In The Schools

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Foundation Groundhog Day Gala set for Feb. 2

The Denton Public School Foundation will have its annual Groundhog Day Gala at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 2 at the University of North Texas’ Gateway Center.

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

All event proceeds benefit Denton school district students, teachers and staff, with the foundation awarding grants for classroom use or professional development as well as student and staff scholarships.

Tickets cost $60 per person, and table sponsorships are available at various price levels. A portion of all tickets and table sponsorships are tax-deductible. For more information, call 940-369-0143.


Bilingual/ESL group schedules seminar

The Denton school district’s Bilingual/ESL Department will have a free parenting seminar — Building Bridges to Success — from 8 a.m. to noon Feb. 23 at Calhoun Middle School, 709 Congress St.

Parents and family members will have the opportunity to learn about a variety of topics that will help them relate to their students at home and school. The seminar also will allow parents to gather information about different programs available in the district and network with other families in the community.

Representatives from Denton ISD and other educational organizations in a number of fields will discuss topics such as: behavioral changes in students as they age and how to deal with them; the importance of early literacy in the home; an overview of dual-language programs in elementary schools; helping high school students prepare for college.

Sessions will be available in English and Spanish.

Breakfast will be served and child care will be provided with registration for the event. A father-son soccer game will also run in conjunction with the event. The deadline to register is Jan. 30.

For more information, call 940-369-0150.


Six school campuses earn CREST award

The Denton school district recently had six campuses named recipients of the Counselors Reinforcing Excellence for Students in Texas (CREST) award, which annually recognizes the top counseling staffs in the state and is sponsored by the Texas School Counselor Association.

The six campuses are: Denton High School, Guyer High School, Ryan High School, Crownover Middle School, Harpool Middle School and McNair Elementary School.

“The application process is an arduous one, and it is a tremendous honor to receive this recognition from TSCA. I am proud of these counseling teams and their hard work in providing invaluable services to our students and families in Denton ISD,” Amy Lawrence, director of counseling services, said.

This year’s honored counselors include:

•  Denton High — Doretha Hudspeth, Christopher Lydia, Jari Peltier, Vickie Reid, Dottie McEuin, Jennifer Mize, Kim Keith;

•  Guyer High — Donna Jones, Kathleen Ashton, Christina Dorton, Lisa Tsakonas, Andrea Wyatt, David Christian, Mary Rivers, Jeanie Bragg;

•  Ryan High — Lori Herbst, Rebecca Coley, Erica Chupp, Nicole Dampman, Erin Coulter, Anne Scaggs, Patsy Chilcote;

•  Crownover — Jennifer Carter, Amy Matthews, Kati Willis;

•  Harpool — Darlene Kent, Annette Price, Mario De La Garza and

•  McNair — Deanne Harrup.

Each of the schools will be honored Feb. 11 at the CREST luncheon, which is part of the annual Texas School Counselor Association conference, in Austin.

CREST focuses on 10 areas that leave the greatest impact school counselors have on the achievements, career aspirations, personal gains and social aspects of students’ lives. The program helps counselors evaluate their current counseling guidelines and techniques while also promoting their services to students and parents.


Guyer High School

Session on college financial aid offered

The Guyer High School choir will have a Financial Aid Night from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 20 in the school’s lecture hall.

The event’s purpose is to help students and families get information on securing financial aid for college upon graduation. Guyer staff will be available to answer questions and assist those needing help in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at home or on school computers.

For more information, contact the school at 940-369-1000.


Student launches service program

Hunter Snowden, a sophomore at Guyer High School, can’t believe how a community service project he started over the holidays has taken off.

“He wanted to do something to help,” according to his parents, John and Barbara Snowden of Lantana.

Hunter’s mother, Barbara, said he watched a newscast about how many people in the community were in need and came to them with an idea for helping people in the local community.

Hunter started calling local community service programs asking each program what they were in need of. Then he contacted everyone in his subdivision at Lantana, other subdivisions and surrounding communities to see if they would be interested in helping with the cause. Much to his surprise, almost everyone he contacted was willing to be a part of the project, which Hunter started referring to as Hunter’s Helping Hands.

Hunter soon began developing a website, and with help from family friend Rob Shiflet of Tailfish Solutions, the website was created.

Hunter contacted the following community service programs: the Salvation Army, Rainbow Room, Denton State Supported Living Center, Goodwill Industries International and HOPE Inc.

Most of the items needed by the service programs are everyday things most take for granted, said Hunter.

“It can be as simple as a roll of toilet paper or as specific as an industrial washer and dryer,” he said.

People interested in participating in Hunter’s cause can visit the website to view the current donations being requested, fill out the donation form or send an e-mail to .


McMath Middle School

Robotics team reaches quarterfinals at event

McMath Middle School’s robotics team recently competed at the fifth annual North Texas FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League Championship Tournament at The Hockaday School in Dallas.

