October 27, 2017
Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions, and national origins.

Thanks to your generosity, the 2017 Ever Forward Annual Giving Campaign was very successful. Donations showed an increase of 64% over those made to the 2015 Reaching for the Stars campaign. I think the message this sends is that our school remains strong and continues to move "ever forward" in its mission and vision. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for believing in the value of a Runnels education.

In focus this week: Middle School Honor Bands; Fall Fling for Raider Relief Rescheduled; Let's Hear It for Vintage Hitchcock; Senior Wins Service Award; Debut Concert for Fourth-Grade Band; New After-School Creative Writing Club; Art Teacher's Book To Be Featured at LA Book Festival; Thanksgiving Food Drives; Sports; Thank Yous and Kudos; Friendly Reminders; and Weekly Photo Album.
All-Parish Middle School Honor Bands Recruit 21 from Runnels
Congratulations to the 21 students in grades 6-8 who made the 2017 All-Parish Middle School Honor Band. Named first chairs in their sections were Sophia Horridge, Mason Pentes, Cole Brown and Addie Watson.

Symphonic Band : Sophia Horridge, Mason Pentes, Omar Badawi, Reagan Kyle, Alyssa Oubre, Tate Smith, Summer Guerin, Caleb Johnston, and Harrison White.

Concert Band: Cole Brown, Addie Watson, Kareem Badawi, Niko Carey, Eddie Tunis, Hope Oubre, Emma Collett, Jacob Schmidt, Lily Hayden, and Alaysia Mandujano. Named alternates were Katherine Campbell and Josh Freeman.

Their band director at Runnels is Jill Swetnam. The Middle School Honor Band concert will be held on Dec. 1 at 7:00 pm at McKinley Middle.   

Two Great Events, One Night!
Forecasted bad weather forced the RPO to postpone tonight's planned Fall Fling for Raider Relief, but the RPO still has a treat planned for students and their families. 

The Fall Fling for Raider Relief is now scheduled for next Friday, Nov. 3, in conjunction with the Picture in the Plaza showing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone . Join us for two great family events on one night! 

The fun begins at 5:00 with a Haunted House and Face Painting. Money raised for those events will go to the Raider Relief Hurricane Fund.There also will be post-Halloween Trick or Treating along with a Harry Potter themed photo booth and Sorting Hat area. The movie begins at 6:30 pm. The RPO will have concessions for sale starting at 5:00.

Please Note: Pictures in the Plaza is not a drop-off event. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Also, the RPO cannot guarantee that all Trick or Treat candy in class pumpkins will be "nut-free"; however, "nut-free" candy will be available in a separate pumpkin labeled "Nut-Free." 
Let's Hear It for the Vintage Hitchcock Cast and Crew!
The Golden Age of Radio was lavishly revived in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre last weekend when the junior and senior high drama department presented three performances of Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play .

Congratulations to director Neena McLain, stage manager Camille Doucet, and the talented cast and crew of this outstanding drama, with a salute to the live sound effects team of Landon Simpson, Peter Lukinovich, Marshall Pentes, Preston Kyle and Eli Latiolais. (Photo: Jingle Singers, from left, Phoebe Koontz, Simone Sharp, Hannah Landry and Emma Collett.)

more photos ...       
Senior Wins Outstanding Service Award
Senior Garrett Miller has won the 2017 Outstanding High School Volunteer Award from the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair. Each year, one student from each high school in East Baton Rouge, Ascension, and Livingston Parishes is selected to receive the award, which carries a $500 scholarship.

The honor recognizes students who have performed outstanding volunteer service at school and throughout the community. Garrett, an Eagle Scout, was nominated for the award by the Runnels administration for being a positive role model, leadership qualities, and his many hours of volunteer service.

Garrett is the son of Renee' and Ron Miller. (Photo: Garrett Miller)

Debut Concert for Beginning Band Students

The Beginning Band, under the direction of Shanna Drescher, performed its debut concert in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre Oct. 26. Dressed in concert black, the young musicians played a selection of standard classics including "Old MacDonald Had a Farm," "Bingo," and "Happy Birthday" as well as some Christmas carols. The performance was very well received by an appreciative audience.
Elementary School Launches After-School Writing Club
Each November, thousands of aspiring authors get serious about producing pages by participating in National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo. Founded in 1999, the event has gone global, attracting more than 100,000 dedicated scribblers willing to make a month-long commitment to creative writing.

