April 27, 2018
Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions, and national origins.
In this week's edition of the Friday Focus : Valedictory Candidates; Spring Art Show Sunday; Congrats to Cast and Crew of Tartuffe ; First Grade Recycled Robots; Jr. High Spanish Project; Solo and Ensemble Ratings; Seniors Sign with College Teams, Part 5 in a Series; Kudos and Thank Yous; Friendly Reminders; Weekly Photo Album; and Athletic Corner.

( Look for a special 7th-12th-Grade Academic Awards edition of the Friday Focus on Wednesday, May 2. )
Class of 2018 Valedictory Candidates Announced
Five seniors are in the running for valedictorian of the Class of 2018. They are Kaylen Howe, Alex Matthews, Sam Matthews, Isabelle McCall and Austin Stansbury. These outstanding scholars were recognized as the top ranking students in the senior class at the Junior and Senior High Academic Awards Ceremony held in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre April 25.

The selection of valedictorian, the top ranked student in the senior class, is based on cumulative grade-point average and strength of schedule. An additional requirement is the completion of at least the last two years of high school at Runnels. All of this year's candidates received the benefit of a Runnels education starting in elementary school or before. Alex, Sam and Austin have been with us since preschool and Isabelle and Kaylen started in elementary school.

When the final grades for seniors are in, the valedictorian and salutatorian, the second ranked student in the senior class, will be chosen from this group. Congratulations to them, their parents and their teachers.

(Photo: From left are Isabelle McCall, Austin Stansbury, Sam Matthews, Alex Matthews and Kaylen Howe.)
Spring Art Show Coming up on Sunday
Please join us on Sunday, April 29 from 2:00 - 4:00 pm in the Catalano Gym for the annual School-Wide Spring Art Show. More than 1,000 pieces of original art created by students in kindergarten through senior high will be on exhibit.

Awards will be presented in three categories: Judge’s Choice, Student’s Choice and Principal’s Choice. In a departure from previous years, art awards for students in grades 7-12 will be presented immediately after the show at an awards ceremony in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre. Awards for elementary students will be in place on winning artwork at the show. The event is free and open to the public. 

Congratulations to Cast and Crew of Tartuffe
A classic 17th century French farce was successfully transplanted to mid-century America last weekend when the high school drama department presented its clever adaptation of Moliere's Tartuffe in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre.

Congratulations to director Neena McLain, stage manager Camille Doucet and the talented cast and crew of this time-honored comedy, with a shout-out to the high school tech classes for designing and constructing the sets.
(Photo: In a scene from "Tartuffe" are, from left, Peter Lukinovich as Orgon, Preston Kyle as Valere, Aubri Watts as Mariane, and Emma Tooraen as Elmire.)

First Grade "Recycled Robots" Project
In connection with Earth Day, students in Paula Garrett’s first-grade science classes learned about preserving our planet’s resources by building “Recycled Robots.”

Using recycled materials like paper plates, cups, boxes, tissue rolls, pipe cleaners, straws, cans, foil, and plastic bottles, the youngsters constructed model robots at home, which they presented to their fellow students this week.

In class, the children have been learning about the International Space Station, the planet Mars, and NASA’s Mars rover, Curiosity. Some of their “Recycled Robots” were based on Curiosity and were theoretically tasked with exploring the Red Planet. "Since we have not been able to send humans to Mars," said Mrs. Garrett, "NASA has launched several rovers/robots to explore it." Robotics play an important role in motivating students to learn about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) concepts. ( Photo: Naya Amin )

Junior High Spanish Classes Explore Countries and Cuisines
Students in Jasmine Mendez’s junior high Spanish classes have been exploring world cultures through culinary traditions. “We wanted to do a cultural project where students were free to choose a place they were interested in regardless of the language spoken,” said Ms. Mendez. For the project, students chose a country, prepared a PowerPoint presentation about it, found a recipe from the country, and recorded a video of themselves preparing the recipe and explaining in Spanish the ingredients and steps used to prepare it.

In class, the students have been learning vocabulary words related to food, table settings and daily life at home. “This project helped them use the vocabulary and practice word pronunciation in the process of presenting and learning about their topics,” Ms. Mendez said.

( Photo: Junior high Spanish students, from left, Michael Hillman, Greyson Torres, Samantha Marino, Ellie Hader, teaching assistant Gloria Ruiz, Emma Fishbein, and teacher Jasmine Mendez. )
6th-12th-Grade Band Solo and Ensemble Festival Scores
This month, many of our band, string, and harp students participated in the Solo and Ensemble Festival in the performing arts classroom building. Performing as soloists, members of ensembles or both, they appeared before judges not affiliated with Runnels and were rated on their level of accomplishment. Follow the link below to view the ratings for members of the 6th-12th-Grade Bands. (Other Solo and Ensemble ratings will be posted as they become available.) Congratulations to these participants and their band director, Jill Swetnam. ( Photo: From left, Sam Day, Sam Haase and Wren Brumfield, who earned superior ratings at the 2018 Solo and Ensemble Festival , perform in a December concert in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre. )

Seniors Sign with College Teams - Part Five in a Series
Five of our seniors have been recruited to play for college teams and will be recognized at a signing ceremony in the Catalano Gym on May 2.

