February 23, 2018
Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions, and national origins.

In this week's Friday Focus : National Merit Finalists; "Pasta for Pennies" Fundraiser; DEMCO Finalists; "Magic Beans" for Measuring; Flying Crepes in French Class; Teacher Appreciation Next Week; Thank Yous and Kudos; Friendly Reminders; Weekly Photo Album; and Athletic Corner.

We Have Four National Merit Finalists!
We are proud and delighted to announce that all four of our National Merit semifinalists have advanced to finalist standing in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Competition!

Seniors Kaylen Howe, Alex Matthews, Sam Matthews and Isabelle McCall will continue to compete for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarship awards worth approximately $32 million and the honor of being named a National Merit Scholar.

"The academic achievements of these students is truly special,” said Jr./Sr. High Assistant Principal Dana Schlotterer. “Being selected as a National Merit finalist opens up an enormous number of additional scholarship opportunities for them, in addition to those they've already been offered. Watching these students work toward this milestone over the last four years has been a privilege for all of us. These students could not be more deserving of this honor. We cannot wait to see what they accomplish in college." 

More than 1.5 million students across the nation entered the National Merit Program as juniors by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Only 15,000 were chosen as finalists. All Merit Scholarship award winners will be selected from the pool of finalists. Winners will be announced starting in April.

Kaylen is the daughter of Sheldon and Monique Howe, Alex and Sam are the sons of Kenneth and Karen Matthews, and Isabelle is the daughter of Tony McCall and Sichin Li-McCall. (Photo: National Merit finalists, from left, Alex Matthews, Sam Matthews, Kaylen Howe and Isabelle McCall.)
Strong Start for "Pasta for Pennies" Campaign
To help the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in its mission to cure blood cancers, our elementary students are once again participating in the "Pasta for Pennies" fundraiser.

Students in grades 1-6 are invited to take part in the campaign by collecting donations for the charity in coin boxes sent home in backpacks or via the internet on the Runnels fundraising page on the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's website (See link below).

To make an online donation and credit it to a particular lunch class, type in the last name of your student's lunch teacher in the "Donate To A Classroom or Student" field on the bottom left-hand side of the Runnels fundraising web page and hit "Search." Click on the teacher's full name when it appears. This will bring you to the classroom donation page where you can enter your credit card information and complete the contribution. In addition, some students are setting up personalized online fundraising pages that roll up to their classroom donation page and sharing their link with family and friends on email and social media.

"Pasta for Pennies" sponsor Renee' Miller said she is pleased with the enthusiasm students have shown for this fundraiser. "I am impressed with the student participation so far and if it continues, this looks like it might be one of our very best years." Runnels has taken part in "Pasta for Pennies" since 2003.

The lunch class raising the most for the charity will be treated to a pasta lunch courtesy of the Olive Garden. The class coming in second will receive a pizza party, and any class that raises $150 in donations will get an ice cream party. (Photo: At the "Pasta for Pennies" kick-off assembly in the Drama Room on Feb. 19, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Campaign Director of Student Services Julie Capdeville explains the role of the immune system in the fight against blood cancers to a group of elementary students.)

Runnels Well Represented in DEMCO Essay Contest
Juniors Ian Lansing and Madison Sutton are among the 12 finalists in DEMCO's 2018 Rural Electric Co-Op Youth Tour Essay Contest. In addition, juniors Jillian Edmonson, Kayla Evans, Eric Huygues, Amelia Jennings and Alex Morgan received honorable mentions.

The annual competition, which is open to all 11th graders in DEMCO's seven-parish service area, required participants to submit a letter to a political leader about a topic of concern. All Runnels juniors in Colleen LeBlanc's English classes entered the contest.

At a DEMCO banquet on March 6, the finalists will read their essays and take a short written test on rural electrification. Four of the 12 finalists will win an all-expense paid, week-long trip to Washington, D.C. this summer.