Elementary teacher Sheri Allen recently brought NaNoWriMo to Runnels through the organization’s Young Writers Program. The NaNoWriMo Club for 6th graders had its first meeting in mid-October. The writing community, which has already attracted more than a dozen members, meets directly after school on Tuesdays and Fridays in the Elementary Computer Lab. "Any 6th grader interested in creative writing is still welcome to join," said Mrs. Allen.  (Photo: From left are NaNoWriMo members Reilly Wilks, Mrs. Allen, Emma Felton, Lauren Tolson and Reide Walker.)

Ms. Randall's Chickory & Roux To Be Featured at LA Book Festival
A book illustrated by Runnels Art Department Head Lee Brandt Randall was selected as a featured book at the 2017 Louisiana Book Festival. Ms. Randall and author Todd-Michael St. Pierre will be giving a book talk on Chicory and Roux and doing a puppet presentation at the festival on Saturday, Oct. 28. Look for Ms. Randall in Children's Author Tent 1 from 2:00 to 2:30 pm and in the Barnes & Noble Book Selling Tent (book signing only) from 2:45 to 3:30 pm. (Illustration from Chickory and Roux: The Creole Mouse and the Cajun Mouse.)
It's Time to Stock Up for Thanksgiving Food Drives
The holidays are right around the corner! Please extend a helping hand to those in need in our community by donating to our Thanksgiving Food Drives for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. Food items and monetary donations are welcome.

Nov. 1-16: Annual Beta Club Thanksgiving Food and Dollar Drive. Collection bins for non-perishable food items will be located in Elementary and Jr./Sr. High offices. Jars for monetary donations will be in all Jr./Sr. High English classrooms and the Elementary office.

Nov. 6-10: Preschool Canned Food Drive
Nov. 13-17: Preschool Boxed Food Drive

At the preschool, donation boxes decorated with "Helping Hands" prints will be in classrooms. "The children enjoy dropping in items for those in need," said Preschool Food Drive coordinator Michael Bordelon, "so we encourage parents to try to send at least one item a day." For more information: m.bordelon@runnels.org.
Athletic Corner
Division Champions! - Junior High Softball Team: (front row, from left) Brooke Parsons, Meredith Taliaferro, Alyssa Oubre, Hope Oubre, Addie Watson, Olivia Williams; (back row) Assistant Coach Sophie Treadaway, Jasmine Townsend, Lauren Tolson, Allie Bethea, Katherine Campbell, Chloe Bueche, Ramsey Rogers, Izzy Arey, Reilly Wilks, Assistant Coach Kayleigh Nicholson and Head Coach Brent Lax.
The junior high softball team rocked the field with back-to-back championship play at Epsicopal on Tuesday. The Lady Raiders stomped the competition in both games, claiming the Baton Rouge Girls Athletic Association (B.R.G.A.A.) bronze division championship. Wrapping up the season with a 9-1 record was a sweet victory!

In the first round of the playoffs, the Lady Raiders crushed Episcopal, 8-0. Chloe Bueche pitched 3 innings, striking out 7 and walking 1. Kate Kelfstrom had a double, with 2 RBI's and 2 runs. Reilly Wilks hit a single, with 2 RBI’s and 1 run. Hope Oubre hit a single, with 1 RBI. Ramsey Rogers and Katherine Campbell each scored twice, and Meredith Taliaferro hit a single.

The Lady Raiders went on to play U-High for the championship, defeating them 4-0. Chloe Bueche was on fire, pitching 4 innings, striking out 8 with no walks. Kate Kelfstrom smacked a double with 2 RBI's and scored once. Alyssa Oubre hit 2 singles with 1 RBI. Brooke Parsons had a single, while Chloe Bueche, Meredith Taliaferro and Katherine Campbell each scored a run.

Coach Brent Lax said, " It was a great season for the Lady Raiders. We look forward to seeing them on the field in the spring."


The Lady Raiders finished their season Monday with a Senior Night game against TCA. We had a GREAT turn out. The girls find out Sunday who they will face and when they will play in the first round of play-offs. The game will be Monday or Tuesday.

Special CONGRATULATIONS go to Natalie Justus and KK Roy for making the Volleyball Academic All-Composite team. They maintained 4.00 GPAs throughout high school. (Photo: Volleyball seniors, from left, Ashley Stansbury, McKenna Tregre, Natalie Justus, KK Roy and Caroline Henning.)

Last Thursday, the Runnels Varsity Basketball team had its first scrimmage against Maurepas. The Raiders won 83-43, led by Cade Tate and Ben Holliday with 16 points each. Griffin Kennedy added 12 points; and Humza Pirzadah and JP Guillot added 9 points and 8 points, respectively. 

