School Times Now!
 
 
IN THIS ISSUE
RISD's Bond Rating Upgraded
Parent Surveys Due May 15
Pot of Gold Luncheon
RISD Tomorrow Foundation 2008 Scholarships
Berkner Teacher Leads RISD Effort to Make a Difference
Read for Need
LHHS Peer Helpers
Peanut Butter Drive
Administrative Announcements
BHS Girls Bowling
Second Graders at
Bukhair Love Science
2008 RISD Lone
Star Challenge
RHS Band Awards
Audelia Creek Elementary
Career Day
Richardson West
Junior High Theatre
RHS Physics Day of
Fun - May 17
Graduation Times
RISD'S BOND RATING UPGRADED
At a recent Board of Trustees meeting Assistant Superintendent Tony Harkleroad announced that Standard & Poor's (leading provider of independent credit ratings) has upgraded RISD's bond rating to AA+. Moody's, another prominent bond rating institution, gives RISD a strong Aa1 rating.
     
RISD is the ONLY district in the State with the Aa1/AA+ rating combination.

A higher bond rating means RISD is charged a lower interest rate for bond sales, which means it costs RISD less to borrow money to fund bond initiatives. Ultimately, a high bond rating means a lower debt service tax rate for RISD taxpayers. >Top
PARENT SURVEYS DUE MAY 15
Input from our parents is important as we make plans to improve our schools.

Please remember to complete and return your parent survey. Be sure to write the name of your school on the survey! >Top
POT OF GOLD LUNCHEON
Deputy Superintendent Patti Kieker accepted an award for RISD's on-going commitment to “Raising Healthy Children."

Richardson ISD was honored at the recent Pot of Gold luncheon benefiting Rainbow Days, Inc. For over 25 years, RISD has participated in training and implementing the specialized curriculum offered by Rainbow Days through the Kids' Connection and Youth Connection programs, with the goal of giving students hope for a promising future by providing the skills and support needed to make healthy choices, stay drug-free and believe they have a purpose. >Top

RISD TOMORROW FOUNDATION 2008 SCHOLARSHIPS
RISD Tomorrow Foundation recently announced the 2008 scholarship recipients from each of the four high schools.

Students receiving respective scholarships were:
 

A.M. Anderson National Honor Society Scholarship
Scholarship awarded to an Honor Society Member of Lake Highlands High School

Nnamdi Eneremadu - Lake Highlands High School

Carloyn G. Bukhair AVID Scholarship
Awarded to an Outstanding Student enrolled in the Advancement Through Individual Determination (AVID) Program

Stephen Onkeo - Lake Highlands High School

Katie Richards Memorial Scholarship
Awarded to a student of Pearce High School attending a four year college

David Escamilla - J.J. Pearce High School
Austin Gunter - J.J. Pearce High School

Tony Goolsby Civic Scholarship
Scholarship awarded to graduating female student from a single parent home in each of the four high schools of RISD

Noura Liben - L.V. Berkner High School
Alejandra Dao - Lake Highlands High School
Rebecca Redcorn - J.J. Pearce High School
Anet Chetuya - Richardson High School

 
 “We had an incredible number of scholarship applications this year and are so pleased to announce the winners,” said Courtenay Tanner, Chairman of the Scholarship Committee and RISD Tomorrow Board member.  “We just need more scholarships available to award, and we are working on that."

“We are very proud of these outstanding students who have demonstrated such academic excellence,” stated Beth Kolman, Chairman of the RISD Tomorrow Board.  “They truly demonstrate the strength of an RISD education.” >Top
BERKNER TEACHER LEADS RISD EFFORT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Berkner High School science teacher Euan Blackman is trying to make a difference, one village at a time. A native of South Africa, he grew up witnessing the injustices of the apartheid system, and later became attuned to the ravages of the AIDS pandemic on that continent, personally losing a loved one to the disease.

Euan founded an organization, Teachers Making a Difference, to send volunteer teachers to impoverished areas of South Africa to teach and help the at-risk children, while also trying to improve the infrastructure.

"The problem is so immense it's difficult to comprehend," says Blackman. "Our hope is that by starting with schools in one village, we can make some difference for those children. And if more people can help in a small way, we can make even more of a difference for these amazing children who have so little, need so much and yet maintain a positive outlook and are eager to earn."

Euan and his volunteer teachers, Richland Elementary third-grade teacher Cassie Grant, Springridge Elementary kindergarten teacher Stephanie Martin and Northrich Elementary fifth-grade teacher Amber Millar, are trying to raise enough money to travel over the summer to The Valley of a Thousand Hills, South Africa to work at Makaphutu Children's village and other local rural schools.

