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Incline Education Fund School Update

September 19, 2023 | Mary Danahey

Author Jarret Lerner is coming to Incline to talk to local students about the joys of reading at 3 separate school presentations.

Lake Tahoe School is hosting a FREE community event tonight (9/20) from 6:00-7:30 in their new school library.


It’s HOMECOMING WEEK at Incline High School.

  • The local parade is this Friday, 9/22, from 2-3.
  • The dance is in the small gym from 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm.
  • Come out and cheer on our Highlanders!

Here are the details:

Parade route: Hwy 28 from the Pet Station/Ski Loft, past Alibi, back up around Raleys and to the high school.

The football teams will be playing Battle Mountain Friday night.  JV game is at 4:30, Varsity at 7:00  

The futbol teams will be battling South Lake Tahoe on Saturday. Boys Varsity is at 10, Girls Varsity at 12:00.

Submitted by Mary Danahey ~ Incline Education Fund

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Incline High School Celebrates Its AP Capstone Diploma Recipients

September 12, 2023 | Mary Danahey

Over 2,500 schools participated in the AP Capstone Diploma program, a project-based learning experience valued by colleges and universities across the U.S. and around the world.

Incline Village, NV – At Incline High School, three students from the class of 2023 have earned the AP Capstone DiplomaTM, and two students from the class of 2024 have already qualified to receive the AP Capstone Diploma.  Additionally, eight students have earned the AP Seminar and Research CertificateTM during the 2022-23 school year. The AP Capstone Diploma program helps students develop the critical thinking, research, collaboration, and presentation skills that are crucial for academic success. 

“We proudly recognize the achievements of students who participated in the AP Capstone Diploma program,” said Principal Cahill. “Our AP Capstone students and teachers displayed exceptional dedication to this impactful, multi-academic-year program where they got to explore their passions through scholarly research. This is a meaningful college readiness program that will serve our students well after high school.”

To receive the AP Capstone Diploma, students must earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar, AP Research, and on four additional AP® Exams of their choice. To receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate, students must earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research. Students are increasingly participating in the AP CapstoneTM program. The program has reached a milestone of over 100,000 students participating during the 2022-23 academic year, representing over 2,500 schools worldwide. Approximately 15,800 students earned the AP Capstone Diploma, and 9,600 students earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.  

Unlike traditional APsubject exams with a single end-of-year assessment, AP Seminar and AP Research assessments are project based and evaluate skills mastery through group projects, presentations, and individual essays completed throughout the year. Instead of focusing on one specific academic discipline, AP Seminar and AP Research are interdisciplinary: students are encouraged to create research projects based on topics of personal interest. Students are assessed on the critical thinking, research, collaboration, time management, and presentation skills needed to complete their projects. 

“It is remarkable to witness students—and even educators—rediscover their passion for learning through the AP Capstone program,” shared Bianca Peart, the global lead of the AP Capstone Diploma program. “The constant fascination stems from the array of subjects students explore, all while cultivating essential skills—as if witnessing the creation of a masterpiece.”  

“I’m thrilled to congratulate these motivated students, who worked hard to earn the AP Capstone Diploma and AP Seminar and Research Certificate,” said Trevor Packer, head of the Advanced Placement® Program. “These students have enhanced the foundation for their future academic and professional careers by honing their ability to manage long-term projects, collaborate with teams, and deliver effective presentations on topics they’re passionate about.”

Of the students who participated in the AP Capstone Diploma program at Incline High School:

  • 3 graduates from the class of 2023 were awarded the AP Capstone Diploma by earning scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar, AP Research, and on 4 additional AP Exams, and 2 seniors in class of 2024 have qualified. Class of 2023: Ivy Batmale, Shannon Hugar, and Josue Salas.  Class of 2024: Sarah Moore and Jesse Santina.
  • 10 students were recognized as AP Scholars with Distinction. This honor is granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. Scholars with Distinction: Paloma Akiwenzie, Alexander Beaulac, Quinn Cafferata-Jenkins, Abbygail Duckworth, Shannon Hugar, William Jones, Adelina LaForge, Sarah Moore, Jesse Santina, and Annie Stembridge. 
  • 6 students were recognized as AP Scholars with Honor.  This is granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. Scholars with Honor: Luciano Casini, Sequoia Denton, Catherine Kerrigan, Parker Mirzayan, Nicholas Suter, and Katherine Wechsler. 
  • 22 students were recognized as AP Scholars.  This designation is granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams. AP Scholars: William Arrison, Ivy Batmale, Emily Brubaker, Hoswaldo Cabrera, Anna Cecchi, Gianna Damato, Liam Ellis, Molly Ellis, Anthony Eppolito, Ginna Eppolito, Auri Fernandez, Tate Gitchell, Lainey Lowden, Alexander Macdonald, Preston Nilles, Kira Noble, Elanor Ogden, Josue Salas, Elissa Sano, Samantha Stephens, Rebeka Sussman, and Kyler Thompson. 
  • 8 were awarded the AP Seminar and Research Certificate by earning scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research: Emily Brubaker, Auri Fernandez, Kimberly Lara, Lainey Lowden, Parker Mirzayan, Kira Noble, Samantha Stephens, and Kyler Thompson. 

