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2017 Texas State Science Fair

Please congratulate the following students, and their sponsors, Kathy Darr and Jason Nydegger, for their great representation of our school. Please note the participant and award list below.


Allison Wivagg, Corinthian Ewesuedo, Sam Griffith, Sophie Skop, Siona Manocha, Eric Liu, Adithya Mummidi, Daniel Covert, Evan Meade, Isuru Somawardana, Ashara Somawardana, Ashlyn Roth, Abby Parker, Beril Saygin, John Wilkins, and Nia Clements.


2nd Grand Life Science - Nia CLements (going to ISEF!)

1st Place Biomedical Engineering - Isuru Somawardana

1st Place Physics - Sam Griffith

3rd Place Plant Sciences - Ashlyn Roth

3rd Place Animal Sciences - Abby Parker

3rd Place Computational Biology and Bioinformatics - Adithya Mummidi

Special Awards:

Texas Board of Professional Engineers Future Engineer Award - Isuru Somawardana

The Society for In Vitro Biology Award - Nia Clements

2017 Academic World Quest Regional Competition

For the seventh consecutive year, Keystone School won the Regional Academic World Quest competition. Not only did our senior team finish first among fifty competing teams, but our sophomores finished second, and our juniors finished third...a clean sweep for Keystone School.

Considering the countless hours of study and preparation involved in achieving these honors over so many years, we are in awe of the intellectual abilities and consistency of our outstanding students. Please join us in showering accolades on our diligent and talented social science scholars!

1st Place -- Senior Team
Mishel, Tamar, Anna, Isuru

2nd Place -- Sophomore Team
Jackson, Daniel, Julia, Mark

3rd Place -- Junior Team
Sam, Nikola, Jocelyn, Hailey

Our victorious senior team will now prepare to defend our national championship at the National Academic World Quest Competition in Washington, D.C. on April 28. Wish us good fortune.


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
2017 National Merit Honorees
National Merit SemiFinalists (2):
Olivia Addington
Anna Christoffersen
National Hispanic Scholars (5):
Paula Arredondo
Nina Freeman
Taylor McManus
Tamar Furman
Roberto Soza
National Merit Commended (7):
Nina Freeman
Jonathan McCutchen
Isuru Somawardana
Roberto Soza
Mason Valicek
Vivian Whitney
Musmin Zar

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. 


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.