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Contest winners to be honored during event

The Denton school district Adopt-A-School program will host a Young Authors Night, honoring each campus’ first-place winner, starting at 6 p.m. Jan. 16, at Barnes & Noble in Golden Triangle Mall.

The event will recognize the district’s top winners from participating schools’ fourth and fifth grades who submitted an essay describing this year’s topic: “What makes your school cool?”

All winning students were recognized by Adopt-A-School volunteers with a surprise trophy presentation on their home campus last month. Students were honored with trophies before their classmates and school administrators for placing first, second or third at either the campus and/or district level.

With more than 4,100 fourth- and fifth-grade Denton school district students, placing in the annual contest is a high honor for all winning entrants. These students’ essays will be featured in a book placed in all Denton school district elementary school libraries, according to district officials.

Fourth-grade district essay winners: Elaine Brank, first place, Lee Elementary School; Lauren McCorkle, second place, Stephens Elementary; Lauryn Castro, third place, Ryan Elementary; Greta MacMillan, fourth place, Newton Rayzor Elementary; Courtney Beck, fifth place, Hawk Elementary; and Halle Mitchell, sixth place, Hodge Elementary.

Fourth-grade district bilingual essay winners: Daniel Esquivel, first place, Lee Elementary; Medally Rivera, second place, Hodge Elementary; and Debhani Bosquez, third place, Pecan Creek Elementary.

Fifth-grade district essay winners: Nabil Baugher, first place, Newton Rayzor Elementary; Kelsie Wilson, second place, Stephens Elementary; Emily Croke, third place, Nelson Elementary; Ivanna Gomez, fourth place, Ryan Elementary; Alayna Wooley, fifth place, Cross Oaks Elementary; and Angelina Gonzalez, sixth place, Borman Elementary.

Fifth-grade district bilingual essay winners: Jesus Cazares, first place, Borman Elementary.

Fourth-grade school essay winners: Borman: Tejaswi Thapa, first place; Shelby Rapert, second place; and Anisa West, third place.

Borman: Jesus Cazares, first place bilingual.

Cross Oaks: Elizabeth Meyer, first place; Averie Keith, second place; and Shayde Ayers, third place.

E.P. Rayzor: Benjamin Cho, first place; Maci Pitner, second place; and Meredith Wood, third place.

Evers: Khairee Mitchell, first place; Jatzibeth Malavar, second place; and Lesly DeLuna, third place.

Ginnings: Jobe Grund, first place; Jazmine Smith, second place; and Caleb Romo, third place.

Hawk: Courtney Bock, first place; Hailey Lindsey, second place; and Carson Cooper, third place.

Hodge: Halle Mitchell, first place; Alora Ahmed, second place; and Katlyn Woods, third place.

Hodge: Medally Rivera, first place bilingual; Grecia Robledo, second place bilingual; and Jennifer Davila, third place bilingual.

Houston: Logan Hamilton, first place; Simran Patel, second place; and Campbell Sweeten, third place.

Lee: Elaine Brank, first place; Joseph Bowen, second place; and Ethan Castillo, third place.

Lee: Daniela Esquivel, first place bilingual; Joselyn Molina, second place bilingual; and Emiliano Hernandez, third place bilingual.

McNair: Natalie Vaughan, first place; Savannah Tucker, second place; and Hannah Song, third place.

Newton Rayzor: Greta MacMillan, first place; Karina Teter, second place; and Ryan Skinner, third place.

Paloma Creek: Sydney Freeman, first place; Lilly Tompkins, second place; and Hailey Wilde, third place.

Pecan Creek: Matthew Williamson, first place; Ava Bohnert, second place; and Jenna Hauge, third place.

Pecan Creek: Debahni Bosquez, first place bilingual.

Providence: Hope Shipp, first place; Parker Moore, second place; and Mason Cazares, third place.

Rivera: Kaleb Nelson, first place; Nayelli Guajardo, second place; and Derek Sloggett, third place.

Ryan: Lauryn Castro, first place; Reynaldo Lerma, second place; and Yazmin Garcia, third place.

Stephens: Lauren McCorkle, first place; Tamarian Turner, second place; and Jaxon Holder, third place.

Wilson: Noah Rana, first place; Sarah Harrod, second place; and Valeria Barbosa, third place.

Fifth-grade school essay winners:

Borman: Angelina Gonzalez, first place; Nidia Canales, second place; and Grisselda Cortes, third place.

Cross Oaks: AlaynaWooley, first place; Nicholas Perry, second place; and Valerie Maselli, third place.

E.P. Rayzor: Mariella Stephens, first place; Brianna Branch, second place; and Kylie Gilbert, third place.

Evers: Savahanna Amaya, first place; Alyssa Gay, second place; and Madison Arbaugh, third place.

