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RISD Named Top Academic
District in Texas
Westwood Junior High
Nominated as 2011
Blue Ribbon School
Veteran's Day
Gold Seal State
Art Award Winners
Ramblers, Desperados
to Open Macy's
Thanksgiving Parade
Spirit Run 2010
Volleyball Court
Dedicated to Local Fan
& Sports Pioneer
Partners Corner
Northwood Hills Proves
"The Strength of a Straw"
RHS, PHS Take Top Honors
in UTD Programming Contest
RISD Academy Flying
Stars' Running Club
Dental Day of Mark Twain
High School Highlights
This Weekend in RISD
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RISD Named Top Academic District in Texas

Education Resource Group (ERG), a company that evaluates academic performance and financial management data for all districts in Texas, has released their 2008-09 Best Practice Awards, naming Richardson ISD as the top district in Texas on their Academic Performance Index.

When combining academic performance and financial management, RISD ranked sixth in Texas in the firm's Education Productivity Index.

"It's certainly an honor to be named the best in Texas by any measure," said RISD Superintendent Dr. Kay Waggoner. "Taken together, we feel the academic and financial rankings reinforce our belief that RISD offers excellent educational opportunities while remaining a strong value to our taxpayers."

ERG's indices analyze state performance and financial data from the Texas Education Agency to determine how well districts are educating students and managing resources.

For more information, please visit educationresourcegroup.com. >Top
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WWJH Nominated as 2011 National Blue Ribbon School
Westwood Junior High is one of just 26 schools in Texas to be nominated by the Texas Education Agency for consideration as a 2011 National Blue Ribbon School. The school will now complete a comprehensive application process in advance of the final announcement next summer.

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools that are either high performing or have improved student achievement to high levels, especially among disadvantaged students.

Lake Highlands Junior High and Dover Elementary were announced in September as 2010 National Blue Ribbon Schools, bringing RISD's total of National Blue Ribbon schools to 22.

Congratulations WWJH! >Top
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Veteran's Day

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Veteran's Day was observed at schools around RISD with events honoring members of our armed forces. >Top
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Gold Seal state art award winners

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Three RISD art students from Berkner High School recently received a superior rating (IV) and were awarded the State Visual Scholastic Event Gold State Medallion. Their artwork was exhibited in a variety of venues across the state, culminating with the Gold Seal Exhibition at the annual TAEA Fall Conference in Austin. Presently, the Gold Seal winner’s artwork are on display throughout the month of November at the RISD Administration Building in Richardson.

Gold Seal Winners include:

Nancy Sierra-Ibarra
Art Teacher: Patty McAlister

Jonathan Amaya
Art Teacher: Hope Lattauzio

Adolfo Hernandez
Art Teacher: Hope Lattauzio >Top

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Ramblers, Desperados To Open Macy's Thanksgiving Parade
Members of two RISD Country & Western Dance groups will be part of the opening number in Thursday's 84th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Students from the Berkner H. S. Ramblers and Richardson H.S. Desperados will be part of the Spirit of America dance production that will open the parade with a Country-Western theme.

Congratulations to both groups for being selected to participate!

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will air this Thursday, November 25 at 9 a.m. on NBC Channel 5. >Top
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Spirit Run 2010
The RISD Excellence in Education Foundation's Inaugural Spirit Run was held last week, with more than 250 runners participating.

Student groups from all four RISD high schools were also on hand to encourage runners and demonstrate along the course why their school was the most spirited.

At the conclusion of their race, runners were able to vote on which school was the most spirited. When the dust settled, Berkner High School earned the most votes, and was awarded the Travelling Spirit Trophy for 2010.

Congratulations to all who participated in support of RISD students and staff. >Top
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VOLLEYBALL COURT DEDICATED TO LOCAL FAN & SPORTS PIONEER
PHS Volleyball team with Matt McChesney
Many Pearce volleyball players only knew Pat McChesney as the sweet lady who attended all of their volleyball games – for over 30 years. That, in itself, was reason enough to build and dedicate a new sand volleyball court in Mrs. Mac's memory after she recently passed away in the spring.

Sophie Orlich, a Pearce senior volleyball player and student council vice president, said, "Mrs. Mac had been such a strong, steady supporter of JJ Pearce and the Mustang volleyball program; we thought it was a good time to honor her."