McMath’s “TigerBots” surprised the field by advancing to the quarterfinals of the event. McMath did not advance to the semifinals, but showcased its robot programming skills by taking the top-ranked team to the wire.

“It was a great experience. We came home with medals for making it to the championship round and ideas on how we can make our bot better,” said Nate Tandberg, a technology instructor at McMath.

Members of the McMath “TigerBots” robotics team included: Weslynn Butler, Jonathan Byrd, Dawson Gandy, Madilyn Gunn, Caleb Hallberg, Lily Mansour, Deven Patel, Jack Rayson, Roberto Torres and Caitlin Wilkins.

Aimed at students ages 9 through 14, FIRST Lego League competitions teach real-world problem-solving skills through engineering design and teamwork — using the fun associated with Legos.


Harpool Middle School

Students, teachers to donate hair at pep rally

Students and teachers at Harpool Middle School will donate their hair to Children With Hair Loss during a special pep rally at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 7 in the gym.

The hair donation is part of a schoolwide community service project. Students and teachers also are joining forces to recruit members of the community to join them in helping with the cause.

Anyone wishing to participate must donate a minimum 8 inches of straightened, clean hair (no styling product is allowed) and be present at the pep rally. All hair colors are welcomed — including gray — but non-chemically treated hair is preferred. Students must also receive parent permission before participating.

Participants will have their hair placed in a ponytail and cut above the ponytail during the pep rally.

Children With Hair Loss is a nonprofit organization based in Michigan that donates wigs to children with various ailments including alopecia, burns, cancer and trichotillomania. Any child with medically related hair loss is eligible for help from the organization.

For more information or to receive a parent permission slip, contact Jennifer Hutson at 940-369-1700 or by e-mail at



Lake Dallas Middle School

UIL academic winners recognized at meeting

Lake Dallas Middle School academic students won the University Interscholastic League academic meet Dec. 1 at McMath Middle School in Denton. The students competed against McMath, Crownover and Harpool middle schools.

The students who received first place in their events were recognized at the school boardmeeting on Jan. 14.

Receiving certificates from the board were: eighth-graders Nick Jacinto, Brogan Loebig and Meredith Jeter; seventh-graders Sarah Dunn, Talia Lewis, Morgan Mayfield and Jessica Michelek; and sixth-graders Matthew Adams, Amanda Lawrence and Carson Warden

Following are results from the meet:


Eighth-grade events

Brendan Leyden, spelling, fifth place; Jerry Armijo, maps, graphs and charts, third place; Jerry Armijo, math, second place; Chandler Skinner, math, third place; Nick Jacinto, science, first place; Jerry Armijo, number sense, sixth place; Meredith Jeter, calculator, first place; Jerry Armijo, calculator, fourth place; Chandler Blaisdell, dictionary skills, fifth place; Lauren Tottori, listening skills, second place; Chandler Skinner, listening skills, fourth place; Brogan Loebig, ready writing, first place; Alexis Tappe, ready writing, third place; math, second-place team; social studies, third-place team; calculator, first-place team; and maps, graphs and charts, third-place team.


Seventh-grade events

Talia Lewis, spelling, first place; Sarah Dunn, spelling, fourth place; Collin Culberson, maps, graphs and charts, third place; Morgan Mayfield, maps, graphs and charts, fifth place; Morgan Mayfield, math, fourth place; Talia Lewis, science, third place; Skye Steele, oral reading, first place; Kate Sweeney, oral reading, second place; Brianna Bollack, oral reading, third place; Morgan Mayfield, number sense, first place; Morgan Mayfield, social studies, first place; Jessica Michalek, social studies, fourth place; Leyken Bomba, calculator, second place; Josh Baker, calculator, fifth place; Maris Naegel, dictionary skills, fifth place; Jessica Michalek, listening skills, first place; Walker Weber, listening skills, second place; Sarah Dunn, ready writing, first place; Talia Lewis, ready writing, sixth place; maps, graphs and charts, first-place team;social studies, second-place team; math, third-place team; dictionary skills, first-place team; and listening skills, first-place team.


Sixth-grade events

Amanda Lawrence, spelling, first place; Jack Slayden, spelling, second place; Matthew Adams, maps, graphs and charts, second place; Jack Slayden, maps, graphs and charts, fourth place; Carson Warden, number sense, sixth place; Matthew Adams, social studies, first place; Isabel Winston, social studies, fifth place; Eryx Mora, social studies, sixth place; Carson Warden, dictionary skills, first place; Hayden Payne, listening skills, third place; Abby Payne, ready writing, third place; Ally Pruitt, ready writing, sixth place; spelling, first-place team; maps, graphs and charts, first-place team; and social studies, first-place team.


