School Times Now!
Annual RISD Top Ten
Luncheon Offers Cheers,
AVID Senior Farewell
Special Student
Services Spotlight
Students With Visual
Impairments Visit Dallas
Heritage Village
RISD High Schools Fare Well
in National Rankings
Lone Star Challenge 2012
RISD Excellence in Education
Foundation Announces 2012
Scholarship Recipients
Graduation Schedules
and Internet Viewing
Primary Election Will
Take Place Tuesday,
May 29
School Lunch Prices
to Increase in 2012-13
Richardson Terrace Sixth
Graders are College Bound
Prestonwood First Graders
Dive Deep into Biomes!
High School Highlights
White Rock Elementary
Student Invited to
Meet with Ross Perot
WRE Enrichment Cluster
performs Wizard of Oz
Canyon Creek 6th
Grade Poets Published
Travelling Science Museum
Visits West Junior High
Goad Dental supports
Apollo JH
Greenwood Hills Authors
Celebrate Their Work
Summer Food Program
Available to Children
Hamilton Park Pacesetter
Magnet School Students
tour WFAA, Channel 8
Follow RISD on Twitter
RISD on Facebook
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Annual RISD Top Ten Luncheon Offers Cheers, Tears
Dr. Waggoner sits down with RISD's 2012 Vals & Sals.

RISD recently held its annual Top Ten Luncheon to celebrate each high school's top ten students, their parents and single most influential teacher during their RISD career. Students each had some time on stage to talk about why the teacher they brought was the most influential to their success.

The often-emotional event recognized and celebrated many of RISD's best students and teachers.

Each student received a watch, courtesy of Fossil. Event sponsors included Pogue Construction, PBK Architects, Estes, McClure & Associates, Perkins & Will, and Reed, Wells, Benson and Company.

Thanks to the sponsors and volunteers for making this memorable event happen.

RISD's 2012 Top Ten Graduates are listed first, along with their most influential teacher:

Berkner High School
Dalbert Chen 
Denise Lee
Andrew Bryan
Terry Ng
William Damkroger
Susan Harling
Nicole Pham
Vivian Kong
Tiffany Lin
Eun Ji Seo
Joni Walther
Jeff Goolsby
Mark Boone
Clark Good
Billy Cox
Scott Sellers
Scott Miller
Jennifer Park
Craig Needham
Kara Freeman

Lake Highlands High School
Jake Gaba
Sarah Blettner
Parker Starr
Abigail Nagle
Ashley Brandish
Megan Jodie
Derek Fritz
Brinkley Field
Lee Lueder
Sarah Norris
Hunter Wood
Lauren Turnbull
Mike Roach
Frank Gidwani
Tracey Bishkin
Christina Joykutty
David Jolicoeur
Ken Taylor
Pete Grieder
Candice Nichols

Pearce High School
Kaitlin Valentine
Jamie Stone
Celia Beron
Timothy Ho
Grace Keliher
Katelin Reishus
Kendall Howen
Averi White
Nicole Joison
Mingru Liu
Matthew Fields
Barbara Flickinger
Tobin Knox
Carol Whatley
Dale Ann Martell
Emily Weitekamp
Marilyn Dunham-Keller
Amy Daly
Alexandra Gandy
Sean Dowlatshahi

Richardson High School
Diana Gluck
Yuying Abi Chen
Mohammed Raiyan Choudhury
Jenny Trieu
Susan Nguyen
Krista Alford
Andrew Johnson-Scott
Mahir Moin
Corey Schneider
Marlene Campos
Cameron Yarborough
Jason Jordan
Colleen Monier
Mihoko Nakashige
Martin Russell
Robin Patterson
Sara Long
Jeff Bivins
Robin Fishman
Katherine Fisher


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AVID Senior Farewell Luncheon

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Senior representatives from each RISD high school shared their inspirational stories about how AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) changed their lives at the annual AVID Senior Luncheon last week. Seven AVID seniors were also recognized for receiving a Dell Scholarship and one senior for receiving a Gates Millenium Scholarship. Area community and business representatives joined parents, teachers and district staff in celebrating the success of all AVID seniors.

AVID is a national program offered as an elective course in every RISD secondary school. AVID teachers focus on college preparation, leadership and organizational skills, and making connections with students to support them in their academic pursuits. The program is voluntary, and students in AVID are often the first in their families to pursue college.

This year, 194 AVID seniors are expected to graduate from RISD, with almost 90 percent of them moving on to college, having earned more than $5 million in scholarships.