Join us at home Monday, Oct. 30, as the Raiders take on Family Christian Academy in the season opener. Let's create a Raider Ruckus and “Put Out the Flame!”

 Jr. High Tennis will have its final session of the year Sunday, Oct. 29, and will mark the occasion with a Halloween Festival! The players will dress in costume and enjoy all kinds of “tennis” goodies (and candy of course).

Keep a look out for pictures in the next Friday Focus.

 At the Metro Championship Run Down last weekend, the Running Raiders slashed and burned their way through the meet, setting 14 new PRs! The season is not OVER.

From the boys team, Sam Matthews, Daniel Mayeaux and Shep Butner each set a new PR. Girl team members setting new PRs were: Annie Fink, Estelle Abel, Sela Basso, Amelia Breedon, Asheigh Cooper, Aidan Dooley, Emma Felton, Ryan Roper, Mikalyn Shay and Jossy Stegall. ( Photo: Ryan Roper )

On Friday, the high school team will compete in the 2-Mile Time Trial at West Feliciana Sports Park. Race time starts at 4:30 pm. A team costume contest will add a seasonal note to the event.
Saturday, Oct. 28 / Varsity Championship Swim Meet at Crawfish Aquatics – Starting at 8:00 am
RAIDER FAN PHOTOS WANTED! Email photos to  n.latiolais@runnels.org
Please include the date and location of the event and the students pictured .   
We Sincerely Thank...
... Ann Shaneyfelt , mother of Ian, grade 10, Evan, grade 7, and Megan, grade 6, for providing information on alternative fuels and transportation trends with students in Julie Fink's 6th-grade science classes this week. Ms. Shaneyfelt is Executive Director and Clean Cities Coordinator of Louisiana Clean Fuels. (Photo: With Ann Shaneyfelt are 6th graders, from left, Kareem Badawi, Blaysen Toney, Alyssa Oubre, Megan Shaneyfelt, Summer Guerin and Olivia Chaisson.)
... Junior and Senior High School Nurse Karen Rhinehart , mother of Parker, grade 12, and Garrett, grade 9, for assisting with blood typing labs in Sheila Foster's first and second hour biology classes on Oct. 25. Nurse Karen was on board to do the finger sticks as students tested their own blood to discover whether they were type A, B, AB or O -- positive or negative. (Photo: Karen Rhinehart works with sophomore Kade Damon in the blood typing lab.)
Kudos To... 
All-State Harpist - Congratulations to sophomore harpist Anna Manning for making the 2017 Louisiana All-State Orchestra. The orchestra's concert will be held on Nov. 19 at 1:30 pm in Premier Ballrooms II and III at the Crowne Plaza Executive Center.
Making Carnival Merry - Wearing their Halloween best, members of the Runnels chapter of the National Honor Society and sponsor Norma Marsh traveled to the preschool this morning to volunteer at the annual Halloween Carnival. They provided helping hands as the youngsters played games, won prizes and enjoyed Halloween treats.

Center Stage at ULL - Alumna Blair LeBleu (Class of 2017), now a freshman at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL), was the featured harpist at the ULL Wind Ensemble's Fall Concert this week. She performed a featured part in Prokofiev's "Visions Fugitives, Op 23." Blair is the only harpist in the Wind Ensemble and ULL's Symphony Orchestra.
Friendly Reminders

Oct.27 / Last day of St. Jude Math-A-Thon at Runnels

Oct. 28 / Sadie Hawkins Dance , Catalano Gym, 7– 10 pm

Nov. 1 / Picture Retakes (Preschool) , 8:30-10:00 am, Activity Building

Nov. 1-10 / Elementary Library's Scholastic Wild West Book Fair, Saddle Up and Read! in the Drama Room

Nov. 3 / RPO Fall Fling for Raider Relief & Picture in the Plaza ( Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) , outdoor plaza area, main campus (Activities begin at 5:00 pm and the movie starts at 6:30 pm.)

(Above) Jesse Gunkle, chief meteorologist at TV33 and Fox44, shared his knowledge about severe weather and moderated a lively Q and A session with our 3rd graders during a visit to our main campus this week. Many thanks to Mr. Gunkle for stopping by. We also thank elementary science teacher Cyndy Krul for organizing the weather-related event.

In this week's album: Algebra II Water Fountain Project, AP Stats Parking Lot Challenge, Biology Blood Typing, Elementary Reading AR Treats, Physics Egg Drop Preparations, Beginning Band Concert and Candids.