In the Schools

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Denton ISD

Education community to honor Rodriguez

The Denton school board will honor Rudy Rodriguez for his years of service to the school district with a public reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. May 12 in the board room at the district’s administration building, 1307 N. Locust St.

Rodriguez, a retired professor, has served on the school board for six years and is not seeking re-election for the Place 7 seat.

“His public service to the Denton ISD spans over 40 years,” reads a district media release. “Serving in various capacities throughout the school district, his leadership and in-depth knowledge of the education system has proven to be an asset — on the board and as a community volunteer.

“His numerous civic accomplishments include chairing the city of Denton 2010 Census Count Committee, serving on the North Texas Communities in Schools Board of Directors and as a member of the University of North Texas College of Education Development Board and LULAC.”

Rodriguez was also a founding member of the Denton Public Education Foundation.

Guyer wins state in forensics category

Two Denton high schools competed recently in the Texas Forensic Association state competition in El Paso and one brought home a state championship.

Guyer High School claimed the state title in duet acting with a performance from Drake Lawson and Andrew Hansen. The school was ranked in the top 10 teams overall in the state competition.

Ryan High School, which won the duet acting state title last year, was represented in the same category this year by juniors Kirsten Anderson and Josh Soderstrom.

Guyer students who qualified for state were Davina Aguwa, Lauren Champion, Elyse Guilstorf, Michael Hansen, Tanile Limb, Riley Steward and Tiffany Wang.

The forensic team coaches at Guyer are Karen Gossett and Josh Hamilton. The coach at Ryan is Jeannene Abney.

Career/tech counselor earns guidance award

Jeanie Bragg, a Denton school district career and technology counselor, recently won the Region IV Career Guidance Award by the Association for Career and Technical Education at the group’s regional conference in New Orleans.

Bragg has worked the past nine years as the primary career and technology counselor at Guyer High School. Before that, she worked 10 years as career counselor at Denton High School.

This marks the second time the association has recognized Bragg with an award during the past five years.

She previously was recognized as one of five association regional winners in 2010 and was named the Career and Technology Association of Texas Guidance Educator of the Year as well.

Bragg is a state board member for the Career and Technology Association and is the founder of the association’s statewide guidance mentoring program. Bragg received her bachelor’s in business administration and master’s in education from the University of North Texas.

Denton High School

Percussion concert scheduled for Friday

The Denton High School Band will conduct a percussion concert at 7 p.m. Friday in the school auditorium.

The concert will showcase work the percussion students have learned this year and will feature popular music as well as classical, Brazilian, Japanese and other music.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door. Proceeds benefit the band.

For more information, contact band director Brian Wilson at 369-2000 or by email at

LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex

Pre-law students place third at contest

Students from the Pre-law Club at the LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex earned a third-place finish at a mock trial contest conducted by the Denton County Bar Association and Texas Young Lawyers Association.

The students split into two groups — prosecution and defense — to compete against other schools and clubs from across North Texas. Teams earned points for the quality of their cases.

ATC participants included seniors Randi Bonner, Jimmy Crowe and Justice Abban Mensah; and juniors Melissa Ellenburg, Richard Ellinghaus, Erika Hernandez, Aidan Kleider and Shayla Reeder.

Hodge Elementary School

Fiesta of Learning scheduled for Thursday

Hodge Elementary School will host Fiesta of Learning on Thursday at the school at 3900 Grant Parkway.

Hodge Elementary recently initiated a “Dichos” initiative to promote the Spanish language and celebrate Hispanic culture. The initiative invites students and families to learn various phrases, known as “dichos,” or sayings, according to a district media release. A new phrase or saying is introduced weekly for families to use “as a tool for learning lifelong values like kindness, diligence and accountability,” the district media release notes.

The initiative is aimed at using the popular Spanish sayings to enhance school-home communication.

A 2010 article in the Journal of Latinos and Education suggests such an effort can help support literacy development among Spanish-speaking students, according to the district media release.

Crownover Middle School

Students participate in national video challenge

A video produced by students at Crownover Middle School made the National Math Counts Video Challenge Top 100 list.

“The Midnight Zone,” a parody of The Twilight Zone, was produced by students Abby Damrau, Lara Harper, Jean Kim and Renee Dusseau.

According to the school district, advanced math students in the seventh grade at Crownover participated in the National Math Counts Video Challenge in teams of four to produce “real-world applications of math concepts.”

To view “The Midnight Zone,” visit

Krum ISD

Students, educators of month honored

April’s educators and students were honored for their excellence at the school board’s April meeting.

Those honored, by school, are as follows:

Early Education Center — first-grader Tate Carman, kindergartener Amelia Sprague and teacher Kerry Ripple.

Hattie Dyer Elementary School — second-grader Jarrett Gutzler, third-grader Kaden Brown and teacher Lacey Alexander.

Blanche Dodd Intermediate School — fourth-graders Mary Doyle and Juan Perez and teacher DeDe Campbell.

Krum Middle School — eighth-grader Ross Sylvester, sixth-grader Claire Shelton and teacher Sharon Gonzalez.

