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Eleven students earn all-state music honors

Denton school district fine arts students accounted for 11 selections to the Texas Music Educators Association all-state band, all-state choir and all-state orchestra groups.

Students from Ryan, Denton and Guyer high schools went through two rounds of auditions against peers from their region before being named to their respective TMEA all-state musical performance groups. Each of these students will perform with their all-state counterparts at the annual TMEA Clinic/Convention on Feb. 8-11 in San Antonio.

The Denton district placed seven students on the all-state choir, including four from Denton High and three from Ryan High.

Denton High's top choir honorees include: Josh Harden, junior, bass 1; Nathan Schafer, senior, tenor 1; Javan Stalls, junior, tenor 2; and Nicole Thompson, junior, soprano 1. Schafer and Thompson are each making their second all-state appearance.

The Denton High choir director is Mark Baker, and he is assisted by Patti Freeman.

Ryan High's top choir members include: Meghan Kajihara, senior, alto 1; Piper Johnson, senior, alto 1; and Bryan Pineda, senior, tenor 2. All of these students are making their second all-state appearance.

David Rives is the Ryan High choir director, and he is assisted by Scott Thompson.

The Denton district placed three students on the all-state orchestra.

From Denton High, senior Beckah Maxwell-Leroy placed with her bass. This is her fourth consecutive year to place in the all-state orchestra. The orchestra director is Tanya Schwoch.

Two students from Guyer High placed, including senior violinist Nigel Dean, who earned his first all-state selection, and junior violinist Adam Oh, who earned his second all-state selection. The Guyer orchestra director is Michelle Brians, and she is assisted by Jeremy Atkins.

The school district's band representative is Denton High senior Kevin Ford, who earned his first all-state appearance. He plays the alto saxophone.

The Denton High band director is Brian Wilson, and he is assisted by Jesse Woolery, associate director, and Robert Brannock, percussion director.



Groundhog Day Gala scheduled for Saturday

The Denton Public School Foundation will have its 10th annual Groundhog Day Gala at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the University of North Texas Gateway Center.

The gala includes a dinner and silent and live auctions featuring vacation packages, press box parties and exclusive personal experience opportunities.

All event proceeds benefit the school district's students, teachers and staff.

A limited number of tickets remain for the event and are $60 per person. For more information, call 940-369-0143.



Program to provide parent resource night

Parents and concerned residents can still register for the school district's Special Education Parent Resource program, scheduled at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Professional Development Center, 1212 Bolivar St.

The event offers an informational overview of the district's special education programs for parents, guardians and other interested parties. The primary topic is on understanding the special education referral process and features guest speaker Sharon Rutherford from the Region XI Education Service Center.

A reception will begin the event, with the program beginning at 6 p.m. Spanish translation and sign language interpretation will be available upon request.

For more information, call 940-369-4091. For special assistance with Spanish or sign language, call 940-369-0681.



Students compete at leadership conference

The school district recently had 15 students compete at the regional Business Professionals of America competition with nine members qualifying for the 2012 BPA State Leadership Conference to be held in Dallas.

Ryan High School scored two victories at the Area 1-Region 2 competition, with Chris Hoye placing first and the parliamentary procedures team earning first in that competition.

Joining Hoye on the regional-winning team were Jocelyn Almaraz, Paloma Arellano, Salmon Hasan, Valerie Lawrence and Matthew Ogenche.

Hasan also earned an individual state qualification with his second place, while Valerie Lawrence, who finished fourth, and Ogenche, who finished fifth, each qualified as state alternates.

The Ryan High BPA sponsor is Helen Hayes.

Guyer High scored one regional victory and qualified two teams and two individuals for the state competition. The administrative support team of Jahanara Hoque, Jeremiah Owen, Reed Phillips and Carol Scott took first-place honors. The financial analyst team of Robert Bradford, Brandon Dominguez and Logan Morgan finished as the runner-up.

Guyer's Logan Morgan qualified for state as the runner-up in personal computer servicing and troubleshooting, while Brandon Dominguez took third and qualified for state in fundamental spreadsheet. Also earning top-five finishes and state alternate status were: Robert Bradford, advanced accounting; Jahanara Hoque, extemporaneous speech; Jeremiah Owen, payroll accounting; and Carol Scott, keyboard production. The Guyer BPA sponsor is Donna Lowe.

