March 2, 2018
Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions, and national origins.

In this week's Friday Focus : Louisiana Conservation Award Winner; 25 Advance to State Literary Rally; Elementary "Pasta for Pennies" Campaign Takes on "50-State Challenge"; Brushing and Flossing; Exploring Religions in World Geography; Going Global in Kindergarten; Inside Story on Squid; Thank Yous and Kudos; Friendly Reminders; Weekly Photo Album; and Athletic Corner.

Runnels Alumnus Wins Top 2017 State Conservation Award
One of our own, Bren Haase (Class of '89), who serves as Chief of the Planning and Research Division of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, is the recipient of the Governor's Award as Conservationist of the Year for 2017.

Bren is being honored for his pivotal contributions to developing and advocating Louisiana's 2017 Coastal Master Plan, which was unanimously adopted by the state legislature. The plan presents a course of action for slowing the rapid decline of our coastline.

The award will be presented on March 17 at the Annual Governor's State Conservation Achievement Awards Banquet at Boudreaux's in Baton Rouge. The honor is given each year to the person, business or organization deemed to have made the most outstanding contribution toward the protection, wise use and enjoyment of Louisiana's natural resources. Nominees are submitted by the public.

A Raider to the core, Bren is the son of former Runnels teacher Carol Haase, husband of Admissions Director Sarah Haase, and father of Sam, a sophomore, and Jake, who is in 8th grade. In addition, two of his nieces attend our school and his sister, also a Runnels alum, serves on our Board of Trustees. (Photo: Bren Haase)
25 from Runnels Qualify for State Literary Rally!
The results from last weekend's District Literary Rally at Southeastern Louisiana University are in. Twenty-five Runnels participants qualified for the State Literary Rally, which will be held on April 21 at LSU. In addition, 12 of our qualifiers earned the highest scores in their subjects and were named Southeastern Scholarship Winners.

State qualifiers and their subjects are: Grade 8 - Ashley Belcher, Spanish I; Dawson Latona, Physical Science; Gareth Oram, French I; and Emily Schacht, Geometry; Grade 9 - Ansley Brown, English I; Joseph Ismail, World Geography; Madisan Milam, Spanish II; Marshall Pentes, Biology I; and Connor Porthouse, Algebra II; Grade 10 - Sam Haase, Advanced, Pre-Calculus; Rachel Hargrove, French II; Eric Ho, Chemistry; Ryan Ly, World History; and Aubri Watts, English II; Grade 11 - Collin Bueche, American History; Kayla Evans, Calculus I; Caroline Henning, French III; Anna Kadi, English III; and Ian Lansing, Spanish III; Grade 12 - Davood Boushehri, Advanced Math – Functions and Statistics; Alex Matthews, English IV; Sam Matthews, Calculus II; Isabelle McCall, Environmental Science; Parker Rhinehart, Civics; and Austin Stansbury, Biology II.

Southeastern Scholarship Award Winners are Davood Boushehri, Collin Bueche, Sam Haase, Ian Lansing, Dawson Latona, Alex Matthews, Isabelle McCall, Gareth Oram, Marshall Pentes, Connor Porthouse, Austin Stansbury, and Aubri Watts.

Seven of our participants also earned district recognition in their subjects. They are 8th grader Reagan Kyle, in Physical Science; 10th graders Cole Latiolais in Advanced Math–Pre-Calculus and Natalia Tooraen in English II; 11th graders Daniel Mayeaux in Calculus I and Anna Somerville in Environmental Science; and 12th graders Jenny Cook in English IV and Peyton Collett in Advanced Math–Functions and Statistics.

(Photo: Among our State Literary Rally qualifiers are Ansley Brown, Madisan Milam, Aubri Watts, Isabelle McCall, [District Qualifier} Reagan Kyle, Dawson Latona; Middle row: Anna Kadi, Caroline Henning, Rachel Hargrove, Austin Stansbury, Kayla Evans, Emily Schacht, Ashley Belcher; and Back row: Joseph Ismail, Connor Porthouse, Marshall Pentes, Gareth Oram, Collin Bueche, Sam Matthews and Alex Matthews. Not pictured are Sam Haase, Davood Boushehri, Eric Ho, Parker Rhinehart, Ian Lansing and Ryan Ly.)
"Pasta for Pennies" Campaign Adds "50-State Challenge
In their quest to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's (LLS) "Pasta for Pennies" campaign, our elementary students have taken on the "50-State Challenge."

