December 1, 2017
Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions, and national origins.
Welcome to Friday Focus , our weekly e-newsletter from Head of School Marcia Mackay. In focus this week are: Opening Night at the Showcase; Runnels Named Beta School of Distinction; Spirit Gear Store Open; GO Green Carnival; Harp Concert; Kindergarten Science; Thank Yous and Kudos; Friendly Reminders; Weekly Photo Album and Athletic Corner.
It's Opening Night for Visual and Performing Arts Showcase
The curtain goes up tonight on our 8th annual Visual and Performing Arts Holiday Showcase and Book Fair at Barnes & Noble at CitiPlace. Join us at 5:45 pm for harp music and the Opening Reception for the K-12 Student Art Show, and more! The Showcase continues through Sunday, Dec. 3. (See Performance Schedule below.)

A book fair to benefit the Runnels Library Program will be going on during the entire Showcase weekend. Barnes & Noble will contribute 25% of pre-tax sales to our school on most purchases. To get the contribution for our school, please mention Runnels or present our voucher (below) at checkout. We'll see you there!

(Photo: Practicing their Showcase routine in the dance studio are, from left, Ava Kadi, grade 8, senior Ally Garrity, and Emma Fishbein, grade 8.)

Runnels Named National Beta School of Distinction
The National Beta organization recently recognized Runnels as a 2017-2018 National School of Distinction. According to a letter notifying Jr. Beta Club sponsor Christine Pousson of this award, the honor is presented to "Beta Chapters striving towards academic achievement, exemplary character, demonstrated leadership and service to others." The award also recognizes schools that show an increase in membership for the current school year.

Runnels will receive a National Beta School of Distinction banner to display as a symbol of this accomplishment. Award-winning schools also will be recognized at the 2018 National Beta Convention in Savannah, GA in June. Congratulations to the members of the Runnels Jr. Beta Club and Mrs. Pousson. (Photo: Jr. Beta Club members at Copper Mill Elementary for the District Rally.)
Booster Club Launches Online Spirit Gear Store
The Booster Club opened an online Runnels Spirit Gear store over the Thanksgiving holiday. A sale (the second one) is now in progress, with all items discounted through Dec. 8. Though the Booster Club can't promise delivery by Dec. 25, the deals are well worth a look. You can access the store through the school website,, under "About" and "Booster Club."

Before launching the store, Booster Club members explored several online options, explained president Julie Stevenson: "We carefully considered local sport apparel stores before going with GTM (It's Greek To Me) to provide our families with a seamless shopping experience."

According to Booster Club officer Marc Sager, the most popular items so far have been long-sleeved t-shirts and hoodies. Though youth sizes are not yet available, the club plans to add them on select items in the near future. Special thanks go to Marc and Ellen Sager for helping to build the store and to all of our Booster Club supporters.

GO Green Carnival Builds STEM Knowledge
Sixth-graders in Julie Fink's science classes put STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts to work recently when they planned and hosted a GO Green Carnival for their kindergarten buddies, with attractions built entirely from recycled materials.

"Their goal," said Mrs. Fink, "was to educate the kindergartners about ways to help our planet by conserving energy and resources, recycling, reusing and reducing our waste."

(Photo: Elementary students line up to try out the "Basketball Bounce" at the GO Green Carnival, which 6th graders Sean McGee, left of signage, and Madeline Golden, right of signage, constructed from a coffee can, cardboard and miscellaneous board, bubble wrap, tape and newspaper.)
Heavenly Harps Draw Standing Ovation from Elementary Audience
A glorious performance by the Runnels Harp Choir at its Holiday Concert this morning in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre brought the elementary audience to its feet for a standing ovation. "They were so excited and appreciative," said Head of School Marcia Mackay. The elementary students also spontaneously joined in singing two whole choruses of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" as the harpists performed the traditional carol.

At the concert, the eight piece Harp Choir, under the direction of Dr. Gabriela Werries, presented a program of holiday songs and carols from around the world. Congratulations to harpists Chloe Bueche, Sarah Golda, Anna Manning, Kelly Messenger, Jordyn Miller, Kyra Reeves and Riley Whittemore and their director.
Kindergarten Science: Owls Eat What?
Kindergarten students spent a fascinating afternoon Nov. 15 removing and identifying rodent and bird remains embedded in owl pellets. Using special tool kits, with tweezers, brushes, picks, flashlights and other utensils, the students dug rodent skulls, ribs, spinal columns, shoulder blades, foot bones and pelvis bones out of the pellets. They even discovered a couple of bird beaks!

