Take a minute to recognize the achievements of our students for the 2014-2015 school year!

Click to see Super Student Successes for the 2013-20142012-20132011-2012 school years.

Mitigate Competition Winners!

Thank you to everyone who voted for our students in the Innovate to Mitigate Competition. You can see the finalist videos at The students presented solutions to mitigate greenhouse gases in a short video presentation as well as an essay; they then answered questions from their peers and judges.

Judges’ Choice:

Gold Medals: 
Cogedive: Divya Gandla, Conner Dunathan, Glenn Ren
The Photoelectrics: Jessica Bhattacharya, Hannah Sun, Richard Wang, Yash Somaiya
Silver Medal: 
Subway Solutions: Wally Niu, Anusha Dixit, Nidhi Matthew, and Praneeth Thota 

Best Critic:

Silver Medal: Matthew Feng
Bronze Medal: Divya Gandla

Public Choice Award:

Gold Medal-PHS Greenbeans: Jessica Yin, Matthew Feng, Caroline Leng, and Karan Chawla
Silver Medal-Subway Solutions: Wally Niu, Anusha Dixit, Nidhi Matthew, and Praneeth Thota 
Bronze Medal-PHS Beleaf: Katie Cho, Justin Kim, June Xu, and Andrew Lent

Winner in Maryland's BioGENEius Competition!

Senior Evan Whitehouse earned third place in the MD BioGENEius competition with a poster describing his research entitled “Investigating the Intrinsic Efficacy of Dopamine D1 Receptor Ligands for Functional Selectivity”. He is invited to present his research at the US National BioGENEius competition. Further details about the competition are available at the MdBio Foundation website: 

1st in the USA! 2nd in the World!

Members of the PHS computer team participated in an international computer science contest hosted by the American Computer Science League. The Intermediate team of Sahil Mayenkar (10th), Justin Park (9th), Kevin Shen (9th), Alvin Ya (9th), and Jessica Yin (10th) performed well, placing 6th in their division and with Justin, Kevin, and Alvin winning individual awards. The Senior team of Seungkyoon Bong (10th), Karan Chawla (10th), Matthew Feng (10th), Suriya Kandaswamy (11th), and Devin Smedira (10th) had strong results, with all of the members receiving individual awards and with the team placing 2nd in the world and 1st in the country! Congratulations on a job well done!

National Security Agency Awards 2nd Place to PHS Junior!

Junior Cherry Zou received a second place award from the National Security Agency (NSA) Research Directorate at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Her project, a grand prize winner at Science Montgomery, was entitled Development of an Authorship Identification Algorithm for Twitter Using Stylometric Techniques. 

Honorable Mention at World's Largest Science Fair!

Sophomore Anusha Dixit earned an Honorable Mention in the Energy category of the International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering, Environment Project Olympiad (ISWEEP) competition. Anusha presented a project entitled “The Effect of Relative Humidity on Solar Cell Efficiency”; her project was one of two projects selected at Science Montgomery Fair for this international competition. 

Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) Competition Winners!

The YRE USA Jury chose the following entries as those that best met the criteria for the competition and accomplished the goals of environmental journalism. 

First place winners in the national competition also proceeded to the international competition

AGES 13-15: Writing 
2nd Prize: “Montgomery Bans Styrofoam Products" by Julia Rich 

AGES 16-18: Writing  
1st Place: “Maryland's Two Treasures: Chickens and the Chesapeake" by Norma Panigot
2nd Place: “A Solution to Bus Pollution" by Jason Kim
3rd Place: “What the Frack?" by Chrissy Kingsley

AGES 16-18: Video 
 3rd Place Tie: "The Montgomery County City Agricultural Reserve" by Alexander Tran, Nic Heemskerk, Anna Murgia, and Varun Pemmaraju 
3rd Place Tie: "A Flowing Legacy: Montgomery County-Last Best Creek" by Danielle Roche and Allie Goldman

National Spanish Examination Awards!

Congratulations to the following students for their awards in the National Spanish Examination.

Gold Award (Students scoring at or above the 95th percentile)
Justin Park and Sreya Vangara

Silver Award (Students scoring from the 85th through the 94th percentiles)
Kevin Su

Honor Award (Students scoring at or above the 50th through the 74th)
Nina Agrawal
Julia Leung
Anne Mustafa

MIT INSPIRE Recognizes PHS Students

PHS was quite well-represented among the winners at the MIT INSPIRE competition. Students stood by their posters at MIT, fielding questions from a judges, students, and other visitors. 

Christy Ng and Emily Yuen won honorable mentions.

Sydney Yuen and Poirety Coulibaly won second place.

Brianna Pierce and Christina Tao won first place.

