Azle High School’s Start at CyberStart

Photo courtesy of

CyberStart is a competition where students compete to finish as many challenges as they can from fields ranging from websites, networking, and binary to forensics and cryptography. This was our school’s first year competing.

The competition took place on the 5th and 6th of April. If a student ranked high enough, they could be eligible to receive a $3,000 scholarship.

“It was intensely challenging to a point where I was stumped very many times,” senior Alexander Heath said.

A student’s ranking in the competition was determined by how many challenges they completed in the 48 hour period.

“I think I can speak for everyone when I say that I wish I would have been able to complete more. I don’t think anyone got past 21% completion through the whole competition,” freshman Alysa Potter said.

Our school competed against over 4,000 other schools spanning across all fifty states and US territories. Sixteen students from AHS qualified for the National scholarship competition.

“To put it in perspective, AHS qualified more students for this national competition than the entire states of New Mexico, South Carolina, Missouri, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kentucky, Montana, Alaska, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming,” teacher Sheryl Prather said.

Heath and Potter were two of the sixteen students to qualify, and they both plan to compete again next year.

“It may feel agonizingly painful in the moment, but the rewards are worth it, especially being able to say “Hey, I competed against 3 thousand kids, some of whom were college kids, and got in the top 30%,” Potter said.

While confirmation of who will be receiving the scholarship won’t come out until May, Mrs. Prather predicts 12 to 14 of our students that qualified will receive the scholarship.

“Because they ranked highly in the Competition, they will be awarded a National Cyber Scholarship Finalist badge, as well as access to accredited online cybersecurity training, provided by SANS Technology Institute, worth $3000.” Mrs. Prather said.

Azle High School’s first year at CyberStart was met with success. Multiple students qualified and according to Mrs. Prather, they are already preparing for next year’s competition.

“I could not be more proud of these students,” Mrs. Prather said. “This was our first year to compete and they did an amazing job, especially since none of them had any previous cybersecurity training.”