Running Raider Sam Matthews has made a commitment to run track for Texas Christian University (TCU), a Big 12 Conference school, in the fall as an invited walk-on athlete. He plans to study mechanical engineering on a National Merit Scholarship.

A six-year veteran of the Runnels Cross Country team, Sam also runs Indoor and Outdoor Track. His accolades and accomplishments as a runner are impressive.

At this week's Regional Track and Field Meet, Sam was named the Most Outstanding Male Track Athlete of Region 3B for 2018. At the regionals, he took 1st place in the mile and half-mile races and 2nd place in the two-mile race, qualifying for state in all three events. He also was named Track MVP for district and took 1st place in the mile, half-mile and two-mile races and the 4x400m relay.

In his junior year, Sam was outdoor track MVP for the Live Oak Relays meet, and finished 4th in the mile at the state championship.

In indoor track, he was 9th in the two-mile and 6th in the half-mile this year, as well as 12th in the two-mile and 3rd in the 4x800m relay in his junior year.

In Cross Country, Sam took 1st place at the Walker High School Shootout as a sophomore and third at that race in his freshman year. As a junior, he came in 4th at the St. Michael's Warrior Run and 7th in the 2-A State Cross Country meet. This year, Sam finished 2nd in the 1-B State Cross Country meet.

In addition to being a top tier runner, Sam is an outstanding student. He is an AP Scholar and a National Merit Finalist as well as a contender for valedictorian of his class.

Congratulations to Sam, his parents Kenneth and Karen Matthews, and his Runnels coach, Julie Fink. ( Photo: Sam Matthews )
Kudos and Thank Yous...
LA Junior Youth Orchestra ...Congrats to the Runnels students who are members of the Louisiana Junior Youth Orchestra conducted by Jennifer Cassin. Their last concert of the season was April 22 at the Baton Rouge River Center. In the orchestra are George Forgey, grade 6, Zeena Shammout, Ali Guerin and Ashleigh Cooper, grade 7, and Ashley Belcher, grade 8. ( Photo: Zeena Shammout, Ashley Belcher and Ali Guerin ).
Junior High Thespians ... Applause to the cast and crew of the junior high play, In the Village of the Brothers Grimm, which was staged in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre April 24. The show was composed of four segments, Jurinda and Juringle , Clever Alice, Be Careful What You Wish For and The Golden Goose . Directing the performance was K-12 Theatre Program Chair and junior high drama and speech teacher Neena McLain.
Girls on the Run Rocks! ... As a way of giving back, the members of our Girls on the Run chapter have been working on a Community Impact Project that requires paint, brushes, kind thoughts and rocks. The girls have been painting kindness rocks, which have kind and empowering messages painted on them. The girls will hide the rocks on the main campus next week for others to find and enjoy. Finders are invited to hide the rocks again so somebody else can benefit from the kind words.
Exchange Club's A.C.E. Award Goes to Runnels Senior
The Exchange Club of Baton Rouge has selected senior Kaitlyn Roy as the winner of the 2018 A.C.E. Award (Accepting the Challenge of Excellence). As a chapter winner, Katilyn advances to the Texas Louisiana Gulf Coast District competition and the chance to win a $1,000 A.C.E. scholarship. If she wins at the district level, Kaitlyn moves on to the national contest to compete for a $10,000 scholarship. She will be recognized at The Exchange Club of Baton Rouge's Annual Banquet this summer, where she will be presented with a plaque and a monetary prize. (Photo: Kaitlyn Roy)

We Sincerely Thank...

... Ann Vail , Executive Director and Clean Cities Coordinator of Louisiana Clean Fuels, and mother of Megan, Evan and Ian Shaneyfelt, grades 6, 7, and 10, respectively, for visiting our high school this week to discuss the impact that politics, lobbyists and trade groups have on the issue of sustainability. She met with students in Dave Marschall's Environmental Studies AP class and Connie Point's American Government class on April 25.

(Photo: With speaker Ann Vail, fourth from left, are, from left, Harrison Bonaventure, Madaleine Alessi, AnnaClaire Courville, Sean Parker, Isabelle McCall, Alex Morgan and Anna Somerville.)

You're Invited ...
Friendly Reminders
Apr. 28 / AP Practice Exams for History, World History, U.S. Government and Human Geography, Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 8:00 am; AP Psychology Practice Exam, 12:00 pm; Statistics AP Exam, 1:00 pm

April 29 / School-Wide Spring Art Show , Catalano Gym, 2:00 - 4:00 pm (Awards for junior and senior high will be presented at the Grades 7-12 Art Show Awards Ceremony in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre at 4:00 pm, immediately following the art show.) Click here for invitation...

