School Times Now!
WWJH Choral Director Named Finalist for H-E-B's Excellence
in Education Awards
Being an American
RISD Budget Update
RISD Tomorrow Excellence
in Education Banquet
Three RISD Destination Imagination Teams Advance
to World Finals
Partners Corner
2008 RISD Teacher Job Fair
Pearce Green Team
Another RISD Staff Development Award
Wallace Elementary
Salvation Army Drive
Highlandettes in Hawaii
RWJH Students take top three Spots in Texas Web Awards
WWJH's Joel Price (L) receives congratulations from H-E-B's Chris Darling.
Joel Price, Choral Director at Westwood Junior High School, was surprised by Chris Darling (H-E-B's Central Market General Manager) with a check for $1,000 announcing his selection as one of three Dallas/Ft. Worth area finalists for H-E-B's Excellence in Education Awards.

The awards were created to celebrate and recognize the contributions of public school professionals whose leadership and dedication inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities. All finalists from around the state received personal bonuses and grants for their schools ranging from $1,000 to $2,500.

Mr. Price, a former RISD STARS winner, will compete in May against other educators from around Texas, for larger cash prizes – ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 for themselves and their schools.

Congratulations Joel! >Top
BHS student Jennifer Tran and teacher Joni Walther show off their awards from the "Being an American" Essay Contest.
When Berkner High School student Jennifer Tran entered the national "Being an American" Essay Contest, she didn't expect to win. Yet, that's just what the senior did, defying the odds as one of three national winners selected from more than 13,000 essays. Her exceptional writing earned her and her teacher, Joni Walther, an all expense paid trip to a Washington D.C. awards ceremony this month, where each was presented with a check for $5,000, all compliments of the non-profit Bill of Rights Institute.

Jennifer's visit to Washington was her first, and included visits to the White House, National Archives and Supreme Court, where she met former justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

"She's just a great student and a great person," says Walther of Tran. The award money will come in handy for Jennifer, who is headed next year to the University of Texas at Austin. >Top
Click here to download RISD Budget information. >Top
The RISD Tomorrow Foundation, Inc. held its annual leadership banquet to honor RISD teachers and administrators on April 17.

The banquet honored the recently selected RISD STARS Teachers of the Year, included silent and live auctions with Dallas City Councilman Jerry Allen acting as auctioneer, and featured Everson Walls, former NFL defensive back and graduate of Berkner High School, as the keynote speaker.

The event was established three years ago to raise funds to provide sufficient and resilient funding for enriching programs that support excellence in teaching and high-achieving schools.

"This year's event was a spectacular success, and we are already beginning plans for next year," reported Elizabeth Hart, the Tomorrow Foundation's President and CEO. "We are very appreciative of everyone who came out and donated energy, time and resources to the cause of public education in Richardson ISD." >Top
Top: Auctioneer Jerry Allen seeks bids for a special puppy; Bottom: Keynote speaker and RISD graduate Everson Walls
Members of the RHS DI Lightbulbs perform their Improv Skit at state competition.
Three Richardson ISD teams are headed to the global finals of the international Destination ImagiNation competition. By securing top spots at the Texas State Competition, the students qualified to compete at the global finals in Knoxville, Tennessee, in late May.

These 15 students will share a unique experience together as they travel to compete against teams from around the U.S. and other countries, but the group in itself shares a very unique bond, Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet.  All three teams began their Destination ImagiNation journey at Hamilton Park, and there are three sibling groups among the teams.

The Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet All Stars placed second at State in the Elementary level “Hit or Myth” category.  The All Star team, which has competed together for five years is comprised of fifth graders Victoria Byrom, Katie Clark, Jeremy Jackson, Trey Nakhoda and Dylan Winkler, and fourth grader Kate Milam. The Westwood Junior High Team also earned second place at the State competition in the “Hit or Myth” Middle level.  The team comprised of seventh grade students Chelsea Clark, Nicole Kennedy, Sophie Kollaja, Stephanie Ouellette, and Dillon Vineyard call themselves “The Not So Average Joes,” and have competed together for five years.  Representing the High School level from Richardson High School are the DI Lightbulbs. The Lightbulbs placed 3rd in “Chorific”, the Improv category.  Christopher Milam, Christopher Winkler, Rucker Simon and Kendall Wrightson have all competed together for the last 10 years.
These local teams will be out raising funds to represent our community at the Global Finals, and are hopeful for community donations and local business sponsors to help cover the costs of competing in Nashville. To help or make a donation please contact Lanecia Jackson at Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet at 469-593-3900.

