School Times Now!
Audelia Creek Wins
Prestigious $50,000
TAP Founder's Award
RHS Science Teacher Wins
TI's STEM Teaching Award
Congratulations to RISD's
All-State Musicians
RISD Receives
"Accredited" Status
PHS Raises $25,000 to Build
School in Afghanistan
The Boeing Leadership
Speech Contest
iPods Enrich Learning, Add
Fun to PACE Programs
RISD High School
Basketball Wrap-Up
RISD Academy Student
Wins "Dallas is Diversity"
Art Contest
LHJH A-Team Breakfast
Dance Off Benefits
Haitian Relief
<empty> Hoops in the Highlands
<empty> This Weekend in RISD
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Audelia Creek Wins Prestigious $50,000 TAP Founder's Award
Photo provided by the Milken Family Foundation  
Audelia Creek Elementary Principal Mike Savage and his staff had no idea that attending the TAP (The System for Teacher and Student Advancement) Conference in Washington, D.C. this past weekend would result in a $50,000 award for their school. During opening night, TAP Founder Lowell Milken surprised Savage and his staff with this prestigious honor.

"By achieving teacher and student advancement at consistently high levels, Audelia Creek Elementary is well-deserving of the TAP Founder’s Award," said Milken. "Principal Mike Savage and his team have created a culture of excellence that has inspired everyone to reach new heights."

Audelia Creek adopted TAP in the 2005-06 school year. At the time they had an "academically acceptable" rating and were experiencing high teacher turnover. Savage was brought in to turn the school around, which he and his staff did quickly. Last year the school received an "exemplary" rating. They have also reduced their teacher turnover rate to less than 10%.

"Winning this award validates the work we have done for our students through TAP is very effective," said Savage. "We think TAP is a system that can help all students achieve. It has helped make our teachers better teachers and has helped our students become better students."

The TAP Founder's Award is presented each year to a school demonstrating exceptional implementation of TAP™: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement. Recipients are selected by the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, which looks for extraordinary distinction in the following areas:
  • Full and proficient implementation of all four TAP elements;
  • Achievement according to state or federal measures; and
  • Notable recognition as a center and resource of best practices.
Created by TAP Founder Lowell Milken and funded by the Lowell Milken Family Foundation, the Award comes with a $50,000 cash prize for the school to use to help achieve its TAP™ goals in subsequent school years.

Launched in 1999, TAP has impacted 7,500 teachers and 85,000 students in the 2009-10 school year.

For more information on TAP and Audelia Creek's win, please visit >Top
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RHS Science Teacher Wins Ti's STeM Teacher Award
Congratulations to Kristin Gonzales-Vega for winning the prestigious 2009-2010 Texas Instruments Foundation Innovations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Teaching Award.

“Mrs. Gonzales-Vega is a very creative and innovative teacher who utilizes both traditional and non-traditional methods to motivate her students to strive for excellence. Her lessons challenge and engage the students, creating excitement and active learning,” said Richardson High School Principal Charles Pickitt.

“My parents and mentors have fostered my [passion] for science and I hope to instill this in my students,” said Gonzales-Vega. In addition to chairing the science magnet program at RHS, she also teaches physics, forensic science, and science research and design.
Gonzales-Vega received the $10,000 award in a surprise ceremony in her classroom, to the cheers of her students. The presentation was attended by representatives from TI and the RISD Excellence in Education Foundation, which presents the award. “We are so proud and thankful of the Foundation’s partnership with Texas Instruments Foundation and for their support of this exceptional award,” said Elizabeth Hart, President and CEO of the RISD Excellence in Education Foundation.

The recognition is given to one teacher annually in RISD who is nominated by their school principal and teaches in one of the four STEM disciplines. The award includes $5,000 for personal use and $5,000 for use in the classroom for equipment, supplies or professional development.

“The Texas Instruments Foundation STEM Teaching Awards recognize outstanding teachers whose effective and innovative teaching prepares students to compete in a global economy where math and science skills are prerequisites to success,” said Torrence Robinson, Director of Education & Workforce for TI.

“Kristin is an outstanding teacher who exemplifies the technology savvy, innovative, creative, project oriented approach necessary today to train the leaders of tomorrow our students must become,” said Hart. “She joins an outstanding group of STEM award winners from RISD who embody all that the STEM Award was designed to celebrate and recognize.”

