In The Schools

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Teachers of the Year being honored April 9

Members of the Teachers Communications Committee of the Denton Independent School District have named 32 outstanding educators as Jostens Teachers of the Year.

These teachers will be honored at a special presentation by the Denton school board at a reception and open house at 5:30 p.m. April 9, at the LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex, 1504 Long Road.

At the presentation, the district’s top two educators, Elementary Teacher of the Year and Secondary Teacher of the Year, will be named. These two will represent the Denton school district at the Regional XI level, which includes more than 60 school districts.

Jostens was added to the name of the award, Jostens Teachers of the Year, because company officials wanted to honor all the schools’ Teachers of the Year by donating a gold ring to each honoree — a project valued at more than $20,000.

James Wood Autopark has stepped forward to also sponsor the event, along with Candy Haven and DATCU.

The elementary Teachers of the Year include:

Blanton: Melissa Hooton, third grade and team leader.

Borman: Amy Atchley, fourth grade.

Cross Oaks: Cary-Anne Koenig, kindergarten.

Evers: Gabriela Armijo, third-grade bilingual and team leader.

Ginnings: Kelli Whisenhunt, EXPO.

Hawk: Eunice Ruiz, intermediate life skills.

Hodge: Virginia Rojas, second-grade bilingual.

Houston: Patricia Boosa, first grade.

Lee: Alexa Olstowski, fourth-grade math and science.

McNair: Beth Lopez, fifth grade.

Nelson: Lakeisha Smith, third grade.

Paloma Creek: Kimberly Mills, first grade.

Pecan Creek: Michelle Brown, fifth-grade language arts.

Providence: Jill Koenning, fifth-grade language arts and social studies.

E.P. Rayzor: Lisa Hanley, reading and math interventionist.

N. Rayzor: Barbara Gatlin, resource, content mastery and inclusion.

Rivera: Isabel Villarreal, second-grade bilingual/dual language.

W.S. Ryan: Kennye Jarrett, primary life skills.

Savannah: Ashley Weibling, librarian.

Stephens: Lauren Atkinson, kindergarten and team leader.

Wilson: Margaret Taylor, second grade.

Ann Windle School for Young Children: Yazmin Vazquez, pre-kindergarten Head Start dual language.

The secondary Teachers of the Year include:

Calhoun: Vicki Adams Storrie, eighth-grade reading.

Crownover: Holly Ray, sixth-grade world cultures.

Harpool: Brandi Hardin, eighth-grade math and seventh-grade accelerated math.

McMath: Andrew Krznarich, life skills.

Navo: Jade McClure, sixth grade and team leader.

Strickland: Kim Hope, life skills.

Denton High: Robert West, Air Force Junior ROTC director.

Guyer High: Bridget Matamoros, pre-Advanced Placement geometry and AP statistics.

Ryan High: Jeannene Abney, theater arts.

Fred Moore High: Molly Swindle, human growth and development, child development and child guidance.


PTA sponsoring Denton Dash on April 13

The Denton Community Council of PTAs will conduct the first Denton Dash for Public Schools fun run at 8 a.m. April 13 at South Lakes Park in Denton.

The event will feature a 5K run and a 1-mile fun run/walk through the scenic grounds at the park. All proceeds from the event benefit Denton students and teachers, with funds donated toward senior scholarships, teacher grants and graduation night celebrations for the district’s high school seniors.

Awards will be presented to the top three overall male and female finishers, as well as the top male and female finishers in the up-to-14 age groups. The school with the most participants will also be recognized and awarded a prize.

The cost for registration is $25 per runner, with a discounted rate of $15 for teachers and students. There is also a discounted rate for groups or families, which can be accessed by registering online at

Registration packets can also be picked up from Tuesday through April 11 at McAlister’s Deli, 1931 S. Loop 288 in Denton, and Run On!, 680 N. Denton Tap Road in Coppell. On-site registration will begin at 7 a.m. at South Lakes Park the day of the race.

For more information, contact Amanda McCleod by e-mail at .


District students claim state title

Students from Ryan and Guyer high schools recently won a state title and reached three state semifinals at the Texas Forensic Association’s state competition at South Grand Prairie High School.

Ryan’s duo of Dakota Ratliff and Cody Vann paced the Denton school district’s efforts with a state championship in duet acting.