"We are seeking and inviting at least one individual from each of the 50 United States to make a donation to the Runnels School LLS campaign," said "Pasta for Pennies" sponsor Renee' Miller.

"Runnels students are so passionate about fundraising to find a cure for cancer that we have decided to take a "United" approach and invite all our friends all over the country to join our pursuit," she added.

Their aim is to get a donation from every single state. "If you know someone who lives in another state, invite them or tag them on this event," Mrs. Miller said. "Copy our fundraising website onto their page. Send them an email. Our goal is to have all 50 states represented by the end of this 50-state fundraising blast! The campaign concludes on March 9.

All donations can be made at Runnels School LLS Donation Page. Remember to write in the state in the comments/message section.
Brushing and Flossing Practice
Since February was National Children's Dental Health Month, students in Tish Tooraen's lower elementary P.E. classes got to work learning the importance of dental hygiene. They recently practiced flossing in class by using green yarn to floss between miniature marshmallow "teeth" that had been glued onto pink paper "mouths." ( See photo.)

They also did an experiment with eggs (substituting for teeth) to show what happens to our tooth enamel when we drink Coke. The students discovered that it takes more than a quick once over with a toothbrush to remove Coke stains.

( Photo: First grader Zach Kivell practices his flossing technique in Tish Tooraen's P.E. class. )
Exploring Religions in World Geography
A recent hands-on lesson in Rhonda Tucker’s World Geography classes invited students to explore the four major religions practiced in The People’s Republic of China.

Working in groups, students did research on either Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism or a Chinese Folk religion. They presented what they learned in their research by creating an exhibit for a "Gallery Walk" with two components: a visual (poster) with hand-drawn graphics describing various aspects of the religion and a key sheet (map key) explaining in writing what the graphics mean. The exhibits went on display in the foyer of the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre last week. The World Geography students went on a "Gallery Walk" through the exhibits, taking extensive notes on the religions their group had not researched. It was an interesting and creative way for students to share information with their peers.
(Photo: Freshmen Chris Yura, left, and Caleb Reid take notes on Chinese religions during their World Geography "Gallery Walk" in the foyer of the Theatre last week.)
Going Global with International Week in Kindergarten
Our kindergartners "traveled the world" in their language arts classes recently with their very first International Week. They spread their arms and "flew" -- by way of the playground and their vivid imaginations -- to far away places with "passports" and "boarding passes" safely stowed in their "travel bags," which they made with construction paper.

For International Week, the students welcomed three kindergarten moms to class as special guests. Jeannine Jo, mother of Alya Jo Lee, presented information about South Korea, Bhakti "B" Patel, mother of Reyhan Patel, introduced the continent of India, and Domenica Smith, mother of Dean, brought a glimpse of her native country, Panama, to the children.

This morning, the youngsters learned about Mexico from their language arts teacher, Tiffany Mouton. They ate refried beans, tortillas, and a traditional Mexican soup, menudo, made from a red chili pepper base. They wrapped up International Week taking turns batting at a festive pinata on the playground.

(Photo: Kindergarten mom Bhakti "B" Patel and her son Reyhan point out where their family comes from on a map of India.) Click here to view a video of the children learning a dance traditionally done at the Garba Festival in India taught to them by Mrs. Patel.
The Inside Story on Squid
High school students in Dave Marschall's Biology II class had the opportunity to inspect, first hand, the anatomy of squid.

Fitted out with surgical gloves and dissecting instruments, the students got to work -- some with more enthusiasm than others -- inspecting and identifying the internal organs of the marine cephalopods.

Recently, the students also dissected earthworms in class and they'll soon be turning their attention to the anatomy of sharks . (Photo: Senior Jordyn Miller (left) and junior Blake Siewert examine the internal organs of a squid.)
We Sincerely Thank and Kudos...
Muchas Gracias, RPO!

We sincerely thank the RPO for the luscious potluck luncheons and thoughtful and generous gifts we enjoyed in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. We felt pampered and truly appreciated. The faculty and staff are deeply grateful to all who volunteered their time, talents and resources to make this annual event fun, meaningful and memorable.

A huge thank you goes to RPO President Blake Stevenson and Teacher Appreciation Chairs Shasta Felton and Brooke Yura . We also extend special thanks to Tom and Brooke Yura for their kind generosity. In addition, we thank the Jihan Fodeh and Belal Badawi family of Las Palmas Restaurant for chipping in with discounts for our Friday Fiesta Luncheon, and the Shasta and Dustin Felton family of Rice & Roux for doing the same for the Lenten meal.

