In The Schools

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Spring break to begin Friday for district

Students in the Denton school district will be out of school nine calendar days for spring break. The doors to all schools will close at the regular time Friday and reopen at the regular time March 18. 

For more information, call 940-369-0006.


School jazz bands to play with guest artist

The Denton High School and Calhoun Middle School jazz bands will join the Texas Woman’s University jazz band for a joint concert with special guest, Jeff Clayton, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Denton High auditorium. 

Clayton is a Grammy-nominated saxophonist who has worked with pop music superstars Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Madonna and established jazz greats like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Diana Krall. He is a former member of the renowned Count Bassie Orchestra and co-leader of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.

Advance tickets to the event are $10 for adults and $5 for students and can be purchased online at .

Tickets at the door are $12 for adults and $7 for students.

The Denton High jazz bands are led by Jesse Woolery. The Calhoun Jazz Band is led by Manny Guerrero.

For more information, contact Woolery at 940-369-2209 or .


Wilson Elementary School

School librarian wins state association award

Carol Richmond, librarian at Wilson Elementary School, was recently awarded the 2013 Siddie Joe Johnson Award for Outstanding Children’s Librarian by the Texas Library Association.

The award is given to a school or public librarian by the TLA Children’s Round Table in recognition of achievement in children’s library service.

Richmond has been the librarian at Wilson the past 13 years and has served as the campus technology integrator for 11 years. She was recently honored for her work with students by her peers, who named her the school’s Jostens Teacher of the Year in 2012.

The SJJ Award is named for Siddie Joe Johnson, an award-winning poet and author.


Ryan High School

Teacher to serve on leadership team

Ryan High School math teacher Mark Kiraly was recently selected to be part of the College Board’s Advanced Placement leadership team by serving as a question leader.

Kiraly is among a select group of college and high school instructors chosen from the United States, Canada and other countries to this position.

AP question leaders help set the rubric for problems featured on AP tests and are also responsible for training the educators that score them.


Ginnings Elementary School

Activity day slated for incoming kindergartners

Ginnings Elementary School is hosting “Getting to Know You,” an activity day for incoming kindergartners at 9 a.m. Thursday.

The event will allow 4-year-olds who will be 5 by Sept. 1 and current 5-year-olds not enrolled in kindergarten to get familiar with the Ginnings campus.

All participating children will spend time in art, music and physical education classes and visit the cafeteria and library.

Parents must present valid identification and live in the Ginnings attendance zone to participate in the event.

For more information, call 940-369-2700.


Denton High School

School earns seven top-10 finishes

Denton High School accounted for seven top-10 finishes and a state runner-up showing at the 31st annual Texas State German Contest, recently held at the University of Texas.

Six students represented Denton High against more than 1,000 students from 64 other high schools across the state in a variety of academic and cultural categories.

Denton High’s state winners included: Christian Luke, who finished as the state runner-up in Original Models and eighth in Cultural Exam III; John Halbert, who finished sixth in Cultural Exam I; Mara Alexaner, who finished sixth in Listening Comp. II; Logan Maltz, who finished seventh in Vocabulary; Sean Burrows, who finished seventh in Poetry Memory III; and Lillia Dean, who finished eighth in traditional doll costume.

The state competition allows German Club students and sponsors to share what they’ve learned throughout the year in a fun and festive atmosphere, while providing scholarship opportunities for students and grant opportunities for teachers. Sandra Dieckman is the German Club sponsor at Denton High.


Guyer High School

Band boosters plan golf tournament

The fifth annual Guyer Band Booster Club Golf Tournament is slated to kick off at noon April 8 at the Oakmont Country Club.

Registration is $100 per golfer and must be purchased by April 4. The registration includes lunch, greens fees, a cart and dinner. The event will also include a raffle and live auction.

The tournament benefits the Guyer High School Band.

For more information, contact Steve Gentry at 214-724-9041 or .



Some schools start, end times to change

For the 2013-14 school year, the secondary schools will have a slight time adjustment.

In order to create an eight-period day at Lakeside Middle School, the school day would be lengthened by 26 minutes.School will begin at 8:20 a.m. and end at 3:56 p.m.