For more information, please visit >Top
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Each year the Texas Music Educators Association selects the best high school musicians in Texas for the All-State Band, All-State Choir, or All-State Orchestra. The process starts at the local level with regional auditions. The top musicians move on to area auditions and then are selected from that group as All-State. These students are dedicated, well-rounded, fabulous musicians. RISD is honored to have 18 students named to an All-State Band, Choir, or Orchestra this year. Congratulations to the following students for earning this prestigious honor:

Thomas Baek - BHS (Craig Needham, director)

Garrett Wingfield - LHHS (Mark Lara, director)

Maxwell Atkinson, Haley Bates, Benjamin Beall, Jesus Bermeo, Ryan Fyffe and Jennifer Lane - PHS (Greg Hames, director)
Jonathan Carmichael - RHS (Scott Taylor, director)

Timothy Davis and Whitney Sides - LHHS (Michael O’Hern, director)
Jonathan Bryan, Amy Lanford, Samantha Meril and Shelby Thiedeman - PHS (Michael Lysinger, director)
Samuel Oliver, William Smith and Caroline Watson - RHS (Lindy Perez, director) >Top
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Each year the Texas Commissioner of Education assigns each school district an accreditation status under Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.071(b). This system, which was first implemented in the 2007-2008 school year, offers four accreditation statuses: Accredited, Accredited-Warned, Accredited-Probation, and Not Accredited-Revoked. Richardson ISD has received the status of Accredited, which it has received every year since implementation.

Definitions - 19 TAC §97.1055(a)

(a) General provisions.

(A) Accredited. Accredited means the Texas Education Agency (TEA) recognizes the district as a public school of this state that:

(i) meets the standards determined by the commissioner under TEC, §39.071(b) and (c), and specified in §97.1059 of this title (relating to Standards for All Sanction Determinations); and
(ii) is not currently assigned an accreditation status of Accredited-Warned or Accredited-Probation.

(B) Accredited-Warned. Accredited-Warned means the district exhibits deficiencies in performance, as specified in subsection (b) of this section, that, if not addressed, will lead to probation or revocation of its accreditation status.

(C) Accredited-Probation. Accredited-Probation means the district exhibits deficiencies in performance, as specified in subsection (c) of this section, that must be addressed to avoid revocation of its accreditation status.

(D) Not Accredited-Revoked. Not Accredited-Revoked means the TEA does not recognize the district as a Texas public school because the district's performance has failed to meet standards adopted by the commissioner under TEC, §39.071(b) and (c), and specified in subsection (d) of this section. >Top
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Pearce Student Council Officers Josh Gold, Julie Olschwanger, Tina Coy, Dylan Anderson, and Meredith Roberts, along with their sponsor Becky Keeton, just finished leading a successful campaign to raise $25,000 to build a school in Afghanistan through the Central Asia Institute. Through their campaign, called “Building Futures Brick by Brick,” the officers hope to provide an education to Afghan children.

Dylan Anderson remarked, “In thinking about a service project, you want to provide what’s needed most. While we could’ve raised money to send a doctor or teacher, we instead are helping educate children to become doctors or teachers in their own country. It’s self-sustaining.”
The project was inspired by the book “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson, required summer reading for the group. “I was amazed by Greg Mortenson’s whole story and life,” said Anderson. “If he could make such a difference, I knew we could, too.”

Their original goal was to raise $50,000, the cost to fully build, furnish and staff the school. But, with the current economy, they decided $25,000 was more realistic – and still the most ever to be raised in one year by the Student Council. “We knew our goal was ambitious,” said Tina Coy.

To raise the funds, the group came up with creative ways to enlist the help of Pearce students as well as feeder schools, with Mohawk, Brentfield, Bowie, Canyon Creek, Prairie Creek and Bukhair elementaries participating. “Just before Winter Break, Student Council reps visited our school and did a multimedia presentation about the project, which really got the kids fired up,” shared Betsy Hyder, executive assistant at Canyon Creek. The elementary schools each raised $500 or more. Pearce students donated, in total, $18,000.

Local restaurants, businesses, community organizations, and even Richardson’s Mayor and City Council were also asked to participate. “It seems like we contacted a million people,” said Gold.

Most donations were small, but every one counted. “Getting the community involved helped so much,” shared Olschwanger. “This project really impacted us. It made me a better person. It’s the most selfless project I’ve done.”

Gold agreed, “I’ll look back on this as one of the most important things I’ve done in my life. We gave children hope and a way to succeed.”

Coy wrapped it up: “Hopefully we’re starting a new generation of peace.”

To find out more about the Central Asia Institute, please visit >Top
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Congratulations to Abi Chen, Richardson High School sophomore, for winning 2nd place in the Boeing Leadership Speech Contest.

