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2017 Alamo Regional Science and Engineering Fair - February 2017

Grand Awards High School

1st Grand Fair I – Isuru Somawardana (going to ISEF!)

1st Grand Fair II – Abby Parker (going to ISEF!)

2nd Grand Fair I – Evan Meade (going to ISEF!)

3rd Grand Fair I – John Wilkins

3rd Grand Fair II – Nia Clements

3rd Grand Fair III – Ashlyn Roth

4th Grand Fair II – Ashara Somawardana

Grand Awards Middle School

2nd Grand Fair II – Allison Wivagg

2nd Grand Fair III – Corinthian Ewesuedo

High School Category Awards

2nd Place Team Fair III – Meghan Maloney

2nd Place Microbiology– Dan Covert

3rd Place Zoology – Beril Saygin

3rd Place Medicine & Health – Adithya Mummidi

4th Place Environmental – Paras Patel

5th Place Biochemistry – Ani Karla

Director’s Award Zoology – Jack Covert

Middle School Category Awards

1st Place Team Fair II – Siona Manocha and Eric Liu

1st Place Physics – Sam Griffith

2nd Place Engineering – Sophie Skop

3rd Place Medicine & Health – Veda Atluri

3rd Place Medicine & Health – Shreya Chaudhary


2017 Alamo Regional Science and Engineering Fair

Special Awards

American Chemical Society – Ashara Somawardana

American Physiological Society – Nia Clements

American Statistical Association – Isuru Somawardana, Adithya Mummidi

Association of Old Crows – Evan Meade

BioBridge Global – Nia Clements, Ani Karla

Diagnostic Research Group – Nia Clements

Genius International Olympiad – John Wilkins

Human Factors and Ergonomics Society – Ashara Somawardana

Intel Excellence in Computer Science – Evan Meade

ISWEEP Competition – Paras Patel

Men’s Gardening Club – Ashlyn Roth

Office of Naval Research– Sophie Skop, Allison Wivagg, Evan Meade, Beril Saygin

Regeneron Science – Ashlyn Roth, Evan Meade, Adithya Mummidi

San Antonio Space and National Space Society – Ashlyn Roth

Society of In Vitro Biology – Meghan Maloney

South Texas Geological Society – John Wilkins

United States Metric Association – Adithya Mummidi

US Air Force – Shreya Chaudhary

UTHSCSA and Women’s Faculty Association – Allison Wivagg, Veda Atluri, Nia Clements

Yale Science and Engineering Association – Evan Meade

Broadcom Recipients – Allison Wivagg, Sam Griffith, Corinthian Ewesuedo


Schreiner College $20,000 – Isuru Somawardana, Abby Parker

Schreiner College $16,000 – Evan Meade

Schreiner College $12,000 – Ashlyn Roth, John Wilkins, Nia Clements

Schreiner College $8000 – Ashara Somawardana

St. Mary’s University $48,000 – Isuru Somawardana, Abby Parker

St. Mary’s University $40,000 – Evan Meade

Trinity University $8000 – Isuru Somawardana, Abby Parker, Evan Meade

University of the Incarnate Word $16,000 – Abby Parker

University of the Incarnate Word $20,000 – Isuru Somawardana

San Antonio Book Festival Fiction Contest, sponsored by the Texas Cavaliers - February 2017

This contest, open to students in grades 7 to 12, received 210 entries. In the seventh-/eighth-grade division, eighth grader Corinthian Ewesuedo tied for third place with her story “Winter in Summer.” Allison Wu, also an eighth grader, was one of ten finalists, recognized for her story “My Father on the Willow Bridge.” Fiction contest co-chair Mark Kimberly said, “The submissions this year really impressed our pool of judges. We’re proud that the quality of the stories continues to reflect a bright, talented, and creative student body in Bexar County, and we’re pleased to see the contest grow with an increase in entries this year.’

Laws of Life Essay Contest, sponsored by the Better Business Bureau - February 2017

The contest, open to students in grades 6 to 8, encourages students to write about the core values or laws of life that guide them. Essays are judged by a panel of professionals from the business and academic communities. This year, Keystone has seven of the thirteen finalists. Winners will be announced in a ceremony at the March 22 Town Hall meeting in the Keystone theater. Please join us at 11:50 if you can.