Guyer had four duos reach the state semifinals in two events. Andrew Hansen and Tanille Limb joined Michael Hansen and Lauren Champion in advancing to the state semifinals in duet acting. Andrew Hansen and Michael Hansen partnered up to join Lauren Champion and Drake Lawson in the state semifinals in duet interpretation.

Hansen reached the state semifinals in dramatic interpretation.


Ryan High

Drill team plans annual spring show

Ryan High School’s award-winning Strutters drill team will have its annual Strutters Spring Show from April 11-13 at the school auditorium. All shows will be at 7 p.m., and this year’s theme focuses on the music of Motown.

The Strutters Spring Show features drill team members performing various dances, routines and skits.

Tickets to the show are $7 in advance and $10 at the door with $5 tickets for all children ages 12 and under. The opening-night performance is Student Night, with all tickets for that evening’s show $5 with a student identification card. All tickets can be purchased at the main office prior to the show or at the auditorium on the day of the show.

For more information, contact Cassie Mayer at 940-369-3000.


Cross Oaks Elementary

Cross Oaks sets story time for Monday

Cross Oaks Elementary School will conduct a special story time for incoming kindergartners at 2 p.m. Monday in the school library.

The event will allow 4-year-olds who will be 5 by Sept. 1 and 5-year-olds not currently enrolled in kindergarten to get familiar with the Cross Oaks library and hear a story from the school librarian.

For more information or to RSVP for the event, contact DeAnn Roberson at 940-369-7103 or by e-mail at .



Community festival set for April 27

“The 2013 Shoot for the Stars Festival” will be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 27 at Argyle High School. According to school officials, this will be the largest community event Argyle has ever held.

This day of festivities will include 3-on-3 basketball tournaments, free-throw contests, free heart screenings, blood donations, community vendors, business vendors, live musical entertainment, food, carnival games, cow-patty bingo, child care, children's activities and more. The event will end with a live concert from Argyle’s own Zach Nytomt.

This event will benefit the Alex Betzhold Memorial Foundation along with Project Graduation 2015.

For more information about the basketball tournaments, contact Steve Sheridan at .

For more information about Project Graduation 2015, contact Karen Garnett at .

To reserve a table or booth at the event or would like to represent a local business, contact Pamela Arrington at .


Argyle High School

Math/science team take part in competitions

On March 1, the team traveled to the University of Texas at Arlington for the 13 annual Calculus Bowl. Of the 26 teams that entered the competition, Argyle reached the final round of 12 and placed fifth overall behind the winners from the Dallas School of Science and Engineering Magnet. Members of the team included Carson Wells, Kara Peak, Matthew Hayden, Colton Katzen and Ross Coker.

On March 2, Argyle traveled to Flower Mound for its annual invitational math/science competition. Argyle placed first in number sense, calculator applications and mathematics while narrowly finishing second to Highland Park in science. First-place individuals were Kara Peak, Matthew Hayden and Ross Coker.

On March 9, Argyle students returned to UTA for the Department of Energy Region Science Bowl. Of the 12 teams in the competition, Argyle won its division and advanced to the semifinal round. Argyle then won its semifinal round and advanced to the final round. In the final round, Fort Worth Paschal High School outscored Argyle to advance to the National Science Bowl. Members of the Argyle team were Carson Wells, Victor Graf, Ross Coker, Hugh Devine and Samantha Rider.


UIL academic team wins district title

The Argyle High School University Interscholastic League academic team recently won the Class 3A District 10 competition held at Lone Star High School in Frisco.

There are 42 students who advanced to the region meet on April 20.



Students compete for Crown Champion

On March 7, third- through fifth-grade teams competed for the 2013 Crown Champion.

The teams fielded questions based on the 20 books from this year’s Children’s Crown Award nominees, which students have been reading since the start of the school year. In a succession of close-scoring rounds, the Purple Penguins emerged as the winner and Crown Champion for 2013.

The mission of the Children’s Gallery Award, the Children’s Crown Award and the Lamplighter Awards is to encourage elementary and junior high students to read wholesome and uplifting books by providing lists each year of the best literature.

The following is a list of the young readers who competed in Liberty’s Crown Competition:

Purple Penguins — Trenton Chappel (team captain), Emily Barnes, Alyssa Earle, Addison Hudelson, and Rachel Ramirez.

The Bookmark Nerds (runner-up) — Tyler Lane (captain), Abbi DeWall, Harrison Holland, Lindsey Meath, and Margaret Sitzes.

The Nutty Squirrels — Sarahbeall Shaffer (captain), Cameron Jeffers, Jackie McGuire, Reid Palmer, and Kambryn Vera.