(Photo: Among the RPO grade coordinators volunteering at today's Fiesta Teacher Appreciation Lunch are, from left, Suzanne LeBlanc, Lisa Daigle, Kristin Morgan, Aprille Wright, Brooke Yura, Wendy Dolan, Shasta Felton, Blake Stevenson, Tiffany Slaton, Julie Tinsley, Katrina Ray, Vanessa Bailey, and Colleen Spillane.)

"Tower of Power" Team Claims Victory at State Rally

The Runnels Jr. Beta Club was awarded 1st place in the "Tower of Power" competition at the Jr. Beta State Convention in Lafayette last week.This is the second year in a row our "Tower of Power" team has won the competition!

Working with drinking straws and tape, the "Tower of Power" crew built the tallest structure in the contest. The tower had to be capable of supporting a tennis ball for precisely one minute without collapsing. How did they do it? Practice. The students built and rebuilt their "Tower" prior to the convention. In competition, their structure reached the staggering height of 9 feet 7 inches! The win qualifies the team to compete at the National Jr. Beta Convention coming up in Savannah, GA in June. Also winning recognition at the convention was seventh grader Ethan Ho . He placed 5th in the Visual Arts division for his pencil sketch.

(Photo: At the Cajundome with their award-winning "Tower of Power" are Jr. Beta "builders," from left, Omid Boushehri, Nick D'Gerolamo, Dawson Latona, Brendan LeBlanc and Robby Harrison.)

Teacher Wins Grant
Congratulations to lower elementary drama teacher Julie Horridge for receiving a $1,000 grant from the Josephine Foundation in February. She said the award will be used to restore elementary scripts and music lost in the 2016 flood.

Friendly Reminders
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, "The Trouble with Being Little"): 1B, 12:05 pm; 1A, 12:45 pm; 2A, 1:45 pm; and 1C, 2:25 pm.

Mar. 9 & 10 / Junior Classical League State Convention ,

Mar. 9 / Sr. Beta to Preschool for Dr. Seuss Day

Mar. 16 / Raider Star Drawings , Drama Room, Grades 4-6, 12:35 pm and Grades 1-3, 1:40 pm
Mar. 16 /  Raider Rally , Elementary Playground, 5:30 pm

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

Mar. 19-23 / Standardized Testing , Elementary Grades

Mar. 20 / Standardized Testing , Grades 7 and 8

Mar. 21 / Standardized Testing , Grades 9 and 10

Mar. 22-29 / Elementary Spring Scholastic Book Fair (books only), Elementary Library, 8:00 am - 3:30 pm

Mar. 23 / Kindergarten Spring Musical, Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 9:00 am

Mar. 23-24 / Mu Alpha Theta Convention
Getting To Know the Harp: Lower elementary students had the opportunity to try their hand at playing the harp when they visited the Harp Studio in the Performing Arts Classroom Building early this week. The children were trying out instruments before deciding on an elective for next year. Above: Harp instructor Dr. Gabriela Werries helps Molly Banquer, grade 3, position her fingers on the harp strings.

In this week's album: Dental Hygiene, Algebra "Stained Glass Windows", Chinese Religions in World Geography, Dissecting Squid, 3rd Graders Try Out Instruments, 5th Grade Explorers, Kindergarten International Week, Going on a Bear Hunt at Preschool, Teacher Appreciation, and Candids.
Athletic Corner

The Raiders and Lady Raiders brought home 4 medals from the East Regional Powerlifting Meet at Woodlawn last weekend. At the competition, 14 of our lifters qualified for State.

Winning medals were reigning state champion Sam Day, who earned 1st place in the Super Heavy Weight class. Sam was named "Best Lifter" at the meet. Aaron Taliaferro took 3rd place in the 165-pound weight class. For the Lady Raiders, Julia Sager finished 2nd in the 123-pound weight class, and Ryan Roper took 3rd in the 97-pound weight class.

Boys team lifter Justin Taliaferro finished 4th in the 188-pound weight class. Justin Reeves tied for 6th in the 275-pound weight class, and Seth Chiasson finished in the top 10 in the 148-pound weight class. Steven Spivak, Ian Lansing, Caleb Reid and Eli Latiolais also had a great day, posting new personal records in several lifts. 

