August 30, 2019
Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions, and national origins.

Since Monday, Sept. 2 is Labor Day and a school holiday, we'll see you on Tuesday. Have a great three-day weekend!

In this week's Focus : Library Donation; Tell Your Friends: Our Kindergarten Sneak-A-Peek for Prospective Families Is Coming up Oct. 20; Metrics and Invertebrates Add up to Absorbing Lesson; Where Should Seniors Be Now in the College Application Process; Club Sign Up Day; Back-to-School Open Houses Continue for Preschool and Kindergarten; Kudos and Notable Events; Thank Yous; Friendly Reminders; Weekly Photo Album; and Athletic Corner.
Gift to Jr./Sr. High Library Honors 2019 NHS Graduating Seniors
The Jr./Sr. High Library recently was presented with a donation of $250 by the Runnels chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS). The gift, which was given in honor of the 21 NHS members in last year's graduating class, will help fund the library's Writing Center.

On hand in the library Thursday to present the donation to Jr./Sr. High Librarian and Writing Center Coordinator Wendy Herumin were NHS officers Aubri Watts, Jenna Carballo, and Catherine Bonaventure, and NHS co-sponsors Norma Marsh and Colleen LeBlanc.

Mrs. Marsh said NHS members raised the money for the donation by holding two successful breakfast sales last year. A goal of the organization, she added, is to try to give back to the school community each year. Traditionally, the club votes on where the money will go. This year, the library is the beneficiary.

( Photo: Jr./Sr. High Librarian Wendy Herumin, second from right, accepts a donation of $250 for the Writing Center from the Runnels chapter of the National Honor Society represented by, from left, NHS president Aubri Watts and vice president Jenna Carballo, co-sponsor Colleen LeBlanc, and historian Catherine Bonaventure.
Tell Your Friends: Kindergarten Sneak-A-Peek Set for Oct. 20
Absorbing Lesson Combines Biology and Metric Measurement
A project involving invertebrates in John Baird's fifth-grade science classes recently put students to work investigating whether natural sea sponges or man-made sponges absorb the most water. It also gave the youngsters practice in using the metric system to record their measurements.

Working in groups, the students weighed and measured a sea sponge and a manufactured sponge and recorded the data to the nearest centimeter.

To test absorbency, they soaked the sea sponge in water for 30 seconds and held it over a container for another 30 seconds, allowing excess water to drain. Next, they squeezed the water out of the sponge and into a tray and measured and recorded the amount in milliliters. They followed the same steps with the man-made sponge.

Which one turned out to be more absorbent? "The manufactured sponge," explained Mr. Baird, "because it is more dense and has a larger surface area."

The lesson also gave students some hands-on experience with invertebrates -- the sea sponges.
( Photo: Practicing measuring techniques on natural and man-made sponges are, from left in front, James Gawronski and Andrew Hart, and, from left in back, Lilah Brumfield and Dana Badawi.)
Where Should Seniors Be Now in the College Application Process?
Where should our seniors be right now on the long and winding road to college acceptance? We recently posed this question to Dana Schlotterer, our Jr./Sr. High Assistant Principal and College Counselor. Here's what she had to say.

At this point, seniors should know which colleges they're applying to as well as the application deadlines for those schools. They also should be finishing up their applications, writing their college essays, completing college visits, and maybe taking the ACT one last time. (Sept. 14 and Oct. 26 are the next testing dates.)

Some schools, including LSU, require the Common Application (a general online application form). Though the Common App opened Aug. 1, application deadlines differ from school to school, with Oct. 15 being the earliest and July 1, 2020, the latest. When filling out college applications, students should pay attention to the Activities List, which asks them to specify involvement in clubs, athletics, band, volunteer work, church, and part-time jobs. Family obligations also count. If a student takes care of a younger sibling while a parent is working, include it! Also, whenever the form invites students to fill out a section listed as "Optional," consider it required and fill it out! It's a chance to include something extra that might give you an advantage in the application process.

CLICK HERE ... for a radio interview with Mrs. Schlotterer about Navigating the College Planning Process on Podbean's "Full Time with Amy Nicklaus."

( Photo: Jr./Sr. High Assistant Principal and College Counselor, Dana Schlotterer.)
Jr./Sr. High Students Sign Up for Clubs
Joining a club is a great way to meet new friends, build leadership skills, and bulk up that extracurricular activities list for college applications.

On Club Day, Aug. 28, junior and senior high students had a chance to learn more about the 20 clubs available at Runnels. In the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, club representatives, officers, and sponsors introduced their organizations and invited students to sign up. After the indoor session, students moved outside to mingle with club reps and sign up for organizations that caught their interest. 