The Pink Fluffy Pandas — Connor Jeffers (captain), Grace Martin, Jeffrey Norris, Peter Sheng, and Hannah Wood.

Amazing Alternates — Trey Hornsby and Gabby Simms.



KHS well represented at academic competition

Krum students traveled to Decatur High School on March 20 for the University Interscholastic League Conference 3A District 9 academic meet and returned with two team championships and four individual first-place finishes.

The accounting team of Jackson Patton, Jordan Crawford, Michael Tanttari and Scott Wolf placed first, with Patton placing first individually in the accounting contest.

The computer science team made up of John Groen, Wyatt Archer and James Fitts also placed first, with Groen placing first individually.

Other students finishing first in their categories were Danielle Drews in the literary criticism contest and Morgan McBride in the spelling contest.

Qualifying students will compete April 20 at the UIL 3A Region 2 competition at Texas A&M University at Commerce.


Krum FFA members excel at Houston show

Krum FFA members joined students from across the state in exhibiting their animals to top honors at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Krum High School senior Cheyanne Bullock exhibited her Yorkshire Barrow to third-place honors, while Claire Shelton exhibited her Hampshire Barrow to fifth-place honors.

Also placing at the show were Cailee Carroll, Dark Cross Barrow, ninth; Kyle Real, Duroc Barrow, seventh; and Carlie Carroll, Spot Barrow, ninth. Also exhibiting in the market barrow show were Callie Craddock, Lexi Carroll, Kasey Nabors and Brittani Roy.

Placing in the steer arena were: Skylor Schertz, Red Angus, second; Randie Kay Newton, Hereford steer, seventh; Sterling Pieniazek, Santa Gertrudis steer, eighth; Nina Gonzales, AOB, 10th; and Taylor Schertz, Limousin steer, 12th. Also exhibiting their market steers were Hunter Howard, Hailee Labrum, Kaitlyn Baird, Brady Burton, Brooks Burton, Charlee Cope and Payton Schertz. Bryan Wolf also represented the Krum FFA with his market lamb.


Dual language program meeting set

An informational meeting is planned at 6 p.m. April 18 for parents with children entering kindergarten next year who are interested in placing their child in the district’s dual language program.

The meeting will be held in the Krum Early Education Center cafeteria, 1513 Sequoia Drive.

Students enrolled in the program will develop skills in both Spanish and English, resulting in bi-literate students at the end of fifth grade.

To learn more, visit



Administrative staff changes announced

In preparation for the 2013-14 school year, several administrative changes at the central and campus levels are being made as familiar faces move to new places:

Corinth Elementary — Principal Deon Quisenberry announced his retirement after 33 years as a member of the district faculty. Assistant Principal Randall Caldwell will begin serving as principal of that campus beginning this fall. Caldwell has been with the district for 11 years. Kerri Blevins will replace Caldwell as assistant principal. Blevins has been with the district since 1997.

Shady Shores Elementary — Matt Clark, assistant principal at Lake Dallas Middle School, will move to Shady Shores Elementary in the fall as instructional coach for the campus. Clark has been with LDISD for 16 years.

Educational Services Department — Liesl Payne has been named coordinator of gifted and talented, ESL/bilingual and summer school. She has been with the district since 2002.


Board modifies attendance boundaries

The Lake Dallas school board recently voted to move a portion of the Lake Dallas Elementary attendance boundary to the Shady Shores Elementary attendance zone, beginning in the 2013-14 school year. According to district officials, the attendance boundary modification will not impact the current student population.

Champion Homes on the Lake, an apartment complex on Swisher Road in Lake Dallas that’s slated to open in 2014, has been rezoned to the Shady Shores Elementary attendance boundary, according to district officials.

The apartment complex, Eversole said, is approximately one mile from both Shady Shores and Lake Dallas elementary schools.



Board approves names for two schools

At the March 18 school board meeting, the Northwest ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved the names for the district’s new high school and elementary school 17:

Wayne A. Cox Elementary School — Named after former Northwest ISD educator and longtime resident of Justin, Wayne A. Cox Elementary School will open in Roanoke in the Fairway Ranch housing development in August 2013. Cox served as principal of Justin Elementary School and Northwest Junior High School. He led the Justin community as a member of the city council and mayor.

