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Denton ISD

Board to recognize teachers of the year

The Teachers Communications Committee for the Denton school district has named 33 educators as 2014 Jostens Teachers of the Year.

The honorees will be recognized by the Denton school board at a reception and open house at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex, 1504 Long Road.

During the event, the district will name its Elementary Teacher of the Year and Secondary Teacher of the Year, and the two educators will represent the district in the Region XI Education Service Center’s annual educator race.

Jostens is donating a gold ring to each of the 33 Jostens Teachers of the Year, a tradition of the district and company since 2004 and a project Denton school officials say is valued at more than $20,000.

Teachers honored at the event will also receive a T-shirt created by San Bay Studio.

Other sponsors of the district’s Jostens Teacher of the Year presentation include James Wood Autopark, Candy Haven and DATCU.

Elementary Teachers of the Year to be recognized are:

Blanton: Sarah Overstreet, first-grade teacher

Borman: Debbie Smith, first-grade teacher

Cross Oaks: Stacy Bzdok, art teacher

Evers: Modesta Cevallos, first-grade teacher

Ginnings: Jill Arnold, dyslexia therapist/teacher

Gonzales: Myrna Pagan, pre-kindergarten teacher

Hawk: Zella Armstrong, Reading Recovery and early literacy teacher

Hodge: Pam Hurst, fifth-grade math teacher

Houston: Maureen Kondracki, fourth-grade math teacher

Lee: Brenda Thomas, kindergarten teacher

McNair: Amy Murray, fifth-grade math teacher

Nelson: Whitney Gohlke, Reading Recovery teacher

Paloma Creek: Erin Findley, third-grade teacher

Pecan Creek: Tenille Shade, fourth-grade language arts teacher

Providence: DeeAnn Woolison, fourth-grade teacher

E.P. Rayzor: Kelley Quinn McGee, art teacher

N. Rayzor: Sarah Merriweather, kindergarten teacher

Rivera: Laurel Oyarce, dual-language kindergarten teacher

W.S. Ryan: Sulema Flores, Reading Recovery teacher

Savannah: Jeanetta Byrd, second-grade teacher

Stephens: Mardee Rayner, math and reading intervention specialist

Wilson: Karen McPherson, kindergarten teacher

The secondary teachers of the year are:

Calhoun: Amy Taylor, sixth-grade English teacher

Crownover: Stephanie Young, social adjustment class teacher

Harpool: Emily Cooper, sixth-grade science teacher

McMath: Denise Newbrand, math and Spanish teacher

Myers: Frank Perez, social studies teacher

Navo: Mary Sadler, choral music teacher

Strickland: Heather McLaughlin, seventh-grade English teacher

LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex: Will Milne, commercial photography teacher

Denton High: Kevin Zahner, social studies teacher

Guyer High: Robert Leffel, science teacher

Ryan High: Beki Garcia, health and physical education teacher

Students fare well at UIL academic meets

High school students from the Denton school district have qualified for 44 region contests and finished with 22 victories at recent District 5-4A and District 5-5A UIL academic meets.

Students who finished in the top three of various categories and teams that finished in first place will advance to the region round of competition. Students finishing in fourth place and teams finishing in second place are alternates for region competition.

The Class 5A University Interscholastic League Region I competition will take place at Texas Tech University in Lubbock and the Class 4A UIL Region I is being held at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene.

According to Denton school officials, Guyer High School earned a first-place finish at the District 4-5A meet to advance to region competition, while Denton High finished second. Ryan High finished sixth in the District 5-5A meet, according to district officials.

The students placing at the district level included:

Guyer High

Accounting: Christina Iskanadari, first place; Kira Griffiths, fifth place

Current Issues and Events: Troy Lucas, fifth place

Computer Applications: Patrick Grace, second place

Editorial Writing: Devin Horton, sixth place

Feature Writing: Josh Jordan, fourth place

Headline Writing: Edie Scott, first place; Bryce Babcock, third place; Devin Horton, fifth place

Informative Speaking: Michael Tabet, third place; Pete Burley, fourth place; Josh Erickson, fifth place

Lincoln-Douglass Debate: Riley Steward, third place

Literary Criticism: Devin Horton, fifth place; Math: Jimmy Ngyuen, sixth place

News Writing: Bianca Ramirez, second place; Bryce Babcock, sixth place

Persuasive Speaking: Tiffany Wang, first place; Maddie Spears, fifth place; Kaylee King, sixth place

