Coronado brings home big trophies

       March was a triumphant month for Coronado High School, as student teams from three different disciplines - engineering, food service and music - came home with the big trophies from major competitions.

Students and mentors with the Coronado High robotics team, Cougars Gone Wired, happily pose with the robot they built (#2996) after sweeping to multiple victories at the recent robotics competition in Denver.
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       Engineering: Cougars Gone Wired, the school's first-time robotics team, defeated 47 schools (in-cluding 5 from California and 2 from Kansas) to become regional champions in the robotics competition by the Colorado FIRST organization March 26-28 at Denver University. The victory qualifies the Westside school for the championship event in Atlanta, Ga., April 16-18 against regional winning schools from around the country and from Europe and Israel.
       FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is sponsored through partnerships with businesses, educational institutions and government.
       Cougars Gone Wired also won the Website award, the Autodesk animation award and the Rookie All-Star award.
       Engineering teacher Bryce McLean credited the students for their hard work - 28 hours a week, per person, outside of class time, for six weeks straight. “I saw these students get so much education working on this robot,” he said. Broken up into teams, corporation-style, the students built the robot, set up the website, created the animation and handled management and financial issues. “As adults, we just stayed out of their way,” McLean said.
       All schools made their robots from a standard kit of parts over a six-week span. Units had be maneuverable enough to place different sizes and shapes of balls into trailers towed by opponent robots.

Two Cougars Gone Wired team members work on the construction of the Coronado robot a few weeks before the March 26-28 competition.
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       Cougars Gone Wired students are Tim Burgie, Matt Butcher, David Dickson, Jon Dickson, Alexander Geber, Kyle Hensley, Charlie Howard, Jenna Humble, Eric James, Leah Jaron, Peter Jaron, Andrew Joynton, Antonio Kaufman, Jasmine Kemble, Wes Lauer, Terrence Lupo, Jory Maggard, Maximilian Malone, Tim Murphy, Fred Nace, Phil Royalty, Garrett Seeman, Chris Sherwood, Brooke Sieck, Joey Vaupel, Scott Von Thun, Erik Williams and Andre Young.
       Food service: In her final year at Coronado High School, retiring Family & Consumer Science teacher Leona Lindvall made her swan song a good one by leading her students to their third ProStart state championship in four years March 17 at Denver's downtown Hyatt Hotel. It was also the second year in a row for Coronado, making it the first school to repeat in the event's eight-year history (keeping the event's traveling trophy) and also first to achieve three out of four.
       “I just had some really good kids,” said Lindvall, who has taught at Coronado for 13 years. “We work pretty hard at it.”
       Supported by the food industry, ProStart is a competition that combines culinary and food-service management skills. Coronado's win resulted from the cumulative points in taking second in management (barely missing a repeat of last year's win) and sixth in cooking.
       The four-member culinary team was judged on the results of cooking a full meal (appetizers, entrée and dessert) using only two butane burners in an hour, while the four-member management team had to address complex issues that can arise in running a food-service operation.
       Music: Competing against high schools from several states during spring break in the annual Heritage Music Festival in Anaheim, Calif., Coronado High's Chamber Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band #1 took first places in their respective categories.

With their trophies on the table, Coronado High's state-winning ProStart contingent is divided into the management team (the four at left, by the books) and the culinary team (the four at right, with a butane burner in the foregound). From left are Jordan Sveen, Hannah Rogers, Judy Santero, Kenny Londono, teacher Leona Lindvall, volunteer aide (and professional chef) Liz Ziegler, Joshua Berntsen, Evan Fonnesbeck, Michael Harris and Katherine Jager.
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       In addition, the Chamber Orchestra and Wind Ensemble received the Adjudicators Awards for best orchestra and best band, which also gave them the Sweepstakes Awards for being the highest scoring instrumental groups overall at the festival.
       Individual solo awards went to Miles Roth and Josh Brewer (Jazz Band), with Brewer also receiving the Concert Master Award for outstanding musicianship (Orchestra).
       Coronado's musicians are led by band director Alan Combs and orchestsra director Mindi Loewen.

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