Few knew that McChesney, who taught at Northwood Hills and whose children attended Pearce in the 1970's, is referred to nationally as a volleyball pioneer. She is credited for starting numerous state clinics, workshops and tournaments and was, herself, a volleyball star. In 2000, she was recognized by - USA Volleyball with the Frier Award, recognizing her long time contribution to the game. She also served on the USA Volleyball board of directors for a number of years and chaired the Olympic, National and All-American selection committees.
     
Plans to dedicate a sand volleyball court to McChesney began shortly after Mrs. Mac passed away. Paul Olschwanger, who had two daughters that played volleyball at Pearce, organized the project. "We wanted to do something to honor Mrs. Mac and keep her legacy alive," he said.

The project brought together the Pearce athletic booster club, Pearce student council, city of Richardson, RISD and the JJ Pearce Homeowners Association.

"The sand volley ball court is a first step in making that corner an area the entire community can use," said JJ Pearce Homeowner Association President G. Scott Waddell. "The impact on the HOA was considered from the beginning by both Paul's organization and by RISD."

The Pearce student council donated $7,000 towards the more than $15,000 it took to complete the project, which includes irrigation.

"Mrs. Mac was a true inspiration for generations young and old," shared Chandler Stout, Pearce student council secretary. "The sand volleyball court is a way to bring another fun activity onto the Pearce campus, as well as encourage physical fitness for the surrounding Pearce community." >Top
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Partners Corner
Forest Meadow Junior High Gives Back to RISD Partner
Forest Meadow Junior High recently donated 1,075 pounds of food to one of RISD’s most valued partner’s, the Network of Community Ministries. This is FMJH’s ninth year to participate in the food drive through “Gobble Goods,” which has donated more than 4,000 pounds to the food pantry over the past three years alone.

Congratulations to FMJH for their generous donation and many thanks to the Network of Community Ministries for continuing to serve RISD families in need! >Top
     
Buddha’s Light International Association Donates to RISD Partners Program
Buddha’s Light International Association recently donated $2,200 to the RISD Partners Program to provide much needed school supplies and classroom resources to students in need.  This is their fourth year to donate to the Partners Program, donating more than $6,000 in school supplies and funds over the past four years.

RISD is extremely grateful Buddha's Light's continued generosity in meeting the needs of students across the district. >Top
     
RISD Helps Blue Cross Blue Shield Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
RISD student artwork was recently displayed to rave reviews at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas’ annual Hispanic Heritage festivities, attended by more than 300 Blue Cross Blue Shield employees. 

Many thanks to RISD Visual Art Director Myron Stennett, Art Teacher Susan Mims from White Rock Elementary, Art Teacher Sarah Norman from Moss Haven Elementary, Art Teacher Maren Farmer from Audelia Creek Elementary, and Art Teacher Hope Lattauzio from Berkner High School for coordinating this special treat for BCBS of Texas! >Top
     
Eirene Christian Fellowship Helps Spruce Up Dover Elementary and Dobie Primary
Dover Elementary and Dobie Primary staff and students were all smiles after receiving help with sprucing up areas in their schools.  More than 30 members from the Eirene Christian Fellowship Church assisted with building and painting new shelves to cleaning up garden areas.  Dover's Principal Brona Hudson said “The gardens are perfect. I cannot begin to do enough to thank all of the kind, hardworking people who showed up to help.”

Many thanks to the Eirene Christian Fellowship Church for their continued support of RISD schools!>Top
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Northwood Hills Elementary proves "The Strength of a Straw"
Northwood Hills Elementary School hosted its First Annual Straw Bridge Competition this month. Multiple teams of 2-3 students, from kindergarten-6th grade, built a bridge out of no more than 20 straws, 5 feet of clear tape and scissors, Parents and architectural students from Westwood Junior High School served as team helpers. The goal was to build a bridge that could span 14", then position a paper cup on the center of the bridge and fill the cup up with pennies until the bridge collapses. The bridge still standing with the most pennies won recognition as the best design.

Principal Mackie Kazdoy started the competition with her bridge that held 184 pennies. Teams that beat her included a Kindergarten team bridge holding 290 pennies, a sixth grade team bridge holding 242 and a Westwood Junior High team bridge holding 720 pennies.
     