Ella Best, “Sunny-Side Up”
Andy De la Garza, “Stepping Outside of My Comfort Zone”
Nicole Grater, “Working for What You Want”
Kimberly Macdonald, “Change Is Inevitable”
Megan Riebe, “Anthems, Tomatoes, and Big Red”
Karina Sauceda, “Just Keep Going!”
Tatum Spriester, “Inhaling Insanity”

Science Bowl

Please congratulate our Science Bowl Teams on their hard fought wins over the weekend. One of our 8th grade teams and all 3 of our high school teams ranked 3rd in their group matches. The 8th grade team of Kaitlin Albarran, Allison Wivagg, Kim Macdonald, Aidan Coleman, and Eric Liu advanced to the final rounds before taking 4th place. There were a total of 33 middle school teams and 34 high school teams participating.

High School Teams

Abby Parker, Beril Saygin, Victoria Nelson, Ben Felson

Evan Meade, Nia Clements, Adithya Mummidi, Ashlyn Roth, Luke Vilagi

John Wilkins, Carl Hileman, Javier Soza, Claire Yager, Mason Valicek

Middle School Teams

Kaitlin Albarran, Allison Wivagg, Kim Macdonald, Aidan Coleman, Eric Liu

Tatum Spriester, Siona Manocha, Nicole Grater, Ethan McKendrick, Hashim Latif

VASE Competition Results-February 2017

Eleven students participated in the VASE regional art contest on Saturday. Everyone did an outstanding job and received the highest possible score of 4. Daniela Tala mantes-Martinez, Rachel Jiang, Catie Poneck, Caroline Yager, and Nina Koneru also advanced to the state competition! This is one of the most competitive art competitions in the state with over 300 participants competing in our region alone, so please be sure to congratulate these students if you see them.

Carly Garcia
Rachel Jiang
Nina Koneru
Huzair Latif
Ingrid Mayer
Arianna Pachecano
Catie Poneck
Iris Rodriguez
Sophia Roldan
Daniela Talamantes Martinez

Writing News-April 2016

Senior Katie Mansfield had “Telephone” published in the latest edition of English in Texas, the nationally recognized journal of the Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts.  As one of last year’s National Council of Teachers Writing Achievement Award recipients, Katie was invited to submit her poem. 

Eighth grader Stephanie Rao earned a silver key for her poem “Death by Poetry” in the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards while six students earned Southwest Region-at-Large Scholastic awards. Those earning gold keys had their pieces submitted to the national competition. The region received 1500 entries and awarded twenty-three gold keys; Keystone students earned seven.  Five of the thirteen students in the region earning gold keys attend Keystone.  According to Brian’s calculations, this means that “1.5% of submissions received gold keys and that Keystone kids received 30% of those, and Keystone kids made up over 50% of the students who received gold keys . . .”

         Eighth Grader Stephanie Rao:  two gold keys for her poems “Death by Poetry” and “The World beyond the Sky,” a silver key for her short story “Regrets,” and an honorable mention for her poem “Picture Frame”

         Freshman Daniel Covert:  a gold key for the short story “A Sheep among the Wolves”

         Freshman Julia Mansfield:  an honorable mention for the short story “Fresh Snow” and a gold key for the personal essay “The Temporary Tube”

         Sophomore Liv Kane:  a gold key for the short story “Cultured,” a silver key for the short story “Plants,” and an honorable mention for the poem “Another Sailor Song”

         Senior Katie Mansfield:  two gold keys for her writing portfolio “What It Means to Watch” and her poem “After McKinney”

         Senior Sam Terry:  two silver keys for his poems “Sonnet for Fallen Angel” and “Board Game on the Beach”

Keystone middle schoolers garnered four of six awards in the 6-8 division of the Dana Kay Barber Writing Awards, a statewide contest sponsored by Abydos Learning and open to students whose teachers have participated in a summer writing institute.  Students were recognized in a ceremony at this year’s conference in Houston last weekend.

         Seventh grader Tatum Spriester:  first place for her poem “Smoke and Perfume”

         Eighth grader Anya Hansen:  second place for her poem “The Bison”

         Eighth grader Olivia Edwards:  first place for her prose piece “Greetings and Salutations”

         Seventh grader Megan Riebe:  third place for her prose piece “The Snow Day”

Six Keystone eighth graders were finalists in the Better Business Bureau’s Laws of Life Essay Contest.  Students were recognized in a ceremony in the theater on March 30.  The BBB Education Foundation selected eleven finalists from a pool of 173 submissions. Student essays are on display in the foyer of Founders’ Hall.  Please stop by and read them.

