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Denton ISD

Students among top finishers at book festival

The Denton school district recently had two students recognized for their writing prowess at the 12th annual Texas Book Festival Youth Fiction Writing Contest on the Texas Capitol grounds in October in Austin.

Denton High School freshman Gabriella Webster earned second place in the seventh- to eighth-grade division for her story “Constellations,” while Guyer High School sophomore Tiffany Wang brought home second-place honors in the ninth- to 10th-grade division for her story “Like Uranium.”

The fictional works of these award-winning DISD students were reviewed by Texas Book Festival authors, state educators and publishing industry leaders. The top stories had to be no more than 2,000 words in length, follow the theme “From the Back of a Truck” and were selected for their excellent use of character development, plot, setting, dialogue, conflict and resolution.

For their runner-up finishes in the contest, Gabriella and Tiffany each received a $100 prize, had their stories published on the Texas Book Festival website and were invited to participate on a panel at the Texas Book Festival.

Co-founded by former first lady Laura Bush in 1995, the Texas Book Festival annually brings together state and national authors for book readings, panel discussions, cooking demonstrations and student activities in an effort to support literacy and libraries throughout the state.

Fine Arts

73 students on TMEA all-region orchestra

Denton school district orchestra students accounted for 73 members or alternates on the two all-region Texas Music Educators Association orchestras.

Students from across the region auditioned for spots on the TMEA All-Region Full High School Orchestra, made up of ninth- through 12th-graders, or the TMEA All-Region Intermediate Orchestra, made up of eighth- through 10th-graders. Denton schools finished with 39 students and five alternates on the high school orchestra and 22 students and seven alternates on the intermediate orchestra.

The TMEA All-Region Full High School Orchestra students included:

Denton High School

Violin — Sean Burrows, senior; Sophia Lin, freshman; Stephanie Kim, sophomore; William Tanner, junior; Emily Fu, senior; Emily Hu, sophomore; Tony Gao, freshman; Madeline DeHart (alternate), junior; and Rebeca Fu (alternate), senior.

Cello — John Carmona, senior; and Paul McCormick, senior.

The Denton High orchestra director is Tanya Schwoch.

Guyer High School

Violin — Inki Lee, sophomore; Emily Moore, sophomore; Woo Jun An, junior; Henry Lim, junior; Malissa Owen, sophomore; Ji Young Choi, sophomore; Abishek Shah, freshman; Aimee Bourey, sophomore; Amy Whang, freshman; Xavier Sanders, junior; Max Malone, junior; and Daniel Alvarez, junior.

Viola — Isaac Akintitan, senior; Bethany Miliara, sophomore; Aaron Taylor, junior; Eliza Price, junior; Tiffany Wang (alternate), sophomore; and Peter Mai (alternate), senior.

Cello — Lauren Choi, freshman; Alex Koh, freshman; Sophie Nader, junior; Rachel Parker, freshman; and Daniel Wang, freshman.

Bass — Ian Grems, sophomore; and Alex Harter (alternate), junior.

The Guyer High orchestra director is Michelle Hanlon.

Ryan High School

Violin — Noah Brooks, senior; and Andrew Adams (alternate), senior.

Viola — Miguel Vega, senior; and Mary Morris, sophomore.

Cello — Sean Durbin, junior.

Bass — Harry Dearman, sophomore; Ally Mulkey, freshman; and Cody Acord, sophomore.

The Ryan High orchestra director is Tami Peterson.

The TMEA All-Region Intermediate Orchestra students included:

Denton High School

Violin — Joshua Calvo, freshman; Lupita Montoya, freshman; Rebekah Cheek, sophomore; Roman Bayer, sophomore; and Gabriella Webster (alternate), freshman.

Viola — Michelle Gray, freshman; and Sofia Bajunaid, freshman.

Cello — Bonner Alexander, sophomore; and Ganady Summitt, sophomore.

Bass — Taylor Riggs (alternate), freshman.

Guyer High School

Violin — Ansh Pujara, freshman; Abby Lewis, freshman; Megan Vennell, freshman; Cayce Cleary, freshman; Ivy Lin, freshman; Kaitlyn Salvatori, sophomore; Austin Stolle (alternate), sophomore; and Nisha John (alternate), sophomore.

Viola — Lexxy Gentile, sophomore; Jack Henderson, freshman; and Ashley Emory, freshman.

Cello — Sydney Seavey, sophomore.

Bass — Julien Rogers, freshman; Oscar Manjarrez, freshman; and Kristopher Eckstorm (alternate), sophomore.

Ryan High School

Violin — Dylan Johnson, freshman.

Viola — Lillie Klipsch (alternate), freshman.

Cello — Jarod Haskin (alternate), freshman.

Bass – Sunny Claybour, freshman

Denton High

Chemistry teacher receives award

Robyn Ford, a chemistry teacher at Denton High School, was recently named the recipient of the 2013 Southwest Regional Award for Excellence in High School Teaching and the Werner Schulz Award by the Dallas-Fort Worth section of the American Chemical Society.