V.R. Eaton High School — The district’s third comprehensive high school is named in honor of Wise County resident and rancher, V.R. Eaton. Eaton served as a member on the first Northwest ISD school board and assisted in the organization of the district’s consolidation in 1949. As the owner of Chisholm Trail Ranch near Rhome, Eaton was an advocate for the Northwest High School vocational agricultural program.


Principal named for Samuel Beck Elementary

Sandy Conklin, who is the current principal at Prairie View Elementary, has been named the new principal of Samuel Beck Elementary School. Conklin will replace current Beck Principal Deborah McCune in the 2013-14 school year when McCune opens Wayne A. Cox Elementary School in August. Conklin has served as principal of Prairie View Elementary since 2008. The new principal of Prairie View Elementary School is expected to be named this spring.


Board re-establishes boundaries for 2 schools

The Northwest Independent School District Board of Trustees approved an attendance boundary change for Hatfield and Clara Love elementary schools at the March 18 meeting. The attendance boundary adjustment moves the Rivers Edge development from Hatfield Elementary School to Clara Love Elementary School. This change does not affect students in the fourth and fifth grades during the 2013-14 school year. These students will be able to remain at Hatfield Elementary as transfer students. Transportation will be provided for these students through June 2015. Boundary development is examined by reviewing the needs of the district and current growth projections, according to school officials.


Freshman serves as page for Texas House

Byron Nelson High School freshman Drew Fuller represented the Northwest school district as a page for the Texas House of Representatives on March 7.

To qualify, Fuller wrote an essay and was selected by Rep. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound. As a page, Fuller spent the day job shadowing and assisting on the House floor.


Freshman asks legislators to reconsider exams

Northwest High School freshman Zachary Griffin wrote a letter addressing Texas legislators about his concerns regarding high-stakes testing and the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) end-of-course exam.

Griffin traveled to Austin during his spring break to read his letter to the House public education committee during a hearing on March 12. Griffin urged legislators to re-examine the logic behind standardized tests.

“How would you feel if you had to take 15 tests in the next three years and pass them in order to be deemed worthy of your position,” he said in his letter.

Raise Your Hand Texas has published his letter on their website at


Ranch Elementary holds annual Boosterthon

Sendera Ranch Elementary School conducted its annual spring Boosterthon on March 7 to raise funds for the school and increase students’ awareness about healthy lifestyle choices.

Students were divided by grade levels, and they participated in a run/walk for approximately 45 minutes. Each lap completed added money to the fundraiser. This year’s Boosterthon theme, Highway USA, featured a Texas Motor Speedway pace car. Throughout the day, students were reminded of the importance of staying active and being fit.


District offers adult fitness course

The district is currently offering an adult fitness course at the Northwest High School Indoor Activity Center.

During the eight-week program, participants will receive an individual fitness assessment, participate in strength training and cardio circuit three times per week and receive personalized nutritional evaluations. The class meets from 6 to 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. For more information, call 817-215-0011.


Paperless registration begins April 18

Northwest Independent School District has announced the transition to an online student enrollment system.

Beginning April 18, the district will launch Enrollment Online for students new to the district. Current students will be able to register online beginning Aug. 1.

In order to participate, parents should have a valid email address and register for a Home Access Center (HAC) account. Enrollment Online will be accessible on the Parent Resources webpage. For more information, please contact your child’s campus.


Kindergarten Round-Up, registration set

Children who will attend kindergarten this August are asked to register online beginning April 18. To register, kindergarten students must be 5 by Sept. 1, 2013.

Kindergarten Round-Up is scheduled April 29-May 3. Parents and students are encouraged to attend this event to meet staff, tour the facility and provide the necessary documents needed to complete the registration process.

Parents should bring the following items in order to complete your child’s enrollment: birth certificate, immunization records (immunizations must be up to date to attend school), proof of residency (housing contract, rental agreement, etc.), student’s Social Security card and a driver’s license or other suitable photo identification of the parent/guardian.

If parents do not have access to a computer at home, computers will be available at the campus during this time.


Enrollment begins for TechnoCamp

TechnoCamp offers students the opportunity to challenge their creativity using the Lego Education robotics program and is available for any current 2012-13 NISD student in first through fifth grades. Camp enrollment is based on the first 20 applications received with payment. The registration form, along with more information, can be found at


Culinary arts students receive honors

The Academy of Culinary Arts and Hospitality brought home state honors from the Texas ProStart Invitational.

The culinary team won first place and secured a spot in the National ProStart Invitational, which will be held in Maryland on April 19-21. The management team received second place and numerous scholarship offers for its restaurant concept, City Park Smoke House.