At Little Elm High School, the school day will be altered to include a specified intervention period and the day will be extended by 10 minutes. The start time will remain at 8:35 a.m. and the end time will be adjusted to 4:05 p.m.

Elementary school times are unchanged.


District gets honor for fiscal transparency

The school board recognized the district’s Business Services Department as a recipient of the Gold Leadership Circle Award from the Texas Comptroller’s Office for 2013. Only 17 districts in the state have received the award for 2013 — the highest standard a district can achieve.

TheLeadership Circle recognizes local governments across Texas that have focused on giving taxpayers a transparent look at local expenditures.

With this designation, the district has received a certificate and can now use the gold insignia indicating the award. The district will also be listed in the Texas Transparency website as a recipient of the award.

For 10 consecutive years, Little Elm ISD officials received a rating of “Superior Achievement” under Texas Schools FIRST financial accountability rating system, earning 80 out of 80 possible points.



Two now semifinalists for U.S. physics team

Michael R. Coker and Nate N. Graf of Argyle have been named semifinalists for the 2013 U.S. Physics Team.

Approximately 3,000 students participated in this first phase of the selection process, the Fnet=ma Exam, in January and 406 students with a score of 12.25 or higher qualified as semifinalists.

A semifinal exam will take place this week through March 22, and the U.S. Physics Team will be announced next month. Twenty students will make the team.

The U.S. team will represent America at the 2013 International Physics Olympiad from July 7-15 in Copenhagen, Denmark, competing against pre-university students from more than 80 nations.



Ponder Junior High School

School wins eighth district literary meet

Ponder Junior High School won its eighth consecutive UIL District Literary Meet on Feb. 21.

The Ponder sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade teams accumulated a total of 1,116 points.

Brock was second with 763 points, and Paradise finished third with 678 points.

Ponder’s top individual point totals for each grade level were: Whitney Glenn, eighth grade, 56.7 points; Sam Hutcherson, seventh grade, Top Gun and Meet Top Gun with 58.1 points; and Federico Martinez, sixth grade, 52.8 points.



Debate team attends event at Harvard

Liberty Christian School’s debate team recently took part in the Harvard National High School Invitational Forensics Tournament, the largest and most prestigious high school debate tournament in the country.

Liberty students Jacob Elliott, Hunter Harwood, Woobin Park and Breann Smith traveled to Harvard and debated against some of the top debaters in the United States.


Students score wins at regional science fair

Liberty Christian School science students brought home awards from the Fort Worth Regional Science and Engineering Fair, held Feb. 24–25.

The fair is the oldest, continually operating regional science and engineering fair in the state of Texas and is also the biggest science and engineering fair in the region.

The following Liberty Christian students won awards given by companies and organizations that sponsor the award: American Society for Quality, Hailey Costin; National Weather Association of North Texas, Emily Russell; Tarrant County Veterinary Association, Henry Harshfield; and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Lizzie Paulos

The following students won awards at the fair and will compete at state at the Texas Science and Engineering Fair in San Antonio on March 27–29: first place, Animal Science, Henry Harshfield; third place, Animal Science, Alex Slack; first place, Biochemistry, Matthew Reneau; third place, Biochemistry, Jack H. Jones; second place, Computer Science, Seth Rowland; first place, Earth Science, Gracie Meek; first place, Engineering: Materials & Bioengineering, Luke Millican; first place, Mathematics, Hailey Costin; third place, Mathematics, Adriana Asbill; second place, microbiology, Natalie Grigg; first place, Physics, Michael Becker; Best of Fair Honorable Mention, Henry Harshfield; and Michael Becker (named in top five projects at fair).



Students recognized for writing skills

Three Selwyn students were recently recognized for their writing by Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

Alaina Miller, grade 12, received the Silver Key award for a persuasive essay titled “Liberal Art Major: A Valuable Education.”

Rachel Valentine, grade nine, received the Silver Key award for a short story titled “Situation Vacant.”