We sincerely thank the many parent volunteers who helped the youngsters with this informative, hands-on science lesson. ( Photo: Ayla Lee and her father, Ronald Lee, dissect an owl pellet. )

Thank Yous and Kudos
We Sincerely Thank ... Corey Cheeks with Exxon Mobil, father of preschooler Ethan, paid a visit to the preschool this morning to teach the pre-kindergarten class about molecules and demonstrate how to make slime from borax and glue. (Photo: Corey Cheeks talks science to pre-k students, clockwise from the right of Mr. Cheeks, Aislyn Davis, Sadie Oakley, Chase Wiltcher, Emerson Broome, Ellie Katzman, Brennan Winchell, Ashton Grace and Ethan Cheeks.
On Stage Around Town ... Several of our students and teachers will be featured in holiday shows and concerts in and around Baton Rouge this month. Congratulations to all!

Appearing in Central Community Theatre's production of Annie Jr. are (in photo, from left) Emma Hazel Wingate , grade 2, as a featured orphan, Ashlynn Harper , grade 5, as Duffy, and kindergartner Laney Wingate as Molly. The play will be performed Dec. 1-2 at 7:00 pm at BREC's Independence Park Theatre.

Sam Day , grade 12, will play with the Baton Rouge Concert Band at St. Joseph's Cathedral this Sunday, Dec. 3, at 3:00 pm and at Perkins Rowe on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 6:00 and 7:00 pm.

Sophia Horridge , grade 6, will perform at the Gonzales Christmas Tree Lighting and sing carols in the Gonzales Library's courtyard on Dec. 5 as a member of the Center Stage Performing Arts Academy. She will also appear in Center Stage's Holiday Show Dec. 2 at 7:00 pm and Dec. 3 at 2:00 and 6:00 pm at St. Amant High School.

Alumni/Parent/Teacher Harp Ensemble To Perform at Local Church ... A group of local harpists will be performing at First Christian Church this Sunday, Dec. 3 at the 10:50 am Service. In addition to their joy in playing this instrument, these musicians have something else in common. They are all members of the Runnels School Family. Playing together to greet the first Sunday of the Season of Advent will be Rebecca Todaro , founder of the harp program at Runnels and currently a teacher at our preschool and mother of Eli, a sophomore at Runnels; Rachel Yura (Runnels Class of 2016); Rachel's mother, Brooke Yura, whose son, Christopher, is a freshman at Runnels; Maggie Wrenn (Runnels Class of 2004); Aubrey Adams , who attended Runnels; and Gladys Runnels , retired Runnels Elementary Principal and Assistant Head of School. Directing the ensemble will be Mrs. Todaro. Everyone is welcome to attend.
The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol ... Sofia Dodd, grade 5 (in photo), will dance in both Dec. 17 performances of BRBT's The Nutcracker, a Tale from the Bayou. Also in the show are teachers Jill Swetnam and Jennifer Cassin , who will play in the orchestra. Performances are Dec. 16-17 at 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm at the Baton Rouge River Center Theatre.

Appearing in Theatre Baton Rouge's production of Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol a re Gibson Guay , grade 5, as a caroler, Harper Guay , grade 3, as Ignorance, Ethan Ly , grade 3, as Valentine, and Conner Joubert , grade 4, as Young Scrooge. The show runs Dec. 8-17. 
Pitching In To Help ... Members of Boy Scout Troop 203 spent two days over the Thanksgiving Break volunteering at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. Their scoutmaster is Chad Harper.

Photo: Back row, from left, Cole Latiolais, Ricky Harrison, Brendan Leblanc, Robby Harrison, Michael Hillman, Nicholas D'Gerolamo, Liam Foret (not currently at Runnels), Chris Yura; front row, Eli Latiolais, Arthur Donaldson, Michal Gawronski, Rossie Harrison, and Ryan Baralt (not currently at Runnels); kneeling: Stuart Roark. Not pictured: Hudson Hillman.
LMEA All-State Orchestra ... Congratulations to harpist Anna Manning, grade 10, cellist Sean Parker, and trombone player Sam Day for performing with the All-State Orchestra at the Louisiana Music Educators Association (LMEA) Nov. 19.