         Sophia Rios: first place award of $200 and a diamond necklace for her essay “Perseverance”

         Anya Hansen: third place award of $75 for her essay “Flat Stanley and the Sad Day”

         Kishore Botla honorable mention award of $25 for his essay “Work Hard; Play Hard”

         Olivia Edwards: honorable mention award of $25 for her essay “The Silence of Truth”

         Kiri Holck: honorable mention award of $25 for her essay “Coy to Courageous”

         Beril Saygin: honorable mention award of $25 for her essay “The Mountain View”

Seven middle and upper school students will have fourteen poems published in the 2016 Young Pegasus Anthology. For more than eighty years, the San Antonio Public Library has celebrated the talents of student writers with the Young Pegasus Poetry Competition. Entries are reviewed by a panel of independent judges. Rather than choosing a set number of winners, judges look for poems worthy of  publication. This year, the judges selected fifty-seven of the nearly two thousand submissions. Recognized poets will receive a certificate and copy of the anthology at the May 1 awards ceremony. Selected poems are read aloud during the ceremony, either by the poets themselves or by a member of the judging panel.

         Fifth grader Sarah Cross, “Synesthesia,” “Tree,” and “Sadness” 

         Fifth grader Stella Ciaravino, “Rain Storm”

         Fifth grader Maya Allen, “Life”

         Fifth grader Aria Walker, “Chairs”

         Eighth grader Ingrid Mayer, “Welcome to Society”

         Ninth grader Jackie Pavlovsky, “The Little Dots”

         Senior Katie Mansfield, “We,” “The Week Without Water,” “Summer, Suspended,” “Compartmentalize,” “Dead Weight,” and “Old Man Winter”

Thanks for celebrating our students’ accomplishments with us!

2016 Texas Science and Engineering Fair

Keystone's qualifiers for the Texas Science and Engineering Fair competed at the convention center downtown against the best projects from around Texas. Please congratulate all of the students on their accomplishments and work.  Below is a list of the participants and also those who won awards. Note: This year only 1st through 3rd place awards were given.

Participants: Adithya Mummidi, Ashlyn Roth, Evan Meade, John Wilkins, Isuru Somawardana, Paras Patel, Glori Das, Nia Clements, Kim Macdonald, Ella Best, Hashim Latif, Andy De La Garza, Shreya Chaudhary, Sophie Skop, Allison Wivagg, Abby Parker, Beril Saygin.


1st Place Biomedical and Health Sciences - Nia Clements (Qualifies for ISEF!!!)

1st Place Biomedical Engineering - Isuru Somawardana

3rd Place Environmental Engineering - Paras Patel

3rd Place Biomedical and Health Sciences - Beril Saygin

Texas Board of Professional Engineers Future Engineer Award - Isuru Somawardana

Naval Science Award - Isuru Somawardana

2016 NSBE Awards - March 2016

Congrats to the following students on another successful NSBE National Convention!

Mathcounts Competition: San Antonio NSBE Jr. Team 1 won first place (Jada Young) and Jada was the 2nd highest scoring student!

KidWind Competition:   San Antonio NSBE Jr. Kidwind Team (Christian Butler)  received 2nd Place and a bid to the KidWind National Competition in New Orleans!

The NSBE convention took place in Boston MA and both Christian and Jada had an opportunity to tour Harvard while at the convention.  

2016 Alamo Regional Science and Engineering Fair
Grand Awards High School
1st Grand Fair I – Isuru Somawardana (going to ISEF!)
3rd Grand Fair I – John Wilkins
3rd Grand Fair III – Ashlyn Roth
Grand Awards Middle School
1st Grand Team – Ella Best and Kim Macdonald
1st Grand Fair II – Beril Saygin
2nd Grand Fair III – Abby Parker
4th Grand Fair II – Allison Wivagg
High School Category Awards
1st Place Medicine and Health – Nia Clements
1st Place Medicine and Health – Adithya Mummidi
1st Place Math – Evan Meade
1st Place Engineering – Paras Patel
2nd Place Medicine and Health – Glori Das
3rd Place Engineering – Luke Vilagi
3rd Place Team Fair I – Steven Broll and Uri Joseph
5th Place Microbiology – Daniel Covert
Middle School Category Awards
1st Place Team Fair I – Andy De La Garza and Hashim Latif
1st Place Team Fair III– Shreya Chaudhary and Sophie Skop
1st Place Medicine and Health – Tatum Spriester
2nd Place Computer Science – Adam Terenyi
Top 6th Grade Projects Award
1st Place Team – Shreya Chaudhary and Sophie Skop
2016 Alamo Regional Science and Engineering Fair
Special Awards