Ford will represent the D-FW area in the American Chemical Society teacher of the year competition in Dallas in March. She will have her photograph permanently placed at the Werner Schulz Gallery at Tarleton State University in Stephenville and displayed at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science for a limited time. Winners also receive a $1,000 cash prize from the American Chemical Society.

Named for Dr. Werner Schulz, a longtime high school teacher, researcher, author and nature photographer who was admired by several professional and educators in the science industry, the Werner Schulz Award is given to the most outstanding chemistry teacher in the area.

Ford will be recognized by the D-FW section of American Chemical Society at its annual meeting with a special dinner at the LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex at 7 p.m. Nov. 13. Tickets to the dinner are $17, but those wishing to congratulate Ford and hear her speak can arrive for her recognition at 8 p.m.

To register for the dinner, contact Ford at

Guyer High

Guyer Choir Craft Show set for Saturday

Guyer High School is conducting its seventh annual Guyer Choir Craft Show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the school’s main hallway and commons area. Guyer High is located at 7501 Teasley Lane in Denton.

The show will include food, clothes, arts, crafts and other gift ideas from numerous area artists and vendors. Admission is free, and door prizes will be given away. All proceeds from the show will be used to support Guyer High’s Choir program.

For more information, contact Stephen Evans at 940-369-1000 or

E.P. Rayzor Elementary

School among leaders in reading competition

E.P. Rayzor Elementary School finished near the top of the pack during the recent Turn 2 assembly of Texas Motor Speedway’s Speeding to Read competition.

E.P. Rayzor was second overall with 87.6 percent of its student body reaching their reading goals during the last quarter.

Melanie Peterson’s first-grade class was among the event’s biggest winners, finishing in the lead of the kindergarten through second-grade division with an average of 302.65 books read per student.

Peterson’s class read a total of 6,053 books during the Turn 2 portion of the race, helping the entire 11-school field finish with 340,288 books read since the competition kicked off during the first week of school.

Ethan Harmon, a first-grader at E.P. Rayzor Elementary, was third in the overall individual standings of the kindergarten through second-grade division. He read 460 books during the Turn 2 period.

First-grader Oliver Browning and fourth-grader Aiden Copes were also recognized by James Bueschler, No. 2 in the standings for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, at the assembly for being their school’s top individual reader in their division.

All of the students received tickets to last week’s NASCAR truck series race, trophies and gift bags for their hard work.

The Speeding to Read competition was expanded from three to 11 schools in an effort to encourage more Denton and Tarrant County elementary students to read more frequently. Turn 3 leaders will be recognized by Texas Motor Speedway in February with the winning school honored during Turn 4 in April.

Liberty Christian School

New honor society members inducted

Seventeen students were recently inducted into the Liberty Christian chapter of the National Junior Honor Society.

The new members are Grace Bridges, Sierra Cothes, Caroline Crow, Lauren Hunter, Kennedy Irwin, Brittan Jobe, Caroline Joyner, Erin Mahoney, Jason O’Connor, Elizabeth Reneau, Matthew Reneau, Madison Sanford, Tanner Seidler, Cole Shiflet, Lizzy Shuey, Anna Sitzes and Callee Vander Stoep.

The officers for 2013–2014 are Joyner, president; Cothes, vice president; Bridges, secretary; Sitzes, reporter/parliamentarian; and Mahoney, historian.

For more information on the National Junior Honor Society at Liberty Christian and the recent induction ceremony, visit

‘Ordinary People’ set for Thursday

Liberty Christian advanced theater students will present a one-act play version of Ordinary People, the Academy Award winner for Best Picture in 1981 in which Robert Redford made his directorial debut.

Best geared for middle- and high school-aged children, families from the surrounding communities are invited to a free performance at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the school.

Students will take this piece to the regional one-act play contest Saturday at Liberty.

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

For more information, visit .

Drum major awarded lead alto sax chair

For the second consecutive year, a Liberty Christian student has been selected to play the lead alto saxophone chair in the Texas Private School Music Educators Association All-State Jazz Band.

Earning the seat this year was senior drum major Rusty Vittrup.

In addition to the saxophone, Vittrup also plays the clarinet and piano and is currently learning how to play the flute.

In February, he plans to audition for a music scholarship and a President’s Scholarship during Presidential Scholarship Weekend at The Master’s College in California.

Krum ISD

Annual Turkey Trot scheduled for Nov. 22

Blanche Dodd Elementary School will conduct its annual Turkey Trot on Nov. 22. Participants will walk for 30 minutes at the Bobcat Stadium track to emphasize the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

The event, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., is in support of the school’s curriculum, CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health), Action for Health Kids, Dodd Run Club and the Children’s Tumor Foundation.