The College Board’s Advanced Placement® Program (AP®) gives students the opportunity to take challenging college-level courses while still in high school. A 3 or higher on an AP Exam has multiple benefits for students, including earning college credit, advanced placement, or both for successful performance on AP Exams, saving them time and money. Research shows AP students are better prepared for and more likely to enroll and remain in college, do well in classes, and earn their degrees on time. Each exam is developed by a committee of college and university faculty and AP teachers, ensuring that AP Exams align with their high standards. 

Incline High School is an AP Capstone school that is constantly looking to offer a wide range of AP courses. Current offerings are as follows: AP Seminar, AP Research, AP Computer Science Principles, AP Pre-Calculus, AP Environmental Science, AP Government, AP US History, AP Human Geography, AP Literature, AP Eng. Language, AP Spanish Language & Culture, AP 2 D Art, AP 3 D Art, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Physics 1, AP Physics C – Mechanics, AP Physics C Electricity and Magnetism. 

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Incline Village School Updates

September 6, 2023 | Mary Danahey

This week is just about keeping everyone in the know and getting used to the rhythm of the school year. See each school for the latest updates.

Incline Elementary School:

Principal John Stern welcomes 4 new teachers this year:

  • Jamie Gasparre Pre-k Teacher
  • Heather Fisher- Dean of Students
  • Jessica Garcia- New P.E. Teacher
  • Kimberly Murphy- New Computer/Tech Teacher

The Reno ACES held a successful fundraiser for IES last Sunday at the IES ACES DAY! There was a great turnout and everyone had a blast!   

Upcoming IES events: 

  • Back to School Night next Tuesday, September 12th, starting at 5pm.  
  • ‘Coffee and Conversation’ with the Principal on September 13th, starting at 9:30am
  • PTA Party on September 24th at 4:00pm at the Lower Village Green. 

Join here: https://incline-elementary-pta.square.site/pta-membership

Incline Middle School newbies:

New Principal, Dan Lediard welcomes 2 new additions to IMS: 

  • Robert Riley – librarian & computer science teacher
  • Crystal Preciado-Ramierez- CLS 

IMS falls sports teams (Cross Country and Girls Basketball) have started their seasons and Homework Club is in full swing, meeting M-Th right after school.

And don’t forget to join the Jr Boosters here: https://www.washoeschools.net/Page/2173

Incline High School updates:

Incline High School is excited to announce that they are now offering on-site College Counseling!  

Seniors will have first dibs (for obvious reasons) at access to services during their first period ADVISORY.  

Watch this column for more detailed information next week.

  • Hispanic Parent Night is TODAY, Wednesday, 9/6 at 6 p.m. in the Duffield Theater
  • Back to School night was a great success!  There was a huge turnout as parents got to meet their students’ teachers and lots of school spirit was on display. 

Don’t forget to join the BOOSTERS -if you haven’t already- so that you can attend any/all sporting events for free!  https://inclineboosters.com/join-us/

Football, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball, Cross country, Girls Golf, and Cheer are all in full swing.  Check out the IHS website for game schedules.   Volunteers are always needed to help at the games.

Mary Danahey
Incline Education Fund


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Schools Settling into the Groove – School Update with IEF

August 30, 2023 | Mary Danahey

Now that the shock of being back in school is over, it’s time to settle into the groove. There is a LOT going on so here’s a quick list to keep you in the know:

Incline Elementary: Thur, 9/12, 5-7:30

Incline Middle: Tues, 9/15, 5:30-7:00

Incline High TONIGHT, Wed, 8/30, 5:30 – 7:30

Lake Tahoe School: Thur,  9/7 6:00-8:00


Incline Elementary School is proud to now be recognized as a “Nevada Governor’s STEM School”. This designation is proof of the evidence-based, high-quality STEM education students receive at IES. The Reno Aces are hosting a fundraiser for IES on Sunday, September 3rd at 6pm. IES gets a percentage of each ticket sale purchased with the QR code below.  It’s Family Sunday, meaning $1 hot dogs and lots of family fun – including kids getting to run the bases between the game and postgame fireworks.  Use the QR code below to buy your tickets.