All of the Lady Raiders placed in the top 10 at the meet. Finishing 4th were Micah Roper in the 105-pound weight class and Meredith Taliaferro in the 114. Taking 5th place were Natalie Justus in the 123-pound weight class, Ashley Stansbury in the 132, and Catherine Henning in the 148. Emma Schlotterer earned 6th place in the 114-pound weigh class

The LA State Championship Meet will be held on Thursday, March 15 in Alexandra. Congratulations to the lifters who qualified for State: Catherine Henning, Natalie Justus, Ryan Roper, Micah Roper, Meredith Taliaferro, Julia Sager, Emma Schlotterer, Ashley Stansbury, Sam Day, Seth Chiasson, Justin Reeves, Caleb Reid, Aaron Taliaferro, and Justin Taliaferro.

Coach Mitch Reeves said he was grateful to the incredible coaching staff and parents who assisted at the meet.

( Photos: Top: Sam Day and Aaron Taliaferro. Bottom: Julia Sager and Ryan Roper. )

Congratulations to seniors Ally Garrity and Max Sager for being selected to play in the Louisiana High School Coaches Association All-Star Soccer Games last weekend at the UL-Lafayette Soccer Complex. All-star teams are selected from the best seniors in the state in all 4 divisions of soccer. Both played on the East Teams.

Max's team won the game 6-1.

Lady Raider Head Varsity Soccer Coach Angie Mitchell considered it quite an honor to be chosen for an All-Star team. "Ally is the first soccer player I have coached from Runnels to ever make it," she said.

Ally scored a goal in the game.

( Photos: Max Sager, above, and Ally Garrity, below. )


The Lady Raiders had several players selected for All-District honors.

First Team All-District:
Ally Garrity
Kaylen Howe
Anna Claire Courville
Ava Kadi
Ally Garrity was named overall MVP.
Kaylen Howe was named offensive MVP. 

Second Team All-District:
Anna Kadi
Sydney Worsham
Blaiklee Guillot
Ryan Roper


In their season opener on Thursday, the varsity baseball team defeated St. James 15-9.

(Photo: Varsity Baseball Team - Back row, from left: Collin Coates, Jake Best, JP Guillot, Trent King, Colin Bonine, Grayson Gulley, Collin Bueche and Ricky Harrison. Front row: Alex Vallaire, Aaron Taliaferro, Blake Nicholson, Sam Haase, Robbie Harrison, Justin Taliaferro and Jake Haase.


The Raiders defeated New Living Word 82-50 in the second round of the playoffs at home this week. Runnels led throughout and blew the game open in the fourth quarter with a 17-2 run. Cade Tate led the scoring with 32 points, and seniors JP Guillot and Humza Pirzadah added 12 and 10 points, respectively. 

The Raiders are in Crescent City today for the quarterfinal game, which starts at 7 p.m.


The Track and Field Raiders shined at the Brusly Meet. The girls team placed 4th overall. Top finishes included: London Deshotel, 1st place in javelin and 1st in high jump; Micah Roper, 1st in 1600m; Kaylen Howe, 1st in 800m; Annie Fink, 2nd in 800m; Ryan Roper, 2nd in 3200m; and Sydney Worsham, 3rd place in 3200m. Kyra Reves set two new personal records in the shot put and discus. From the boys team, Sam Matthews placed 1st in the 1600m and 800m, while Seth Chiasson finished 4th in the javelin. Seth also set two new PRs for javelin and shot put.


Monday, the tennis team had a great day on the courts in Gonzales in a meet against Dutchtown. Senior Natalie Justus faced a very tough Dutchtown opponent at the #1 singles position and won. “She handled all the momentum switches like the veteran player she is and with nerves of steel got the victory,” said Coach Kathrin Sieberth.

Ryan Lam played a steady and consistent match and claimed a victory at #2 singles. In the 3rd set tie-breakers, Eric Huygues and Catherine Bonaventure both lost their singles matches. Coach Kathrin was proud of their efforts, saying that they both played their hearts out.

On Wednesday, the team traveled to North Park to take on the Denham High Yellow Jackets. Eric Huygues, #1 singles player, crushed his opponent in less than an hour. Scoring a straight set win, Daniel Mayeaux defeated his opponent at the #2 spot.

The Lady Raiders softball team heads into the Tara Tournament, 4-0. On Saturday, the team plays Broadmoor at 8:00 am and Dunham at 10 am.

Junior High volleyball will start its season next week with a jamboree and games on March 12.


On Friday
Varsity Boys Basketball Quarterfinal Playoff Game at Crescent City - 7:00 pm
Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students. Go Raiders!

On Saturday
Lady Raider Softball vs. Broadmoor High School - 8:00 am and vs. Dunham School - 10:00 am
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