(Photo: DEMCO Essay Contest finalists Ian Lansing, back row, second from right, and Madison Sutton, front row, far right, with honorable mention essayists, front row, from left, Amelia Jennings and Eric Huygues, and back row, from left, Jillian Edmonson, Kayla Evans and Alex Morgan.)
"Magic Beans" Help Demystify Measurement
To help them grow in their understanding of measurement, the first graders in Paula Garrett's science classes have been using "magic beans." After reading Jacques and de Beanstalk by Mike Artell, the children used rulers made out of large lima beans (stuck together ladder style with strong packing tape) to measure items in the classroom.

"The students are learning about measurement tools, and we're using the bean rulers as nonstandard units to measure with in class," said Mrs. Garrett. After getting the hang of measuring with the bean rulers, the students will go into Standard Measurement and learn how to measure in inches. (Photo: Emmett Murphy and Bryce Ritter use their lima bean rulers to start learning the basics of measuring.)
Flying Crepes in French Class
To celebrate La Chandeleur, a holiday in France devoted to the eating of crepes, students in Sonja Vallaire's French classes had their annual crepe flipping contest recently. "You are supposed to hold a coin in one hand and flip crepes with the other hand," explained Madame Vallaire. "If you don't drop the crepe, you will have good luck." Though they used tortillas instead of crepes for the contest, the spirit of La Chandeleur inspired every flip. The goal was to see who could complete the most flips in 20 seconds. "Félicitations" to master flippers, freshman Annie Leake, with 25 flips, and sophomore Philip Lukinovich, with 24! (Photo: Freshman Xander Pyle gets great height on his French class crepe flip. )
The Science Behind Winter Olympic Sports
To teach her physics and honors physics students about uniform circular motion, high school science teacher Amy Guillory turned to the 2018 Winter Olympics .

"Many of the sports -- alpine skiing, snowboarding, speed skating, hockey, luge, bobsledding, skeleton -- involve athletes moving in circular patterns similar to those we discussed in class," said Ms. Guillory.

For the lesson, students analyzed a Winter Olympic sport involving a "non-banked curve" and a banked curve (a curve designed at an angle to keep athletes from flying off the track). "Students drew free body diagrams showing the forces involved when an athlete is rounding a curve on a track," Ms. Guillory explained. "They were also asked to discuss centripetal force, the force allowing the athlete to move in a circular pattern, in the diagram."

To add even more authenticity to the lesson, students used the 2018 Winter Olympic track for the luge in their analysis of non-banked curves."If you watch a luge race closely," said Ms. Guillory, “you’ll notice that every athlete tries to round the banked curves using a similar path. “There’s a physics explanation for that, and the students discovered it,” she added.

Ms. Guillory explains: “If you ride too high on a banked curve, you add more distance to your path, which translates into more time to complete the race. If you ride too low, you have to ‘steer’ too much. This creates more friction between the athlete and the ice, again adding more time to complete the race. If you find the sweet spot, you are able to round the curve successfully in the least amount of time and maintain the most control over the sled.”

Students also analyzed the speeds at which athletes round those curves.They move at a death-defying 80 miles per hour or thereabouts. 

Ms. Guillory noted that it was interesting for her students to see that Olympic athletes need a solid understanding of the physics involved in their sport to be the best of the best. (Photo: Mrs. Guillory explains some of the physics behind circular motion as it relates to winter Olympic sports to her 3rd hour physics class.)
Teacher Appreciation Next Week
There's still time to participate in Teacher Appreciation Week, said RPO President Blake Stevenson. "The Smart Tuition link for Teacher Appreciation gifts will be open through Wednesday, Feb. 28." Sign-up sheets to bring food or to volunteer in the teachers' lounge also are still available. See the links below if you are interested in volunteering. (Runnels "R" design by Nicole Latiolais.)

Thank Yous and Kudos...
We Sincerely Thank
... Buildings and Grounds supervisor Kenny Copsey, his wife, Sherry Copsey, and crew members David Cummings and Kody Howell for constructing 12 new lap desks/tables for our kindergarten classrooms. The sturdy, low desks/tables allow the children to work while sitting or kneeling on the floor. They accommodate individual or group work and provide an alternative seating choice for the children that's fun and flexible. (Photo: Kindergarten teacher Candice Ortlieb and her students at work on the new lap desks/tables.)

