April 5, 2019
Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions, and national origins.

In Focus this week: Runnels Students Named Finalists in Holocaust Essay Contest; Expanding the Scientific Experience at the Annual "Science Explorium"; Spring Writing Contest Sponsored by Jr./Sr. High Library Writing Center; Art Teacher Talks Krewe of Yazoo Costume Design at Ebb and Flow Festival; "Festival of Arts" Coming May 5; Rube Goldberg Machines in Engineering Class; Code Writers in Computer Science I; Kudos and Notable Events; We Sincerely Thank; Weekly Photo Album; Athletic Corner; Friendly Reminders, and Summer Camps at Runnels.

Holocaust Writing Contest Finalists

Three Runnels students have been named finalists in the 2019 Holocaust Writing Contest sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge. Seventh graders Arthur Donaldson and George Forgey were selected in the middle school division and junior Julia Sager in the high school category.

All three students wrote their essays as school assignments, Arthur and George in Sherry Wilks’ honors English class, and Julia, in Colleen LeBlanc’s AP English Composition course.

The contest winners will be announced at a Holocaust Remembrance Program on April 28 at Congregation B’nai Israel from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Cash prizes will be awarded in all divisions of the contest.

(Photo: From left are Arthur Donaldson, George Forgey, and Julia Sager.)
Expanding the Scientific Experience

Kindergartners crowded around the "Whack the Stack" booth at the annual "Science Explorium" in the gym Thursday to watch sixth graders Enzo Rovai and Amelia Guess swing a ruler at a pile of wooden blocks. They were demonstrating Newton's Law of Gravity. "When you hit (and move) the bottom block on the stack," Enzo explained, "the five blocks on top will fall due to gravity and friction." After watching the demonstration, the kindergartens had a chance to try it out themselves.

This was one of the 26 hands-on demonstrations and experiments prepared, created, and presented by our fifth and sixth graders at the "Explorium." Visiting the event were students in kindergarten through fourth grade.

The exhibits explored a variety of scientific disciplines. One student group presented a "Lunch Box Grenades" demonstration to show a chemical reaction. "We mix baking soda, vinegar and water to make carbon dioxide and put it in a baggie," said Sadie Miller. "The carbon dioxide inflates the lunch bag and makes it pop." For safety's sake, the lunch bag grenades did their "popping" deep inside a plastic bucket.

"The emphasis at the event is learning by doing," said "Explorium" coordinator and fifth-grade science teacher John Baird. "It's not like a science fair where students do research and write a scientific paper. My feeling is that students develop a better understanding of the concepts of science with a hands-on approach. They also have a lot of fun in the process."

( Photo: Enzo Rovai, 6A, conducts a demonstration on Newton's Law of Gravity for kindergartners Abi Alberto and Mark Calhoun at the "Science Explorium.")
Jr./Sr. High Students Invited to Compete in Writing Center's Spring Poetry Contest

For their final writing competition of the school year, the Jr./Sr. High Library Writing Center is sponsoring a Spring Poetry Contest.

"This time it's the same assignment for all grade levels," said Jr./Sr. High Librarian Wendy Herumin. The prompt is "Where Are You From?" Students are invited to write a free-verse poem of no more than 20 lines on the subject. The deadline for submission is April 18.

Winners can receive gift cards of $15, $10, or $5, depending on their level of accomplishment.

Art Teacher Lee Randall Talks Krewe of Yazoo Costume Design at Ebb and Flow Festival

Look for Runnels art teacher Lee Randall at the Ebb and Flow Festival in downtown Baton Rouge this Sunday from 12:00 - 6:00 p.m. She'll be in the plaza in front of the new library showing the crowd how she makes those wild and crazy Mardi Gras costumes for the Krewe of Yazoo, Baton Rouge's Premier Precision Lawn Mower Drill Team.

In addition to teaching art and illustrating children's books, Lee has been designing and constructing costumes for the krewe since it started marching back in 1983. At the Ebb and Flow exhibit, she'll share some of her design secrets and display krewe costumes she's made for parades past. At 2:00 p.m. the Krewe of Yazoo will join her for a live performance of “Mowers Attack,” their act from this year’s Southdowns Parade.