The purpose of the contest is to promote a better understanding of leadership among high school age students. It also provides an incentive for the development of communication skills that are vital to those entering the work force. The contest is held throughout the United States, wherever there is a sponsoring NMA Chapter.

Individuals from the local Toastmasters International chapter and other community organizations volunteered as judges, including Terrace Elementary principal, Sharon Newman.>Top
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Whether you’re a kid or an adult, your eyes probably light up at the mention of the word “iPod.” This popular technology provides users with many applications, from simply listening to music to viewing podcasts, videos and more. For many students participating in PACE – the district’s after-school program – using an iPod is part of their regular afternoon activities.

“The kids get excited when they know that they’ll be doing a lesson with the iPods,” said Lisa Matthews, PACE site coordinator at Big Springs.
Each PACE program has a number of iPods and a cart used for charging and storing them. The 2009-2010 iPod curriculum focuses on math, English/language arts/reading, and science for 4th through 6th graders.

“Recently, during a math iPod lesson, the students watched a video about savings and interest. They used the video and what they learned to decide what bank would earn them the most interest and benefits,” shared Micah Pohlmeier, PACE program specialist. Students at Big Springs really enjoyed this math lesson. “The lesson encouraged them think and talk in groups to see what each other thought about each bank and which would be the best to put their money in,” said Matthews.

The PACE program plans to further integrate iPods into their curriculum next year. “We want the younger students to be able to use this technology as well and are developing centers appropriate for the younger grades,” said Pohlmeier.

For information on the PACE after-school program please visit>Top
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District high school basketball teams ended their seasons in February with many achievements and honors. Congratulations to the following teams and student athletes:

District 9-5A
Berkner Boys – District champions, advanced to district playoffs
Lake Highlands Boys – Advanced to district playoffs
Lake Highlands Girls – Advanced to district playoffs
Richardson Girls – Won in district playoffs against Garland, advanced to area playoffs

Defensive Player of the Year, Boys

Russ Johnson - Richardson High School, Senior

Co-Offensive Player of the Year, Girls

Farrin Bell - Richardson High School, Sophomore

Co-Newcomer of the Year, Boys
Kendal Harris - Berkner High School, Freshman (pictured)
Jordan Mickey - Berkner High School, Freshman

Newcomer of the Year, Girls
Tervaryia Shaw - Richardson High School, Freshman

1st Team All-District, Boys
Darrion Nelson - Berkner High School, Senior
Brandon Joseph - Berkner High School, Senior
Ricky Zorn - Lake Highlands High School, Senior
Torrance Carr - Richardson High School, Junior

1st Team All-District, Girls
Nikkia Mitchell - Berkner High School, Senior
Hannah Wedding - Lake Highlands High School, Junior
Tierra Scott - Lake Highlands High School, Junior
La’Tisha Herne - Richardson High School, Junior
Kiara O’Neal - Richardson High School, Senior

2nd Team All-District, Boys
Glenn Till - Berkner High School, Senior
Xavier Thomas - Berkner High School, Sophomore
Trey Bingham - Lake Highlands High School, Junior
Jordan Booty - Richardson High School, Junior

2nd Team All-District, Girls
Jordan Owens - Berkner High School, Junior
Kosi Ekwu - Lake Highlands High School, Senior
Kyndra Campbell - Richardson High School, Senior

Honorable Mention All-District, Boys
Aaron Mazibuko - Lake Highlands High School, Senior
Tevin Elmore - Lake Highlands High School, Senior

Honorable Mention All-District, Girls
Deziree Thomas - Berkner High School, Sophomore
Bridget O'Brien - Lake Highlands High School, Junior
Sam Couch - Lake Highlands High School, Senior
Zoshai Smith - Richardson High School, Senior
Keyara Swing - Richardson High School, Senior

Coach of the Year – Rod Wright, Berkner High School

District 10-4A
Pearce Boys – 2nd place in district, advanced to district playoffs

Defensive Player of the Year, Boys
Brooks Vehslage - Pearce High School, Senior

Newcomer of the Year, Boys
Darius Revels - Pearce High School, Sophomore

1st Team All-District, Boys
Kenny Slocum - Pearce High School, Senior
Cole Holland - Pearce High School, Senior

2nd Team All-District, Boys
Jake Allen - Pearce High School, Senior

2nd Team All-District, Girls
Anna Gerber - Pearce High School
Cara Tolmas - Pearce High School

Honorable Mention All-District, Boys
Connor O'Reilly - Pearce High School, Senior>Top
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Ingrid Leon Naranjo entered her colorful drawing (pictured) in the “Dallas is Diversity” Calendar Art Project last year as a 6th grader at RISD Academy. Now, as a 7th grader at Parkhill Junior High, she’ll be recognized for her outstanding art at the upcoming Dallas Cup International Youth Soccer Tournament with a $500 scholarship check from Texans Credit Union. Her art is also featured in the “Dallas is Diversity” 2010 calendar.