American Physiological Society – Beril Saygin
ASM Materials Education Foundation – Luke Vilagi
Association of Old Crows – Paras Patel, Evan Meade
Intel Talent Search Award – Isuru Somawardana
Mu Alpha Theta Award – Evan Meade
NASA EARTH System Science Award – John Wilkins
 Office of Naval Research– Beril Saygin, Isuru Somawardana
Southwest Research Institute Award – Isuru Somawardana
South Texas Geological Society – John Wilkins
US Air Force – Glori Das, Nia Clements
UTHSCSA and Women’s Faculty Association –Nia Clements, Glori Das, Beril Saygin, Allison Wivagg
Yale Science and Engineering Association – Isuru Somawardana
Broadcom Recipients – Ella Best, Kim Macdonald, Abby Parker, Allison Wivagg
Schreiner College $20,000 – Isuru Somawardana
Schreiner College $12,000 – Ashlyn Roth, John Wilkins
St. Mary’s University $50,000 – Isuru Somawardana
Texas Tech $8000 – Isuru Somawardana
University of the Incarnate Word $8000 – Isuru Somawardana, Beril Saygin, Ella Best, Kim Macdonald

Varsity Basketball Honors - March 2016

1st Team All-District

Katie Mansfield

Zoe Wallis

Nabil Kapasi

2nd Team All-District

Olivia Addington

Daria Galbraith

Paul Lopez-Perrymen

Honorable Mention All-District

Carrington Kirstein

Mia Quintero

Academic All-State

(Given to Juniors and Seniors who receive 1st or 2nd team honors and have a GPA of 90 or above)

Katie Mansfield

Nabil Kapasi

Olivia Addington 

Poetry Out Loud - February 29, 2016

Congratulations to Sam Terry, Runner-Up in the Texas State Finals of the Poetry Out Loud Recitation Competition! 

Along with twenty-six other school winners, Sam recited from memory two poems at the Bullock Texas State History Museum.  After two moving performances, first of George Herbert's "The Pulley" and then Marianne Moore's "A Graveyard," Sam was invited to participate in the final round, for which he recited Thomas Lux's "Tarantulas on the Lifebuoy."  Performances were judged across five categories: accuracy, dramatic appropriateness, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, and evidence of understanding. 

The second place victory brings Sam 100 dollars and Keystone 200 dollars for the purchase of poetry books.  Student interest in Poetry Out Loud has grown over the years, and I hope that Keystone continues to participate in the event. 

MathCounts - February 2016

The Keystone MathCounts team, Om Joshi, Beril Saygin, Kishore Botla, and Nicole Grater, earned fifth place at regional competition. Om placed eleventh overall, and will advance to state competition in March.

Other official competitors were Patrick Conroy,  Jehan Chanmugam, Victoria Nelson, Abby Parker, Stephanie Rao, and Megan Riebe.  Unofficial competitors were Gabriela Aguilar, Paul Conroy, Corinthian Ewesuedo, Siona Manocha,  Mario Nicolas, Andrew Perez, Karina Sauceda, and Allison Wivagg.

Science Bowl - February 2016

Four teams from Keystone competed in the regional Science Bowl competition. The sophomore team of Evan Meade, Adithya Mummidi, Ashlyn Roth, Luke Vilagi, and Nia Clements came in 5th place in the High School division, and the 8th grade team of Beril Saygin, Isabella Sullivan, Abby Parker, Isabel Oxford, and Victoria Nelson came in 3rd place.    The other two teams were Junior team Isuru Somawardana, Javier Soza, Carl Hileman, Mason Valicek, Claire Yager, and Sophomore team Jared Zhao, John Wilkins, Max Rattray, Daniel Tan, and Sam Delmer. 

Academic World Quest

Keystone students represented Keystone School magnificently at the Regional Academic World Quest Competition on February 2.

Our senior team of Chris Zhu, Katie Mansfield, Emily Ye, and Nabil Kapasi won first place for the third consecutive year.  They will once again represent us in Washington, D.C. in April in their quest to win the elusive national title.

Our junior team of Mishel Malik, Tamar Furman, Anna Christoffersen, and Isuru Somawardana won second place for the second year in a row.

Our new freshman team of Julia Mansfield, Daniel Covert, Jackson Covert, and Evan Berkowitch earned a fourth place finish in the field of forty-four total teams.

As testimony to the exceptional academic and personal quality of our students, as well as to the outstanding faculty and staff who have guided them in honing their analytic skills, Keystone School teams have now won the Regional Academic World Quest Competition for six consecutive years, and have placed in the top four teams numerous times.  Such consistent success is an amazing record for any competitive team endeavor.

Congratulations to these remarkable students, as well as their faculty sponsor, Ray Boryczka.