Denton High finished with two individual state qualifiers and one state alternate. Ester Kim was the regional runner-up in medical office procedures, while Tiffani Black finished third in desktop publishing. Cynthia Pantaleon earned state alternate status for her fourth-place finish in advanced word processing.

The Denton High BPA sponsor is Brian Redding.



Ryan High School

Scholars, Raiders, teacher get honor

Ryan High School recently announced its scholars, Raiders and teacher of the month for January. Students, from grades nine through 12, were recognized by peers and staff members for their school spirit, academic achievements and character.

The students and teacher will be honored by parents and staff at a special breakfast in the school's Renaissance Hall.

The scholars of the month were Emily Nielsen, freshman; Anna Passey, sophomore; Hannah Shade, junior; and Katie Burks, senior.

The Raiders of the month were Christian Mendez, freshman; Briel Henderson, sophomore; Carson Beard, junior; and Jerrick Harvey, senior.

The teacher of the month was Michael Thompson. He is the school's theater arts instructor and co-sponsors the drama and technical theater clubs.



Wilson Elementary School

Ballet Folklorico will perform at conference

The Ballet Folklorico de Woodrow Wilson performance group has been invited to present a routine at the 41st annual conference of the National Association for Bilingual Education, Feb. 15-17 in Dallas.

Wilson Elementary School's Ballet Folklorico has performed at a number of local and area events, but this is the group's first invitation to dance at an event on the national level.

Established in 2004 as a way to help diversity grow on the campus, the performance group has grown from just 13 bilingual students in its first year to 52 students encompassing the diversity found at the school today.

The conference is generally regarded as the largest gathering of parents, teachers, policy makers and school officials working to serve bilingual and English language learners in the United States. More than 2,000 attendees are expected to attend this year.

For more information, contact Patsy Sanchez, Ballet Folklorico sponsor, at 940-369-4500.




School honors winners of recent science fair

Liberty Christian School recently awarded middle school science fair winners.

"We had a wonderful science fair," said Heather Lytle, science department chairwoman. "All category ribbon winners will advance to the Fort Worth Regional Science and Engineering Fair at UT-Arlington later in February."

First place in Best of Fair was awarded to Henry Harshfield, who competed in animal science; second place was awarded to Hailey Costin in mathematics; and third place went

to Jayden White in computer science.

Other science fair winners and the names of their projects include:

Sixth-grade projects - first place: Noah Goodwin, Corby Nitsch and Matthew Reneau - "Power Balance: For Real or Fraud"; second place: Caroline Currin, Lizzy Shuey and Anna Sitzes - "Music in Your Mind - Which Kind?"; and third place: Grant Sawyer, Connor Stephens and Noah Villarreal - "Magic Ball of Truth."

Animal science - first place: Kimber Reed - "Fish at Work"; second place: Lizzie Paulos - "Will Household Items Kill Ants?"; and third place: Hannah Donald - "Shock of Hearts."

Behavioral and social science - first place: Sydney Duininck - "Yellow, Green, Violet, or Red? Which One Stays in Your Head?"; second place: Sarai Harding - "Deadly Driving"; and third place: McKenzie Manning - "What's the Difference?"

Biochemistry - first place: Kirie Psaromatis - "A Wrinkle in Time"; second place: Ryan Marko - "Gold to White Without Light"; and third place: Jessica Taylor - "Pancakes! It's What's for Breakfast."

Cellular and molecular biology - first place: Raegan Cole - "Meet Me Under the Fingerprint Tree"; second place: Brianna Lentz - "What's With That Fingerprint?"; and third place: Reagan Liddell - "Is Going Green Just as Clean?"

Chemistry - first place: Lily Gresham - "Fingerprints in Temperature"; second place: Madeleine McMillan - "Get a Glove on It"; and third place: Matthew Hulke - "Sweaty or Sweat-Free."

Computer science - first place: Elijah Parr - "RAM or Sham?"; second place: Rebekah Hand - "iPhone vs. iPod"; and third place: Ben Lamont - "Video Games for Studying?"

Earth science - first place: Dane Currin - "Heated Up"; second place: Gracie Meek - "Gone with the Wind"; and third place: Paul Barbaro - "Pool is Cool."