( Photo: Alien brains are no problem for art teacher and costume designer Lee Randall. Here, she uses a glue gun to put the finishing touches on a Krewe of Yazoo "Mowers Attack" costume. )
Save the Date: "Festival of Arts," May 5

Stand by for a brand new Runnels event. On the afternoon of May 5 we're presenting the "Festival of Arts," an exciting lineup of events in one afternoon.

The program starts at 1:00 p.m. in the Theatre with an awards ceremony for the School-wide Spring Art Show followed by a series of concerts by our harp, strings, and 6th-12th grade band students. The art show will be open for viewing in the gym all afternoon, and both libraries will host special events. Be sure to save the date and keep watching the Focus for updates.

The festival will provide a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the rich arts culture at Runnels, support our incredibly talented students, and spend a lovely afternoon with family and friends.

( Photo: Natalia Tooraen, grade 11, views the 2018 Spring Art Show. )
Rube Goldberg Machines ... Students in Amy Guillory’s Introduction to Engineering class recently designed and built Rube Goldberg machines to help them learn about the field of mechanical engineering. Rube Goldberg, an engineer and inventor, became famous for his cartoons of overly complicated machines doing very simple tasks. Rube Goldberg machines rely on a domino effect or chain reaction to get the job done.

Each student was asked to make a Rube Goldberg machine that poured cereal from a box into a bowl. "The machine was required to have eight steps and use at least three different simple machines, such as a lever, pulley, wheel and axle, inclined plane, or wedge," said Mrs. Guillory. “Once students started their machines, they were not allowed to touch them until the cereal came out of the box,” she noted.

On Wednesday, they had a chance to demonstrate their machines. After a little fine tuning by classmates and the teacher, most of them worked.

"I think the students were surprised by the complexity of the task," said Mrs. Guillory. "It isn't easy to make a multi-part machine work perfectly multiple times in a row."

( Photo: Senior Daniel Mayeaux with his Rube Goldberg machine. His creation required a remote control car to drag the cereal box off a chair and to make the contents pour out.)
Code Writers ... "This is the biggest coding project we've ever done," said Computer Science I student Jacob Folse. "It has 168 levels; 50 is normal for us." The complex project involved writing code in JavaScript to make a game.

"The game," explained Computer Science teacher Kathleen Judd, "required creating a grid of bricks at the top of the game canvas, then starting a ball bouncing. The player has to keep the ball from hitting the bottom of the canvas by bouncing off a paddle. When all the bricks are removed (by hitting them with the paddle), the user has won."

The project was a culmination of several week's work on programming and graphics during which students learned about variables, booleans, logical and comparison operators, if statements, for and while loops, and functions. "Students also learned about using timers, random numbers, mouse events, key events, and creating and moving shapes," said Mrs. Judd.

This morning, the programmers had a chance to see how well they did when elementary students in Sherry Allen's class stopped by their classroom in Novak Hall to play their games. Both players and programmers had fun. When a player wanted a game to move faster, it was an advantage to have the programer close at hand to not only make the adjustment in the code but to explain exactly how it's done.

( Photo: Chloe Hall, 6C, plays a computer game as programmers Joel Pena, grade 9, and Jacob Folse, grade 10 stand by.)
Kudos and Notable Events
LSU Math Award Winner ... Runnels alumna Anna Morgan ('16), a junior at LSU, has won a Pasquale Porcelli Undergraduate Scholarship Award for mathematics. The honor comes with a $500 scholarship for excellence in math. In addition to pursuing her studies, Anna is the Mu Alpha Theta sponsor at Runnels this year.
( Photo: Anna Morgan )

Newly Elected ... Congratulations to the students recently elected to lead the Sr. Beta Club next year. They are Blaiklee Guillot , president; Abby Robbins , vice president; Caroline Collins , secretary; Jacob Schmidt , treasurer; and Rachel Hargrove , historian.