Junior Academy of Sciences-January 2016

Eight students competed in the Alamo Junior Academy of Science competition.  Please congratulate them on their success and hard work.  Below are the results:

High School

3rd Grand Fair I – Isuru Somawardana

3rd Grand Fair II – Glori Das

3rd Grand Fair III – Ashlyn Roth

5th Grand Fair II – Nia Clements

Best in Category (Math&Computer Science) – Evan Meade

3rd Place Engineering – Paras Patel

3rd Place Engineering – Luke Vilagi

Middle School

3rd Grand Fair II – Beril Saygin

8th Grade Poets Honored

Eight middle school poets will have excerpts of their work on display at Culture Commons, 115 Plaza de Armas, through Feb. 28, as part of Poet Laureate Laurie Ann Guerrero’s call for “Love Poems to San Antonio.” Along with other poets from throughout the city, the students will be honored this Thursday, Feb. 4, at a reception sponsored by the San Antonio Department for Culture and Creative Development. Their poems are also posted in North Hall.

Honored Poets:

Iris Rodriguez, “Ode to San Antonio”

Siona Manocha, “The Five Senses of San Antonio”

Kimberly MacDonald, “Mi Ciudad”

Victoria Nelson, “My Home”

Beril Saygin, “My Goodnight Kiss”

Erica Stocker, “For San Antonio”

Ingrid Mayer, “Oh, San Antonio”

Sophia Rios, “Te Amo, San Antonio”

Texas Junior Science and Humanities Symposium-January 2016

Three or our sophomores, Nia Clements, John Wilkins, and Adithya Mummidi, presented their science projects up at the Texas Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in College Station.  The competition allows for only 64 competitors from around the state and just to be asked to present is an honor. The judges advanced Nia as the top Medicine & Health/Behavioral project to compete on Saturday morning with 7 other finalists.  Nia came away with 4th place in the finals and received an all-expense paid trip to attend the national symposium in April.  Congratulations to all of these students!

Geography Bee

Congratulations to sixth grader, Gabe Lynch, who won the school geography bee.  Erica Stocker, an eighth grader was the first runner up.  Gabe will go on to take an exam to qualify for the state exam. If he wins at state, he will compete nationally.  

Spelling Bee

Eight grader Erica Stocker is the Keystone Spelling Bee winner!  In a Spelling Bee first, we had 3 sets of sisters competing.  Erica and her sister, Corinne, were the top two spellers.  Erica won correctly spelling “estuary” and “garrulous.”  Erica will represent Keystone at the San Antonio Express-News Spelling Bee on Feb. 20th.

National Merit Announcement

Congratulations to the following students!

National Merit Semifinalists (8 out of 31):

Steven Broll

Augie Clements

Katie Mansfield

Ellery Pickens

Regan Schuetze

Vinodh Srikanth

Emily Ye

Chris Zhu

National Merit Commended Students (9 out of 31):

Madison Carolin

Dave Gravely

Yugena Gunawardena

Mohan Iyengar

Nabil Kapasi

Omar Khan

Carrington Kirstein

Will Poneck

Sam Terry

Semifinalists scored in the top 1% of seniors in the state of Texas, based on their junior year PSAT score. Commended Students “placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students” who took the PSAT in their junior year. 

Modern Pentathlon-Youth National Championships
San Antonio athletes competed in the US Modern Pentathlon Youth National Championships last month at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. Texas Pentathlon sent a team of six athletes to compete for the National Titles, and Keystone's Ingrid Mayer celebrated her 14th birthday by winning the Women's Youth C Gold Medal with a commanding lead over the field.


Keystone students Isuru Somawardana (10th) and Adithya Mummidi (9th), traveled to Pittsburgh for the annual International Science and Engineering Fair.  As always our students represented us wonderfully.  More than 2,000 high school students from 70 different countries participated this year.  Isuru came away with a 4th grand prize in the category of COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY AND BIOINFORMATICS.  Please congratulate both of them!

Academic World Quest

Keystone's Academic World Quest Team once again won second place in the world in the Washington, D.C. competition. This is the fourth consecutive time Keystone has taken the second place trophy home! Congratulations to Emily Ye, Katie Mansfield, Chris Zhu, and Nabil Kapasi. Each student was awarded a $1,000 scholarship towards the CIEE Summer Study Abroad Program.

2015 Broadcom Masters Award

Congratulations to Keystone student Alana Pickens, Broadcom MASTERS Nominee(s).  This is a great national honor, as only the top 10% of middle school students receive this distinction at affiliated science and engineering fairs across the United States.  

A nomination to the Broadcom MASTERS national middle school science & engineering competition is a very proud accomplishment.  This summer, the Broadcom organization will name 300 semifinalists, and bring 30 finalists to compete in person in Silicon Valley. Students receive prizes at all levels of the competition, and compete for the top prize of $25,000. Teachers of semifinalists and finalists also receive awards, and schools of finalists each receive $1,000.