Members of the management team completed a competition lasting more than two hours, displaying their knife skills and cooking expertise while preparing a three-course meal.


Five teachers selected to write curriculum

Natalie Arnold, Jason Blackmoor, Brittany Harper, Casey Helmick and Jeanette Jones have been selected among 58 teachers and content specialists across 14 Texas school districts to participate in a Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) course/content development project supported by Apple Inc.

TASA on iTunes U will provide course content (for teachers, designed by teachers) for 18 high school courses that are fully aligned with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), free and accessible anywhere. The content for pre-calculus, biology, world geography and English II was released March 5.


Senior recognized as State Farm scholar

Senior Caren Stuebe is among 50 students in the state recognized as a State Farm Texas Scholar.

The Texas Scholar Award program is open to outstanding high school seniors who are involved in any University Interscholastic League competition, are leaders in their community and are high-achieving in the classroom.

Because of Stuebe’s recognition, Northwest High School is one of 50 schools in the state eligible for a $5,000 prize as part of the Vote for Your Favorite competition. To vote for Stuebe and Northwest High School, visit Voting ends April 15 and results will be posted on April 16.


Students to conduct ‘The Big Event’

Northwest High School students will conduct a school-wide community service day, The Big Event, on Saturday to say thank you to residents in the communities of Haslet, Justin, Rhome, Newark and Aurora.

Last year, more than 600 Northwest High School students completed more than 60 jobs around the community. Jobs include landscaping, tree trimming, window cleaning, painting and more.

The event will kick off at 8 a.m., and students will disperse across five communities to begin community service jobs at 9:45 a.m. The event will conclude with a celebration at 2 p.m. in the Texan Gym at Northwest High School. For more information and to request a job, go to


Softball team plays Autism Awareness game

In honor of Autism Awareness month, the Texans softball team will play in the fifth annual Autism Awareness Softball Game on Tuesday.

The Lady Texans will play for Circle of Friends, a school-sponsored club composed of students who desire to initiate and develop friendships with peers who have special needs. To make a donation or to purchase a shirt, contact Tanya Morrow at



Board approves compensation plan

During its regular meeting, the school board approved the 2013-14 staff compensation plan that included a 2.5 percent adjustment for employees based on mid-point of each salary classification.

A starting teacher’s salary for the 2013-14 school year will be $45,500, and those teachers with a master’s degree will receive an additional $1,500. Teachers who are certified and teach in critical need areas may also receive a stipend. Critical areas include mathematics, science, foreign language, bilingual education and the AIMS/GOALS program.

TRS-ActiveCare, the district’s state-mandated health insurance provider, has already announced that co-pays and premiums would increase across the board next school year.

In the same action, the board tabled discussion on stipends for staff, stating that they would consider the stipend package at a later meeting. Stipends are paid to employees outside of their contract for extra duties performed beyond the classroom.



Students advance to regional science fair

Students in second through fifth grades who placed first through third in the school science fair will advance to the regional science fair at Texas Woman’s University on April 13.

The student projects for the Selwyn Science Fair, held March 27, were judged by faculty and graduate students from the biology and chemistry departments from the University of North Texas and TWU.

The winners were:

Second grade — Jacob Morphew, first place, Soda: The Silent Tooth Killer; Hannah Morris, second place, Gummy Bears in Water; and Sidd Lama, third place, Clouds and Weather.

Third grade — Valerie Burridge, first place, How Color Affects the Perception of the Things We Taste; Luke Jensen, second place, May the Best Soil Win; and Claire Pettit, third place, Italian Basil: Which Soil.

Fourth grade — Ethan deBruyn, first-place tie, The Last Banana Standing; Johnny Terry, first-place tie, Chemicals Versus Nature on Discoloring Leaves; Jared Strittmatter, second place, How Much Water; and Ella Perry, third place, Zip Line of Gravity.

Fifth grade — Dillon DiVecchia, first place, How Beverages Stain Teeth; second-place tie, Matthew Morphew, Sweet Electricity; Emi Rosales, second-place tie, Magnetized Attraction; and Sam Taliaferro, third place, Battle for the Heat.

The TWU Science Fair is presented by the TWU College of Arts and Sciences and the chemistry and biology departments. The fair is geared toward kindergarten through ninth-grade students in the Dallas, Denton, Fort Worth and North Texas area. It is open to all students in public, private, parochial, and home schools.




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