Energy and transportation - first place: Kennedy Collins - "Lubrication Nation"; second place: Blake Stoermer - "Wash It Out"; and third place: Tyler Dondrea - "Stay Cool."

Engineering: electrical and mechanical - first place: Ian Long - "Life or Death: You Choose"; second place: Luke Millican - "Portable Proficiency"; and third place: Katelyne Halovanic - "Do You Have Dirty Carpet?"

Engineering: materials and bioengineering - first place: Cameron Meath - "Domes for Homes"; second place: Brayden Dragoo - "That Was Slick!"; and third place: Caleb Allison - "Molten Metals."

Environmental management - first place: Dara Fuller - "Environmental Friendly Fire Retardant"; second place: Ashleigh Clock - "Soil Erosion"; and third place: Meagan Dealy - "Raidster."

Environmental science - first place: Ben Pierce - "From Frog to Pollywog"; second place: Maddie Willet - "Butterfly Blossoms"; and third place: Caleb Bridges - "Soil Organisms."

Mathematics - first place: Joey Marinello - "The Winning Combination"; second place: Connor Price - "Money, Money, Money"; and third place: Coleman Fish - "Step-On."

Medicine and health - first place: Bella Manrique - "Vitamin, I 'C' You"; second place: Gracie Hundley - "Do You See What I See?"; and third place: Jack Newland - "The Human Eye's Best Friend."

Microbiology - first place: Ashley Good - "Double-Dipping Danger"; second place: Sydney Goodson - "Stinky Locker"; and third place: Elijah Elliott - "Want Germs Gone?"

Physics and astronomy - first place: Kylie Trost - "Splatter, Splatter, Does It Matter?"; second place: Simon Meek - "Smash, Crash, and Splash"; and third place: Michael Becker - "Does the Temperature of the Zone Affect the Pitch of a Trombone?

Plant science - first place: Kaylee Tompkins - "Does Color Matter?"; second place: Shannon Russell - "What's Your Favorite Color, Baby?"; and third place: Caroline Sullivan - "Flower Power."



Member of Key Club elected to division office

Haylee Smith, the first Liberty Christian Key Club student to hold a district office, was elected lieutenant governor of the 39th North Division of the Texas-Oklahoma District of Key Club International.

She will be responsible for supervising Key Clubs at 12 high schools, including 

Liberty Christian, Denton, Ryan, Guyer, Carroll, Grapevine, Krum, Colleyville Heritage, Sam Houston, Arlington, Lamar and Martin. Her term begins in April.

Her duties include visiting clubs, holding monthly president's council meetings with club officers for communication and training, attending district board meetings, serving on district committees, encouraging service through planning and implementing a divisional project, publishing monthly newsletters and serving as a liaison between the local clubs and the district.



Theater students win at Irving tournament

Liberty Christian's advanced theater class, Encore, prevailed as tournament champions in eight out of the nine categories in an annual speech tournament Jan. 13-14 at Stone Gate Christian Academy in Irving.

Liberty Christian students have competed in this tournament for more than a decade, and each year students develop their public speaking skills, as well as learn time and stress management.

Students will compete next at the TAPPS district speech/academic contest hosted by Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas on Feb. 17 and 20.Those that place in the top five at district will advance to the state tournament on March 30-31 at Concordia University in Austin.

Individual Stone Gate winners include:

Children's Literature: tournament champion Malyn Porter and Gabby Marye, third place

Duet Acting: tournament champions Catherine Harrington and Benn Hawkins, and Austin Mann and Emmy Edwards, second place

Group Improvisation: tournament champions Ian Harber, Cole Carrick, Connor Devlin and Bryan Gray, and second place Ross Earley, Austin Mann and Benn Hawkins

Original Oratory: tournament champion Ian Harber, and Connor Devlin, second place

Persuasive Speaking: tournament champion Cole Carrick

Poetry Interpretation: Alexandra Stewart, second place, and Hannah Johnson, third place

Prose Interpretation: tournament champion Emmy Edwards



History students tour museum at university

History came to life for Liberty Christian sophomore Pre-Advanced Placement world history students who toured the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University recently.

The trip enriched the students' classroom study of the Renaissance, a time period that has been called the rebirth of learning.

At the museum, students focused on the artistic movement from medieval art to Renaissance art, including techniques, tools, subject matter and symbolism.