This program aims to identify talent and encourages kids to pursue STEM fields in high school and beyond. Alumni have gone on to attend the White House Science Fair, win the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair, and do great things in their communities. 

2015 Princeton Book Prize

Katie Mansfield was named one of the five most outstanding juniors in San Antonio by the Princeton Club of San Antonio.  Every year, the Princeton Club invites every high school in San Antonio to nominate their best and brightest for this citywide competition.  Katie's win marks the 7th year in a row that a Keystone student has been among the five winners, a feat unmatched by any other school.

The other winning students in 2015 represent Reagan, Clark, Brandeis, and Fox Tech Magnet High Schools.  Congratulations, Katie!

2015 National Spanish Exam Results

These are the students who have been recognized:

Premio de Oro (Gold   95 or above percentile)

Spanish I: Peyton Spriester, Julia Mansfield, Evan Berkowitch, Madison Metzger, Rachel Lynch

Spanish II: Evan Meade, Ashlyn Roth, Luke Vilagi, Jared Zhao

Spanish III: Hagan Hensley, Musmin Zar, Isuru Somawardana, Mia Quintero

Spanish IV: Sam Terry, Katherine Mansfield, Ceci Hart

Premio de Plata (Silver  85 to 94 percentile)

Spanish I: Casey Cooper, Nikki Pathapati, Guillermo Harris, Elias Forrey, Maysoon Tirhi

Spanish II: Hailey Holck, Diego Quintero

Spanish III: Wesley Kirlin, Aristeo Canales, Daniela Talamantes-Martinez

Spanish IV: Emily Ye, Christopher Zhu, Augie Clements

Premio de Bronce (Bronze 75 to 84 percentile)

Spanish I: Josh Brown, Nikola Hew, Daniel Terenyi, Morgan Mark, Kendall Michaelis

Spanish II:  Sadie Cavazos, Eli Skop, Aidan Rodriguez, Zoe Wallis

Spanish III: Kaval Aurora, Nina Freeman, Keve Bordás, Elise Koepp, Mason Valicek

Spanish IV: Yugena Gunawardena, Joseph Lopez

Mención Honorífica (Honorable Mention)

Spanish I: Isela Martin, Arianna Pachecano, Sydney Hileman, Wyatt Seal, Naman Patel

Spanish II: Madelyne Wilson, Daniel Tan, Luke DeMario, Meghan Maloney, Lily Fisher, Sky Blanchard

Spanish III: Aj Shah,  David Howk, Zainab Agha, JohnAidan Uribe-Kozlovsky, Stephen Duffy, Zoe Barocas, Paras Patel

Spanish IV: Carrington Kirstein, Emily Andrews, Mohan Iyengar, Dave Gravely

Spanish V: Yianni Nikolaou

Astronomy Club-April 2015

Nine members of the Keystone Astronomy Club successfully launched a High-Altitude Balloon (HAB) with incredible results!  Spearheaded by founder and President Hagan Hensley, the club released a large latex balloon filled with approximately 60 cubic feet of helium, along with a small payload (containing a still camera, video camera, GPS, altimeter, transmitter, etc.), two fins for stability in the wind, and a parachute.  The HAB was released from a hilltop on the far north side of San Antonio in Bulverde, Texas and was expected to float northeast within the jet stream for several hours before popping and landing somewhere near College Station, Texas a few hours later.  But the balloon mission far exceeded all expectations.

After losing the signal for several hours, the group learned that the balloon had landed in a very tall magnolia tree in western Louisiana! 

Ultimately, Keystone Astronomy Club's High-Altitude Balloon travelled 325 miles from the launch site (more than double the predicted distance!) after about 5.5 hours aloft, with top horizontal speed in the jet stream in excess of 145 miles per hour!  As it was falling, it may have actually reached speeds as high as 160 mph before the parachute did its duty!  The evidence also seems to show that the HAB actually floated above the jet stream to an altitude of up to 85,000 ft., which is well above the troposphere into the stratosphere.  That is about twice as high as all commercial airliners typically fly.  The club hypothesizes that the fins, which were added to keep the payload stable and prevent spinning in flight, actually acted like sails to “catch the wind” and propel the HAB faster and farther than anticipated.  The strong storm front that had passed through the area the night before and the strong jet stream currents that day may have also contributed to the great success of the HAB mission as well.

Kudos to the group, their parents, and their sponsor, Donald Howk!

State Golf

Congratulations to Shahbaz Hashmi! Not only is he the district golf champion, he tied for 7th place at the TAPPS 3A state tournament this past weekend. There were about 45 golfers participating in the state tournament. Shahbaz shot a 74 the first day, and an 85 the second day.