Prose Interpretation: Tanille Limb, first place; Michael Hansen, second place; Elyse Guilstorf, third place

Poetry Interpretation: Lauren Champion, first place; Drake Lawson, second place; Andrew Hanson, third place

Ready Writing: David Quintanilla, second place; Jason Ototo, sixth place

Science: Chi Chi Ileje, fifth place

Social Studies: Team, first place; Zaara Quism, third place; Jackie Peterson, fifth place; Thomas Gray, sixth place

Speech: Team, first place

Spelling: Dria Windle, fifth place

One Act Play: Team, first place

The Guyer UIL coaches are LaMesha Attaway, Scott Dean, Kate Gengo, Karen Gossett, Josh Hamilton, Dana Key, Tiffany Larson, Donna Lowe, Paula Robinson, Larry Turner and Kevin Tucker.

Denton High

Calculator Applications: Team, second place; Omar Akram, fifth place; Emily Hu, sixth place

Current Issues and Events: Team, first place; George Roberson, first place; Brandon Shields, fourth place

Computer Science: Team, first place; Emily Hu, first place; William Root, second place; Dewey Middleton-Kurtz, third place; Alex Elizalde, fifth place

Computer Applications: Brandon Shields, sixth place

Editorial Writing: Emily Fu, first place; Rebecca Fu, second place

Feature Writing: George Roberson, first place; Jordan Gill, second place

Headline Writing: George Roberson, second place; Emily Fu, sixth place

Journalism: Team, first place

Literary Criticism: William Root, first place

Math: Team, first place; William Root, first place; Emily Hu, second place; Yiming Du, third place; Omar Akram, fifth place

News Writing: George Roberson, first place; Gabriella Webster, fifth place

Number Sense: Team, first place; William Root, first place; Omar Akram, fourth place; Tony Gao, fifth place

Ready Writing: Nico Cortes, fourth place

Spelling & Vocabulary: Team, first place; Ana Mitchell, first place; Rebecca Fu, second place; Omar Akram, third place; Emily Fu, fourth place

The Denton UIL coaches are Greg Bogomol, Sandra Dieckman, Fred Mueller, Ashley Sharp, Julie Seeley, and Barry Wagner.

Ryan High

Accounting: Team, second place; Jacob Miller, sixth place

Calculator Applications: Jared Allen, sixth place

Current Issues and Events: Team, second place; Nora Riddle, fifth place

Feature Writing: Emily McPherson, fourth place

Headline Writing: Emily McPherson, second place

Informative Speaking: Matt Russell, fifth place

Literary Criticism: Team, first place; Preston Tunnell-Wilson, third place; Sabrina Prater, fifth place; Veronica Hardy, sixth place

News Writing: Emily McPherson, second place

Prose Interpretation: Daniel Magden, second place; Julia Durbin, fourth place

The Ryan UIL coaches are Jeannene Abney, Karen Guenther, Cindy Hess, Mark Kiraly, Virginia Keeling and Shawn Ziegler.

Gallian Child Development Center

Instructor awarded ‘Teacher of the Year’

Ashley Pardue, an instructor at Virginia Gallian Child Development Center, is the Camp Fire Celebration of Child Care Champions Teacher of the Year.

The Virginia Gallian Child Development Center acts as an early education program specializing in promoting each enrolled child’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive development.

Other nominees included Heather Salas and Karen Smith, and the facility’s coordinator, Hugh Bolton, was nominated for Administrator of the Year.

For more information, contact Bolton at 940-369-3980 or via email at .

Four teams headed to DI state meet

Denton schools will be represented by four teams in the upcoming Destination Imagination state meet in Lewisville.

“Denton ISD students made up one of the most successful contingents at the regional competition, with 14 teams placing among the top 10, eight teams finishing among the top three and four more winning their category,” according to a district media release.

Teams from the district advancing to state finals include:

Ginnings Elementary: first place, pitch and play/elementary level. Team members: Cannon De Los Santos, Saila Becker, Silas Becker, Sawyer Becker, Audrey Decker and Alyson Scott.

Providence Elementary: first place, laugh art loud/elementary level. Team members: Sam Vader, Caden Page and Taylor Bell.

Newton Rayzor/McNair Elementary: first place, pandemonium/elementary level. Team members: Ethan Jones, Kason Chesky, Sebastian Bourbon and Siddhartha Shah.