Incline Middle School is excited to continue offering “Wednesday Exploratory” where students get to choose between a number of options to spark their curiosity and learn about potential careers. Offerings this quarter include: entrepreneurship, podcasting, environmental stewardship, cooking, and 2 sport options. They are also engaging students through the MATHCOUNTS enrichment program and of course, the IMS robotics program (now in it’s second year).WATCH this column for the interview with Dan Lediard as he talks about his vision for IMS and their plan to also become a Nevada Governor’s STEM School.

Incline High School has a LOT going on…. The remodel funded by the Dave and Cheryl Duffield Foundation is underway and most of the demolition is already complete. Stay tuned for updates. And just to show that students are starting the year off right: several of last year’s engineering students entered an MIT competition and have made it into the second round, and SEVEN of our students have been honored in the College Board’s 2023 National Recognition Program. Oh, and IHS is also proud to now be recognized as a “Nevada Governor’s STEM School”.  Proof of the solid education provided by IHS.


Community opportunities are all around. Schools are always looking for substitute teachers and coaches (paid positions) and volunteers are needed for the Read With Me program at IES. For more information, please reach out to: maryd@inclineeducationfund.org.


There is the Reno Aces Game this Sunday to benefit IES. And the Wine & Food Tasting event at Aspen Grove on 9/23 to support the local Boys & Girls Club and Incline Middle School.  See the flyers below. 

Mary Danahey
Incline Education Fund


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Incline Village School News

August 23, 2023 | Mary Danahey

Good News! While the possible closure of Incline Middle School is still on the table, WCSD has announced that they will definitely NOT be closing after this 2023-24 academic year

The earliest possible date would be June of 2025, meaning that there will be at least one more year of instruction at the current IMS site – through the 2024-25 school year. 

Stayed tuned here for future updates.

Count Day is August 25, so please make sure your student is in attendance that day as schools receive funding based on how many students are enrolled on specific dates and 8/25 is one of them.

Now that school is back in session, please consider joining your specific parent group (PTA, Jr Boosters, and Booster emails are below). Schools serve their students better when parents are involved.  

Here are some important dates to put on your calendar. 

Fall Break is Oct 2-6.

Incline Elementary School

PTA email: https://www.washoeschools.net/Page/19046

Back to School Night Tuesday, Sept 12, 5-7

PTA Meetings Mondays:  Aug 28, Sept 25 and Nov 13 @ 4:00

PTA “Get to Know You” Party  Sunday, Sept 17, 4pm @ Burnt Cedar Pool

Incline Middle School

Jr Boosters email: https://www.washoeschools.net/Page/2173

Back to School Night Thursday, Sept 14, 5:30-7:30

Jr Booster Meeting Tuesday, Sept 12, 10:30 

Incline High School

Boosters email: https://inclineboosters.com/join-us/

Back to School Night Wednesday Aug 30, 5:30-7:30

Hispanic Parent Night Wednesday, Sept 6, 5:00

Homecoming Week Sept 17-23

Mary Danahey
Incline Education Fund

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Innovative Incline School Programming Middle School Style

August 14, 2023 | Kathy Slocum

 From: ‘LIVE.WORK.PLAY. Summer 2023’

Middle school is a tricky developmental time for humans. It’s when we start to become self-confident enough to both be a part of and separate from a variety of groups. It’s when we are most keenly aware of how our peers are behaving and when labels like math nerd or class clown can stick. Importantly, it’s also when academic interests begin to solidify. Research has shown that if a student does not show interest in a particular subject, like STEM for example, by 4th or 5th grade, they will not do so. This is particularly true for higher-level classes (like STEM) as students will not have the basic skills needed to take courses later on.

Luckily, Principal Kari Michael and the staff at Incline Middle School understand this complicated developmental time. They know that relationships are built on shared experiences, interests, and goals and they work to provide those shared opportunities for students.

When students feel a part of a group, they also tend to work harder, care more, and invest in the cohesion and success of the group. IMS has done a great job creating a number of avenues for students to build those relationships while experiencing new activities. Here are a few examples of the unique programming offered at IMS.

Wednesday Exploratory Session

Principal Michael developed this weekly program to help students re-engage in school post-pandemic and/or to have an opportunity to get caught up in subjects that they may need more support in.

Students who are on track academically can choose from a variety of experiential opportunities, while those who need academic support can work with a subject teacher in their area of need.