To find out more, please visit www.teachersmakingadifference.org. >Top

BHS science teacher Euan Blackman on the 2007 visit to South Africa.
READ FOR NEED
WRE second-grader Kara Wright individually raised $1,038.00 in the Read for Need program.
For the fourth year in a row, White Rock Elementary students, parents and community members have worked together for a noble cause, and in doing so, helped students learn one of life's important lessons.

The Read for Need program began four years ago as a PTA fundraiser to help White Rock's sister school in Juarez, Mexico - the Socorro School. Many students at the Socorro School are very poor, and some cannot afford to even attend school without outside help. Enter White Rock Elementary, whose students found generous sponsors that agreed to contribute money for every book and chapter they read in the month of April.

The funds raised allow many Socorro students to attend school for an entire year - making an incredible difference in the lives of others. In addition, funds have gone toward uniforms and improvements at the Socorro School campus.
     
On Friday May 9th, students, parents and staff cheered as the very grateful principal of the Socorro School, Mr. Ruben Holguin, was presented with a check for more than $14,400 - enough to fund an entire year of school for more than 70 students!

Over the past four years, this White Rock Elementary effort has raised more than $55,000 for their friends at the Socorro School, who are appreciative beyond words.

Congratulations to everyone involved in this outstanding effort to help others, with a special thanks to the White Rock Elementary PTA.

Watch the clip at www.wfaa.com/gmt/video. >Top
LHHS PEER HELPERS PEANUT BUTTER DRIVE
The Lake Highlands High School Peer Helpers recently collected peanut butter for the North Texas Food Bank's Food 4 Kid's Program.  This is the program that was selected as a recipient for Oprah's Big Give contest.  A total of 3,642 jars of peanut butter were collected over a two week period.  Many of the organizations at LHHS, as well as the TEAMS classes and a number of teachers, helped to promote this drive.  A big thank you to LHHS partners…..150 jars came from Skyview Elementary, 121 from Richardson High School, and 50 from Wallace Elementary. >Top
ADMINISTRATIVE ANNOUNCEMENTS
RISD Superintendent Dr. David Simmons has announced the following administrative assignments for 2008-2009:

Central Administration Assignments
Lysa Rice has been named to the new position of Director of After School Programs for RISD effective immediately.  Ms. Rice has been serving as a program specialist and 21st Century grant manager in RISD since 2005.  Prior to that, she taught Speech Communication in RISD and in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, and has also taught Spanish. In this role, Ms. Rice will lead the district's implementation of the new after school program initiative.

Elementary School Principal Assignments
Current Bowie Elementary principal Nicole Farrar-Myers has been named principal of Jess Harben Elementary. She comes to Jess Harben with more than 28 years of experience in education, the last six years at Bowie Elementary.  Ms. Farrar-Myers earned her bachelor's degree from the University of South Carolina and her master's degree from Texas Women's University. 

Staci Low, currently assistant principal at  Forestridge Elementary will be principal at Bowie Elementary.  Ms. Low has been with RISD for 12 years, the last five years as an assistant principal. Overall, she has 16 years of experience in education.  Ms. Low earned her bachelor's degree from East Texas State University and her master's degree from Northwestern State University.

Philip Bates returns to Skyview Elementary as principal after serving as principal at Yale Elementary.  Mr. Bates has 10 years experience in education, all in RISD.  He started his education career at Big Springs Elementary as a sixth grade teacher and moved to Skyview Elementary as an assistant principal, before being named principal at Yale.  Mr. Bates received his bachelor's degree at Texas State University and master's degree at the University of North Texas. 

Stan Crawford, currently principal at Central Elementary School in Ducanville, Texas, has been named principal at Yale Elementary.  Mr. Crawford earned his bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University and a master's degree from Webster University.  He is currently working on a doctorate degree from University of North Texas.  Mr. Crawford has over 15 years experience in education, serving as an elementary principal since 2003.

Nancy Kinzie, current principal at Heights Elementary, has been named principal at White Rock Elementary.  Ms. Kinzie joined RISD in 1995 as a Special Education teacher.  She has served as principal and assistant principal at Heights since 2001.  Ms. Kinzie received her bachelor's degree from Wichita State University in Kansas and earned her master's degree from Texas A&M Commerce.  She is replacing outgoing White Rock principal Becky Reidling, who has accepted a position in another district.

Larry Labue has been named principal of Heights Elementary, moving from Merriman Park Elementary, where he has served as principal since 2006.  Mr. Labue has eight years experience in education, including seven years in RISD.  He earned his bachelor's degree from McNeese State University and a master's degree from Texas A&M Commerce.