... Dr. Suzie Garcia and Dr. Lucas Munce of the School of Music and Performing Arts at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for sharing their musical talents with Jennifer and Dan Cassin's string students this week. They performed a preview of a concert they will be doing with Mrs. Cassin this weekend at the Tritico Theater in Lake Charles and Angelle Hall in Lafayette. (See photo in Weekly Ablum.)

... The staff of Barn Hill Preserve for bringing a two-toed sloth, armadillo, bearded dragon, parrot, and ball python to our preschool this week. The staff gave an instructional presentation about the exotic animals and offered the children the opportunity to have their photos taken with the critters. (See photos of the animal guests in Weekly Album.)
Hats Off! To Computer Apps Class
Many thanks to Rhonda Tucker and her 3rd hour Computer Applications class for helping to create a Google Sheet for cataloging the gigantic hat collection acquired over the years by the junior and senior high drama department.

(Photo: Junior high Computer Apps students, from left, Jonathan Harper, Charlie Tucker, Archer Amedee, Reese Seymour, and Shelby Anders bring order to the vast collection of hats in the drama department.)
Kudos To ...
...The students who won awards for their artwork at the Baton Rouge Garden Club's Tablescape Flower Show. Artwork by Runnels students was used to inspire table settings and flower arrangements at the show. Congratulations to 1st-place winner Parker Collett ("Fox"), 2nd-place winners Addie Gros ("Rainbow Fish") and Ramsey Rogers ("Giraffe"), and 3rd-place winner Hudson Hillman ("Goldfish"). (Photo: Parker Collett's "Fox" won 1st place in the Art category at the Baton Rouge Garden Club's Tablescape Flower Show the weekend of Feb. 4.)
...Freshman Madisan Milam and junior Seth Miller for having their artwork accepted to LSU's 4th Annual Statewide Juried High School Exhibition. This is the second year in a row Seth's work has been included in the annual event. Their paintings will be on display at LSU's Foster Gallery Feb. 26 - March 24. Winners of the show, which is jointly sponsored by the LSU School of Art and the LSU College of Art and Design, will be announced at a closing reception at the gallery on March 24 from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. Foster Gallery is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. There is no charge for admission. (Photo: Madisan Milam and Seth Miller)
Friendly Reminders
Feb. 21-23 /  Junior Beta State Convention , Lafayette, LA

Feb. 24 /  Louisiana High School District Rally , Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond

Feb. 28 and Mar. 1 /  Auditions for The "R" Factor Talent Show  (High School Students Only) 11:50 am -12:30 pm, Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre. The talent show will be held on Tuesday, April 10 at 2:10 pm in the Theatre. Admission is $5. 
Feb. 26, 28 and Mar. 2 /  Teacher Appreciation
Mar. 8 /  Junior Class Ring Ceremony , Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 11:20 am

Mar. 8 /  Elementary Drama Performances , Runnels Drama Room. Upper Elementary: 1st hour, 8:35 am ("Hansel and Gretel and the Creepy Woods"); 2nd hour, 9:25 am ("The Musicians of Bremen Town"); and 3rd hour, 10:15 am ("Hansel and Gretel and the Creepy Woods"). Lower Elementary (All sections will perform the original musical, "When I Grow Up"): 1B, 12:05 pm; 1A, 12:45 pm; 2A, 1:45 pm; and 1C, 2:25 pm.
March 16 /  Raider Rally , Elementary Playground, 5:30 pm

Mar. 18 / RPO "Alice in Wonderland" Daddy and Daughter Dance , Catalano Gym, 2:00 pm

Mar. 22-27 / Elementary Spring Scholastic Book Fair (books only), Elementary Library, 8:00 am - 3:30 pm
A Song to Remember: Algebra teacher Missy Day has a unique way of helping her students learn the quadratic equation. As she plays "Pop Goes the Weasel" on the accordion, her students use their best singing voices to recite the quadratic formula: "X equals negative b plus or minus the square root of b squared minus 4ac over 2a." The catchy tune helps students remember the complex formula.