Model UN

Keystone’s high school Model UN and WorldQuest teams enjoyed a lunchtime presentation by U.S. Foreign Service Officer Bridget Gerston. Dr Gerston spoke on her life in the diplomatic service, including her adventures and travels, which included Russia, Tunisia, and Afghanistan. She also spoke about internships at the State Department for high school/college students and potential careers after school.  After her presentation, she held a Q&A.  Model UN sponsor, Dr Caraway, was especially pleased to welcome a fellow alum of the Fulbright program and amateur of Italy and the Italian language.  After the presentation, Mr Spedding and several students continued the conversation over lunch at La Fonda.

GEAR Robotics-April 2015

Please congratulate the following students who competed in this year’s GEAR Robotics Competition at UTSA.    One hundred teams participated in this competition.  Our sixth grade team won 1st place in the middle school (6th-8th) division and our fifth grade team won 2nd place in the elementary (3rd-5th) division.

2nd Place Elementary Divison-Keybots


Elle Boehme-Leal-5th Grade

Gabe Lynch-5th Grade

Kyan Jones-5th Grade

Shreya Chaudhary-5th Grade

Sophie Skop-5th Grade


1st Place Middle School Division-Robocobras


Allison Wivagg-6th Grade

Ciara Hollis-6th Grade

Corinthian Ewesuedo-6th Grade

Gaby Aguilar-6th Grade

Jackie Rosenkranz-6th Grade

AMC 8 Results

Thousands of students across the United States participated in this contest back in late November.  Here are the winners: Om Joshi—1st place and top 1% in the nation award, Josh Brown—2nd place and top 5% in the nation award, Nikhita Pathapati—3rd place, Rohan Shayi—4th place, Evan Berkowitch and Patrick Conroy—5th place tie, Julia Mansfield and Madison Metzger—6th place tie.  All of these students were in the top 25% in the nation. 

Keystone School received two awards.  One was for our top 3 students’ team total being in the top 5% in the nation, and other was for two of our students scoring in at least the top 5%. 

Please congratulate these outstanding Keystone Cobras!

Scholastic Writing Awards

Please congratulate the students listed below for their recognition in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Competition.  This competition is the “nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7 – 12.” This year, over 300,000 entries of art and writing were first submitted at the regional level.  Students awarded a Gold Key at that level were then entered into the national competition and judged by an impressive panel of judges.  In past years, jurors for the writing contest have included such recognized writers as Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, William Saroyan, Frank McCourt, George Plimpton, and Billy Collins.  Entries are judged on three criteria: (1)Originality; (2)Technique, and (3)Emergence of a Personal Voice. This year, approximately 2,000 national entries were awarded.

This year, Katie Mansfield was not only awarded a Gold Key at the regional level but also at the national level, an incredible achievement. Along with other National Gold Key winners, Katie will be recognized in a national celebration and ceremony in New York City in June.  Notable past winners of the Gold Key include Truman Capote, Bernard Malamud, Joyce Maynard, Joyce Carol Oates, and Sylvia Plath.

In addition, we have other talented young writers who received recognition at the regional level.  Included below are all of the winners and submission information:

2015 Quiz Bowl

The quiz bowl team won 2nd place in the TX Quiz Bowl Alliance Central /South Texas regional Fiesta Tournament.  They were undefeated all day until losing in a very close finals game to Reagan's A team, the only other undefeated team. 

Hana Kapasi, a senior, was away at Model UN, and the team tapped freshman Adithya Mummidi to sub for her. This was Adithya's first quiz bowl experience. Congratulations to all!

Poetry Out Loud

Sam Terry represented Keystone at the state finals of the Poetry Out Loud recitation competition in Austin and WON.  After performing Hopkins' "The Windhover" and Mueller's "Monet Refuses the Operation," Sam was asked to perform a third poem, Donne's "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning."  All poems were recited from memory.  Impressive in both content and performance, Sam's recitations showcased his outstanding comprehension and dramatic range. Sam will go on to represent Texas at the national finals in Washington, D.C. at the end of April.

4th Grade Robotics

The 4th Grade Cobratics Robotics team participated in a First Lego League robotics qualifier along with 28 other teams, all competing for a chance to go on to the regional competition. They won 2 awards: Strategy & Innovation Award, and Robot Performance Award. The Cobratics are 1 of the 12 teams from this qualifier who will be advancing to the Alamo FLL Regional Championship on March 14th at the HBG Convention Center.