A new option this year is the Men’s Volleyball Club organized by sophomore Josh Freeman and sponsored by varsity volleyball coach Jean Martinez. The new club is for boys in grades 9-12. The first meeting is scheduled for Sept. 4 at 12:10 in Room 153. Josh, who plays a lot of beach volleyball, said he wants to start an indoor men's volleyball club at Runnels because there’s only one in New Orleans, the Bayou Boys, but it's an hour and 40 minutes away. “There are scholarship opportunities in men’s volleyball,” he added. “Last year, three or four Bayou Boys players got scholarships.” For more information and to confirm the time and place of the initial meeting:

( Photo: Junior Classical League (JCL) representatives, from left, sponsor Ann Ostrom and junior Chris Ortego preside at the club's table on Club Day as students sign up to learn more about the organization.)
Preschool, Kindergarten Back-to-School Open Houses Coming Up
Pre-Kindergarten Parent Days
Thursday, Sept. 5 at 8:30 a.m. – Activity Building
Friday, Sept. 6 at 8:30 a.m. – Activity Building
You will receive more information about which date you are scheduled to attend as the time approaches. ( This event is for Pre-K students and their parents. )

Preschool 2s Parents Afternoon
Sunday, Sept. 8, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. – Activity Building
( This event is for Preschool 2s parents only. )
Preschool 3s Parents Afternoon
Sunday, Sept. 8, 3:30– 4:30 p.m. – Activity Building
( This event is for Preschool 3s parents only. )

Kindergarten Back-to-School Open House
Friday, Sept. 20, 8:30 a.m. – After meeting in the Theatre, you'll move on to the Kindergarten Classrooms.
( This event is for Kindergarten students and their parents. )
Kudos and Notable Events
River Road Art Show Winner ... Runnels art teacher Sydney McGraw has won a Merit Award for her painting "Rare" at the 50th Annual River Road Show at the Louisiana State Archives Gallery. She was presented with her ribbon at a reception for the exhibition held at the State Archives on Aug. 29. Sydney, a Runnels High School graduate ('10), was one of only 64 artists -- from a field of 121 entrants from 13 states -- whose work was accepted for the exhibition. The show, sponsored by the Art Guild of Louisiana, runs through Sept. 13. Congratulations to Sydney!

(Art teacher Sydney McGraw and her husband, Matt, with her award-winning painting at the River Road Show reception Aug. 29.)
Alum Speaks Out on Sustaining Our Wetlands ... Kudos to 1989 alumnus Bren Haase, Director of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, for eloquently speaking out -- in a letter published in the Advocate Aug. 26 -- on the critical importance of sediment diversion in our state's battle plan to sustain the wetlands. In the letter, it's clear that Bren and his agency have a fierce commitment to protecting our coast:

"Sediment diversions along the Mississippi River are intended to reconnect the river to the wetlands it once created. They have been the cornerstone of our state's large-scale restoration plan for decades, and are ... informed by the best-available science.... Once built, these sediment diversions will enable us to rebuild and sustain tens of thousands of acres of coastal wetlands -- which serve as a critical habitat and buffer against storm surge.... The future of our coast is at the heart of every decision we make at CPRA, and we're dedicated to doing all that we can to preserve it for generations to come." READ MORE ...
Swamp Creatures Visit Preschool ... Our youngest students had an encounter with some pretty interesting critters this week when visitors from BREC's Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center brought an alligator, turtle and two snakes to the preschool.

The visit was prompted by this week's theme in our Pre-K classes: Swamps! When the guests from the Bluebonnet Swamp came to call, all of our preschool classes were invited to see and even pet a box turtle named Bentley, Godzilla the alligator, and a pair of rat snakes called Boudreaux and Thibodeaux. Many thanks to the Bluebonnet Swamp's Ms. Shannon and Ms. Olivia for bringing the swamp creatures to our preschool.

( Photo: Making the acquaintance of a rat snake from Bluebonnet Swamp are, from left, Grace Elizabeth Marchive, Emily Cassin, Beckett Downing, and Lino Rovai.)
Alden Cartwright Picked for New LSU Alumni Council ... Alumnus Alden Cartwright (‘13) has been selected as one of 13 LSU alumni to serve on the newly created LSU Young Alumni Advisory Council . The Council was established, according to the LSU Alumni Association’s website, as a focus group to “provide key insight and feedback on engagement, development, and fundraising” geared toward young and future LSU graduates. Alden, a 2017 LSU graduate, pitched for the Tigers from 2014-2016. He currently works as the Director of Business Development for Edelberg + Associates. The Council will host the first Young Alumni Tailgate on Oct. 26 prior to the LSU vs. Auburn game. READ MORE ...
World Peace Arts Contest ... The Jr./Sr. High Writing Center invites students in grades 9-12 to participate in the "World Peace: It Begins with You and Me" contest sponsored jointly by the Louisiana World Peace Day Committee and the youth members of the Legislative Youth Advisory Council. Students are asked to submit individual or group entries that describe personal visions and ideas of World Peace through art, photography, essay, poem, music, or video. Winning entries will be displayed at the Louisiana State Capitol, Memorial Hall, during October of this year. Stop by the Jr./Sr. High Library to pick up an information packet for entering the contest. Entries must be received by the World Peace Day Committee by Friday, Sept. 20.
STEM Spaghetti Challenge ... Among the winners in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Marshmallow Challenge carried out in sixth-grade science recently are, from left, Damien Tinsley, Adam Chittom, and Ethan Vagi. Their team built one of the tallest free-standing structures in the class using 20 pieces of uncooked spaghetti, one yard of string, one yard of tape, one marshmallow, and a pair of scissors -- in 18 minutes!
Flag Corps ... Fifth graders gather at the flagpole on the main campus to learn about flag etiquette from elementary social studies teacher and Flag Corps sponsor Cheyenne Davis. Our fifth graders are eligible to join the Fifth-Grade Flag Corps. Members have the responsibility of raising and lowering the American flag in front of Runnels every school day -- come rain or shine.