Navo Middle School: first place, pitch and play/middle level. Team members: Colton Page, Brooke Finch, Keagen Gottlieg-Smith, Kam Hawkins, Kinsey Crow and Jacob Crow.

In addition qualifying for state, the Newton Rayzor/McNair team won the Da Vinci Award, and the Ginnings team won the Renaissance Award. The two awards are given by Destination Imagination judges for “exceptional performances,” according to district officials.

“Destination Imagination puts students in teams of two to seven to work toward finding creative solutions to complex challenges. Teams must be led by adult supervisors who facilitate meetings but don’t contribute ideas toward the solution,” according to the release.

For more information, call Lori Mabry, coordinator of advanced academics, at 940-369-0678, or Seema Gokharu, volunteer DI coordinator, at 940-380-1946.

Ryan High School

Strutters’ annual spring show begins Thursday

The Ryan High Strutters drill team will have its annual Spring Show on Thursday through Saturday in the school auditorium.

Themed “Salute to the Grammys,” the show, which will include various routines and skits, will be performed nightly at 7.

Advance tickets are $7 and $10 at the door. Tickets for children 12 and under are $5. Students attending on Thursday with a valid student identification card can purchase tickets for $5.

Tickets are available at the Ryan High main office, located at 5101 E. McKinney St., or at the school auditorium on the day of the event.

For more information, contact Keli Jones, Strutters sponsor, at 940-369-3000 or via email at

Sophomore selected to TMEA all-state orchestra

Sophomore Harry Dearman represented the Denton school district on the Texas Music Educators Association all-state philharmonic orchestra at the association’s recent convention in San Antonio.

Harry plays double bass. According to a district media release, “His selection marks the sixth consecutive year that Denton ISD has had at least one student on the TMEA all-state orchestra perform at the annual TMEA State Convention in San Antonio.”

Tami Peterson is the director for the Ryan High orchestra.

For more information on the school district’s orchestra programs, contact David McCullar, fine arts director, at 940-369-0075 or via email at

Guyer High School

Drum line wins title; color guard in top five

The Guyer High School Winter Drum Line was recently named the North Texas Colorguard Association’s Scholastic Open champion.

Guyer High clinched the title at the recent North Texas Colorguard Association competition held at the University of North Texas. Ellis Hampton, percussion coordinator, leads the winter drum line.

In a separate event, the Guyer Winter Guard finished its season with a fifth-place finish at the Winter Guard International Southwestern Color Guard Championship.

“Guyer was among the top finishers in a field that featured squads from across Texas and Oklahoma,” according to a district media release.

Wilson Elementary

Science teacher earns excellence award

Rebecca Williams, a fifth-grade science teacher at Wilson Elementary School, was recently announced a 2014 Ernest and Sarah Butler Award for Excellence in Science Teaching recipient. The award is given by the Texas Medical Association.

“Along with the award, she will receive a $5,000 personal award and $2,000 to promote science instruction at Wilson,” according to a district media release.

“The Science Teaching awards are given to selected individuals who show an innovative way of teaching to students and provide them with resources to continue motivating students,” according to the Texas Medical Association.

Williams will attend the Texas Medical Association award luncheon at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel on May 2.

For more information on the upcoming event, visit

Ann Windle School for Young Children

District Head Start Roundup set

Ann Windle School for Young Children will conduct a Head Start Roundup on Monday through April 18 at the C.H. Collins Athletic Complex, 1500 Long Road in Denton.

District officials said the roundup is an opportunity to determine eligibility, recruit and select children who are 3 and 4 years old by Sept. 1 for the Head Start program.

“Head Start is a federally funded educational initiative that provides low-income children an academic and social school-readiness foundation,” according to a district media release.

“Families interested in enrolling their children in Head Start may be eligible for services if it is determined they are currently at or below the federal poverty level. Children who are homeless, in foster care or receive TANF or SSI assistance are also eligible. Pregnant women with a child who is three years old and have no available child care may also be eligible.

To apply families must bring proof of income (2013 tax return, TANF, SSI or three recent pay stubs), proof of residency (utility bill or lease agreements only), proof of medical insurance and a driver’s license or identification card of the parent/guardian. In addition, the child’s birth certificate, up-to-date immunization record and Social Security card are required.

Only Head Start applications with all required documents will be accepted on roundup days.

