In The Schools

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High schools qualify for state academic meet

Students from Denton’s high schools recently competed in their respective regional University Interscholastic League academic meets and accounted for several team and individual qualifiers for the UIL Class 5A and 4A state academic meets.

Denton High School claimed the highest school honor, finishing as the regional runner-up for the third consecutive year with 136 points. Lubbock High won the team regional title with 165 points. Guyer scored 99 to finish fourth at the 4A Region I meet in Abilene.

Ryan finished just outside the Top 10 teams in 11th with 41 points, one of only two Denton County 5A schools to achieve 40 or more points at the 5A Region I meet in Lubbock.

Points were tabulated through the top six places in various academic events, with the top three individuals and first-place teams advancing to the UIL state meet at the University of Texas. The fourth-place individuals qualified as state alternates.

The Denton school district’s state qualifying teams and individuals include:

Denton High

Number Sense — Team DHS (William Root, Jared Davis, Kevin Ye, Omar Akram), first place; William Root, first place.

Spelling and Vocabulary — Team DHS (Rebecca Fu, Omar Akram, Anna Mitchell, Varada Salimath), first place; Rebecca Fu, first place; Omar Akram, second place; Anna Mitchell, third place; and Varada Salimath, fourth place.

News Writing — George Roberson, second place.

Headline Writing — Rebecca Fu, third place.

Literary Criticism — William Root, second place.

The Denton High UIL academic sponsors with state qualifiers are: Barry Wagner, computer science; Sandra Dieckman, spelling and vocabulary; Greg Bogomol, journalism; Fred Mueller, number sense; and Ashley Sharp, literary criticism.


Chemistry — Sang Yop Kwon, first place.

Poetry — Drake Lawson, first place; and Andrew Hansen, second place.

Prose — Michael Hansen, third place.

One Act Play — first place.

The Guyer High UIL academic sponsors with state qualifiers are: Elisha Crotwell, one-act play; Paula Robinson, chemistry; and Karen Gossett, poetry and prose.


Literary Criticism — Team RHS (Veronica Hardy, J.D. McClanahan, Sara Miles, Rachael Rosenberg); J.D. McClanahan, first place; and Sarah Miles, second place.

Headline Writing — Emily McPherson, fourth place.

The Ryan High UIL academic sponsors with state qualifiers are: Karen Guenther, journalism; and Shawn Zeigler, literary criticism.


Denton High School

Yearbook selected for 2013 national award

The Bronco, Denton High School’s yearbook, was recently recognized for overall excellence in the 2013 Gotcha Covered Look Book from Jostens.

The Bronco was one of 425 yearbooks selected from more than 3,000 high schools across the country.

The Look Book, published annually, highlights the best covers, designs, themes, written copy and photography submitted by high school students for yearbooks during the current school year.

The DHS yearbook staff was led by editors Emma Pattison and Serena Stout. The yearbook adviser is journalism teacher Greg Bogomol.


Lab Band 1 earns honors at jazz festival

Denton High School’s Lab Band 1 recently competed at the 46th annual Texas Tech University Jazz Band Festival in Lubbock, earning several group and individual honors.

The band scored a Division I Superior rating from judges and earned a certificate of excellence. Junior Truette Ide was named the Most Outstanding Musician at the festival for his rendition of Benny Carter’s “Souvenir,” while junior Jonathan Bernal and senior Jason Van Horn also were recognized for their individual performances.

The Denton High jazz band director is Jesse Woolery.

The Texas Tech Jazz Festival is one of the largest festivals featuring jazz music in West Texas and annually features performances by well-known jazz artists as well as clinics and competitions for students across the state.


Guyer High School

Senior earns Air Force ROTC scholarship

Guyer High School senior Jessica Northam was recently awarded a scholarship from the U.S. Air Force to attend the University of North Texas this fall.

Northam, the daughter of Kenneth and Pamela Northam, has been selected into the UNT U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps and will be a commissioned U.S. Air Force second lieutenant upon graduation.

The ROTC Type 1 scholarship, which covers full tuition and most fees, is the most prestigious offered by the U.S. Air Force with only 5 percent of all applicants awarded the scholarship.

Northam is a member of the Air Force Junior ROTC program at Guyer High.

Northam plans to study criminal justice and Spanish at UNT and eventually join the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.