Lake Dallas High School

Students to reap benefits of grants

Julia Turley, an English as a second language teacher at Lake Dallas High School, is the recipient of a $5,000 grant for her program, “Elevating ELL’s with Electronic Readers.”

This grant will provide funding for Nook electronic reading devices and the purchase of e-books.The use of these Nooks with carefully selected e-books grouped by level is intended to aid in increasing student reading levels and assist the students in becoming proficient readers.

Lake Dallas High teacher Jan Kaiser will receive $4,770 for her program, “Reaching Our Economically Disadvantaged Population with E-Readers.” The purpose is to secure more e-readers for use in the high school library. Students will be allowed to check them out for home usage, with emphasis on economically disadvantaged students who may not otherwise have an opportunity to use an e-reader.

Marianne Welter, a Shady Shores Elementary School science lab instructor, received a $3,500 grant for “Green Wall for Growing Learning.” This unique grant will provide a “green wall” at Shady Shores Elementary, which will offer students an opportunity to plant and observe growth and changes to various plants during the season.

Deanna Goodnight, instructional coach at Lake Dallas Elementary School, is the recipient of $269 for her grant titled “Reader’s Workshop and Beyond.” The purpose of her grant is to provide continued staff development and training for Reader’s Workshop. The continued training and spiral review of the components and methods of Reader’s Workshop will ensure consistent and successful reading instruction to the Lake Dallas Elementary students.

Mike Cromis, director of the Lake Dallas school district Disciplinary Alternative Education Placement (DAEP) program was awarded $1,500 to implement his program, the “21st Century Library.” The grant’s purpose is to create a rich environment using cutting-edge multimedia devices that are engaging, relevant and captivating to the students served at DAEP. The expectation is that these at-risk students will achieve educational success that will carry over to their home campuses.

Funding for the grants was provided with contributions from individual donors, businesses and corporations and community service organizations to the Lake Cities Education Foundation.

All donations are tax deductible. For more information, call Karla Landrum, executive director of the foundation, at 940-497-5233, or fax 940-497-3737.



Joan Moran named Honoree of the Year

Joan Moran of Denton will be among honorees from the 20 Catholic schools of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth during the 26th Annual Celebrate Catholic Schools Banquet at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Fort Worth Convention Center Ballroom.

Moran, the Immaculate Conception Catholic School 2013 Honoree of the Year, is a native of Waukegan, Ill., and has been in education all of her life.

She’s been a part of Immaculate Conception Catholic School since it opened in 1995. She has served as a longtime member and officer of the school’s advisory council.

Moran has been a longtime member of St. Mark Catholic Church in Denton where she has served as sacristan and a longtime member of the parish Finance Council.

“The faith-filled environment of a Catholic school abounds with opportunities for students to demonstrate their love of neighbor, self and community as taught by Jesus,” Moran said. “Our Catholic school provides unlimited opportunities for students to put their faith into action.”

Moran left a legacy to assure students of Immaculate Conception Catholic School can receive a Catholic education for a long time to come through the establishment of the Joan Moran Memorial Endowment Fund.

“Immaculate Conception Catholic School is honored that Dr. Joan Moran has graced Our Lady’s School with her never-ending spirit and love,” said Elaine Schad, school principal.

For more information, call940-381-1155 or visit .


Catholic Schools Week set to begin Jan. 28

Visitors are welcome to tour Immaculate Conception Catholic School Monday through Feb. 1 as students and staff join more than 2 million Catholic school students nationwide in celebrating Catholic Schools Week. The national theme of this year’s celebration is, “Catholic Schools Raise the Standards!”

The school, located at 2301 N. Bonnie Brae St., is open for tours from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Mass will be celebrated at 8:15 a.m. Jan. 31 at Immaculate Conception Church located on the school campus with special recognition of Catholic Schools Week. Those attending the service are asked to bring a nonperishable food or toiletry items for local food pantries. The student council and Kiwanis Junior Builders Club are sponsoring a weeklong “Souper Bowl” contest to see who can bring the most canned soup for the food pantries.

Jan. 29 is “Head and Toe Day,” when students can wear hats, shoes and socks that exemplify their uniqueness as children of God. Jan. 30 is “Celebrate Our Nation Day,” as students are encouraged to wear red, white and blue accessories.

Staff Appreciation Day is Feb. 1, and Feb. 2 is Student Appreciation and Spirit Day. There will be a pep rally at 2:15 p.m. Jan. 31, recognizing various contest winners, including North Texas Independent League academic competition, and recognizing the basketball players and coaches who will participate in the North Texas Independent League tournament Feb. 2 in Tioga.

Registration for 2013-14 for 3-year-olds through eighth-graders will begin Feb. 11.

For more information, call the school office at 940-381-1155 or visit .