Ginnings: Nicholas Hines, first place; Luis Huerta, second place; and Juan Martinez, third place.

Hawk: Taryn Holmes, first place; Alex Moala, second place; and Bryce Beago, third place.

Hodge: Trinity Duvall, first place; Jackson Parham, second place; and Kendall Dowling, third place.

McNair: Ryan Hill, first place; Jake Richter, second place; and Sophia Del Rosario, third place.

Nelson: Emily Croke, first place; Daniel Stolle, second place; and Sydney Stengel, third place.

Newton Rayzor: Nabil Baugher, first place; Katelyn Stone, second place; and T’Keyah Blackwell, third place.

Paloma Creek: Jules Guab, first place; Hope Carmack, second place; and Dylan Allison, third place.

Pecan Creek: Ishfar Chowdhury, first place; Taylor Trimble, second place; and Noelle Wood, third place.

Providence: Bradley White-Stevens, first place; Courtney Arnold, second place; and Skylar Magallon, third place.

Ryan: Ivanna Gomez, first place; Maddie Brumley, second place; and Emma Sawko, third place.

Savannah: George Perperidis, first place; and Katya Logan, second place.

Stephens: Kelsie Wilson, first place; Savanna Phillips, second place; and Abigail Mooney, third place.

Wilson: Julia McCane, first place.


Crownover Middle School

Crownover recognized as heart-safe school

Crownover Middle School has been recognized by Cook Children’s Medical Center as a Project ADAM Texas Heart-Safe School, the first in Denton County.

Under the direction of Charl Munsey, the school nurse, Crownover will have a comprehensive program to help prevent sudden cardiac death in schools through the use of automatic external defibrillators. Project ADAM will work with the school to provide updated changes in law, CPR, product recalls and ongoing research.

Named for Adam Lemel, a Wisconsin student who collapsed and died while playing basketball in 1999, Project ADAM aims to provide schools with the necessary tools and education to use their AEDs. As part of its Project ADAM distinction, Crownover will assist in statewide research by submitting information whenever an AED is used or a sudden cardiac event occurs at school.

Munsey has more than 20 years of experience as a nurse in hospitals, clinics and schools. A graduate of Pacific Lutheran University, she is entering her fourth year as school nurse at Crownover.



District premieres case study video

The Lake Dallas school district, in partnership with Video Plus and the SUCCESS Foundation, celebrated the premiere of a case study video at Lake Dallas High School’s Black Box Theater on Dec. 14.

The students involved in the video project were treated to lunch by the foundation before they viewed the video and received their own copies as well as “Success for Teens” T-shirts.

The brief film was later showcased at the December school board meeting on Dec. 17.

The case study video was produced by Video Plus as it followed the implementation of the Success for Teens program at Lake Dallas High and Lake Dallas Middle School during the 2011-12 school year.

The 11-minute film follows several students as they progressed through the program. The inspiring success stories focus on the changes seen in students as they studied and applied the concepts in the Success for Teens program.

Administrators are also featured throughout the video and interviewed about the book and the student achievements. The Success for Teens programs continue in both schools this year.

“It is part of our value system now at Lake Dallas ISD,” Superintendent Gayle Stinson says in the video. “It’s been an incredible experience for our students, and even our parents.”

The Success Foundation provides the Success for Teens program to schools and other youth organizations free of charge.


District names card contest winners

The Lake Dallas school district recently announced the winners of its first Christmas card contest.

Hundreds of entries from the campuses were received and the top five from each campus were submitted for the district winner.

“Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” by Carson Stacy, eighth-grader at Lake Dallas Middle School, was chosen as the 2012 winner. This winning entry is the front cover for the district card that is sent to community businesses and government officials.

The artwork placing second through fifth place is printed on the back of the card.

The students who created those were:

•  “Merry LD Christmas” by Raja Singh, fourth-grader at Shady Shores Elementary School

•  “Happy Holidays” by Lexi Marsh, sixth-grader at Lake Dallas Middle School

•  “Merry Christmas” by Ava Teague, third-grader at Shady Shores Elementary

•  “Merry Christmas from the Falcon Family” by Will Hierneise, fifth-grader at Lake Dallas Elementary School

District officials say the campus-winning artwork will be posted on the campus web pages through the holidays.


Lake Dallas High School

School group shines in Region 11 competitions

Lake Dallas High School’s Texas Association of Future Educators chapter, currently serving as the 2012-13 Region 11’s fourth vice president school, was host to the Region 11 TAFE Competitive Events at the school Dec. 7.

More than 450 students from 27 areas schools competed in 17 events.

Competitive event categories were bulletin board, chapter yearbook, educational leadership fundamentals, energy education, essay, ethical dilemma, impromptu speaking, instructional media, instructional multimedia, job application, keynote speech, lesson plan, portfolio, project visualize, promotional video, storybook creation and TAFE moment speech.