Students, staff member of month recognized

Guyer High School recently named its monthly Wildcats, students and Teacher of the Month for April. These students and teacher were recognized by the Guyer student body and staff for their outstanding display of school pride and character and honored at a recent breakfast.

The Students of the Month for April were: Addison Steelman, freshman; Megan Temple, sophomore; Brandi Marriott, junior; and Milenka Lopez-Arellano, senior.

The April Wildcats of the Month were: Luis Alvarado, freshman; Ola Akinniyi, sophomore; Jon Debruin, junior; and Mark Wager, senior.

The Staff Member of the Month for April is Kenny Blevins, who is a U.S. history teacher and also serves as girls head soccer coach.


Ryan High School

Walk of Fame to debut May 20

Ryan High School will conduct its inaugural Walk of Fame honoring the class of 2013 from 9:45 to 11:30 a.m. May 20 in the school’s main gymnasium.

The event will serve as a way for the entire student body to join teachers and staff in recognizing the school’s graduating seniors’ honors and accomplishments.

All family and friends of the class of 2013 are invited to attend,

For more information, contact school counselor Erin Coulter at 940-369-3000 or by e-mail at .



Students, teachers honored for March, April

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

The students and teachers were honored by Ryan High parents and staff at a special breakfast in the school’s Renaissance Hall.

The Scholars of the Month for March were: Baylee Van Ryswyk, freshman; Ryan Burks, sophomore; Mandy Schwark, junior; and Macarena Astorga, senior.

The Raiders of the month for March were: Nicholette Shaw, freshman; Nate Gonzales, sophomore; Simon Paraluppi, junior; and Khadijah Johnson-Gray, senior.

The Teacher of the Month for March was Traci Burt, who teaches English III and Advanced Placement English III.

The Scholars of the Month for April are: Sam McClanahan, freshman; Jonathan Soria, sophomore; Matthew Febre, junior; and Domino Birze, senior.

The Raiders of the Month for April are: TyNesha Jackson, freshman; Me’shelle Mancha, sophomore; Cassidy Brown, junior and Cassandra Hargrove, senior.

The Teacher of the Month for April is Monesha Allen, who teaches health and physical education and also serves as girls head basketball coach.


Savannah Elementary School

Gator Days for incoming kindergartners set

Savannah Elementary School will conduct its Little Gator Days for incoming kindergarten students from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 7 through May 9.

The event will allow 4-year-olds, who will be 5 by Sept. 1, and 5-year-olds not currently enrolled in kindergarten, to visit classrooms and learn what kindergarten is all about. In addition, all participants will take part in a special library time where they will hear stories from the school librarian and get a guidance lesson from the school counselor.

Families will have the opportunity to choose which day they can attend and will receive additional information about kindergarten prior to the event.

For more information, call 972-347-7200.


Immaculate Conception Catholic School

Academic team wins state championship

Immaculate Conception Catholic School will be sending 36 students in 45 events to the Private Schools Interscholastic State Meet on Saturday at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth after winning its 11th consecutive state Association academic championship.

Students advancing to the PSIA State Meet and their events include:

Lauren Strittmatter, Art Memory 4/5; Scott Wisker, Calculator 6-8; Rachel Fox, Creative Writing 2; Emma Wisker, Dictionary 4/5; Brandy Sorrells and Marga Del Mundo, Dictionary Skills 6-8; Mckenna Connors and Emma Wisker, Listening Skills 4/5; Jillian Josefsberg and Ford Feigle, Listening 6-8; Dominic Lewis and Ju Hwan Lee, Maps, Graphs and Charts 4; Nathan Staats, Maps, Graphs, and Charts 7; Daniel McDonald, Maps, Graphs & Charts 8; Ju Hwan Lee, Mathematics 4; James Bridges, Mathematics 5; David Leiva, Mathematics 8; Anthony Caeti, Modern Oratory 7/8; Jessica Josefsberg, Music Memory 3/4; Peter Zampino, Music Memory 7/8; Ju Hwan Lee, Number Sense 4; Brett Sorrells, Number Sense 6; Nathan Staats, Number Sense 7; Marga Del Mundo and Scott Wisker, Number Sense 8; Molly Melloan and Matthew Anderle, On-Site Drawing 7; McKenna Dorais and Cierra Stafford, On-Site Drawing 8; Roya Ghasemi, Prose Interpretation 4; Emma Wisker, Prose Interpretation 5; Jillian Josefsberg, Prose Interpretation 6; Jessica Josefsberg, Ready Writing 3; Brooke Moonier; Ready Writing 4; Rebecca Stiegelmar, Ready Writing 6; Alex Villa, Ready Writing 7; Olivia Johnson, Ready Writing 8; Halley Dickson, Science 7; Sierra Wood, Science 8; Derik Flores, Spelling 6; Emma Tull, Storytelling 1; Christian Wood, Storytelling 2; Jessica Josefsberg, Storytelling 3; Emily Wood, Vocabulary 5; Jillian Josefsberg and Will Davey, Vocabulary 6; and Nicole Lopez, On-Site Drawing 6.


