Many top finishes for IHS, DeWitt TSA at state competition

Post date: Mar 13, 2016 5:45:52 PM

Teams from Ithaca High School (IHS) and DeWitt Middle School earned resounding wins at the New York State Technology Student Association (NYS TSA) conference on Friday, March 11, earning dozens of individual awards, as well as Chapter of the Year designations at two levels.

The annual all-day conference, hosted by the Technology Department at SUNY Oswego, drew 121 students to 32 competitive events across a broad range of technical fields, from aeronautical engineering to extemporaneous speech to prototype manufacturing to website design. The IHS team took first place in 13 of 20 events, while DeWitt earned first in 9 of 12.

DeWitt students Aidan Foley, Ryan Mao, and Jefferson Sheng were named Students of the Year at the middle school level. IHS junior Jacob Silcoff barely missed becoming Student of the Year at the high school level, but led all Ithaca students with four first-place finishes. Silcoff also won a vote among members and thus became President of NYS TSA for 2016-17.

Events varied not only by subject matter, but also by their structure, with teams competing in some categories and individuals competing in others. Both teams got notably excellent performances from their first-year members, including 9th-graders Tony Yang and Vaynu Kadiyali (each with three first-place team finishes), Joseph Yoon (two individual firsts), and Tilden Chao (one individual first, one team first, and one team second).

The DeWitt TSA chapter is led by faculty advisors Dave Buchner and Bob Walters. The IHS TSA team is led by faculty advisors Bill Sauve and Karen Kiechle. Evie Weinstein serves as State Advisor and member of the Board of Trustees of the NYS Technology Student Association. Weinstein and Williamsville North High School teacher Stacy Corio were the main organizers of the state conference.

Ithaca’s TSA teams now turn to preparations for the national TSA conference in Nashville in June, with high hopes that their efforts will measure up against those of the strongest technology teams in the country. The teams welcome donations in support of travel, required uniforms, and materials. Both groups accept tax-deductible donations via IthacaSTEM Advocates, an affiliate of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI). To support the TSA teams, please visit, click the Donate button, then use the second box on the donation page to direct your gift to IthacaSTEM Advocates and the TSA groups.