Kyle Berger & Rolane Qian  

Disease Detectives, 3rd Place 
Jeanyoung Kim & Amber Liu  

Geologic Mapping, 2nd Place 
Andrew Lent & Devin Smedira  

Team B (Add'l League) :
It's About Time, 6th Place 
Grace Kim & Kaitlyn Yang  

Fossils, 4th Place 
Kaitlyn Yang & Grace Kim  

Protein Modeling, 4th Place 
Kshitij Gupta & Amit Yavasani & Sanna Madan  

Cell Biology, 4th Place 
Andrew Selvadoss & Amogh Narendra  

Team C (Add'l League):
Forensics, 5th Place 
Varsha Iyer & Sivani Sundaram  


Founded by MIT sophomore Vaishnavi Rao, a brain and cognitive sciences major, MIT INSPIRE is an initiative led and organized by MIT students. The mission of the program, which is the first of its kind in the country, is to encourage young people to seek innovative solutions to global problems through rigorous inquiry in the humanities, arts, and social science fields.

 tash  mehta zou milisits sunil hong hundertmark  carroll quaranta


  • Mira Tash - Cultural Studies: How knowledge can dispel the stigma attached to food allergies 
  • Anuj Mehta - Cultural Studies Ethics of Marketing Culture: Respecting Culture in the Fashion Industry
  • Kaylee Zou – Cultural Studies: The Ambiguity of Affirmative Action: Institutionalized Racism in America
  • Kylin Milisits Cultural Studies Socioeconomic Levels and Academic Achievement
  • Manisha Sunil – Cultural Studies: Political Bonds: How the interplay of “current’ and ‘classic ’in the James Bond film series reflects changing geopolitical landscapes
  • Yoon Seo Hong – Comparative Media Studies: Scientology: From Fiction, to Cult, to Religion? 
  • Anne Hundertmark – History: The War of the Roses: How the Red and the White Divided Ireland 
  • Ryan Carroll- Literature Truth, Justice, and Godhood: The Thematic Resilience of the Comic Book Superhero 
  • Michael Frank Quaranta – Political Science The Terrible Two: The Influence and Implications of Political Polls and Campaign Donations on Elections in the US House of Representatives
  • MIT Inspire Alternates – 2015-2016 – Jeanyoung Kim & Lilly Huang


National Winner in American Computing Machinery/Computer Science Teachers Association Competition

Senior Cherry Zou was selected today as one of four national winners of the new American Computing Machinery/Computer Science Teachers Association Competition. 
The judging committee comments on her project:
"Your project stood out as one of the top four." 
"Your excitement about the work you have done was unmistakable. You have done an impressive job in learning about a new field and accomplishing something in it."
"Excellent study of a contemporary issue and research field, Detailed learning and use of machine learning, tools and techniques applied to stylometry. I was also impressed by your thoroughness." 

2016 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Recipients!

We had many Silver Key and Honorable Mention awards. Our Gold Key award recipients will automatically advance to the national competition.
If they win at the national level they are eligible for a number of scholarships.

garden knitting luxe secrets

Arts Category Results:
Gold Key: Seniors Jovi Aragon (2), Mercedes Blankenship, Julia Jordan, and Aleli Rumbaugh
Silver Key: Seniors Jovi Aragon (2), Allie Goldman (2), Julia Jordan (2), Ivy Kerubo, Carley Pera
Honorable Mention: Seniors Jovi Aragon, Yesenia Bonilla, Sarah Guthrie, Rachel Patch, Brianna Roche, and Freshman Autumn Young 

Writing Category Results:
Grace Howard, Senior, won a Gold Key for Flash Fiction for “A Tissue’s Issues,” her wonderful little piece told from the perspective of, you guessed it, a tissue
Rachel Pepper, Freshman, was named Honorable Mention for her Short Story, SCID Journal.

Congratulations to National Center for Women & IT Winners!

The National Center for Women & IT sponsors an award each year to increase women's meaningful participation in computing careers by providing encouragement, visibility, community, leadership opportunities, scholarships, and internships to high potential technically inclined young women. Aspirations in Computing is the only national level talent development program for young women in computing and information technology.

At the National level, we have one Winner (35 total national winners): Suriya Kandaswamy (12).
We have two Runners-Up at the National Level (350 total): Ankita Sharma (12) and Sanna Madan (12).

At the Regional Level, which is for Maryland and Delaware, we have:

Winners (24 total): Ankita Sharma (12), Jessica Bhattacharyya (11), and Jessica Yin (11).
Runners-Up (29 total): Cherry Zou (12), Sanna Madan (12), and Suriya Kandaswamy (12).

PHS Places 1 - 2 at CSAW!


World’s Largest Student Security Contest Names Top Cyber Sleuths, Hackers, and Researchers. Best of 20,000 Contestants Converged in Brooklyn for NYU Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) Finals

For the second year running, a team from PHS captured the top High School Forensics Competition (HSF) honors—and this time PHS also walked away with second place. That second-place team, “chicken nugger,” also won the US Digital Forensics Crime Scene Challenge. PHS students have been finalists in every HSF since that contest’s inauguration in 2009.



First Place Team: PHS Absol, Poolesville High School
Team members: 10th graders Parth Oza, Kevin Shen, Claude Zou

Second Place Team: chicken nugger, Poolesville High School
Team members: 11th graders Seungkyoon Bong, Karan Chawla, Matthew Feng 

The 10 teams from the United States and two from Abu Dhabi playing in the final round of HSF in Brooklyn had already bested a record 800 teams from across the world that competed remotely in the preliminary rounds in September. The charge to the finalists: use their digital forensics skill to solve a fictitious murder mystery that involved financial crimes including Bitcoin.



Siemens Competition Semi-finalists!




Jihoon Jang (12), Gayane Matevoysan (12), and Caroline Leng (11th) were chosen as Siemens Competition semifinalists from 1,781 entries.  Their research topics are as follows:

Jihoon Jang, "Development of Peptidomimetic Cancer Drugs Targeting the Polo-Box Domain of Polo-Like Kinase 1"
Gayane Matevosyan, "Translocation Kinetics of Bacterial RNA Polymerase"
Caroline Lent, "Generation of Transparent Nanopaper from Sugarcane Waste"

The Siemens Competition is the nation’s premier competition in math, science and technology. High school students submit innovative individual and team research projects to regional and national levels of competition as they vie for college scholarships ranging from $1,000 up to $100,000. The Siemens Competition honors the best and brightest students for their accomplishments in math and science – students who are changing the world for the better.