Designing Hospital Gowns ... After students in grades 3-6 read Invisible Boy by Tracy Ludwig in the Elementary Library, they discussed the value and importance of empathy and trying to help others feel better. They turned these ideas into action by creating original designs for children's hospital gowns as part of the Starlight Children’s Foundation's 2019 Design-a-Gown Contest. Two winning designs will be manufactured and distributed to hospitals across the nation. Finalists will be announced May 13. More information: www.Starlight.org .
Bark and Roll Still Needs Our Help ... Please continue to contribute to the freshman class' supply drive for Bark and Roll Rescue. The collection runs through April 12. Bring your supply donations to the gym and cash contributions to junior and senior high English classes and the office. Bark and Roll is still in need of the following: Nutro and wellness treats, puppy pads, pill pockets, dome-shaped food bowls, half-inch wide leashes, decorative accessories (collars, bows, and hats for photos), poop bags, Nylabones, Benebones, or any type of rubber puppy chew. Donations from their Amazon Smile wish list are also very welcome.
We Sincerely Thank...
Speaking of Science ... Our thanks Linn Fink , Runnels dad and project manager at Occidental Petroleum Corp., for sharing his expertise on the Cleve Reber Superfund site in Sorrento with students in Dave Marschall's Environmental Science classes today. ( Photo: From left are Dave Marschall, guest speaker Linn Fink and Environmental Science AP students Camille Doucet, Kayleigh Nicholson, Steven Spivak, Micah Roper, and Julia Sager. )

Labels for Education ... We sincerely thank everyone who sent in Community Coffee and Box Top Labels for Education to the Elementary Library. These programs help us purchase books and supplies. If you have labels to turn in, please bring them to the Elementary Library before the end of the school year.

Sports Photographers ... Many thanks to Rich Harrison and Rachel Garrison for sharing their sports photos with our readers.
In this week's photo album: Rube Goldberg Machines, Science Explorium, 3rd Grade Biography Book Reports, Preschool Vegetable Painting, Computer Science Coding Games, Hospital Gown Designs, Softball and Tennis Senior Nights, and Candids.

"Rumors" : There's one more chance to see our high school drama "Rumors." The last show is tonight at 7:00 p.m. in the Theatre. Due to salty language, parental approval is suggested. (Photo: Madaleine Alessi and Alex Morgan in "Rumors.")
Athletic Corner

Saturday following an exciting overtime win against Dunham 8-7, the Lady Raiders softball team celebrated its seniors at Raider Park. Teammates and coaches presented flowers and framed jerseys to seniors Hannah Cassano, Kayleigh Nicholson, Alexis Rogers and Madison Sutton. While seniors were escorted by their parents, touching tributes were read over the PA.

Head Softball Coach Brent Lax was heard quoting actor Tom Hanks from the movie A League of Their Own , saying “There’s no crying in baseball.” Though there may not be crying in baseball, many tears were shed that afternoon on the softball field by teammates, family and friends.

(Photos: At left, seniors Madison Sutton, Hannah Cassano, Kayleigh Nicholson, Sarah Soileau and Alexis Rogers. At right, Alexis Rogers shares a moment with her teammates. )

The Raiders Varsity Tennis Team honored its seniors on Wednesday at Forest Park following a match against East Ascension resulting in a 3-3 tie.

Having some fun with the big head's courtside are, from left, seniors Rachel Wehbe, Ian Lansing, Eric Huygues, Ian Duke, Daniel Mayeaux, Ryan Lam, Anna Kadi and Kalyee Frieberger.

Sunday evening, the boys soccer team gathered for its awards banquet hosted by Rebecca and Gene Todaro, parents of junior Eli. Soccer Coach Chris Stewart presented the team with honors. Team awards were given to Most Improved Player - Omar Badawi, Defensive Player of the Year - Eli Todaro, Offensive Player of the Year - Charlie Garrison and Most Valuable Player - Ryan Lam.

The team also honored First Team All-District players: senior Ryan Lam, junior Eli Todaro, freshman Charlie Garrison. Garrison was also named District Offensive MVP. Second Team All-District players were freshmen Thomas Betancur, Dawson Latona, and Kyle Nicholson.
BIG KUDOS to freshman Charlie Garrison for his selection to Louisiana Division IV 2nd Team All State and to the All Metro 1st Team for boys soccer. Garrison had been previously named Division IV, District 4 Offensive MVP.

Against a field of large schools at the Alan Brown Relays, the girls track and field team placed 7 out of 14 and the boys were 13 of 18. Annie Fink won both the 1600m and 800m races, along with Dawson Latona, who took 1st in the 3200m. Other top finishers were Sydney Worsham, 2nd in the 3200m; Dawson Latona, 4th in the 1600m; and London Deshotel, 4th in the High Jump.

