School Times Now!
Lake Highlands Gymnasts
Win State Championship
Pearce Girls Soccer
Team Wins Second
Straight State Title
2010 RISD Board Election
LHHS College & Career
Center Strives to Increase
College-Going Rates
2010 Career Summit -
Pinnacle Event for Juniors
Berkner World Tour
Celebrates School's
RISD Students
Participate in Lone Star
Leadership Academy
PACE-Parents' Perspectives
Fifth Grade Concert
Contest Winners
Dobie Parents Attend
Special Saturday School
Raytheon & Lake Highlands
Elementary Celebrate Math
Terrace Boys Enjoy
Basketball Season, Thanks
To Berkner Exchange Club
Stults Road Holds
<empty> RISD Student Artists
Selected as
'Emerging Artist'
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Congratulations to the Lake Highlands High School girls gymnastics team for winning the state championship! In addition to the team title, senior Sarie Morrison, who will be attending LSU in the fall on a gymnastics scholarship, won the All-Around title for the third year in a row. Senior Hannah Van Meter placed fifth and sophomore Kristen DeCosta sixth in All-Around Competition.

Lake Highlands gymnasts were also successful in the individual event competition. Morrison won four individual event gold medals (vault, bars, beam, and floor) which, with her team and All-Around gold medals, is an accomplishment that has never before been achieved in Texas. Van Meter finished second on floor, fourth on bars, and fifth on vault. DeCosta finished third on floor, third on beam, and fourth on vault.

“Winning the state title was what the girls went there to do. In doing this, they took down the four-time defending title team, and did it with only three girls competing for the team title,” said Coach Addi Ledford. “The girls pulled every bit of energy and determination they had to compete at their very best, and we're very proud of them.” >Top
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Congratulations to the Pearce High School girls soccer team for winning their second straight state title! The girls beat Boerne Champion in the Class 4A title game, by a score of 3-0. The team finished the season with a record of 24-4-2.

“To win two straight championships, you have to be good, but you also have to really want it,” said Pearce coach Oscar Borgarello. “Every time the girls stepped onto the field, they gave it their very best.”

Coach Borgarello credits the leadership of his seniors as a key to the team’s success this year. “The seniors led by example. They worked hard on and off the field.” Four of the girls have received scholarships to play college soccer: Kathryn Watson at The University of Oklahoma, Maddie Harper at Middle Tennessee State, Taylor Mathews at Oklahoma State University, and Gayle Ziegler at Sam Houston State. >Top
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2010 RISD Board Election
Election Day is May 8th

The Candidates
(listed as they will appear on the ballot)
Place 3 – Darryl Smyers, Kris Oliver, William Gordon, Write-in*
Place 4 – Lanet Greenhaw, Jennifer Najera Hague
Place 5 – Karen Holburn, Raj Chari
*Elaine Evans Johnson filed as a write-in candidate for Place 3.

Candidate Forums
The League of Women Voters of Richardson and the RISD Council of PTAs sponsored a Board Candidate Forum on April 20. RISD community members were encouraged to attend and offer questions. This forum was recorded and is available here.

A second Board Candidate Forum is scheduled for Tuesday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Richardson High School Band Hall. It is sponsored by the RISD High School Music Booster Clubs. Click here to download the flyer for this forum.

Click here to view more RISD board election information on >Top
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A recent study released found that, after receiving information on and help completing the FASFA - the free online application for federal student aid, high school seniors were 25-30% more likely to enroll in college.

Brenda Prine, director of Lake Highlands High School’s new College & Career Center, hopes this proves true for Lake Highlands students. She shared, “Our goal is to increase the percent of students at Lake Highlands who are college-bound by providing assistance with the basic steps to college admission.”

The Center, located in a corner of the LHHS library, is in its first year of operation. This first year was fully funded by two private community organizations in the Lake Highlands area – Wild for Cats and the Lake Highlands Women’s League.
“This service is so important, especially for economically disadvantaged students. I hope we can continue offering this life-changing service to other LHHS students next year,” said Prine.

Students, who come to the Center primarily during lunch and after school, spend most of their time in front of a computer. “Many of these students don’t have computers at home,” said Prine. “But, to apply to take the ACT or SAT, complete financial aid forms, send transcripts to potential colleges, or submit college applications, online access is key.” Although the Center opened with four computers, students are many times having to wait for a computer. “We already need more computers to better assist the students,” said Prine.