Wade Williams, grade 12, received an Honorable Mention in poetry for a collection of three poems titled “Mourning Dove,” “Speculative Enigma” and “Emerveiller.”

Selwyn students placed in the Southwest Region-at-Large competing against students in grades seven-12 in public, private, and home schools in Arkansas, New Mexico, Louisiana and Texas.


School slates spring admissions events

Prospective families for students in kindergarten through grade 12 will have the opportunity to visit the Selwyn campus and gather information for the 2013-14 school year.

The March 21 and May 9 previews are from 9 to 11 a.m. The day will begin in the Sid Richardson Library and include a general assembly, and a campus tour.

On April 23, Selwyn will host a student visitor day for students from kindergarten through grade 12. Students who are considering enrolling in Selwyn for the 2013-14 school year may visit and attend classes for all or part of the day.

Parents must register their student in the Sid Richardson Library at drop-off time.

Kindergarten and first-grade parents are invited to visit a classroom with their student for 30 minutes.

To reserve your spot, e-mail , or call the admissions office at 940-382-6771. Visit the website .



School district to close for spring break

All Northwest ISD campuses and offices will be closed for spring break March 11-15.

Classes will resume on Monday, March 18.


Board OKs attendance boundaries for school

The attendance boundaries for Elementary School 17 were approved at the Feb. 25 school board meeting.

Elementary School 17, which will open in August in Roanoke, will serve students living in the following neighborhoods: Chadwick Farms, Seventeen Lakes, Fairway Ranch and Bluffview.

The attendance boundary was based on a recommendation by a committee of parents, administrators and staff.

The school board will vote to name the newest elementary school at the March 18 meeting.


Pre-qualification starts for pre-kindergarten

Northwest ISD offers pre-kindergarten classes for qualifying 4-year-olds and it’s now time to begin the pre-qualification process.

To adequately plan for the 2013-14 school year, NISD would like to pre-qualify as many 4-year-olds as possible this spring. Pre-qualification packets are available at all elementary schools and can be picked up through March 25.

For more information, visit  or call 817-215-0198.


Two speech, debate students win honors

Northwest High School National Merit Finalist Damon King recently competed in the Rotary Club speech tournament and he won the four-way test.

This achievement advances King to the regional competition in March.King just returned from Harvard University where he made it to the octo-finals at a national speech tournament in duo interpretation with his partner, senior Devin Harding.

Byron Nelson High School senior Ian Sanchez is the University of California Berkeley Tournament Champion in the category of dramatic interpretation. Sanchez received the top score out of 176 total entries across the nation.


Students compete in TASB video contest

Chisholm Trail Middle School and Tidwell Middle School are eligible for a $5,000 prize in the Texas Association of School Boards “Texas Public Schools Rock!” student video contest.

The winners will be selected based on the videos most viewed by visitors to TASB’s website during that week.

The contest was open to all elementary and secondary schools in Texas.

Chisholm Trail Middle School’s video can be viewed at and the Tidwell Middle School video can be viewed at

Voting is available through Friday. To vote, watch the entire video.Full views will be counted to determine the winner.


Byron Nelson High School

Cheerleaders win championship trophy

On Feb. 23, the Byron Nelson High School competition cheer squad traveled to Kentucky to compete in the National Cheerleading Associations Open Nationals.The team won its division and received a national championship trophy and jackets for each team member. The squad also received a specialty award for best stunts.


AMP students qualify for state tournament

Byron Nelson High School students from the Academy of Medical Professions will send three students to the HOSA-Future Health Professionals State Tournament in April.

Junior Lyndee Crawford, junior Ashley Humphries and senior Vincent Nguyen competed in the regional competition in Mansfield on Feb. 15 and 16. Crawford received first place in medical photography. Humphries took second place in clinical specialty.Nguyen received second place in pharmacology.


Roanoke Elementary School

Elementary librarian named state finalist

Roanoke Elementary School media specialist Kelley Valdez was named a finalist for the 2012-13 Texas Computer Education Association Educator Awards in the Library Media Specialist of the Year category.

Valdez was honored at a reception and program at the TCEA Convention and Exposition in Austin.

She received a plaque and $500.


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