Congratulations to all students and staff for their dedication and commitment to achievement through AVID. >Top

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Special Student Services Spotlight

The Special Student Services Department of the RISD is comprised of Special Education, Health Services, Dyslexia, Section 504 and Response to Intervention (RtI). The department's goal is to provide information and support to facilitate the successful implementation of programming. It is with this in mind that various divisions of the department will be routinely highlighted below.

In Focus: Response to Intervention (RTI)
Through RTI, schools identify students at risk for poor learning outcomes, monitor student progress, provide evidence-based interventions and adjust the intensity and nature of those interventions depending on a student's responsiveness. Comprehensive RTI implementation contributes to more meaningful identification of learning and behavioral problems, improves instructional quality, provides all students with the best opportunities to succeed in school, and assists with the identification of learning disabilities and other disabilities. Please click here for more information about RTI. >Top

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Students With Visual Impairments Visit Dallas Heritage Village

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Twelve students with visual impairments from throughout RISD got to touch, feel and experience history at the Dallas Heritage Village.

The Discovery Day program brings together students from across the Dallas area to explore the history museum, which demonstrates how people in North Texas lived between 1841 and 1910.

Students met a blacksmith, felt fibers such as cotton and wool before and after they were transformed into thread, and worked in the General Store – all with detailed description from docents.

"The docents do an amazing job translating the standard visual experience through the use of descriptive language, a technique we teach in advance training sessions for this day," said RISD teacher Mary Ann Siller, who works with students with visual impairments.

"We can feel a lot of this, and it's all hands-on – it's not how we learn in school," said Esther Molloy, a Bowie Elementary student.

Siller developed the Discovery Day program in 1991 to expand educational opportunities to children with visual impairments. It is now a partnership between Region 10 and Dallas Heritage Village. Dan Dipert Tours was involved in the partnership this year, donating transportation to students, including those from RISD.

Matthew Gibbins, RISD's Director of Special Education Programs and Instruction, said the department's goals include promoting and encouraging students with disabilities, no matter how significant, to be involved with their grade level peers to the maximum extent appropriate as well as being exposed to activities that assist them in their understanding of the world around them .

"The opportunity to actually feel, touch and operate some of the equipment during the event was an amazing opportunity for children with visual impairments to experience things that helped them gain exposure to the world around them," Gibbins said.

Please click here to read a Dallas Morning News story about Discovery Day. >Top

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RISD High Schools Fare Well in National Rankings

U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) recently released their 2012 edition of Best High Schools, and three RISD schools made the list. The rankings considered almost 22,000 U.S. high schools and are based on college readiness indicators including Advanced Placement (AP) class participation and AP examination passage rates. In order to be ranked, Texas high schools must first meet TAKS performance measures for all students and economically disadvantaged students.

Under this format, Pearce High School was ranked #49 in Texas and #551 nationally (top 3%); Richardson High School was ranked #65 in Texas and #711 nationally (top 3%), and Berkner High School was ranked #100 in Texas and #1242 nationally (top 6%). Based on college readiness indicators, Lake Highlands High School would have ranked #1165 nationally (top 5%), but because LHHS did not meet the TAKS performance threshold for economically disadvantaged students, it was not ranked under the USNWR methodology.

All four RISD high schools will continue to focus on college and career preparedness and reflect our community's high educational standards.

For additional information, please visit the USNWR RISD ranking page here. >Top

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Lone Star Challenge 2012

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On Saturday, May 5, about 200 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 Academic Decathlon program.

Eighteen teams of up to 12 students from 16 schools each entered this year's competition. More than 60 elementary schools participated statewide, with Richardson ISD landing eight of the top 10 places.

The topic for this year's LSC was Passport to the Past: London. 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 March.

The Top Team winners were:
• 1st place: Brentfield Elementary Green Team (1st in State)
• 2nd place: Richland Elementary Blue Team (2nd in State)
• 3rd place: Brentfield Elementary Yellow Team (4th in State)
• 4th place: White Rock Elementary (5th in State)
• 5th place: Richland Elementary Gold Team (6th in State)
• 6th Place: Bowie Elementary (7th in State)
• Dartmouth Elementary (9th in State)
• Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet (10th in State)

All-Around Individual winners were:
• 4th grade, Daniella Vallejo from Brentfield Elementary
• 5th grade, Luke Moran from White Rock Elementary
• 6th grade, Nkemdi Anyiam from Richland Elementary

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

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RISD Excellence in Education Foundation Announces 2012 Scholarship Recipients

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RISD Excellence in Education Foundation announced its 2012 Scholarship Recipients at a breakfast hosted by Fujitsu Network Communications on May 25th.