Krum High School — junior McKenzie Ripple, sophomore Austin Lackey and teacher Carol Turner.

To nominate educators and students for the month of May, visit Submissions are due by May 5.

Lake Dallas ISD

FFA Livestock judging team headed to state

The Lake Dallas FFA Livestock judging team has qualified to compete at the state contest after finishing fifth out of 70 teams at the area contest in Sulphur Springs.

The 70 teams were composed of 258 individual students, with only the top 10 percent of the teams qualifying for the state contest. The state contest will be in College Station on Saturday.

Individual placings included Cheyenne Snider, 19th; Taryn Phillips, 32nd; Abby Head, 33rd; and Trey Lusk, 35th.

Livestock judging teams are required to evaluate livestock based on market and breeding standards, answer questions on the classes, grade livestock on carcass quality and take a difficult test on all species of livestock.

Student wins creative writing awards

Sophomore Caris Allen won two awards in a recent creative writing contest sponsored by North Central Texas College.

Allen won first first place and a $75 prize in the Brad Dill Memorial Poetry Contest for her poem titled “Anxiety.”

She also received an honorable mention in the Brad Dill Memorial Short Story Contest for her entry “Toni Marie.”

Student council wins state awards

Members of the Lake Dallas Student Council attended the Texas Association of Student Councils state conference last month in Arlington for the first time and won four awards.

The council was honored in the categories of Pride and Patriotism, Community Service, Energy and Environment and Drug, Alcohol, Safety and Health.

Council members attending were Siobhan Dunne, Nicole Constantine, Briana Marin, Brianna Glover, Maddie Pellet, Decota Johnson, Ellysa Reyna, Claire Schick, Chrisa Head, Dylan Lumsden, Conner Haile, Robert Jackson and Bradley James.

Northwest ISD

STEM Showcase set for May 15

The Academy of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) invites community members to the annual STEM Showcase at 6:30 p.m. May 15 at Northwest High School, 2301 Texan Drive (east entrance) in Justin.

From engineering to mathematics projects, students will showcase their best work from the 2013-14 school year.

Lakeview named top volunteer campus

Northwest ISD celebrated Lakeview Elementary School volunteers during their volunteer appreciation breakfast for being named the NISD Partners in Education Campus of the Year.

The campus has logged approximately 8,605 volunteer hours. Results are determined based on total hours logged per student. NISD provides numerous opportunities to engage parents and the community in the education of children. Currently, the district has more than 7,000 approved volunteers.

To be a volunteer, visit .

Camp ECO scheduled to begin in June

Northwest ISD is conducting a new summer camp called Camp ECO at the Outdoor Learning Center in June.

Camp ECO (Experiencing the Challenges of Outdoors) is targeted for current NISD students entering first through fifth grades. From archery and rock climbing to geocaching and fishing, students will explore hands-on activities that will enhance their leadership and survival skills.

The camp will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 11-13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost of the camp is $155, and sibling discounts are available. Early drop-off is available, and shuttles will be available from Northwest and Byron Nelson high schools. To register, go to Registration closes today.

Camp ECO is looking to employ student workers for this year’s camp. Applicants must be 15 years old at the time of employment and must not have graduated. Applications can be found at . For more information, contact

Nelson TSA takes second at state

The Nelson High School Technology Student Association competed in the recent state TSA Leadership contest in Waco and finished second in Division III.

The team received 69 awards, including 21 for first place, 15 for second place, 13 for third place, 13 for fourth place and seven for fifth place.

Sophomore Chris Freed took first place in CAD 2D Architecture and has qualified for the national convention in Washington, D.C., this summer.

This is the first time the Nelson TSA has qualified for nationals.

Hospitality students win national awards

Students in the Academy of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Services won second place in the hospitality project contest and third place for hotel operations in the 2014 International Hospitality and Tourism Management Professional Competition held in Orlando last month.

In the hospitality project category, students were divided into teams and given a scenario that included budget parameters, proposal design, banquet event order menu and floor plan.

In the hotel operations category, students participated in a three-part challenge: room inspection, night audit and guest services, sales and marketing. This was the first time students enrolled in the academy competed in the hospitality competition.

‘Night of No Limits’ scheduled for May 29

The second annual “Night of No Limits” will be from 6 to 8 p.m. May 29 at Nelson High School, 2775 Bobcat Boulevard in Trophy Club.

Kindergarten through high school students will present their inquiry projects and problem-based learning experiences. Families can engage in hands-on, interactive exhibits from the Perot Museum. KTVT Channel 11 meteorologist Jeff Jamison will also showcase the Mobile 11 Storm Chasing vehicle.

Selwyn College Preparatory School

Drama department to perform ‘Our Town’

The Selwyn Upper School drama department will perform Thornton Wilder’s Our Town at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday in the Selwyn Amphitheater, 3333 West University Drive.

The three-act play will be directed by Betsy Jilka, head of the Selwyn drama department.

Tickets prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students, while children age 6 and under are admitted free. Thursday’s performance is dress rehearsal and tickets will be half price.

To purchase tickets or for more information, call 940-382-6771.

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