Liberty Christian School

‘Steel Magnolias’ set for new theater

Families in the surrounding communities are invited to a performance of Steel Magnolias, the first show ever to debut in Liberty Christian School’s new black box theater. Performances are Thursday through Saturday.

Tickets are $15 and include dinner, the performance and dessert. Dinner begins at 6 p.m. each evening, with the show beginning at 7 p.m. Dessert will be served at intermission.

“We chose Steel Magnolias because we have six very talented senior girls in our advanced theater group, and we really wanted to showcase their talent,” said Misty Baptiste, fine arts department chairwoman.

Baptiste said “Steel Magnolias” is also the perfect show to display how versatile and user friendly the new black box theater can be as a performance space.

Reservations for the show can be made by e-mailing Baptiste at .

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


Schools compete at art festival

Liberty Christian lower, middle and upper school students competed at the Association of Christian Schools International district Art Festival on April 23 at Temple Christian Academy in Flower Mound.

Many students placed, and sophomore Maddie Ramirez, who will compete at the regional event, received the top award of best in show.

Students were judged based on four categories: design and composition, technique and skill of construction, communication and presentation, and creativity and originality.

Middle and Upper School students who placed in the competition included:

Best in Show — Maddie Ramirez

First place — Paige Jeary, Digital Photography; Ashley Jenkins, Drawing Color; Reagan Liddell, Fabric Art; Becca Lytle, Pottery; McKenna Michael, Drawing Color; Maddie Ramirez, Drawing Black and White; Grace Sitzes, Painting; Virginia Sitzes, Drawing Color; and Katie Wetteland, Printmaking.

Second place — Hannah Casey, Sculpture; Brianna Lentz, Drawing Black and White; Allie Martin, Drawing Black and White; and Lizzy Shuey, Mixed Media.

Third place — Reya Snyder, Drawing Color; and Shelby Westbrook, Drawing Black and White.

Superior ratings — Tiffany Besett, Drawing Black and White; Colby Dowdle, Mixed Media; and Dara Fuller, Mixed Media.

Excellent ratings — Tyler Hood, Digital Photography; Audrey Ilami, Drawing Color; and Timmy Miller, Digital Photography.

For students to receive a ribbon, they must have earned at least 29 points total from the four categories. A white ribbon is given for 29 to 32 points; a red ribbon is given for 33 to 36 points; a blue ribbon is given for 37 to 40 points. Once the ribbons were given, a first-, second- and third-place medal were given to the top scoring blue ribbons. Lower School students receiving ribbons and medals are as follows:

Kindergarten — Penelope Hentsch-Cowles, red ribbon; Daphne Hentsch-Cowles, red ribbon; and Sydney Bosley, white ribbon.

First grade — Slayden Martin, red ribbon; Avery Thompson, blue ribbon; and Alexandro Bozo, red ribbon.

Second grade — Ashlyn Taylor, blue ribbon; Molly Monschke, blue ribbon; and Lauren Ullrich, red ribbon.

Third grade — Knox Scoggins, two blue ribbons and two silver medals; and Colin Park, blue ribbon.

Fourth grade — Kate Duininck, red ribbon; Wyatt Chappel, blue ribbon; and Rebecca Taylor, blue ribbon and a silver medal.

Fifth grade — RyLeigh Werner, red ribbon; Trenton Chappel, blue ribbon and gold medal; and Libbie Michael, red ribbon.


Students compete in essay contest

As a part of the Denton branch of the Dickens Fellowship, Liberty Christian students competed in its essay writing contest and won a number of awards.

At the Denton fellowship meeting on April 11, Liberty Christian students were honored, as they read their papers and received books and certificates.

Senior Katelynn Pearson placed first, and senior Luke Kornet came in second. Ninth-grade winners included Ashton Hutcherson and Raegan Cole.