(Photos: At left: Senior Sam Day. At right: Anna Manning and Sean Parker with the 2017 All-State Orchestra conductor, Robert Gillespie, a violinist and professor of music and Chair of Music Education at the Ohio State University.
Sibling Enrollment
If you are interested in enrolling siblings of currently enrolled Runnels students for the 2018-2019 school year, please contact Sarah Haase in the Admissions Office at  225-215-5706  or via email at .
Friendly Reminders

Through Dec. 14 / Toys for Tots Collection sponsored by the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve.Pease place new, unwrapped toys in the collection boxes located in the foyer of our Elementary School. The toys will be distributed as holiday gifts to needy children in the Baton Rouge community. 

Dec. 1 - 3 / Runnels Visual and Performing Arts Showcase , Citiplace Barnes & Noble

Dec. 1 / Mary Poppins tickets go on sale today: (Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, Jan. 19-21)

Dec. 4 / 4th- and 5th-Grade Band Concert , 7:00 pm, Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre

Dec. 5 / 6th- and 7th-Grade Band Concert , 11:00 am, Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre
8th-12th-Grade Band Concert , 7:00 pm, Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre

Dec. 6 / Seminar on "Teen Tips for Coping with Stress," 8:40 am, Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre

Dec. 8 / String Orchestra Concert , 9:00 am, Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre

Dec. 14 - 19 / Junior and Senior High Midterm Exams
Click here for Midterm Exam Schedule... (Dates are also on the website calendar.)

Dec. 20 - Jan. 3 / Winter Break

Jan. 4 / School resumes.

(Above) Cheerleaders rev up the crowd at the "Tame the Tiger" junior and senior high pep rally Monday.

In this week's album: Dear Santa - 6th Graders Help Kindergarten Buddies Write Letters, Pep Rally, Harp Concert, Still Life in Elementary Art, GO Green Carnival, Preschool Gingerbread Fun, and Candids.
Athletic Corner

Congratulations to Sam Matthews for being named to The Advocate’s 2017 All Metro Cross Country Team. Annie Fink received an honorable mention.

Keep a lookout for an announcement later this month in The Advocate .

Sam Matthews
Annie Fink

The varsity basketball team pulled out a hard-fought win Tuesday night against East Iberville, 61-58. Cade Tate led the team with 38 points including a remarkable 20 for 20 from the free throw line. The Raiders were able to hold off the Tigers with clutch free throws and defense down the stretch.

On Wednesday, the Raiders traveled to Albany where they defeated the Hornets 47-32. Runnels was again led by Cade Tate with 17 points. Humza Pirzadah filled up the stat sheet with 16 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 6 steals. Runnels has improved its record to 8-3 so far this season.

Tonight, the Raiders will host Northlake Christian. Monday the team will face-off against district rival, Doyle, in another home game.

On Monday, the junior high boys basketball team played back-to-back games against St. Alphonsus. The 6th grade lost 31-27. The 7th grade defeated the Hornets 37-26. Charlie Tucker and Alex Lam led the team, each scoring 10 points. The 8th grade also scored a victory, 46-31. Collin Coates scored 23 points. Robby Harrison and Charlie Garrison added 10 points each.

With a rough start to the season, the 6th grade is currently 0-2, while the 7th and 8th grade teams are 6-0.

(Pictured: 7th grader, Shelby Anders. )

Over the Thanksgiving break, the Girls Varsity Soccer crushed Lutcher 8-0. Kaylen Howe led the team scoring 3 goals. Ally Garrity and Lainee Alfonso each scored 2 and Ryan Roper scored 1.
On Tuesday, the Lady Raiders came from behind to score a victory against West Feliciana 2-1. Ally Garrity and Lainee Alfonso each scored a goal.
Coach Angie Mitchell was “super impressed with the girls and their determination to win this game.”

On Friday
Varsity Boys Basketball vs Northlake Christian at Home – 5 p.m.

On Saturday
Jr. High Boys Basketball at St. Theresa Tournament – 8th grade at 11:45 a.m.

Varsity Boys & Girls Soccer at Copa Acadiana Tournament in Lafayette

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