Spaghetti dinner planned for Friday

The Knights of Columbus Council No. 4771 will sponsor an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner to benefit Immaculate Conception Catholic School from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday in the school gym, located at 2301 N. Bonnie Brae St.

The dinner includes spaghetti, salad, rolls and dessert. Tea, water and lemonade will also be provided. The school will sponsor an open house during the dinner with the school’s Cherub Choir, stringed orchestra and choir performing throughout the evening.

Dinner prices are free for children younger than kindergarten age; $5 for kindergarten through eighth-grade students and $8 for individuals above eighth grade, with a maximum family price of $35.

Tickets may be purchased at the door.For more information, call 940-381-1155 or e-mail .



Argyle High School

School class learns about French culture

Each year in November, Argyle High School French class students have a National French Week, during which they learn about cultural aspects of the country. 

The students listen to music trends and watch music videos from around the French-speaking world; they sample French foods and learn about the cultural differences of the diverse regions of France.

On Nov. 10, the students attended a French Immersion Day hosted by the American Association of Teachers of French.

At this celebration, students were able to attend sessions and workshops such as “Painting Like an Impressionist,” “Danses Folklorique,” (folk dances) and “Argot et Textos” (slang and text language). They also attended sessions that taught about foods and offered tastings.

On Nov. 12, Argyle High French teacher Emily Thomas took her students to a luncheon hosted by the French-American Chamber of Commerce Dallas-Fort Worth.

The keynote speaker at the luncheon was François Delattre, the ambassador of France to the United States.

The ambassador spoke on the economic ties France has with Texas.



School district thanks board of trustees

Each year, January is set aside to build awareness and show appreciation for the invaluable contributions of school board members.

“School board members are dedicated individuals who tackle the enormous job of governing our school districts. Their mission and vision are infused into everything we do,” said Lynne Leuthard, district superintendent. “We appreciate the countless hours our board members volunteer as advocates for our students.”

The board members are President Sally Coleman, Vice President Stephanie Gregg, Secretary Christopher Williams and members Cooper Begis, Bill Hidell, DeeDee Lear and Curtis Savage.

During School Board Recognition Month, the district will take the opportunity to thank the district’s local leaders for devoting time to support public education and serve its schools and community.

The district produced a video featuring Little Elm High School students and their gratitude for funding the new Digital Learning Initiative, and it can be viewed at .



School sets breakfast, preview day Feb. 5

Liberty Christian School invites families from the community to its Breakfast with the President and Spring Preview Day on Feb. 5.

Liberty Christian is celebrating its 30th year of providing a Christian college preparatory education to students in North Texas.

Rodney Haire, president and founder, looks forward to meeting with visiting families at the breakfast at 9 a.m., according to school officials.

Breakfast will be followed by tours given by Liberty’s high school students so that families can see classrooms in action.

In a come-and-go setting, the individual tours begin at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at noon.

As an award-winning school, Liberty offers an exemplary education from preschool to 12th grade.

It aims to develop the whole child, where students can excel in academics, the arts, and athletics.

The fine arts department offers 16 classes that include Advanced Placement art, photography, advanced theatre, scriptwriting, history in art, band, speech and others.

Liberty athletics have won many state championships, and the department offers 19 varsity interscholastic sports, including football, volleyball, cross country, basketball, baseball, softball, track and field, soccer, wrestling, swimming, tennis and golf.

Liberty’s commitment to high academic standards, strong faith in God, and excellence in all areas prepares students for success beyond Liberty, according to school officials.

With dual credit and AP courses, Liberty readies its students for each successive step of their academic career.

Liberty Christian is located at 1301 S. U.S. Highway 377 in Argyle.

To learn more about Liberty Christian School, visit  or call 940-294-2000.



Students volunteer at North Texas Food Bank

Selwyn College Preparatory School upper school students and faculty volunteered Jan. 14 at the North Texas Food Bank in Dallas. Seventeen pallets of potatoes and grapefruit were sorted and bagged for delivery to 340 agencies throughout North Texas. This represents about 17,808 pounds of food that will provide about 21,369 meals. The North Texas Food Bank serves about 700,000 people in need.


Dinner theater marks fire anniversary

Early childhood students through 12th-graders, faculty, parents and staff will come together for a dinner theater Thursday to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the fire that destroyed the original main building of Selwyn College Preparatory School. The theme of the evening is “Mystery Under the Big Top — The Show Must Go On.”

A circus is the setting and every ticket holder will play a part in the Selwyn Family Circus. Guests will be treated to a spaghetti dinner while being entertained by the middle and upper school drama department, who will interact with guests as they investigate the clues to solve the mystery.

Awards will be given to those who solve the mystery, the person with the best costume and the most convincing character.

Friends of Selwyn are welcome to join this interactive dinner theater game. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. in the gym. To purchase tickets for $15 per adult and $8 for students 12 and younger, call 940-382-6771.


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