The Dickens Fellowship, founded in 1902 in London, is a worldwide association of people who share an interest in the life and works of Charles Dickens.

The fellowship aims to spread the love of humanity, to campaign against the “social evils” that most concerned Dickens and to assist in the preservation and purchase of buildings and objects associated with his name or mentioned in his works.


Northwest ISD

Teachers of year, employees recognized

Jairia Diggs from O.A. Peterson Elementary School was named Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Charles E. Cooper, II from Northwest High School was named Secondary Teacher of the Year at the third annual Inspire celebration on April 18.

Northwest ISD brought together retirees, 25-year and 30-year service award recipients, Exemplar Educators from each campus and its employees of the year. The Inspire recognition program was designed to recognize and celebrate dedicated educators and support staff for the important contributions they make to the students and community of NISD. To see a complete list of honorees, go to


Student places in top 10 at conference

Seven Northwest High School students competed in the 2013 Business Professionals of America Regional Leadership Conference in January.

At the state leadership conference, Augstin Tran earned seventh place for java programming.


Schools celebrate with NASCAR driver

NASCAR champion driver Jeff Gordon announced Clara Love and Justin elementary schools as the winners of the Speeding to Read challenge on April 11 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Speeding to Read is an incentive-based reading program created by Texas Motor Speedway to encourage and promote reading.

Students from Hatfield, Justin and Clara Love elementary schools were split into two divisions — kindergarten through second grade and third through fifth grade. Classrooms within the two divisions competed to see who could read the most books. During the yearlong challenge, students from the three campuses read more than 283,000 books.


Wallace named Prairie View principal

Yolanda Wallace, current assistant principal at Clara Love Elementary School in Fort Worth, has been named the new principal of Prairie View Elementary in Rhome.

Prior to her assistant principal role, Wallace had taught elementary school in Northwest ISD since 2008. She has been a team leader for several grade levels and was named an Exemplar Educator in 2011, a school’s top honor for a classroom teacher. She has also taught in Fort Worth ISD and in Aurora, Ill. Wallace has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University, a master’s from Lamar University and is currently working toward her doctorate in educational administration.

Wallace replaces Sandy Conklin, who was recently named principal of Beck Elementary School in Trophy Club.


District announces hiring of new director

Melissa DeSimone, Ed.D., has been hired as the district’s new director of research, assessment and accountability.

DeSimone has been the program coordinator at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University, where she organized the secondary education master’s program. She has also served as a clinical instructor for ASU’s College of Teacher Education and Leadership.


Northwest ISD

Wilson Middle School to hold spring event

Wilson Middle School is teaming up with Haslet, Sendera Ranch and Thompson elementary schools for a spring community event from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

The event includes the Wildcat Way 5K Fun Run, music and food provided by Dickey’s Barbeque Pit, as well as a vendor fair.

For more information or to sign up to be a vendor, send e-mail to


Nelson TSA wins at state level

The Nelson High School Technology Student Association won the 4A state championship in highest point total and third place for high point average project.

This is the first state championship for the Nelson High Technology Student Association and the team’s third year to compete.

The team won 30 best in state/first-place medals, 36 second-place medals, 29 third-place medals, 16 fourth-place medals and 13 fifth-place medals.


Nelson debate team wins regionals

The Nelson High School speech and debate team recently won its third consecutive regional championship at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene.

Nelson students secured five out of nine possible spots advancing to the state tournament. The individual state qualifiers include:

Brendan Gillette and Eryn Mascia, Lincoln Douglas Debate; Race Briggs, Persuasive Speaking; Steven Clark (regional champion), Persuasive Speaking; and Courtney Pool (regional champion), Informative Speaking.

The debate team will travel to Austin this month for the state championship. Last year, the team was named the 2012 University Interscholastic League speech and debate state champions.


Three principals headed to institute at Harvard

Carl E. Schluter Elementary School Principal Kim Caley, Haslet Elementary School Principal Michael Griffin, Ed.D., and Seven Hills Elementary School Principal Stephanie Espinosa have been selected to participate in a cohort of top public school campus leaders this summer.

Raise Your Hand Texas has selected 50 state principals for this year’s program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

The institute will provide Caley, Griffin and Espinosa the opportunity to work with renowned educators from across the country and to network with other campus leaders with similar interests and challenges.


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