Susan Danko, Vice President of Human Resources for Fujitsu and an Excellence in Education Foundation Board Member, welcomed the scholarship students and family members along with scholarship donors, Board of Trustees members, Superintendent Dr. Kay Waggoner, administrators and principals of RISD's four high schools.

Scholarship recipients were:
The A.M. Anderson Scholarship was established to honor Mr. Anderson, the first principal of Lake Highlands High School. A student must be a member in good standing of the A.M. Anderson Chapter of the National Honor Society of Lake Highlands High School. A scholarship in the amount of $1,000 is awarded this year to London Paige Dority.

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The Anderson Bonner Endowment Scholarship honors a former slave and extensive North Dallas landowner. The 2012 recipient is: De'Andra Jessie of Richardson High School.

The Dr. Carolyn G. Bukhair Scholarship is given in honor of Dr. Carolyn Bukhair who served as superintendent of RISD for many years. During her time as superintendent, she was instrumental in bringing the AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) program to Richardson. RISD Excellence in Education Foundation is a supporter of the AVID program throughout the district. 2011 marks the fifth year for a graduating AVID class. Dr. Bukhair's $1,000 scholarship is designated to an outstanding AVID senior. This year's scholarship recipient is Marlene Campos of Richardson High School.

The Blake Pinson English Scholarship Fund was established in memory of Blake to honor a graduating student of the RISD whose stated goal is to study nutrition, food science or the culinary arts. This $1,000 scholarship is presented to: Alexis Maberry of Berkner High School.

The Eagle to Eagle Scholarship honors two outstanding Richardson High School Students who previously attended Spring Creek Elementary School. The two scholarship recipients for 2012 are Jasmine Green and Hannah Patterson.

The Arleen Faulkner Memorial Scholarship was initiated by RISD staff and the family of Arleen Faulkner, a beloved employee of Richardson High School. The scholarship focuses on academic achievement and financial need for college attendance and is to be awarded to a qualifying Richardson High School senior. The scholarship is awarded this year only in memory of Arleen and her invaluable contribution to Richardson High School. The recipient of this very special scholarship is Garda Mahmood.

The Giana Foundation Scholarship for the Visual and Performing Arts is a scholarship fund established to honor graduating seniors whose stated goal is to study visual and/or performing arts. The scholarship is intended to show appreciation of the J.J. Pearce and Richardson High School arts programs, since members of the Foundation themselves benefited from participation in those programs. Scholarships awarded to each of two Pearce graduating seniors and two Richardson High School Seniors who are planning to major in the visual and/or performing arts. Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.50 and plan to attend a 4-year college or university. The recipients of the Giana Foundation Scholarship for the Visual and Performing Arts will each receive $5,000: Pearce High School: Erica Hannah Halpern and Mark W. Rosenzweig. Richardson High School: Jenna Caire and Andrew Johnson-Scott.

The G-Squared Richardson High School Math Challenge Scholarships – Series 2012 are awarded to six qualifying students from Richardson High School. The scholarship focus is math performance and college attendance for those students who have the academic ability to succeed in college but for a variety of reasons may not necessarily consider college as an option in their lives. Each student will receive a $2,000 scholarship, at $500 per semester for two years. The 2012 recipients are: Haris Bubalo, Marlene Campos, Amairani Fajardo, Ana Immerso, Kathy Tran and Queenie Tran.

The Alyssa Little Foundation Scholarship honors a graduating outstanding student of Pearce High School whose stated goal is to attend a 4-year accredited college or university. The inaugural recipient of this memorial scholarship is Julio Pineda.

The Katie Richards Memorial Scholarships are given in memory of Katharine Wiley Richards, a Parkhill Junior High student who died of congenital heart disease at the age of 13 in 1995. Katie was a creative, sweet and wonderful daughter, sister and friend. In honor of Katie, this $1,000 scholarship has been awarded to three outstanding Pearce High School Seniors: Carolyn Ann Croley, Emily Wingate and Darby Knox.