The success of the Center depends, in part, on the number of students using its services. “To make students aware of the Center, I spoke to every senior English class at the beginning of the school year, teachers refer students to the Center, and students are referring their friends to us.”

LHHS teacher Tony Parker, the Wildcat Steppers sponsor, referred his six seniors to the Center. Prine began working with the girls in the fall and all six are now headed to college. Serena Bailey, who will be attending Texas Women’s University, said, "The College & Career Center helped me decide on my major, nursing. Also, it’s where I filled out all my applications for college and my application for college money, FAFSA.” Tytiana Thomas-Jackson, who will be attending the University of Houston, added, "The Center helped me find the college that best suits me.” With this group, Prine was six for six. >Top
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Each year hundreds of juniors, representing each of the district's four high schools, converge on the Professional Development Center for RISD’s Career Summit. Sponsored by RISD’s Career and Technology department and the Richardson Chamber of Commerce, this full-day event provides students an opportunity to attend various breakout sessions, observe hands-on demonstrations of non-traditional careers, and visit with representatives from area colleges and universities.

“The Career Summit is important to our students because it lets them see an array of things available for them beyond their high school days,” said Tessa Pettigrew, Berkner High School Marketing teacher. “They are exposed to very important skill-building tips, and to careers that they may have never thought about.”
Breakout session topics included networking, interviewing, workplace success skills, business etiquette, financial planning and more.

“The presentation on soft skills was very informative and will benefit our students for a lifetime,” said Cindy Watkins, Pearce High School Marketing teacher.

Many of the sessions were led by individuals representing companies in the area including Texas Instruments, Cisco Systems, Methodist Richardson Medical Center, Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences, AMS Pictures, and Frost Bank.

Pettigrew felt having representatives from area trade schools was advantageous. She commented, “Not all students will go to a traditional four-year university, so the presence of these trade schools, along with a few traditional universities, opens up more doors of opportunity for the students.” >Top
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Drawing a record crowd of more than 800, Berkner recently celebrated its multiculturalism with a special evening event, the Berkner World Tour. With the school divided into continents, teachers, parents, students, and families were able to visit all seven continents, experiencing foods from different countries, student performances, and creative displays.

Performances were enjoyed from many school groups including the choir, dance and step teams, and Winter Guard.

Teachers and students worked together on creating the displays, with teachers available to talk with parents as they admired the students’ work.
“As a native from Panama, Central America, where my culture, customs, and language are predominantly Caribbean and Spanish, I appreciate and acknowledge individuals for their uniqueness,” said Navi Ubben, the event’s organizer. “My goal was to help students appreciate and understand different cultures and Berkner World Tour definitely accomplished that.” >Top
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Fiona Maselunas, a 5th grader at Merriman Park Elementary, and Rachel Oney, a 6th grader at Moss Haven Elementary, recently participated with other outstanding Texas 5th - 7th grade students in Education in Action’s Lone Star Leadership Academy program. Participating students were selected based on demonstrated academic success and leadership ability, an educator recommendation, and involvement in school and community activities.

These two young leaders joined delegations of other distinguished students from across the state for the weeklong residential program to develop leadership skills while learning about the state of Texas. Participants discussed what they learned, completed problem solving and decision-making simulations, exercised creativity, and practiced presentation skills in leadership groups. >Top
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Any time parents leave their children in the care of others, expectations are high. Safety is paramount, with many other expectations following, such as engaging activities, a caring staff, and a fun environment, to name a few.

PACE – the district’s after-school program – strives to meet these expectations and, based on the perspective of many parents using the program, is doing just that.

“(PACE) has been a wonderful experience that has exceeded my expectations,” said Elissia Defoor, whose 2nd grader is in her second year attending Prairie Creek PACE. “I like the idea of her staying on site, not having to take a bus to another location, and, because it’s operated by the school, I knew all of the required regulations for safety would be upheld.”
In addition to providing a safe environment, each PACE site coordinator strives to provide a balanced schedule. Pamela Patton, a Moss Haven parent, shared, “While I didn’t expect or want ‘more school,’ the PACE program seems to have found a happy medium in which the kids are organized and busy without being overworked.”