These athletes will compete again at the District 7B Championship Meet on April 10 at Broadmoor High School. Field Events begin at 3:30 and Running at 5:00. Seniors Micah Roper, London Deshotel and Anna Claire Courville will be recognized after the meet.


Last week, the Junior High Track and Field team made a good showing at the St. Michael’s meet held at Woodlawn High School. Annie Garrison finished 1st in discus and 3rd in the 200m, while Zeb Tate placed 3rd in the long jump.

The Most Blessed Sacrament/Dutchtown meet on Sunday, April 7 will be the last regular meet of the season. Athletes finishing with the best 14 times/marks from the regular season (Zachary/Donaldsonville/Woodlawn/Dutchtown) will be invited to participate in the Holy Family/Port Allen meet on April 13.

Track and Field Coach Julie Fink says that she “is proud of everyone’s efforts and willingness to compete and try new things!”

(PHOTOS: Above, from left, Stuart Roark
Annie Garrison and Gibson Guay, and Emma Felton.)

T he varsity baseball team lost a back-and-forth game 6-5 to Ascension Christian on Monday. Jake Best had 2 hits and 2 RBIs. Grayson Gulley also contributed a hit with an RBI. On Tuesday the team traveled to Mt. Hermon to continue district play. They defeated the Yellow Jackets 11-1 in 5 innings. Blaine Nicholson pitched all 5 innings, only allowing 1 hit. Collin Bueche led the team with 2 RBIs and Robby Harrison also had 2 hits in the victory. Wednesday the boys played Mt. Hermon, again defeating them 7-4. Grayson Gulley had 2 RBIs and Ricky Harrison struck out 9 in 5 innings of work.

The Raiders are now 5-0 in district and will take on Dunham at Dunham on Saturday at 11 a.m.

(Photo: Aaron Taliaferro bringing in an RBI.)

Monday the junior high baseball team defeated the Raptors 11-10. Rossie Harrison and Alan Lam each had 2 hits in the victory. Harrison, Lam, Eli Latiolais, and Harrison White combined for 9 RBIs in the victory. The team is currently 3-1-1 this season.

The Raiders play again next week at 7:20 p.m. on Monday and Thursday at Cedar Park Ridge.

(Photo: Rossie Harrison on the mound.)
Track & Field Meet at Southeastern LA – CANCELLED

On Saturday
Varsity Baseball vs. Dunham at Home – 11:00 a.m.
Varsity Softball at Episcopal – 11:00 a.m.

Email game and fan photos to  n.latiolais@runnels.org . Please include the event and the name of the students pictured .  
Friendly Reminders
April 5 / High School Drama - Rumors / Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 7:00 p.m.
April 6 / State Literary Rally / LSU
April 10 / NHS Induction Ceremony / Theatre, 11:50 a.m.
April 11 & 12 / Sixth-Grade Play - Bedtime Stories / Drama Room, 7:00 p.m. Tickets: $5 at the door.
April 13 / Jr. and Sr. High School Prom - "A Black and White Event" / Shaw Center, 7:00 p.m.
April 15 & 17 / Cheer Tryout Clinic / Dance Studio, 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
April 17 / High School Talent Show / Theatre, 2:00 p.m.
April 19 - 26 / Spring Break
April 29 / School Resumes
April 30 / Athletic Recognition Ceremony / Theatre, 11:20 a.m.
April 30-May 3 / Spring Scholastic Book Fair / Elementary Library, 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
May 5 / Festival of Arts /1:00 - 5:00 p.m., Spring Art Show Awards and Reception , 1:00 p.m., Theatre; Spring Art Show Viewing , Gym, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.; Harp Choir Concert , 2:00 p.m., Theatre; String Orchestra Concert , Theatre, 3:15 p.m.; 6th-12th-Grade Band Concert , Theatre, 4:30 p.m; Elementary Library Scholastic Book Fair, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.; Jr ./Sr. High Library, Summer Reading Preview and Book Orders through Barnes & Noble, Writing Center Award Winning Writing on Display, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.
For summer camps at Runnels, click on the icon above. Check back from time to time for updates.