The Thompson Family Scholarship for the Study of Engineering is open to any qualifying graduating senior from any of of the four high schools who intends to major in engineering. The scholarship of $1,000 per year is renewable up to 4 years if the student continues to major in engineering and maintains academic performance. The Thompson Family Scholarship for the Study of Engineering for 2012 is awarded to Hannah Moss of Richardson High School.


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Graduation Schedules and Internet Viewing

RISD high school graduations will occur next month at the Curtis Culwell Center on the following schedule:

Sunday, June 3
Berkner - 12:30 p.m.
Pearce - 4:30 p.m.
Richardson - 8:30 p.m.

Monday, June 4
Lake Highlands - 7:30 p.m.

The Curtis Culwell Center is located at 4999 Naaman Forest Blvd. in Garland. All RISD graduations are ticketed events. Graduating seniors should contact their school to obtain tickets for family and friends.

For family and friends unable to attend graduation, ceremonies can be watched at no cost live over the Internet through the RISD homepage at >Top

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Primary Election Will Take Place Tuesday, May 29

Many RISD campuses will be voting locations for the Republican and Democratic Party Primary Elections, which will take place Tuesday, May 29.

School administrators and staff work with elections officials on site to ensure that voting activity is isolated from school operations and that campuses remain a safe and secure environment for students and staff.

Voters will be required to enter through designated doorways and once in the polling location will be required to remain within the voting area.

If you are planning to visit an RISD campus on Election Day for reasons other than voting, please enter through the main office. >Top

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School Lunch Prices to Increase in 2012-13

Some school lunch prices in RISD will increase by 10 cents in the 2012-13 school year, to $2.15 at elementary campuses and $2.30 at secondary campuses. Reduced lunch rates will remain at $.40, and adult lunch prices will be set later this summer.

The change in price is due to the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which requires school districts to assess their lunch prices annually according to a formula set by the law. >Top

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Richardson Terrace Sixth Graders are College Bound

This spring, one of the Enrichment Clusters at Richardson Terrace was geared directly towards sixth graders. These students had the opportunity to visit several local colleges. They were given tours, met with professors, heard from various college students about their experiences, and were even treated to eat in the dining hall.

The Enrichment Cluster – College Bound Kids – was designed to help students get early first-hand experience with college. A big part of making this possible was DART, which helped provide transportation.

The Cluster culminated with the students creating a brochure about their experiences and what they learned about college preparation. This brochure was shared with the families and staff at Terrace's Open House this spring. Many of the students came away with more tangible hopes and dreams of attending college, as well as ideas of what they would like colleges to offer them. >Top

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Prestonwood First Graders Dive Deep into Biomes!

Prestonwood's first graders won first place for "Diving in Deep to Non-Fiction," the theme for PWE's Literacy Night this year. The entire grade studied biomes and shared their expertise with the school at PWE's annual Literacy Night. Pictured here are the coral reef researchers. Other first graders became experts on temperate forests, tropical rainforests, tundras, deserts and grasslands. Along with first grade's biomes, other grades dove in deep to learn about ice cream, insects, land animals, aquatic animals, the Civil War and famous heroes. >Top

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College Week At Dartmouth Elementary

During College Week, Dartmouth Elementary staff and students voted the University of Texas as the favorite Texas college. Teachers and students posed with Principal Katie Kirkpatrick, who was so gracious to wear burnt orange in the spirit of College Week. >Top

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High School Highlights
Berkner High School
Berkner goes "Renaissance"

The Berkner Choir recently performed its annual Madrigal Dinner at St. Barnabas Presbyterian Church. Students dressed in Renaissance costumes and presented a two-hour show of music and acting. The dinner concluded with the Madrigal Concert. A great "hazzah" was had by all! >Top
Lake Highlands High School
Lake Highlands Freshman Center Hosts "A Night At LHFC"

Lake Highlands Freshman Center hosted "A Night at LHFC" for incoming freshmen. The event included booths supported by sponsors of clubs and organizations offered at LHFC, breakout sessions about academics, student panel discussions, and presentations by our librarian and administrators.

The event also included prize drawings for gift cards contributed by Mi Cocina, T-Hee Gifts, Mariano's , Picasso's and Highlands Café. >Top

LHHS Student Awarded National Merit Scholarship
Congratulations to LHHS senior Sarah Blettner, who was awarded a National Merit Scholarship from Southern Methodist University.

Additional National Merit Scholarship recipients will be announced in July. Three PHS students and three Lake Highlands High School students are among the finalists who are competing for 8,300 scholarships totaling more than $35 million. The 15,000 finalists nationwide were selected from approximately 1.5 million students considered.