In this week's album: Using Non-standard Measurement in 1st Grade, Olympic Sports in Physics, Strings Guests, Accordion in Algebra, French Crepes, Blood Typing in Biology, Break-Out Boxes in Computer Science/Math, Exotic Animals from Barn Hill Preserve at Preschool, and Candids.
Athletic Corner

At the 2018 Division 2 (3A-C) Indoor Track and Field State Championship, the girls 4x800m team finished 4th and set a new school record of 10:41! Team members include Micah Roper, Ryan Roper, Annie Fink and Kaylen Howe.

Sam Matthews placed 6th in the 800m and 8th in the 3200m. Annie Fink came in 6th in the 1600m. In the 3200m, Micah Roper placed 8th. London Deshotel earned 9th in the High Jump. In Shot-Put, Seth Chiasson placed 13th. Congratulations to all of these athletes for their strong performances.

( Photo: At right in the picture is Annie Fink. )

The varsity tennis team took its annual field trip to the LSU Tennis Center on Tuesday to watch the Tigers play. "This year," reports Head Coach Kathrin Sieberth, "the Raiders were treated to a private tour of the beautiful Indoor Tennis facility, with its gorgeous new graphics, high tech training and conditioning area, and flawless courts." The highlight of the afternoon for the Raider tennis team, she added, was being introduced to the Lady Tigers by LSU Head Coaches Julia and Michael Sell prior to their match against Tulane.

"Watching tennis LIVE is a great teaching tool," explained Coach Sieberth. "It gives me the opportunity to show the kids what I mean when I say 'move your feet -- take small steps' or 'take your racket back early' or 'punch on your volleys, don't swing.'"

"We are blessed to have such high caliber tennis in our backyard," she added, "and LSU has always been very welcoming to Runnels students. All tennis matches at the LSU Tennis Center (men and women's teams) are free to watch, so I encourage everyone to go out and cheer the Tigers on! It's a lot of fun." 

(Photo: The Runnels tennis team with the LSU ladies tennis team.)

The varsity boys basketball team finished up the season 24-16. The Raiders will host New Living Word on Tuesday Feb. 27 for the second round of the playoffs at 6 p.m.

Come on out and support the Raiders!

The powerlifting team will compete at the Regional Meet at Woodlawn on Saturday, Feb. 24. The girls will lift at 9:00 am and the boys at 2:00 pm. This is a qualifying match for the state meet, which will be held in Alexandria on March 15.

The Lady Raiders softball team is 3-0 at the end of the first week of the season. Pitcher Kayleigh Nicholson is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 11 strikeouts. The team has a .590 batting average with 11 extra base hits and 35 RBI’s.

The ladies play at home on Monday at 4:00 p.m. against Northeast.


Tuesday evening, the junior high basketball teams took on St. George. The 6th grade team beat St. George 29-24, while the 7th grade lost 38-24. The 8th graders came back with a win of 45-28. Robbie Harrison led the team with 17 points.  

On Monday, the 6th grade team defeated Parkview in a close game, 29-25. The 7th grade battled Hosanna but ultimately lost, 45-40.

On Monday, the bowling Raiders lost a close game to St. Michael's. After two games, the score was 9 to 7 with stellar scores in the second game of the series. In game two, Karli Hebert bowled a 171. Bowling their season highs were Alex Matthews with 170, Jenna Carballo with 144, and Josh Freeman with 143. Alex had the high series of the day with 442 pins. After the game, Karli found herself on the girl's leader board with the third highest season series of 435 pins. 

On Wednesday, Runnels beat McKinley 19.5 - 7.5. The Raiders earned a half a point when Seth Miller tied his opponent in game three after beating him in the first two games. High games on Wednesday went to Karli Hebert with a 143, Rachel Hargrove had a 136, and Jenna Carballo a 133. Karli had the high series with 394 pins. Sarah Stanfield celebrated a season high game for the day. Rachel Hargrove, Karli Hebert and Josh Freeman improved their averages. 

Next week, the Raiders play U-High at All Star Lanes. 


On Friday
Varsity Basketball District Tournament @ Runnels - games TBD

On Saturday
Powerlifting - Regional Meet at Woodlawn
Email photos to  n.latiolais@runnels.org
Please include the date and location of the event and the students pictured .