“PACE provides more varied activities than at home and my children get to interact with other Yale students,” said Anne Luke, the parent of 3rd and 5th graders at Yale (pictured). “Both my children loved the cooking and robotics units.”

Patricia Ruiz, a Heights parent, found that PACE was much more affordable than the daycare where her daughter had been going. “The hours available were perfect and she was able to stay with her friends,” said Patricia.

Homework help is a PACE benefit many parents noted. “As a working parent, it helps that the children get help with their homework at PACE so they’re not having to stay up late,” said Pravesh Parmanand.

Students at most district elementary schools can attend PACE, on a full-time or part-time basis. Rebecca Shedrick’s two boys began attending when she was working full-time. She shared, “When I stopped working, pulling them out completely was not an option. They enjoy PACE so much that I had to let them stay in at least part time.”

Susan Nolen agrees that finding a place that kids enjoy attending is key. “My son likes the PACE experience way more than the daycare he was attending, and that was a huge part of my decision to keep him in PACE,” she said.

Becky Jordan, a Prairie Creek parent, added, “I knew (PACE) was a homerun when I came early to pick (my daughter) up and she was upset because she wanted to stay.”

PACE registration forms for the 2010-2011 school year are now being sent home with elementary students. For more information, please visit the PACE website, or call PACE Director Lysa Rice at 469-593-7475. >Top
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Each year, fifth grade students from across the district participate in the Council of PTAs’ Fifth Grade Concert. This annual event features the combined high school orchestras and the All District Elementary Choir.

As part of the event, there is a Cover Design contest for the program artwork and an Instrument Recognition contest that is conducted during the middle of the concert.

Congratulations to the 2010 Contest Winners

Berkner/Lake Highlands area: Danielle Nicely, Yale Elementary – Cover Design winner; Nikki Jimenez, Northlake Elementary – Instrument Recognition winner

Pearce/Richardson area: Austin Ruff, Mohawk Elementary – Cover Design winner; Francisca Colmenaro, Northwood Hills Elementary – Instrument Recognition winner (pictured) >Top
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More than 60 kindergarten parents recently attended Parent Saturday School at Dobie Primary. While their children were in Saturday School classes, the parents were treated to fun and informative reading and math sessions led by Instructional Specialist Valerie Alexandris, Campus Reading Specialist Wanda Robles, and Kindergarten teacher Mandy Anderson.

During the three-hour event, parents participated in activities that their children enjoy in school, had “make and take” sessions, and viewed videos of kindergarten reading and math lessons. "The parents enjoyed seeing what a reading or math lesson looks like and watching their students learn on the videos," said Alexandris.

Parents left with new activities and strategies they could use at home to help their children. Alexandris shared, "One parent told me, as she left, that she couldn’t wait to get home to work with her son." >Top
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What does a large defense technology company have in common with a bunch of sixth graders? Math, of course!

In honor of Pi Day, a group of volunteer Raytheon engineers hosted 20 6th graders from Lake Highlands Elementary at their site on Jupiter Road in Garland.

The kids first received an overview of Raytheon. Then they participated in a math competition entitled, “Are You Smarter than a Sixth Grader?” After that they worked in teams building bridges (some stronger then others!), and Raytheon’s Joe Landry performed some sleight of hand and presented “Learning a Mathematical Magic Trick.”
Promoting math and science education for future generations is a top priority at Raytheon. To that end, the company created the MathMovesU initiative back in 2005. Believing that tomorrow’s engineers and technologists need to be excited and interested in math today, the MathMovesU program is designed to engage middle school students in math by illustrating the connection between math, and the kids’ interests in ‘cool’ careers. To date Raytheon has reached out to more than 500,000 students, teachers and parents throughout the country.

The Raytheon Field Trip the LHE 6th Graders went on did not go unnoticed by the Richardson Independent School District. When LHE Principal Kim Sullivan attended the March 24th monthly District Principals meeting, the school was recognized with the Spotlight Award, which is based on the District’s new Mission, “To serve and prepare all students for their global future.” In particular, the recognition was for ‘thinking outside the educational curriculum box.’

According to Sullivan, “In keeping with the new vision of the District, what better way for us here at LHE to focus on college and career skills that our kids will need in the 21st century than a relationship with Raytheon, right here in our community?”