Richardson High School
RHS Student Wins Award At UIL State Journalism Competition

Congratulations to Talia Richman, who won third place in the UIL State Journalism Competition in the Feature Writing category. Talia was the first RHS student to ever qualify for the state journalism competition. >Top
RHS Sophomore Wins Awards At International Science Fair
RHS sophomore Thabit Pulak continued his science fair success, winning third place in the Environmental Sciences category at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Thabit was one of 1,549 students who competed at the international fair. In addition to the $1,000 third-place prize, he also won the EPA's Patrick H. Hurd Sustainability award for demonstrating a commitment to environmental sustainability and stewardship.

The EPA award includes an all-expense paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., for the P3: People, Prosperity and the Planet Design Competition for Sustainability. While there, he will be able to display his project on the National Mall and have the chance to interact with university-level students, EPA scientists and researchers.

Thabit's project, Home-Based Arsenic Bio-Sand Water Filter, uses nano particles made with kitchen materials easily found in Southeast Asia to enhance a bio-sand water filter so that it removes arsenic from water. >Top

Pictured are Shelby Ellis and Natalie Schiller, JV Head Coach Krissy Seaman and Varsity Head Coach Eric Miracle.
Eagle Volleyball College Signings
Congratulations to Shelby Ellis and Natalie Schiller on their recent college signings!

Shelby will play volleyball at Brookhaven College, the four-time NJCAA National Champions. Natalie has committed to attend and play volleyball at Hendrix College, a private liberal arts college in Conway, Ark. >Top

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White Rock Elementary Student Invited to Meet with Ross Perot

When Clay Watson, 3rd grade student at White Rock Elementary, began working on a research paper about one of his heroes, Ross Perot, he never dreamed he would be asked to meet the businessman at his office.

But that is what happened, when business acquaintances of Clay's mother mentioned the project to friends at Mr. Perot's office. Mr. Perot invited Clay and his mother to his office, and shared stories and mementos from throughout his life. >Top

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WRE Enrichment Cluster performs Wizard of Oz

Beckye Robertson, 5th grade teacher at White Rock Elementary School, led an Enrichment Cluster this year called "Lights, Camera, Action!" The students decided what they wanted to perform, auditioned for the parts, and came up with costumes.

Ms. Robertson was so proud of their work, she arranged for the cluster to perform their production in front of the primary grades this week. The intermediate grades heard how great it was and insisted on being invited to an encore performance the next day. Bravo! >Top

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Canyon Creek 6th Grade Poets Published

Sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Ganus, submitted works of poetry in a contest last semester. Many of the students were selected to be published in the 2011 Young Writers of America edition. Congratulations to all who were selected. >Top

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Travelling Science Museum Visits West Junior High

The TAME (Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering) Trailblazer visited West Junior High this week, giving students an opportunity to explore science and engineering concepts through hands-on activities and exhibits.

The museum-on-wheels includes eight exhibits and activities about subjects including energy, space, weather and medicine.


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Goad Dental Supports to Apollo JH

Dr. Kerry Goad's Dental office recently showed their appreciation to Apollo JH's faculty and staff through a donation to the partner fund. Many thanks to Dr. Goad's generous donation and continued support of our schools! >Top

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Greenwood Hills Authors Celebrate Their Work

Fourth graders from Greenwood Hills Elementary held their year-end authors celebration and thanked Dr. Doug Crosby for his support of the program.

Students were given blank books, and throughout the year they wrote stories and drew illustrations. They wrote personal narratives and expository texts, then sold them to raise money for playground equipment at the school.

Dr. Crosby has supported the program at Greenwood Hills for several years, and many of the books will be kept at his orthodontics office in Richardson. >Top

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Summer Food Program Available to Children

The Texas Department of Agriculture Summer Nutrition Program is offered at several locations in RISD. The program provides free meals to children up to 18 years of age and people over age 18 who are enrolled in school programs for people with disabilities.

For more information about the Summer Nutrition Program, please click here. >Top

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Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet School Students tour WFAA, Channel 8
Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet students shown in the Channel 8 News studio.

Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet 5th and 6th grade students recently had the opportunity to tour WFAA Channel 8.

The tour consisted of a behind-the-scenes look at the formulation of a news story, the live taping of a political program and discussions with production and camera personnel on their educational backgrounds. The highlight of the tour was the visit to the actual studio news desk with a camera recording the students simulating a weather forecast. >Top

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