Sixth-grader wins school-level bee

Selwyn College Preparatory School sixth-grader Hayden Piwonka is the 2012 school-level champion for the National Geographic Bee competition.

Piwonka will take a written test that is sent to Washington to determine if he will advance to the state level on March 30.

State winners advance to Washington, where they have a chance to win a $25,000 scholarship and a trip to the Galapagos Islands.

Fourth-grader Paul Nichols was runner-up. Other finalists included Christopher Hensel, fifth grade; Ray Cox, seventh grade; and Rachel Valentine, eighth grade.



Teacher wins 100,000 book club bonus points

The Scholastic Book Club awarded 100,000 bonus points to Amanda Rogers, who teaches 2-year-olds in the early childhood program at Selwyn College Preparatory School.

Rogers was entered into the sweepstakes because she successfully introduced another teacher to the Scholastic Book Club.

She was selected at random to be one of the 10 hard-working Red Apple teachers to receive 100,000 bonus points.

The bonus points allowed Rogers to purchase four sets of Bob Books, two large board book sets, a kiddie couch and two recliners for her classroom library center, as well as a MacBook Pro laptop. She also has 15,000 points to purchase items for the all-school library.




Students earn awards in academic decathlon

Several students from the Winfree Academy's Denton campus won awards at a recent academic decathlon event in Lufkin.

Academic decathlon is a 10-subject academic competition. Every year, the decathlon program chooses a theme topic, alternating between science and social science.This year was social science, and the theme was "The Age of Imperialism: The Making of a European Global Order."The teams competed in front of an audience in a relay event over this topic.

On Jan. 20-21, teachers Rebecca Parratt and Sharon Warwick took seven students to the regional competition in Lufkin.

Team members included Jonathan Kigigha, honors division; Nick Cleary, honors division; Brian Foster, scholastic division; Aleksandr Sancer, scholastic division; Kagan Allen, scholastic division; Destiny Sample, varsity division and Brea Foster, varsity division.

A student from each division, on each team, is awarded a gold medal for scoring the most points for their school.

Those awards for Winfree went to Nick Cleary, Aleksandr Sancer and Destiny Sample.

Brea Foster was awarded the silver medal in the math event, against all other competing varsity students from all schools categorized as Class 3A or smaller in size.




Students chosen for all-state music groups

Twenty-one high school students from the north Denton County region have been selected to the Texas all-state choir, all-state band and all-state orchestra groups.

Selections to these music groups will perform at the Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention being held Feb. 8-11 in San Antonio.

All-state recognition is the highest honor a Texas music student can receive.

More than 1,580 students were selected through a process that began with more than 60,000 students from around the state vying for this honor to perform in one of 13 ensembles (bands, orchestras and choirs).

Students selected as all-state musicians include:

Matthew Goodpaster, Argyle High, Association of Texas Small School Bands All-State, tenor trombone; Aric Kline, Argyle High, ATSSB all-state, cornet/trumpet; Alvaro Quintanilla, Argyle High, ATSSB all-state, tuba; Trey Torno, Argyle High, ATSSB all-state, B-flat clarinet; Kevin Ford, Denton High, 4A symphonic band, alto saxophone; Josh Harden, Denton High, men's choir, bass 1; Beckah Maxwell-Leroy, Denton High, string orchestra, string bass; Nathan Schafer, Denton High, mixed choir, tenor 1; Javan Stalls, Denton High, mixed choir, tenor 2; Nicole Thompson, Denton High, women's choir, soprano 2; Nigel Deane, Guyer High, string orchestra, violin 2; Adam Oh, Guyer High, string orchestra, violin 1; Piper Johnson, Ryan High, women's choir, alto 1; Meghan Kajihara, Ryan High, mixed choir, alto 1; Bryan Pineda, Ryan High, men's choir, tenor 2; William Huang, Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, 4A symphonic band, B-flat clarinet; Edward Li, TAMS, 4A symphonic band, flute; Shan Su, TAMS, symphony orchestra, viola; Helen Xiong, TAMS, 4A symphonic band, B-flat clarinet; Naomi Kliewer, Sanger High, ATSSB all-state, oboe; and Kathryn Warren, Sanger High, ATSSB all-state, French horn.



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