National Merit Recognition

Keystone School’s Class of 2015 National Merit Honorees

Every year, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), in partnership with the College Board, administers the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (the PSAT/NMSQT) to approximately 1.5 million 11th grade students in the United States.  The NMSC officially recognizes the 50,000 students with the highest scores.   National Merit Semifinalists are the top-scoring 16,000 students, representing the top half of the top 1% of students in each state. (Approximately 15,000 of the Semifinalists will be named Finalists after meeting additional standards and fulfilling several requirements.)  The remaining 34,000 of the 50,000 top scoring students are named National Merit Commended Students in recognition of their academic promise. 

National Merit Finalists

Serena Agrawal

Alexander Buser

Ceci Hart

Hana Kapasi

National Merit Commended Students

Llewellyn Fambles

Zachary Green

Trisha Mulamreddy

Camille Powers

Joseph Ratliff

Christina Rios

Shreya Tripathy

The National Achievement® Scholarship Program is an academic competition that provides recognition for outstanding Black American high school students. Black students may enter both the National Achievement Program and the National Merit® Program by taking the PSAT/NMSQT and meeting other published requirements for participation. Of the more than 160,000 students who currently enter the National Achievement® Program each year, the top 1% (about 1,600) are named Semifinalists.  Of those, approximately 1,300 advance to Finalist standing by meeting additional standards. 

National Achievement Finalist

Llewellyn Fambles 

Each year, the National Hispanic Recognition Program honors nearly 5,000 of the highest-scoring Hispanic/Latino students (out of more than 200,000 juniors who take the PSAT).

National Hispanic Scholars

Alejandro “Blue” Gonzalez

Christina Rios

John “Yianni” Nikolaou

 ARSEF Results: 2015 Alamo Regional Science and Engineering Fair

Congratulations to the science fair students represented the school well and received plenty of awards for their hard work. Many of them will be advancing to the state competition in late March.  Isuru Somawardana and Adithya Mummidi will be going to the International Science Fair at Pittsburgh in May.

Please see the right sidebar for a detailed list of students, awards, and scholarships.

Keystone also received a special plaque of appreciation for all the years that we have provided the Alamo Regional Science Fair with a Tools/Materials table and for allowing them to have ISEF preparation meetings on our campus.

Cobratics- February 2015

Please congratulate the 4th Grade Cobratics Robotics team.  They participated in a FLL (First Lego League) robotics qualifier this past Saturday along with 28 other teams, all competing for a chance to go on to the regional competition.

 They won 2 awards:

Strategy & Innovation Award: recognizes a team that uses solid engineering practices and a well-developed strategy to design and build and innovative and high performing robot.

Robot Performance Award: Recognizes a team that scores the most points during the robot game.

 The Cobratics are 1 of the 12 teams from this qualifier (there were 6 other qualifiers within the region) who will be advancing to the Alamo FLL Regional Championship on March 14th at the HBG Convention Center.  There will be an estimated 80+ teams at the Championship…all the top teams from the qualifier they participated in.  Good luck Cobratics!!

Science Bowl Results: February 2015

Please congratulate the following students for some hard fought rounds during the Science Bowl competition.  Although no teams won an award they all represented Keystone well, and our Sophomore team ended their run within the top 6 teams of the tournament.

Middle School: Mark Morgan, Jacob Cohen, Evan Berkowitch, Alana Pickens, Kendall Michaelis, Julia Mansfield, Justin Parsons, Wyatt Seal, Leander Galbraith, Joshua Brown

High School:  Nia Clements, Luke Vilagi, Evan Meade, Adithya Mummidi, Ashlyn Roth, Daniel Tan, Jared Zhou, Sam Delmer, John Wilkins, Meghan Maloney, Javier Soza, Claire Yager, Mason Valicek, Isuru Somawardana, Hagan Hensley

Junior Academy of Sciences Results-February 2015

Seven Keystone students presented their science fair projects at the Junior Academy of Sciences as a warm-up for the regional fair.  Please congratulate them for their hard work.

Sr. Division:

1st Grand Prize – Academy I     Isuru Somawardana

3rd Grand Prize – Academy II    Nia Clements

3rd  Grand Prize –Academy III   Ashlyn Roth

Highest in Category – Computer Science  Evan Meade

1st Place -  Engineering   Luke Vilagi

1st Place – Medicine and Health   Glori Das

Jr. Division:

1st  Grand Prize – Academy III  Nakhita Patapathi


Please congratulate Adithya Mummidi and Jared Zhao for placing at the O’Connor High School UIL Academic Meet.  They competed in number sense (mental math), high school mathematics (algebra through calculus), and high school science (biology, chemistry, and physics).  Students (9th through 12th grade) all take the same tests, and they compete by grade level.   In the 9th grade division, Adithya was 1st in number sense, 1st in mathematics, and 1st in science.  Jared was also in the 9th grade division, and he placed 3rd in number sense, 3rd in mathematics, and 4th in science.