The format for the competitive events served as a test pilot for TAFE’s state organization, with Region 11 being the first to expand to a two-day conference, offering the maximum number of competitive events on the evening before its leadership conference.

Alejandro Argüello, TAFE state director from Austin, was at Lake Dallas High on Dec. 7 to observe the competitive events.

Twenty-five Lake Dallas High TAFE members, along with Tonya Monden, Lake Dallas High TAFE chapter advisor, attended the Region 11 Leadership Conference held Dec. 8 at the University of North Texas.

The meeting’s theme was “Plant the Seeds for the Future.” Destinee Holder represented Lake Dallas High, serving as the region’s fourth vice president.

At the conference, Lake Dallas students Caellyn Barree, Courtney Heflin, Elijah Luna and Jake Reagan led two breakout sessions titled “L is for Leadership.”

Students Elizabeth Donald, Cheyenne Kirk, Katie Tudor and Nadia Williams led two breakout sessions titled “Speak Up … but Listen.”

During the closing general session, all winners of the competitive events were recognized on stage and next year’s officer schools were announced.

All 17 Ready, Set, Teach! interns, the Lake Dallas High TAFE Executive Council Leadership Team, competed in nine individual and/or team events and ran for a 2013-14 regional office.

The following placed at the competition:

•  Katie Tudor took second place in essay. Tudor will advance to state competition.

•  Caellyn Barree and Elijah Luna achieved state-qualifying status with project visualize.

•  Tori Haddox, Regan Egge and Nadia Williams achieved state-qualifying status with chapter yearbook.

•  Destinee Holder placed fourth in job application.

•  Caitlen Hardesty placed fourth in TAFE moment.

•  Jake Reagan placed fifth in impromptu speaking.

•  Retta Stewart, Emily Hall and Amanda Kohandani received blue ribbon with their “What’s in Your Stocking?” bulletin board.

•  Madison Barrett, Elizabeth Donald and Nicole Lukie received red ribbon (second rating) with their “What is Love?” bulletin board.

•  Courtney Heflin (author) and Cheyenne Kirk (illustrator) participated in storybook creation.

•  Lake Dallas High TAFE was elected to serve as Region 11’s first vice president school for 2013-14.

The TAFE state competitions will be held during the Teach Tomorrow Summit, Feb. 17-19 in San Antonio.



Ponder High School

Students place first in state contest

Students at Ponder High School placed first in the statewide Texas Legislative Challenge competition of the Stock Market Game Program recently. The program is sponsored by the Texas Council on Economic Education.

Students from Ponder are being awarded a $75 check and a certificate. The school will also receive a plaque.

Students from Ponder who participated in the program were Jacob Gerik, Taylor Littleton, Tanner Morgan, Spencer Waldo and Levi Whittington.



Cards sent to juvenile centers, state schools

Liberty Christian School students sent almost 3,000 hand-written Christmas cards to children in juvenile centers and state schools across Texas.

Liberty Christian students have partnered with the Texas Hope Group since 1997 in sending cards to children who may not receive any other card at Christmas.

Liberty students from preschool to 12th grade took time at school and at home to write cards to these children.

Quotes from two of the cards from Liberty’s lower-school students said:

“I hug this card for you, so if you hug it, it will be like me hugging you,” and “Santa gives one night. Jesus did it past, present, and future.”

The cards were sent to children in juvenile centers and state schools in Denton, Dallas, Fort Worth, Roanoke, Gainesville, Edinburg, Brownwood, Giddings and Corsicana.

Freshmen and sophomores who are a part of the Martin Noto Leadership Academy at Liberty sponsored the Christmas card drive.

In the academy, students gain valuable life skills and tools to help them become leaders at school and in the future.

“I hope the words of encouragement and love in these cards bless the children who receive them,” said sponsor, Rhonda Smith.


Squad buys gifts for three Irving families

Liberty Christian School’s junior varsity cheer squad “adopted” three families for Christmas from Travis Middle School in Irving through the local ministry, Legacy Moms.

The squad shopped for these families on Dec. 14 after school and spent the evening wrapping the presents.

On Dec. 15, the girls met at Travis Middle School to deliver the gifts.

The girls served these families a meal and helped the children get their picture taken with Santa and pick out donated library books.

“Spending those few hours with these families really helped us all look outside of ourselves and see the needs of others who live so close to us,” said Michele Richardson, co-founder of Legacy Moms.

Richardson said one of the moms, who was a recipient of some of the gifts, thanked the squad and prayed with them.

“There was not a dry eye among us,” said Richardson. “I believe this experience helped show us how a small act of kindness can make a huge impact if we can just slow down and seek these opportunities.”



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