ALSO, Sydney Yuen won the special Mozart award for the most original research in the competition.

Dan McKenna, Head of Humanities House and mentor was recognized as the runner-up for the Athena award, which was an award given to the top mentor, as indicated by nominations from students and evaluations of a school's submissions as a whole.

IDT Competition Winners

Innovative Defense Technologies (IDT), provider of automated software testing and analysis solutions for complex systems, announces the winners of its annual High School Programming Contest. This year, Oakton High School (VA) placed first and Poolesville High School (MD) finished second.

IDT’s annual student competition focuses on innovative methods of implementing Automated Software Testing. This year’s problem, addressing automated website testing, was released in December and team solutions were due on February 7. Submissions were reviewed by IDT judges and the top teams presented their solutions this week.

The team from Poolesville High School (MD), coached by Mark Estep, came in second. Team members were Suriya Kandaswamy, Peiyi Lin, Seong Joon Yoo, and Umesh Padia.

Humanities Students Shine at Montgomery County History Day

National History Day is an opportunity for students 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 and receive feedback from judges that helps them learn and improve. This year's theme was "Leadership and Legacy." The Montgomery County Historical Society sponsored the county-level competition.
Poolesville High School Humanities Students had an excellent showing in the county level competition. Of the 15 projects in the county that are moving on to the State contest, 7 are from Poolesville. The judges were extremely impressed by the professionalism, poise, and scholarship of our students, especially because this was our first year of participation. 

For each category, up to two projects won a spot in the state competition. 

Senior Paper: Iris Wu on Empress Wu Zeitsen (freshman!!!)

Senior Individual Documentary (A Sophomore Poolesville Sweep!!!):
Anastasia Goldberg on Harvey Milk
Emma Bentz on George Patton

Senior Group Documentary:
Faven Getahum and Erin Choi on Park Chung Hee (juniors)

Senior Group Exhibit:
Andrew Kocur and Patrick Walker on George Patton (the giant tank some of you may have seen) (juniors)

Senior Individual Performance:
Ankit Sheth on Jawaharlar Nehru

Senior Group Performance:
Julia Link, Mercedes Blankenship, and Hannah Lippsman on The Guerilla Girls (juniors)

SMCS Students Represent Montgomery County at Intel Science and Engineering Fair

Senior Sreejan Kumar and SMCS junior Cherry Zou will represent Montgomery County at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair after earning first place in their categories, Biology and Computer Science and Mathematics, respectively. In addition, other PHS students won numerous awards at the 2015 Science Montgomery.

Science Montgomery Awards
First place: Andrew Wang, Sreejan Kumar (with Parth Shah)
Second place: Jihoon Jang
Honorable Mention: Divya Gandla
Fourth place: Shraeya Madhu
Honorable Mention: Anusha Dixit
Computer Science:
First place: Cherry Zou
Second place: Yash Somaiya and Calvin Kinzie
Third place: Diwaker Ganesan

Top Four Winners to Progress to ISEF
Sreejan Kumar
Cherry Zou

In addition to the Science Montgomery Awards, students earned awards from various community organizations. Some of these awards included invitations to future competitions, dinners, and monetary rewards.

Aerospace Corporation
Honorable mentions to Cherry Zou, Anusha Dixit, and Diwaker Ganesan
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Third place tie: Shraeya Madhu
First place: Anusha Dixit
Clean Air Partners
Anusha Dixit
Federal Water Quality Association
First place: Shreya Kanna and Thanushree Manjunath
Genius Olympiad
Anusha Dixit
Geological Society of Washington
Worthy Achievement: Shreya Kanna and Thanushree Manjunath
Intel Excellence in Computer Science
Cherry Zou
MIT Club of Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence: Jihoon Jang and Cherry Zou
MBHS Magnet Class of 2004 Science Fair Award
Third place: Andrew Wang, Divya Gandla, Jihoon Jang, and Cherry Zou
Office of Naval Research
Medallion: Shraeya Madhu
Sigma Xi
Third place: Andrew Wang
US Air Force
Certificate of Achievement: Sreya Vangara
United States Public Health Service
Second place: Jihoon Jang
Meritorious Achievement: Andrew Wang and Sreejan Kumar
Yale Science and Engieneering Association
Medallion: Jihoon Jang 
Presentation requested:
SMCS sophomore Anusha Dixit was chosen to present her project (The Effect of Relative Humidity on Solar Cell Efficiency) at ISWEEP

MIT INSPIRE Finalists!

We are thrilled to announce that 16 of our Humanities House Seniors were selected to represent our school at the MIT INSPIRE competition, a National Competition in the Humanities and Social Studies. Of the 100 or so finalists, Poolesville had 16. We also placed 4 alternates, who may yet get the chance to go to the final round.