Several options are offered each quarter and are meant to broaden student interest and allow them to challenge themselves. Students choose from a variety of themes and with the generous support of our local community, have been able to go off-campus and learn more about different subjects. Incline Education Fund sourced and funded student activities in partnership with local businesses. From skiing with Nevada

Nordic and Tahoe-Multisport, to leadership classes with Bowl Incline, to a glimpse into the animal world with Pet Network, and to Incline Education Fund-sponsored water safety lessons and a spring special with Truckee’s Gateway Mountain Center, IMS students can widen their horizons, develop new interests and even start thinking about potential future careers.

The IMS Robotics Program

Incline Education Fund was recently awarded a $50k grant from the Nevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation & Technology to scale up the robotics program at Incline Middle School. The curriculum is aligned to Nevada Academic Content Standards for Computer Science and integrates a final, capstone project each semester. Those projects give students the opportunity to address a real-world issue and require them to present their solution to a public audience. Robotics is offered both as an elective class and an after-school LEGO Robotics Club. Additionally, IMS has created a Girls Who Code Club that is supported by the local AAUW chapter.

The program is proving to be highly successful. Levels of student engagement, teamwork, and collaboration have exceeded expectations and the capstone projects are a great way to showcase student work.

This robotics program is a bridge for those students interested in STEM, as they can solidify skills they’ve developed in the Incline Elementary School Makerspace program and build the foundation they need to succeed in the Incline High School Engineering & Entrepreneurship program. Incline public school students can now take dedicated STEM courses from K-12th.

Wellness Zone

IMS has also created a place where students can learn to address their personal emotional regulation skills. The Wellness Zone is a quiet space where students can get 1:1 academic support or work independently on a project. It is also a space where counselors can run small groups and provide lessons to our special needs students. Detailed Wellness Zone data reports are proving the effectiveness of students having access to a space where they can go to get help when neede

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Incline Elementary and Incline High School receive STEM School Designation from Nevada Governor’s Office

August 13, 2023 | Kathy Slocum

from ‘LIVE.WORK.PLAY. Summer 2023’

Article from: LIVE.WORK.PLAY. Summer 2023

The Nevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation & Technology (OSIT) awarded both Incline Elementary and Incline High School their coveted Nevada Governor’s STEM School Designation. The ceremony took place at the Governor’s Office in Carson City on May 16th, 2023. This seal of approval means that both IES and IHS meet the highest standards of STEM instruction and are models for schools around the state.

Incline Education Fund worked closely with both IES and IHS school staff to apply for the OSIT designation. IEF will apply for the Incline Middle School designation in 2024-5. This would make Incline Village the first and only STEM Designated K-12 school system in the state of Nevada.

The Nevada Governor’s OSIT only recognized 13 schools for the award this year. These are schools that demonstrate exemplary performance in STEM and have comprehensive, school-wide systems in place to support STEM learning. This award acknowledges that these schools implement high-quality, research-based, hands-on instruction. OSIT schools also partner with the community to develop relationships and authentic learning opportunities. Both Incline Elementary and High Schools have proven that they demonstrate these practices.

For the last two years, with the launch of the highly successful, IEF-funded makerspace, Incline Elementary School has focused on providing a high-quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Trina Kleinhenz, the IES makerspace teacher, coordinates with each of the K-5 teachers to tie the STEM curriculum into their grade-level classwork. This collaboration creates a unique opportunity to engage students in real-world problem solving, creative design, critical thinking and career opportunities through STEMfocused formal and informal education.

Principal John Stern said, “I am extremely proud of all of our teachers and students and this “Developing STEM School Designation” proves the high-quality education that IES provides to the Incline community”.

Incline High School was awarded the “Established STEM School Designation” for their Engineering & Entrepreneurship program and the work they are doing around individualized college and career guidance.

Engineering & Career & Technical Education Teacher

Adam Shoda joined IHS this fall and brought his 20-year experience of instruction and his work with the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum with him. His PLTW classes are managed under a Simulated Workplace classroom management model, which provides students with skills that prepare them for future professions, including leadership roles and how to work as a team to complete real-world tasks.

STEM learning at IHS is not confined to the obvious science, math, engineering, and tech classes. The STEM tenets of problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration are woven throughout a student’s IHS experience. Other examples include the highly successful “We the People” AP US Government & Politics class, the Stormwater Quality Leadership Program, the Culinary Arts program, and the Podcast Studio.

The OSIT award also recognized IHS’s “Learning through Interest/Internship Program” (LTI) led by Deirdre Carney. Ms. Carney is the IHS Internship Coordinator and works directly with students to expose them to a variety of fields, including STEM. Her position is funded by the Duffield Foundation and is implemented through an advisory model that is focused on student interests. Students begin the LTI program with informational interviews with community mentors that may lead to shadowing opportunities or internships. These mentors offer students exposure to real world experiences that seek to highlight relevance to their academic learning.