“I am so proud of Ingrid’s accomplishment,” said Myron Stennett, RISD Academy's Instructional Visual Art Specialist.

More than 4,000 4th – 12th graders from the Dallas, Frisco, Garland, Richardson and Plano School districts participate in the “Dallas is Diversity” Calendar Art Project. Students illustrate their ideas of how soccer promotes diversity. Thirteen pieces of art are selected to be featured in the calendar. >Top
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LHJH A-Team Breakfast
Lake Highlands Junior High honored their A-Team students with a celebration this month, in the LHJH cafeteria. Students who achieved an A average in each of the four core subjects for the first semester received an invitation to attend. A light breakfast was served, followed by a message from the principal, Veronica Escalante, as well as a video presentation promoting the A-Team students at Lake Highlands Junior High. >Top
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Don’t miss the 5th Annual RISD Country Western Dance Off, featuring the Pearce Mustang Stampede, Berkner Ramblers, Lake Highlands Wranglers, and Richardson Desperados.

Saturday, March 27
Pearce H.S. Auditorium

Proceeds will benefit Ben and Katie Kilpatrick’s Haiti relief efforts. Ben and Katie, both RISD graduates, have been in Haiti since last year working in a local Haitian school. Katie replied in a recent email, “Cash donations are a very efficient way to help since they allow local aid groups to buy needed items in-country, stimulating the Haitian economy. They also allow us to buy exactly what we need without the large costs and delays of shipping.”

So grab your cowboy hat and head to Pearce this Saturday for boot-kickin’ fun! >Top
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Hoops in the Highlands
"Hoops in the Highlands," an annual fundraiser for five district schools, Lake Highlands, White Rock, Wallace and Northlake Elementaries and Lake Highlands Junior High, provides a fun opportunity for boys and girls in 1st through 8th grade to hoop it up.

The 7th annual basketball tournament will be held Saturday, March 27, at Highland Oaks Church of Christ.

In addition to the three-on-three basketball tournament, the event also offers plenty of family fun for those not participating on the court, including food, live music, a raffle and a "Fun Zone" complete with bounce houses and obstacle courses.

For more information, please visit >Top
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this weekend in risd
Fine Arts
Band, Saturday, March 27
The United States Air Force Academy Band performs a free concert at Richardson High School auditorium, 7:00 p.m. Free tickets are available at Huffines Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Plano or at Brook Mays Music in Dallas. Doors open to ticket holders at 6:00 p.m. and to the general public at 6:45 p.m.

Lake Highlands High School Jazz Band to TCU Jazz Festival at TCU PepsiCo Recital Hall in Ft. Worth. All day event.

Lake Highlands High School Band Winter Guard to NTCA Championship at South Grand Prairie High School. All day event.

Band, Sunday, March 28
DIRECTOR’S CHOICE! Special Concert for RISD Bands. All twelve Richardson ISD middle school and high school band directors will conduct the Dallas Wind Symphony in music the school bands will be performing at UIL at Richardson High School Auditorium, 3:00 p.m. $10 general admission, contact high school offices for tickets.

Richardson High School Area concerto competition finals at Richardson High School Band Hall, 6:30 p.m.

High School Sports
Soccer, March 26-27
Sectional Playoffs – check school websites for updated times/locations.

Baseball, March 26-27

Berkner High School vs. Skyline High School at Berkner High School, March 26, 7:00 p.m.
Berkner High School vs. Jesuit High School at Jesuit High School (Revershon), March 27, 1:00 p.m.
Lake Highlands High School vs. Richardson High School at Richardson High School, March 26, 7:00 p.m.
Pearce High School vs. Heath High School at Pearce High School, March 26, 7:30 p.m.

Softball, March 26-27
Berkner High School vs. Richardson High School at Berkner High School, March 26, 7:30 p.m.
Lake Highlands High School vs. Creekview High School at Creekview High School, March 27, 12:00 p.m.
Richardson High School vs. Berkner High School at Berkner High School, March 26, 6:00 p.m.
Pearce High School vs. Greenville High School at Pearce High School, March 26, 7:00 p.m. >Top
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