Each year Destination ImagiNation creates and issues five exciting and stimulating Challenges designed to test the teamwork, creativity and critical thinking skills of participants from all over the world. Each Challenge offers a different focus, such as mathematics, technical design and construction, experimentation, theater arts, social studies, research, story development, architecture, geography, structural engineering and other disciplines, and require critical thinking skills to be successful. Competing teams chooses the Challenge that interests them the most. All Challenges allow for an endless variety of solutions and a sense of accomplishment for the team, which is led by volunteer adult facilitators. For more information, please visit >Top
Chip and Dip Week
The Richardson Chamber of Commerce recently provided chips and dip as a treat for all RISD schools.

The following businesses and individuals contributed: 4 Women Shopping; Amerprise Financial: Bank of Texas: Bell Insurance; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas; Bry-Jo Roofing and Remodeling; Colliers International; Congressman Jeb Henserling; Congressman Pete Sessions; Congressman Sam Johnson; Dallas County Commissioner Maurine Dickey; Dr. Arnie Stokol; Optometrist; Ebby Halliday Realtors; First Bank of Canyon Creek; Frito Lay; Fujitsu; George McKearin, Attorney; Highland Springs; Judge Sandra Ellis; K & V Promotions; LegacyTexas Bank; Mulvihill Asset Management; Nortel; Renaissance Dallas-Richardson Hotel; Restland Memorial Park & Funeral Home; Richardson City Council - Bob Townsend; Richardson City Council - Dennis Stewart; Richardson City Council - Gary Slagel; Richardson City Council - John Murphy, Richardson City Council - Mayor Steve Mitchell; Richardson City Council - Pris Hayes; Richardson City Council - Rhea Allison, Richardson East Rotary Club; Richardson Living; Richardson Magazine; Regional Medical Center; Richardson Rotary; Richland College Subway; Texans Credit Union; Texas Instruments Incorporated; Texas State Representative Tony Goolsby; Texas State Senator John Carona; Tom Thumb Coit and Campbell; University of Texas at Dallas; Teacher Development Center; and Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, Buckingham Rd. >Top
Congressman Sam Johnson with Audelia Creek Elementary teachers.
Congressman Pete Sessions is joined by RISD Trustee Kim Quirk, RISD Academy Principal Hugo Guerra, and Richardson Mayor Steve Mitchell to distribute chips and dip at RISD Academy.
An attendee meets RISD trustee David Tyson at last year's Dallas Teen Job Fair.
Dallas Teen Job Fair
Council member Jerry R. Allen (District 10) will join members of the Lake Highlands’ community, the Exchange Club of Lake Highlands, local school districts and area businesses to present a job fair for teenagers.  A workshop will be presented in the morning to teach teens interviewing skills and they will then be able to network with area businesses at the afternoon job fair.

All RISD teens are invited to the
Dallas Teen Job Fair

Saturday May 17th- 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Lake Highlands North Recreation Center
9940 White Rock Trail
Dallas, Texas 75238
(Across from Lake Highlands High School)
Invited Businesses
Dozens of area businesses have been invited.
For more info :
Lindsey Davis
Michael Gaston
email: >Top
Dining in the Dark
RISD teachers of students with visual impairments Carol Rimke and Kara Chumbley recently attended the Foundation Fighting Blindness “Dining in the Dark” banquet.  AT&T hosted the talented teachers at their $25,000 table to experience dinner completely in the dark served waiters who were visually impaired.