Students are encouraged to bring their own snack and drink.

For more information, visit or contact Tracy Polley at 940-482-2603 or via e-mail at

Veterans Day ceremony scheduled for Friday

The Krum school district is conducting Veterans Day of Remembrance, an event that honors the men and women who have served this country as well as the fallen heroes who gave their lives for freedom. The ceremony is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Friday at Bobcat Stadium.

A surprise guest speaker and will be featured at the ceremony. The Krum middle and high school bands, as well as other student groups, will perform at the event.

A free lunch will be provided for active military personnel and veterans at Krum High School immediately following the ceremony. Assistance will be provided at the stadium to those who need it.

Liberty Christian School

Chorale performs oldies concert

Liberty Christian School’s Chorale concert “Oldies but Goodies” was presented Oct. 28.

Songs included a student barbershop quartet singing “Honey/Little ’Lize Medley,” a chorale group of girls performing “Lollipop” and all chorale students singing “Grease Medley” in the finale.

Audience members saw the chorale in 1950s-style colorful costumes — girls in poodle skirts and boys in jeans and leather jackets. An Elvis impersonator was even seen onstage singing “Hound Dog.”

The chorale is beginning to prepare for its Christmas concert, with Liberty’s band members, scheduled for Dec. 14. The concert is free and open to the public.

Finalists in poetry contest named

Liberty Christian students accounted for seven of the 10 finalists announced in the Youth Writers Cowboy Poetry Contest at the recent Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering and Western Swing Festival.

At the event, held the weekend of Oct. 26 at the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District, Steagall said more than 4,000 poems were submitted this year in two divisions. In the senior division, Liberty students held seven of the 10 finalist positions selected by Texas Christian University professors.

The Liberty finalists were Joy Childers, Blake Harris, Kelsey Hovanetz, Chloe Kembel, Reagan Liddell, Cole Porter and Grayson Wilson.

Finalists recited their poems in front of the audience and received a copy of one of Steagall’s poetry books and a commemorative medal.

The poems reflected an understanding and appreciation of the cowboy heritage and related to Western life, from ranching to cowboy characters.

The annual cowboy gathering celebrates the West and was voted “Best Gathering and Best Family Event” by readers of American Cowboy magazine. The event included a wagon train and trail ride from Jacksboro, rodeo action, a chuckwagon camp and competition, youth fiddle contest, cowboy church, cowboy gospel concert and Western swing dances.

In its 23rd year, the cowboy gathering is named after Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame member Red Steagall, a musician, entertainer, author and 2006 Texas Poet Laureate.

Northwest ISD

Principal named at Schluter Elementary

Amy Howell has been named principal at Carl E. Schluter Elementary School.

Currently, Howell is an assistant principal at NISD’s Chisholm Trail Middle School. She has taught and coached in Northwest schools since 2004.

Howell will begin her new position as principal this month. She replaces Kim Caley, who was named NISD’s executive director of human resources.

Holiday Bazaar and Craft Show set

The Nelson High School Bobcat Dazzlers will conduct their annual Holiday Bazaar and Craft Show from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the high school, 2775 Bobcat Blvd. in Trophy Club.

Nelson FFA team wins top award

Members of the Nelson High School FFA chapter competed at the Texas A&M University-Commerce Invitational Leadership Development Event on Oct. 24.

All eight entries received an award. Out of 16 other schools, the Nelson team won the Overall Sweepstakes Award.

Sanger ISD

Senior participates in national forum

Billy Keith Powell, a 17-year-old student at Sanger High School, recently attended the National Youth Leadership Forum on National Security in Washington, D.C.

Powell was nominated for the forum by a mentor at Sanger High because of his academic success and the career field in which he shows interest. While in Washington, he visited national monuments and museums.

The forum gave participants opportunities to learn about national security, foreign affairs and related fields while getting first-hand exposure to challenges faced by leaders in the field. By participating in the forum, Powell is eligible to receive college credit from George Mason University.

Powell is the son of Heather Garrison and Brian Powell.

Winfree Academy Charter School-Denton

Magazine’s second edition released

Winfree Academy Charter School-Denton released its second edition of the Denton Discoveries literary magazine Nov. 1.

Revolving around the theme “Identity,” students explored topics such as teen parenting, abuse and bullying. Altogether, the issue featured eight original works of art and 10 poetry/prose submissions.

As student contributors highlighted the joys and depicted the dark depths of identity, one paired prose and artwork stood out. In “She Gives Me Purpose,” Savannah Mouton wrote of a teen parent who lives her life each day to see the smile across her baby’s face despite the whispers and looks behind her back. Her narrative was coupled with a portrait sketched by Bryce Barton of a classmate’s daughter.

Next month’s theme is “Society.” Poetry, short stories, essays and art will explore what makes a society and how inclusion or exclusion from society feels. To obtain a copy of Denton Discoveries, call 940-243-0480.

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