Keith Forte will move as principal from Spring Valley Elementary to serve as principal at Merriman Park Elementary.  He has 20 years experience in education, ten of those years in RISD as a principal.  Mr. Forte earned his bachelor's degree at SMU and his master's degree at Texas A&M Commerce. 

Kelly Colburn, assistant principal at Northlake Elementary, will be principal at Spring Valley Elementary.  Ms. Colburn has 18 years experience as a teacher, instructional specialist and assistant principal, all in RISD,   She received a bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University in College Station, and earned her master's degree at the University of North Texas.  >Top
BERKNER HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BOWLING
Congratulations to the Berkner High School girls bowling team for finishing fifth at the Texas High School Bowling Championship in Houston. This is the second consecutive top five state finish for the team, after a top ten finish in 2006. >Top
SECOND GRADERS AT BUKHAIR LOVE SCIENCE!
Bukhair Elementary second-graders recently blended literature, art and science by reading the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, making fun masks, and finishing with sequencing activities that supplemented the science curriculum. Students were left hungry for more! >Top
2008 RISD LONE STAR CHALLENGE

Bright and early on Saturday, April 19, more than 250 RISD students gathered at Berkner High School to compete in the annual Lone Star Challenge.  The Lone Star Challenge (LSC) is an academic competition for elementary students, based on the familiar Academic Decathlon in the high schools.

Twenty-two teams of up to twelve students each entered this year’s competition. The teams competed in three areas: essay writing; written tests in Math/Science and Language Arts/Social Studies; and a live Super Quiz.  Each team was coached by volunteer coaches from their respective schools.  The coaches started work in January, and most teams began practice in earnest in February.

The topic for this year’s LSC was The Summer Olympics:   Then and Now.  Students learned about map skills including latitude and longitude, topographical maps and geographical features;  the history of the ancient Olympics;  math skills including graphs and charts; and specifics about the summer sports in the Olympics.  The information covered Math, Science, Reading, and Social Studies, while enhancing study skills, team work, and TAKS performance.

Both team and individual winners were awarded with medals and trophies at the Awards Ceremony Saturday evening.  The top team winners were:

  • 1st place: Brentfield Elementary
  • 2nd place: Wallace Elementary
  • 3rd place: White Rock Elementary

All-Around Individual winners were:

  • 4th grade, Madeleine Ash, White Rock Elementary
  • 5th grade, Ethan Frechtman, Brentfield Elementary
  • 6th grade, Griffin Milan, Moss Haven Elementary
Above: Brentfield Elementary, District Champions
Students from around the district participate in the 2008 RISD Lone Star Challenge.
     

The event was coordinated by Elizabeth Crusius, District Coordinator of Academic Decathlon and Lone Star Challenge. >Top

RHS BAND AWARDS
Richardson High School’s Golden Eagle Bands recently competed in the Orlando MusicFest and all three bands received 1st place in their category. The Concert Band competed in the High School Novice Class (earned Distinguished rating), the Symphonic Band competed in the 2nd Band Class (earned Distinguished rating), and the Symphonic Winds competed in the AAAA Class (earned Superior rating). Overall, Golden Eagle Band received the Superstar Award for being the Highest Scoring Concert Band and Drum Major Betsy Adams earned an Outstanding Soloist Award.

Congratulations to the Richardson High School Golden Eagle Band! >Top
AUDELIA CREEK ELEMENTARY CAREER DAY
Audelia Creek Elementary School sponsored its First Annual Career Day, with the theme "When I Grow Up, I Want to Be..." last month.

Students in grades 4th, 5th, and 6th experienced a "career fair" style event, in which they were able to ask community members from diverse career backgrounds questions about their occupations. The career day volunteers represented fields such as business, entertainment, engineering, physical health, and crisis assistance.

ACE teacher and event coordinator Charlene Haynes enlisted the help of faculty, staff, friends and family for the event, which allowed students a firsthand look at life in the "real world," as well as including a fun and exciting method to teach career objectives. >Top
RICHARDSON WEST JUNIOR HIGH THEATRE
The Richardson West Junior High Theatre Magnet Program was recently featured in the Dallas Morning News for their production, The Wizard of Oz. Check out the article here. >Top
RHS PHYSICS DAY OF FUN - MAY 17
Richardson High School AP Physics students are presenting a day of fun and science for elementary students on Friday, May 17 at the Richardson Public Library. For more information, check out the flyer. >Top
GRADUATION TIMES
2008 Graduation is set for June 7 at the Garland Special Events Center.

BHS - 8:30 a.m.
RHS - 12:30 p.m.
PHS - 4:00 p.m.
LHHS - 7:30 p.m. >Top

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