Roundup sessions are scheduled by a child’s last name from 8:30 a.m to 2:30 p.m. on the following dates:

Monday — last names A through F

Tuesday — last names G through L

April 16 — last names M through P

April 17 — last names Q through Z

The school district will have open sessions from 4 to 6 p.m. April 16 at the Windle School for Young Children, 901 Audra Lane in Denton, and from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at C.H. Collins. According to district officials, individuals unable to attend the roundup events are encouraged to visit the Windle School for Young Children and apply for the Head Start priority wait list.

“Selection into Head Start is determined by a computer-generated list based on needs. Enrollment into the program is only granted once all district and Head Start criteria have been met,” according to the release.

For more information, call 940-369-3900.

Immaculate Conception Catholic School

Preview Day scheduled for Friday

Immaculate Conception Catholic School will have a Preschool and Kindergarten Preview Day on Friday for parents and children who will be 3, 4 or 5 years old by Sept. 1.

From 8:30 to 10 a.m., parents and their children will have opportunities to visit classrooms and tour the school, located at 2301 N. Bonnie Brae St. in Denton.

According to school officials, Immaculate Conception, established in 1995, is fully accredited by the state of Texas and serves families in the North Central Texas area. Full-day kindergarten, an all-day preschool program for children 3 and 4 years old and preschool two-day and three-day options are offered by the school.

For information, call 940-381-1155 or visit

Krum ISD

KHS Band performs at Carnegie Hall

The Krum High School Band made a debut performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall on March 25.

In addition, the students visited several famous tourist attractions around New York City.

According to district officials, an audio recording and photos from the high school’s New York debut will be available soon on the district website,

Kindergarten Round-Up scheduled for May 8

The Krum school district is slated to conduct its annual Kindergarten Round-Up from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 8.

Children must be 5 years old by Sept. 1 to register for kindergarten, and according to district officials, early registration is encouraged so that the district can ensure classroom space and appropriate staff. Families unable to register by May 8 can call the Krum Early Education Center at 940-482-2605. Regular registration will resume in the fall.

Families must provide the following at registration:

Registration forms;

Proof of residency — utility bill, lease agreement, closing documents on a home, tax statement on a home or a notarized letter stating that the family is living with a Krum ISD resident along with that resident’s proof of residency;

Immunization records — if families have proof they are are coming from another Texas school, the district can request it from the previous school district. If this is the first time attending school or the child is coming from out of state, two forms of student identification (acceptable forms include original birth certificate, passport, report card from previous school, Social Security card, military ID, hospital birth record or adoption records) must be provided.

Registration forms are available via

Students raise money for AHA

Students at Hattie Dyer Elementary School recently raised more than $9,500 for the American Heart Association, according to district officials.

As part of participation in the Jump Rope for Heart program, the students raised $9,582.88 for the association over a five-week period. More than 30 students who raised more than $100 for the effort were allowed to dress as their favorite super heroes and participate in the school’s “Super Hero” event on March 28.

According to a district official, students will be recognized by the school board at 6:30 p.m. today at the district administration building, 1200 Bobcat Blvd. in Krum.

The top overall student fundraiser was second-grader Joshlyn Matthews, who collected $1,100.

Students who raised $100 or more were third-graders Sydney Schertz, Karol Ann Meyer, Bryce Borchardt, Jacqueline Frederick, Michael Segars, Cooper Janczak, Kassidy Nichols, Gabe Baker, Maylie Worley, Nigel May, PJ Bonenberger, Ashley Johnson, Katie Fowler, Payton Norie and Dylan Sanders; second-graders Jake Shelton, Nicholas Cardenas, Lucas Mahan, Blaine Allmon, Will Lombard, Tatum Kilmer, Kyra Anders, Jessie Carroll, Devocean Medeiros, Jarrett Gutzler, Joshua Hayes, Gage Guthrie, Corbyn Sanders, Kyley White, Makenna Clere, Cooper Petersen, Gavin Flores and Bethany Hendrickson.

Liberty Christian School

Band earns third straight state title

The band at Liberty Christian School earned its third consecutive state title at the TAPPS state instrumental competition in Belton on March.

According to a school official, Liberty scored 332 points at the contest and edged out the runner-up by one point.

Members of Liberty’s Symphonic Band received a “sweepstakes” award for receiving all superior ratings in its primary performance and sight reading portions of the contest.

The Liberty Christian band is led by directors Scott Himel, Brad Mezei, John Racina and Jason Umbach.

For more information, visit .