The final round will involve a trip to Boston followed by research presentations, interviews, and evaluations by MIT professors and graduate students. Please congratulate our seniors and the teachers who mentored them.

Jessie Amick – Jon Leong
Clarissa Dzikunu – Brain Matthews
Mona-Mae Juwillie – Lisa Kellert
Roja Kambhampati – Tiffany Ayers
Jamie Koenig – Tony Sohn
Hanna Kim – Stephanie Gomer
Christy Ng – Michelle Hunsicker-Blair
Daren Small-Moyers – Jon Leong
Brianna Pierce – Dan McKenna
Dorit Song – Lisa Kellert
Adele Spinder – Allison Wilder
Christina Tao – Michelle Hunsicker-Blair
Alexa Vergelli – Katie Horan
Matt Wagner – Andy Ward
Emily Yuen – Andy Ward
Sydney Yuen – Leigh Hegman

Prit Patel – Dan McKenna
Michael Bent – Dan McKenna
Karina Culqui – Allison Wilder
Poiret Coulibaly – Mike Shannon

Student Invited to Youth Leadership Program

Junior Kathryn Kavanagh has been invited to participate in Legacy International's 2015 American Youth Leadership Program - Cyprus (AYLP.) Representing the U.S. as a ‘cultural ambassador’, she will be embarking on an exciting journey as part of a team of eighteen American youth leaders chosen to participate in the AYLP program.

The American Youth Leadership Program is a leadership training and exchange program for U.S. high school students. It is supported by a grant from the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by Legacy International. The 26-day program focuses on the theme of environment and climate change. Participants will explore why sustainable management of resources is imperative, learn about careers in science, technology and environmental resource management, and work cooperatively with Cypriot peers to promote environmental stewardship.

Senior Featured in Montgomery County Newsletter

Abhi Giri is featured in the MoCo February Art newsletter that goes out to all principals, BOE members, Reps, and art teachers. He talks about his dual interest in art and science.

Student Recognized for Perfect AP Score!

Congratulations to current 10th grader Simon Arango for earning perfect score on his Advanced Placement Spanish Language Exam in the spring of 2014.

Simon was one of only 91 of students in the world to earn every point possible on the AP Spanish Language Exam. Looking across approximately 4 million AP Exams taken by 1.5 million U.S. public high school 11th and 12th graders in 2014, only 285 students earned every point possible on an AP Exam; answering every multiple-choice question correctly and earning full points on the free-response section of the exam. It is very rare for a high school student to earn every point possible on the exam. 

Washington School of Photography Competition Winners!

Erin Bowles won 2nd place out of hundreds of photographs on display at the Washington school of photography high school photo competition. Dani Thorner won an award for Honorable Mention. 
Poolesville also had images on display by 15 other students in their main gallery and their photographs will remain on display until the end of March 2015. 

Two Teams Competing In SourceAmerica Design Challenge Finals!

PHS has had two groups chosen as Finalist in the SourceAmerica Design Challenge, formerly known as the AbilityOne Design Challenge. If you see Angela Zhou, Amber Liu, Lee Dodds, Annie Bao, Deepti Agnihotri or Suriya Kandaswamy please congratulate them on this amazing honor. They were two of the top five groups in the entire country. They will be competing against teams from Connecticut, Ohio and Kansas in February. Click HERE to see more information and student project videos.

Congratulations on Scholastic Art and Writing Awards!

The results for the 2015 Northeast regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are out and we have 3 Gold Key winners from PHS. These students are automatically eligible for the national competition.
Annika Land - Gold Key 
Kat Eader - Gold Key 
Dani Thorner – Gold Key – “Take a Seat”

We had three Silver Key winners:
Abhi Giri - Silver Key
Suzanne Creedon - Silver Key
Sarah Bender – Silver Key – “Choice”

We had many Honorable Mentions:
Dani Thorner – Honorable Mention – “Isolation”
Adele Spinder - Honorable Mention
Lilly Nichols - Honorable Mention
Stephen Botten - Honorable Mention
Julia Jordan - Honorable Mention – “Bubba” & “Contemplation”
Sarah Bender - Honorable Mention - "She has a Dream" 

Erin Bowles also won Honorable Mention for her dramatic script & her writing portfolio

Student Work Presented at Johns Hopkins Juried Art Exhibit

The annual Johns Hopkins juried art exhibit had 176 painting submissions and only accepted 40. PHS had 2 from AP Studio Drawing: Chaney Taggart & Ally Yuan
Johns Hopkins also had 221 photography submissions and only accepted 33. We had 4 AP Photo students in with Adele Spinder winning third place for her photograph: Love is Blind

 jhugroup        loveisblind 

PHS Intel Semifinalist Named!

