By Elizabeth Gillingham
National Youth Cyber Defense Competition
In April, a team from Patrick Henry High School traveled on an all-expenses-paid trip to the CyberPatriot VIII National Finals Competition in Baltimore, Maryland with their Senior Naval Science Instructor, Ron Flaherty.
Since 2009, CyberPatriot’s National Youth Cyber Defense Competition has challenged teams of two to six students to harden simulated computer systems and resolve real-life cybersecurity situations faced by industry professionals. The competition provides students hands-on experience securing computer networks while exciting, educating, and motivating them toward careers in cybersecurity and other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
Led by PHHS instructor John Wood, the Patrick Henry High School National Finalist team was one of just 12 teams to advance from a pool of 1,281 All Service Division teams. The CyberPatriot competition consists of two high school divisions, with public, private, and home schools competing in the Open Division and Junior ROTC units, Naval Sea Cadet Corps, and Civil Air Patrol squadrons competing in the All Service Division, as well as a Middle School Division.
In all, more than 3,300 teams registered to participate in CyberPatriot VIII, marking more than 55 percent growth to the competition field from last season. Registered teams represented all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, and U.S. Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Europe and the Pacific.
Following two preliminary rounds in November and December, CyberPatriot VIII teams were categorized within their divisions as Platinum, Gold, or Silver Tier teams, with Platinum Tier teams representing the highest scoring teams and the only teams eligible to advance all the way to National Finals. During an additional two elimination rounds, the Patrick Henry High School team demonstrated the teamwork, critical thinking skills, and technical knowledge necessary to distinguish itself from other Platinum Tier teams and win its coveted National Finalist spot.
During the competition’s only in-person round, teams competed to defend virtual networks and mobile devices from a professional aggressor team. The National Finalists also faced off in three additional competition components: the Cisco Networking Challenge, the Leidos Digital Forensics Challenge, and the Facebook Cybersecurity Challenge. These extra challenges exposed the competitors to new elements and skillsets of the many career opportunities available to them.
Though the PHHS team did not make the final top three teams, we are very proud to report that we won the Cisco Networking Challenge! Congratulations to our team!
April and May Students of the Month
Alan Reyes was selected for April as our student of the month and awarded during the Grantville/Allied Garden Kiwanis Club meeting last month. Reyes was selected for his dedication and service for our student-led coffee cart, where he has served as the manager and an employee all four years at PHHS.
Reyes’ service is impeccable as he approaches the work with a smile and friendly sales pitch that warms the hearts of every staff member before they even take a sip of the coffee the students are selling. As part of a functional math class, students in this class learn how to tally their products, take orders, count cash, monitor their inventory, stock their shelves, and work with the public at large by taking their business from class to class.
“The kids are always professional, efficient, and conscientious,” said teacher Matt Pruden. “I have personally noticed how so many of them have grown as more confident students and people through this interaction and responsibility.”
Marshall Cotta was selected for the month of May and had many teacher recommendations for his respectful and courteous ways
“Cotta has been a member of the PHHS Improv Team for four years,” wrote his theater teacher. “This year he is our referee which means he runs our shows. He’s a wonderful, gracious host and makes the audience feel comfortable. He was also seen in the PHHS Production of ‘Amadeus’ last year and looks great in a colonial wig!
“Marshall is a real team player. He always volunteers to help out and he offers any support or resources he can to help any production run smoothly.”
In a statement, head counselor Terry Walsh described Cotta as “gracious, humble, and readily accepts challenges.”
“He has quite an amazing personal story, often speaking about it at conferences and meetings, in support of City of Hope,” continued Walsh. “He helps his parents with their business downtown at the 10th Avenue Theatre. At school, Marshall has been involved in many plays, musicals, improv and Bel Cantos choir. He has been accepted to SDSU School of Music beginning next year.”
It’s hard not to love Cotta because of the way he presents himself at school. He truly is a role model and an exceptional student. He will be missed by all of us at Henry!
PHHS senior and salutatorian Jabril King-Mahdi was honored as one of 32 African-American male high school students last month at the Town & Country for the 30th Annual Links Achievers Award ceremony.
King-Mahdi was recognized for having the highest GPA of all the Achievers and is known at Henry for being an amazing leader and great student. We were very proud to be represented by him and we’re excited to see him get this special recognition.
Each year, the San Diego Chapter of the Links identifies a high school male senior that has distinguished himself in academics, sports, the arts and/or community to participate in The Achiever Program. Those selected for this program are exposed to workshops and seminars geared toward college preparedness, leadership, financial responsibility, gentlemen training and etiquette; they attend art and enrichment activities which include topics ranging from social justice to success and wealth building.
In addition, Achievers gain a sense of brotherhood and camaraderie participating in this enrichment program and build lasting relationships by being paired with a mentor. The mentors are outstanding and prestigious members of the business and professional community and play an important role of providing guidance and support.
The expectation and goal of this program is that Achievers will make a lifelong commitment to give back by serving as mentors and roles models in their respective communities.
In 2016, San Diego Links Achiever Program celebrated its 30th Anniversary. The Achiever Program has made an indelible mark on the San Diego Community, the San Diego Chapter of the Links has donated and raised funds for the program and has awarded over $1 million in scholarships.
Congratulations to PHHS Winter Guard Team
PHHS Winter Guard team competes February through March at various events and this year came on top by winning the Gold Medal in their classification at the 2016 Winter Guard Association of Southern California Championships held on April 16 at Huntington Beach High School. We are proud of their hard work and dedication!
Chevron Engineering Challenge
Kudos to our freshmen team of future engineers for their outstanding results at the Chevron Engineering Challenge.
Kellie Formanek, Eliza Rosales and Maya Rozenshteyn placed second at this Regional Design Competition. Students were given a design brief and approximately six hours to sketch, build and present their design.
Our three students ranked second out of a total of 15 teams (and were the only team comprised of only girls). They designed an outdoor barbeque system that impressed the judges and led them to the finals. They won $100 each and have been invited to attend the state finals in Sacramento in May.
Big wins in track
The boys track and field team were league champions for Eastern League and hit the following milestones this season:
Scripps Ranch’s loss to us was their first dual meet lost in 10 years; Patrick Henry’s first win over Mira Mesa in 9 years; and First Track and Field league title since 1989!
Congratulations to our boys team!
—Elizabeth Gillingham is the principal of Patrick Henry High School. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.