IHS Principal Tierney Cahill stated that “IHS is honored to be recognized as the first and only high school in the Washoe County School District to receive the OSIT award. It is a testament to the dedication of our staff and the quality work of our students. We could not have achieved this milestone without the community support from both the Duffield Foundation and the Incline Education Fund.”

Incline Education Fund is dedicated to the task of tying the STEM programs at all three Incline public schools together to create the first and only K12 STEM Pathway in the state. They are launching a STEP Up for STEM fundraising campaign with a goal of $300,000 to stabilize these exciting programs. Funds will be used for STEM program costs, academic tutors & mentors to get students to grade-level competency, equipment/technology, and new programs to keep the curriculum cutting-edge.

For more information about these programs go to: Inclineeducationfund.org

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In The News – Washoe School District Trustees approve $27 million construction contract with donation from Dave and Cheryl Duffield Foundation

July 15, 2023 | Miranda Jacobson

Originally published in the Tahoe Daily Tribune 07/15/2023, Written by Miranda Jacobson

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev.— The Washoe County School District Board of Trustees approved a contract for construction for $27 million thanks to a grant from the Dave and Cheryl Duffield Foundation. 

“I just cannot thank Dave and Cheryl Duffield enough and their foundation for their work on this,” said Trustee Jeffery Church. “Their donation, it’s just incredible.” 

The board approved the construction agreement unanimously at their meeting on Tuesday, June 27. 


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In The News – Hyatt Regency ‘STEPS UP for STEM’ with $50,000 Matching Donation

July 14, 2023 | Member Submitted

Hyatt Lake Tahoe COO, Andrew DeLapp, presenting the STEP UP for STEM donation check to Incline High School Principal Tierney Cahill, Incline Elementary School Principal John Stern and outgoing Incline Middle School Principal Kari Michael.
Incline Education Fund is kicking off its “STEP UP for STEM fundraising campaign with a major commitment from the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino. A long time supporter in the local community, the Hyatt has stepped up as lead corporate sponsor to help make the Incline Schools become the first and only K-12 STEM designated school system in the State of Nevada.

According to Andrew DeLapp, COO of Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, “The Hyatt is excited to be partnering with Incline Education Fund on the STEP Up for STEM campaign. Their vision for a STEM learning curriculum across K-12 at Incline schools will help prepare our kids with real-world, 21st century skills. We are proud to be supporting our local community as sponsors of this great program.”

The Incline Education Fund will be raising $300,000 in total funding to build a K-12 coordinated curriculum across all three schools. The donations will be directed to new and updated technology equipment, experiential curriculum and STEM enrichment programs such as podcasting and the Sound Lab, coding, programming, robotics, drones and laser printing.   A critical part of a STEM education includes collaborative work, problem-solving, communication and critical thinking– skills that Incline High Schools’ nationally recognized ‘We the People’ class excel at throughout their competition season. The STEP UP for STEM program also helps students plan for their future with mentorship and internship programs. Additional academic support programs, funded by the Incline Education Fund, will assist struggling students so they can take full advantage of more rigorous academic options.

“The Hyatt has once again demonstrated their long-term commitment to support our community and our kids,” said Mary Danahey, Executive Director, Incline Education Fund. “This $50,000 match will help us jumpstart our program and take it to the next level.”
Incline Education Fund Cofounder, Sharon Schrage added, “The STEP UP for STEM program will broaden students’ critical thinking skills and open additional opportunities for careers or higher education degrees. We believe that the Incline Schools are on their way to creating one of the best K-12 school communities in the state of Nevada. The Hyatt has been a great partner in helping us achieve this goal.”
Incline Education Foundation


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In The News: Incline High School celebrates graduating class of 2023 with five valedictorians

July 1, 2023 | Miranda Jacobson

Originally published in the Tahoe Daily Tribune 06/28/2023, Written by Miranda Jacobson

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev.— Incline High School celebrated the graduating class of 2023 in style with a fantastic graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 22, followed by an afterparty filled with families and festivities. 

“Today we gather here to celebrate the achievements of each the exceptional scholars who have proven to themselves to be versatile, resilient, and unstoppable,” said IHS Principal Tierney Cahill. 

Among the students were five valedictorians, each with unique and special qualities that earned them the prestigious title. The valedictorians included Shannon Hugar, Annie Stembridge, Molly Ellis, Kaden Winter, and Alexander Beaulac. 


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