Congratulations to Umesh Padia, Poolesville High School Senior for being selected as an Intel Semifinalist.

The Intel Science Talent Search is administered by the Society for Science & the Public, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education. There were 300 semifinalists nationwide, who were chosen from a pool of nearly 1,800 entries. MCPS has been a national leader in this competition for many years and routinely is one of the school districts with the most semifinalists. 

“I am extremely proud of our students who continue to display high levels of creativity, innovation, and passion in this rigorous competition,” said Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr. “Congratulations to our semifinalists, their families, and the educators that are supporting them.” 

The research projects entered by MCPS semifinalists cover a broad range of scientific and math topics. Each of the semifinalists will receive a $1,000 award for his or her outstanding research. Additionally, to recognize excellence in teaching and school support, schools will receive an award of $1,000 for each semifinalist, which is to be used to further excellence in science, math, and engineering education. 

Junior Science and Humanities Symposium National Finalist

Senior Andrew Wang was selected to present his research, “Development of HTLV-1 vector as a gene expression delivery vehicle for expression of Hemoglobin in hematopoietic stem cells from Sickle Cell Disease”, at the 2015 Junior Science and Humanities Symposium at Georgetown University in January. As a regional finalist, Andrew has won a trip to the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium and will compete for scholarships and the opportunity to present at the national level. 

Four PHS Seniors Named Semifinalists in Siemens Competition  

Three-hundred semifinalists were announced in the Siemens Competition from a field of 1780 entries nationally. Four PHS students have been chosen as semifinalists:
  • Brandon Grinkemeyer—NIST, Using Bose-Einstein Condensate of Rubidium-87 in a Three-Dimensional Double Well Optical Lattice to Measure the Effect of Density on the Neighboring Atoms’ Rydberg Blockaded Excitation 
  • Sreejan Kumar—Laboratory of Computational Neurodiagnostics, Stony Brook University Mathematical Modeling and Brain Activations Characterize Differences in Human Pattern Recognition during Conditions of Ambiguous Feedback 
  • Navya Nanda—NIH, Vascular Inflammation by FDG PET/CT Relates to Aortic Wall Stiffness in Psoriasis 
  • Umesh Padia—NIDDK, NIH, The Discovery of a Novel TRH-R1 Agonist: A Drug Candidate for Treating Depression, Graves Disease, and Hypothyroidism. 

PHS Computer Science Team Takes First Place!

NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering Cyber Security Awareness Week awards prizes and scholarships to PHS students. Students in the High School Forensics challenge solved a fictitious retail store breach and murder mystery using digital evidence, including an Android mobile phone, and their knowledge of rootkit detection and analysis, steganography, file carving, and live system forensics. Click HERE for a Gazette article on the competition.

The finalists were chosen from a record number of competitors in the preliminaries and won prizes for their school science programs, along with scholarships for each student to the NYU School of Engineering. Twelve teams of finalists, including two from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, competed as part of an international pilot.

The CSAW High School Forensics Challenge winners were:

1st place: team PHS 1437 of Poolesville (Md.) High School—Umesh Padia, Kent Ma, and Jonathan Ni

Student Virtuoso Performance on Guitar

Classical Guitarist Katie Cho (Sophomore) began her guitar studies at the age of eight under the tutelage of Jorge Amaral. Her full solo recital debut, at twelve, was performed at the Conservatory of the Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio. By age fourteen she had won first prize in eight competitions. She has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and had the honor of opening a recital for world-renowned guitarist David Russell. Click HERE to see a video of Katie performing Sonata, Op. 61: I. Allegro (Turina)

National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists!

Congratulations to Adarsh Bindiganavele, Matthew Psaltakis, and Andrew Wang for progressing to a semifinalist postition in the National Merit Scholarship 2015 competition. The semifinalists will compete nationally for scholarships that will be announced in the spring. The competition is sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. 

Semifinalists from MCPS were selected from among high school juniors who were top scorers on the 2013 PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Approximately 16,000 semifinalists across the nation will be considered for advancement to the finalist stage of the competition. 

Finalists will be considered for $2,500 National Merit scholarships, plus additional corporate-sponsored and college/university-sponsored scholarships. That will be announced later in the school year. 

"Education in the Future" - 2014 Worldwide Essay Contest

Congratulations are extended to junior Ankit Sheth.  Ankit’s essay took 5th place in the World Genesis Essay Contest this summer.  He was the youngest winner so this is quite an accomplishment!  Ankit is  a member of Model UN and submitted his essay as a club activity. Click HERE for more information.