Many thanks to AT&T for providing this unforgettable experience for an outstanding cause. >Top
RISD teachers were joined by AT&T's Martha Rocha to benefit the Foundation Fighting Blindness banquet.
Prospective teachers learn about opportunities in RISD.
Hundreds of prospective teachers checked out RISD at the annual Job Fair, held at Pearce High School. Principals, administrators and teachers from across the district were on hand to meet, interview and answer questions for those interested in beginning a career in RISD.

If you are interested in more information about teaching in the largest, most diverse TEA Recognized district in Texas, please visit >Top
The Environmental Club, a newly chartered student organization at Pearce High School, has worked tirelessly since September to sponsor and fund the planting of trees as part of their purpose to engage in actions which will repair and preserve our planet for future generations.

Recently, the Pearce Environmental Club planted a Chinese Pistache tree in front of Bowie Elementary School with the help of RISD Facilities Services.  Club President Jen Grahnquist stated, “It’s great knowing that this tree will be here for years to come, and we hope that what we’re doing will inspire others to make our world a better place.” >Top
The PHS Green Team planting a Chinese Pistache tree in front of Bowie Elementary.
RISD staff accepting the TSDC award.
At the recent Texas Superintendent's Midwinter Conference, RISD received the "Outstanding District Staff Development Program in Texas Award" from the Texas Staff Development Council.

This recognition is given annually to the Texas district exhibiting high quality professional learning for its employees, and is a tribute to all the RISD administrators, teachers and paraprofessionals who are "staff development leaders" through presenting, writing curriculum, mentoring, coaching and facilitating learning teams. >Top
The Wallace Elementary Student Council recently held a school-wide change drive for the Salvation Army from March 3-13. The slogan for the change drive was "March up and Donate some Change to help Change the World!" The competition was a school wide Boys vs. Girls competition.

A bonus incentive was that Wallace Elementary Principal Jeremy Gilbert promised that if the school reached their $250 goal, he would dress up as a leprechaun on the last school day before Spring Break started, right before St. Patrick's Day.

The final results were a total of $331.98 raised for the Salvation Army, with the girls' total of $247.67 winning over the boys' total of $84.31. >Top
Wallace principal Jeremy Gilbert with fifth-grade student council members.
Over Spring Break, 43 members of the Lake Highlands HS Highlandettes had their fundraising work pay off with a trip to Hawaii and a performance on the U.S.S. Missouri in Pearl Harbor. The girls represented their school and community in exemplary fashion, and a memorable time was had by everyone. For information, please visit >Top
Richardson West Junior High Technology Magnet School took top honors at the 2008 Texas Computer Education Association Student Contest in Austin winning top prizes for Web Mastery and Desktop Publishing.

Last year, the Web Team students placed 1st and 3rd in the Texas Computer Education Association's state web competition. This year Ms. Jennifer McCauley (RWJH's Web Mastery teacher) set the bar higher and finished with a clean sweep of the top three spots.

The Desktop Publishing classes, taught by Ms. J.B. Ashworth also took 1st and 2nd place in all three of the digital graphics categories in Single-Page, Original Artwork, and Product Design.

With over 1,400 students represented in the contest from all over the state, RWJH can't help but be proud of the time, effort, and skill that it took to produce award winning entries. "I am so proud of each of my students for their hard work and countless hours they have put in on the weekends and after school to make this happen. This is an exciting moment for us and another big accomplishment for our web program at West," beamed Ms. McCauley. "I too am excited to see this happen," added Ms. Ashworth. "We have had desktop publishing winners in the past but this year was phenomenal. We are the school that all of the other schools in the state will be trying to beat next year. I'm proud of my school and very proud of my students. West is Best - - and we proved it!"



1st Place - Home Safety: By Drew Johnson-Scott, Nicoli Mortola, & Caleb Born:

2nd Place - Animated Dreams: By Jacinth Nguyen & Maria Castaneda

3rd Place - Atomic Structure: By Yuying Chen & Garda Mahmood

All of the websites that were submitted to the contest are found on the link below. Please feel free to take a look & turn your sound on. >Top
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