(Article & photo courtesy of >Top
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Playing on a basketball team is a regular occurrence for many district students. For 5th graders at Terrace Elementary, though, it was an opportunity they’ll never forget – and hopefully will be able to continue.

Thanks to the sponsorship of the Berkner Exchange Club, this group of boys, who had never played basketball before, learned about teamwork, built their basketball skills, and developed lasting friendships. As a thank you, each boy wrote a letter to the Exchange Club. In one letter, a boy listed the ten reasons he was glad to be on the team, including “For making me a different person than I was before,” and “For making me know more about my friends.” Another boy said, “I have learned new skills that I had never heard of before, like the three man roll.”
Each player was grateful for the opportunity to participate and the support of caring adults. “We have tried our hardest for you,” said one boy.

Terrace Counselor David Fowler commented, “ Although our 5th grade team emerged winless, their enthusiasm and determination never wavered.”

One boy wrote, “I’d like to thank you for letting us be the first basketball team ever at Terrace Elementary. It means a lot to me and the rest of the 5th graders.” Hopefully, they’re the first of many teams to come. >Top
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Stults Road Elementary celebrated reading recently with a school-wide Read-a-thon, inviting teachers, parents, and community members to visit classes throughout the day to read to students.

As part of the special event, students and teachers dressed up as their favorite book characters. Mary Boyd, a kindergarten teacher, dressed up as Cat in the Hat because, she said, "Dr. Seuss is a wonderful classic author and the Cat in the Hat was one of my favorite stories as a child."

Students dressed as Junie B. Jones, The Recess Queen, Nancy Drew, Athena, and many other engaging characters. Portia Boyd (pictured), a 4th grader, shared, "I dressed up as Nancy Drew because she's a good problem solver and I am, too." >Top
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Congratulations to the following high school artists whose work was selected to be exhibited at the Eisemann Center as part of the Cottonwood Art Festival’s Emerging Artists Show and have been invited to show and sell their work at the Cottonwood Art Festival, May 1-2.

Congratulations also to Katie Wilson, whose work, “Hope – The Girls of Uganda,” (pictured) was selected as Best of Show; Marria Nakhoda, who placed 2nd; and Trevor Yokochi, who placed 3rd; and Alex Harris who received honorable mention.

Pearce High School:
Sally Wu
Clint Donelson
Jennifer Ramirez
Cary Sellers
Sarah Kinney
Nick Semon
Katie McMurray
Audrey Lindig
Grace Cavalieri
Colton Quillicy

Richardson High School:
Alex Harris - Honorable Mention
Trevor Yokochi – 3rd place
Berkner High School:
Dahye Kim
Leah Grace Jones
Lee Chance
Katie Wilson – Best of Show

Lake Highlands High School:
Michael Longoria
Marria Nakhoda – 2nd place
Julia Pitch
Alison Bushor >Top
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this weekend in risd
Drill Team, FRIDAY & SATURDAY, APRIL 23 & 24         
Richardson High School Eaglettes present their annual Spring Show “Vibeology" at the Richardson  High School Auditorium, 7:00 p.m.  Tickets are $8.  For ticket information, contact Liz Thompson at
Pearce High School Pacesetters continue their 40th anniversary celebration with Spring Revue “Musicology” at the Pearce High School Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are available prior to each performance for $8 and $10.
The Lake Highlands High School Highlandettes present their annual spring show “Life’s a Jungle Gym” at the Lake Highlands High School Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $8 and $10 at the door.

Lake Highlands High School Jazz Band performs at ‘Run the Highlands’ at Lake Highlands Park, 7:40 a.m.

Baseball, FRIDAY, APRIL 23
Lake Highlands High School vs. Creekview High School at Lake Highlands High School, 7:00 p.m.
Pearce High School vs. Greenville High School at Greenville High School, 7:30 p.m.
Berkner High School vs. Richardson High School at Richardson High School, 7:00 p.m.

Baseball, SATURDAY, APRIL 24
Berkner High School vs. W. T. White High School at W. T. White High School, 1:30 p.m.
Lake Highlands High School vs. Molina High School at Molina High School, 4:30 p.m.

Softball, FRIDAY, APRIL 23

Pearce High School vs. Newman Smith High School at Pearce High School, 7:00 p.m.

For complete athletics and fine arts schedules, please visit RISD's online calendar. >Top
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