Student takes best in show at art competition

Students from Liberty Christian School competed at the Association of Christian Schools International art competition on March 28 in Arlington and several brought home top honors.

A charcoal drawing by Liberty Christian senior Ashley Jenkins was named Best in Show.

Students from Liberty placing at the competition included:

Upper School: sophomore Dara Fuller, first place, Sculpture; senior Ashley Jenkins, first place, Black and White Drawing; junior Becca Lytle, first place, Ceramics; sophomore Danielle Maniguet, first place, Digitally Rendered; senior Allie Martin, first place, Painting; senior Katie Wetteland, first place, Printmaking; sophomore Christine Liu, second place, Printmaking; freshman Gracie Meek, second place, Color Drawing; senior Annaliese Balli, third place, Digital Photo; and sophomore Grace Sitzes, third place, Color Drawing.

Middle School: seventh-grader Lauren Good, first place, Color Drawing; seventh-grader Taylor Henderson, first place, Mixed Media; eighth-grader Reya Snyder, first place, Black and White Drawing.

Lower School: kindergartner Gabe Blouse, blue ribbon and gold medal, Mixed Media; kindergartner Emma Duininck, blue ribbon and gold medal, Color Drawing; kindergartner Hope Wierstra, red ribbon, Paper Art; first-grader Jaidyn Randall, blue ribbon and gold medal, Sculpture; first-grader Naya Salfiti, blue ribbon and bronze medal, Mixed Media; first-grader Jonas Ernest, blue ribbon and gold medal, Color Drawing; second-grader Julia Collins, red ribbon, Mixed Media; second-grader Elisha Graham, red ribbon, Mixed Media; second-grader Lauren MacDonald, red ribbon, Mixed Media; third-grader Molly Monschke, blue ribbon and gold medal, Color Drawing; third-grader Teaghan Barber, red ribbon, Mixed Media; third-grader Emma Curtis, red ribbon, Mixed Media; fourth-grader Olivia Tito, red ribbon, Mixed Media; fourth-grader Ben Liu, blue ribbon, Painting; fourth-grader Sophia Lovalvo, red ribbon, Mixed Media; fifth-grader Nick Clarke, blue ribbon and gold medal, Sculpture; fifth-grader Rebecca Taylor, blue ribbon and gold medal, Graphic Design; fifth-grader Kate Duininck, blue ribbon and gold medal, Paper Art.

For more information on Liberty’s appearance at the competition, visit,

Students create winning art in competition

Allie Martin, a senior at Liberty Christian School, was awarded Best in Show for her charcoal drawing titled “Rawr” at the Visual Arts Society of Texas High School Show on Thursday.

Another charcoal drawing done by senior Ashley Jenkins, titled “Bottles,” finished third in the contest, which included 21 art pieces from 15 schools across Denton County.

Upper School Choir finishes fourth at state

The Upper School Choir from Liberty Christian School finished fourth at the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools state meet in Belton.

Seven soloists received superior ratings, the boy’s show choir earned a superior rating and both large ensembles, the Chorale and Ladies Choir, earned excellent ratings.

Soloists from Liberty finishing with a superior rating were Allison Edson, Kyleb Howell, Brooke Hadley, Gina Marciano, Brooke Morrissy, Cameron Mutis and Morgan Smith.

Soloists finishing with an excellent rating were Hannah Johnson, Leah Lawler, Natalie Lipscomb, Cole Porter and Jayden White.

The Liberty Men’s Show Choir received a superior rating in the Pop/Show Choir category.

The school’s two large ensembles, Chorale Mixed and Ladies Choir, finished with excellent ratings.

Liberty’s Mixed Chorale received the average rating in the sight reading category.

Students advance to state in academics

Students from Liberty Christian’s Lower School finished third overall at a recent Private Schools Interscholastic Association district academic contest on March 22.

According to a school official, individuals who finished in first or second place advance to the state meet at Texas Christian University on April 26.

Students advancing to state include:

Dictionary Skills — sixth-eighth grade: second place, Nikolai Culp

Maps, Graphs, and Charts — fifth grade: second place, Drennan Ryan

Maps, Graphs, and Charts — fourth grade: second place – Nick Evanich

Ready Writing — third grade: first place, Lily Hagge

Ready Writing — eighth grade: first place, Anna Sitzes

Spelling — third grade: first place, Jenna VanVickle

For a complete list of Liberty Christian placings at the Private Schools Interscholastic Association district academic contest, visit

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