May 1 / Athletic Recognition Ceremony , Catalano Gym, 11:20 am

May 1 / 6th-12th-Grade Band Concert , Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 7:00 pm

May 2 / Athletic Signing Day , Catalano Gym, 12:00 pm

May 2 / String Orchestra Concert , Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 7:00 pm
May 4 / 7th-and 8th-Grade Social Studies Fair , Catalano Gym

May 4 / Elementary Ballet Recital, Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre , 11:20 am

May 4 / Raider Star Drawings , Elementary Drama Room, Grades 4-6, 12:35 pm; Grades 1-3, 2:40 pm

May 5 / Jr./Sr. High Dance Performance , Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 7:00 pm

May 6 / RPO Daddy/Daughter Dance , Catalano Gym, 2:00 – 4:00 pm Click here to purchase tickets...
(Above) Congratulations to the Runnels Harp Choir and director Dr. Gabriela Werries for treating us to a lovely spring concert in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre on April 23. The harpists presented a repertoire that beautifully showcased their accomplishments. Harp Choir members are Jordyn Miller, Anna Manning, Kyra Reeves, Chloe Bush, Sarah Golda, Riley Whittemore and Kelly Messenger. (Photo: Senior Jordyn Miller, at right, and sophomore Anna Manning perform at the Spring Harp Recital.)

In this week's album: Girls on the Run Service Project, Harp Concert, Jr. High Plays - "In the Village of the Brother's Grimm", Physical Science Hydrogen Lab, Pre-Algebra, Preschool 2s Celebrate Ms. Gloria's Birthday, The Spanish Class Candids, Track and Field Meet (Special thanks to Norbert Courville and Vickie Hall for track photos) Art Show Voting and Candids.
Athletic Corner

The Athletic Department is offering pre-participation athletic physicals for currently enrolled Runnels students in the Catalano Gym on Thursday, May 10 starting at 6:00 pm. If your child will be participating in our 6th-12th-grade sports programs during the 2018-19 school year, you are welcome to use this service, which is offered at no cost to our athletes.  

This event is supported by a number of extraordinary volunteers from within the school and community: our team physicians, Dr. Vincent Shaw, Jr., of the Baton Rouge General Family Medicine Program and Dr. Stephen Etheredge of the Baton Rouge Orthopedic Clinic; additional physicians from the Baton Rouge General Family Medicine Residency Program; coaches; staff; school nurses; and physical therapists/staff from the Baton Rouge Physical Therapy-Lake clinics. The Booster Club will provide complimentary jambalaya for all attendees.

A parent or guardian must accompany students during the screenings. To register for a physical, please click the link below. Registration is required.

Letter Jackets: Representatives from the Recognition Co., which handles our letter jacket orders, will be available during this event. Students who have lettered in a sport may order letter jackets at this time.


The Lady Raiders softball team scored a big win in the quarterfinals of the LHSAA State Softball Tournament in Sulphur, LA on Thursday by shutting out Grace Christian 19-4. The Ladies took the game in the 5th inning by the run ruled to secure a berth in the semifinals on Saturday. Go, Raiders!

(Pictures: Lady Raiders celebrate their 1st round win at the state championships in Sulphur.)

At the Regional Track and Field Meet at Midland High School on Thursday, the Runnels girls team tied for 3rd place and the boys finished 8th. At the competition, senior Sam Matthews was named the 2018 Most Outstanding Male Track Athlete of Region 3B. In addition, sophomore Annie Fink set a new school record in the 1600m with a time of 5:35.61, and John Spillane set two new personal records in the triple jump (34'6") and in the 100m (11.69). 

Six team members qualified for the state meet. Earning first-place medals were: Annie Fink in the 1600m; Kaylen Howe in the 800m; and Sam Matthews in the 1600m and the 800m. Placing second were Micah Roper in the 3200m and Sam Matthews in the 3200m. Our third-place medalist were Micah Roper in the 1600m, Dawson Latona in the 3200m, and John Spillane in the 100m.

(Photos: Top - Running Raider Sam Matthews in blue at the Regionals. Bottom - Passing the baton in the relay race are AnnaClaire Courville and Julia Sager. Photos courtesy of Norbert Courville.)


Boys Singles players Kyle Sieberth and Eric Huygues and the boys Doubles team of Ryan Lam and Daniel Mayeaux set off to Monroe on Thursday to compete for state titles. Good luck, Raiders!

On Monday, the Raiders defeated the Tigers 4-3. Shelby Anders pitched 3 innings with 8 strikeouts. "Sixth grader Rossie Harrison walked the game off with a single and Alex Lam scoring," said Coach Sam Coates.

Wednesday, the boys defeated the Indians 14-7. Alex Lam, Alan Lam, Ben Hader and Harrison White each had 2 hits. Jonathan Harper and Rossie Harrison combined to silence the Indian’s bats.   

On Saturday
Varsity Softball
State Championship Semifinals in Sulfur at 9:00 am

Email photos to  n.latiolais@runnels.org
Please include the date and location of the event and the students pictured .