The event was a unique and fun way to teach the young students how shapes affect the strength of structures, engineering principles of truss structures and the need for thoughtful, optimized design.

Wayne Levan, a Northwood Hills parent, initiated the idea and brought it to life with teacher Cheryl Derrington. Ms. Derrington has run the Northwood Hills Think Tank (Math/Science Lab) for eleven years. Together they planned and organized this challenging event.

Thank you to Pavillion Bank on Campbell Road for providing food and refreshments that helped fuel the ever expanding minds of the contestants. >Top
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RHS, PHS Take Top Honors in UTD Programming Contest
Computer programming teams from Richardson H.S. and Pearce H.S. finished first and second, respectively, at a recent UTD competition. Read about it here. >Top
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RISD Academy Flying Stars Running Club
RISD Academy's Flying Stars Running Club began in September, and has grown to more than 100 students, parents and staff members meeting once a week.

Club members run, jog, and/or power walk to promote healthy living and cardiovascular fitness. Physical Education teacher Marlise Mathews said, "The goal of our running club is to encourage our students and families to be a healthier, more fit school/community and to develop a life-time love for running and fitness. Running can be enjoyed at any age.

The only equipment required is a good pair of running shoes!" >Top
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Dental day at Mark twain
Recently, Mark Twain Elementary had their annual Dental Day that includes a free dental screening by dentists from Baylor College of Dentistry and free fluoride varnish by registered hygienists from Dallas Dental Hygiene Society.

This year, 331 students participated in this free program that is offered every October and every February.

Thanks to Baylor and DDHS for promoting healthy teeth and gums! >Top
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High School Highlights
Berkner High School
(pictured) BHS DECA (an international association of marketing students) students recently travelled to the American Airlines Center to participate in DECA Day with the Dallas Stars. Students learned about real-world marketing techniques from professionals with a major professional sports franchise. Participants also had an opportunity to watch the Stars win later that evening. >Top
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(pictured) The BHS Fearless Robotics Team recently earned the top award, The Excellence Award, at Houston VEX, one of the largest VEX robotics competitions in Texas. This qualifies the team for the 2011 Vex Robotics World Championships next spring. Congratulations to the team, and their coach, Eon Meusa. >Top
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Pearce High School
The PHS Girl's Volleyball Team recent advanced to the state 4A semifinal game, one game from the championship, before finishing their year with a 45-5 record. Congratulations to the girls on an outstanding year. They are coached by Jason Nicholson. >Top

(pictured) Two PHS senior volleyball players recently signed letters of intent to play collegiately. Katie O'Brien signed with Missouri and Stephanie Holland signed with TCU. The girls were joined by athletic coordinator Randy Robertson and head volleyball coach Jason Nicholson. >Top
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Richardson High School
Congratulations to RHS Principal Charles Pickitt for being named winner of the 2010 Texas Thespian Outstanding Secondary School Administrator Award for his involvement in and support of the performing arts. >Top

(pictured) The RHS Cheerleaders were recently presented a $2,500 scholarship by Dave J. Jenkins, Jr. of Farmers Insurance Group. In late September, the RHS squad won the 2010 State Fair Classic Pep Rally Video Contest. The RHS Cheerleaders received the most online votes at aheadwithfarmers.com to win the scholarship and other prizes, topping three area squads – Dunbar High School in FWISD, Lancaster High School and Timber Creek High School in Keller ISD. Having school spirit paid off for RHS! Congratulations! >Top
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(pictured) Twenty-two RHS choir students under the direction of Lindy Perez and Elizabeth Moore sang at the All-Region Choir Concert on Nov. 13. Twelve students will go on to compete in the Area Auditions hoping to advance to sing in the All-State Choir. >Top
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this weekend in risd
High School Sports
Basketball, Saturday, November 27
Lake Highlands High School boys basketball vs. North Garland High School @ North Garland High School, 3:00 p.m., November 27
Lake Highlands High School girls vs. Denison High School @ Lake Highlands High School, 1:30 p.m., November 27
Pearce High School girls vs. Frisco Lone Star High School @ Pearce High School, 3:00 p.m., November 27 >Top
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