Maker Supplies for Elementary Library ... Throughout the year elementary students will participate in a variety of creative activities in the library. Our librarians, Amanda Albin and Leah Pizzalato are building a supply of materials to support these projects and would greatly appreciate your help. Please do not purchase anything, but consider donating any of these items if you have them.

Here's what they're looking for: used puzzles and board games, pipe cleaners, craft sticks, fabric, plastic spoons and straws, small non-working appliances, electronics and keyboards, Origami paper, buttons, yarn, toothpicks, rubberbands, Q-tips, and paper towel and toilet paper cardboard tubes.
We Sincerely Thank...
Giving Back ... A big thank you goes to Aidan Lambert , a former sixth-grade science student in Julie Fink's class at Runnels. Now a physics major at LSU, Aidan was a guest speaker in Mrs. Fink's science classes this week, presenting demonstrations and PowerPoints on potential and kinetic energy, force, torque and momentum, and light and light waves and how they travel.

Aidan said he wanted to come back to Mrs. Fink's class to thank her for the big part she played in igniting his love of science. Aidan is the son of Ann Dalrymple, who taught drama at Runnels for many years.

( Photo: Aidan Lambert demonstrates momentum in Mrs. Fink's class. )

Open House Thank You ... The elementary "Back-to-School Open House" last Sunday afternoon was a lovely and well attended event. Parents visited their students' classrooms, met their teachers, and got acquainted with their daily schedules. We sincerely thank all of the parents who joined us for our elementary Back-to-School Open House . It was hugely successful thanks to your participation.

In this week's album: Jr./Sr. High Club Day, 6th Grade Science Guest Speaker, Self-Portraits in Art, Writing Center Popsicle Sale, Volleyball Candids, Elementary Robotics, Preschool Bluebonnet Swamp Visitors and Candids.

(Photo: Junior and senior high students line up to buy popsicles in support of the Writing Center.)

Athletic Corner
LAST CHANCE: the Booster Club’s Back-to-School Merchandise Sale Ends Today!

Don't miss these great savings on Runnels logo gear at the Booster Club’s online store. You’ll find top savings on hot items like the All-Around Duffle Bag ($40), the Essential Razorback Tank ($20), the Powerblend Fleece Hoodie ($28), the All-Sport Backpack ($40), the Trucker Mesh Hat ($15), and much, much more! All orders will be shipped to Runnels and pick-up dates will be announced. Sales help support athletics and all sports at Runnels through Booster Club projects, activities, and events. 
Click below to enter store.


On Thursday evening, the Lady Raiders varsity volleyball team competed in the Woodlawn Jamboree at Woodlawn High School, with one win and two losses. The Ladies defeated E. Iberville 21-25 while suffering losses to Livonia 20-25 and Woodlawn 21-25.

Come support the Lady Raiders at their season opener on Wednesday, Sept. 4 as they take on Madison Prep at home. JV will play at 5:00 p.m. and varsity at 6:00 p.m.

Junior High Fall Sports Sign Up

There is still time to sign up your junior high athlete for fall sports. The line up includes Boys Baseball Conditioning (training and scrimmaging 2 to 3 days a week, no games), Boys and Girls Cross Country, Girls Softball and Boys and Girls Swimming. If your student is interested in playing more than one sport, simply fill out the digital form twice. 

Each athlete is required to have a current physical on file in order to practice or play. A hard copy of the Physical Form must be submitted to the Jr./Sr. High office. If you have any questions, please contact Jr. High Athletic Director Sam Coates by phone or text at 251-533-3577 or email .

Fall coaches include: Cross Country Coach Julie Fink,; Softball Coach Brent Lax, ; Swimming Coach Matt Kiggans, ; and Jr. High Baseball Coach Brent Hoeprich, .

On Wednesday
Varsity Volleyball at Home—JV at 5 p.m. and Varsity at 6 p.m.

SEND US YOUR PHOTOS FOR THE FOCUS Email photos to Please include the date and location of the event and the students pictured .  
Friendly Reminders
Sept. 2 / Labor Day (No School)

Sept. 6 / Popsicle Friday , for Grades 4-6 at recess on playground

Sept. 9-10 / Auditions for And Then There Were None (for students in grades 9-12), Theatre, 3:00 p.m. Click here for more information.

Sept. 11 / K-12 Picture Retakes in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 8:30 a.m.

Sept. 13 / Popsicle Friday , for Grades 4-6 at recess on playground

Sept. 15 - 20 / Library Used Book Sale , in the Runnels Libraries - Sunday, 9/15 from 11 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and Monday, 9/16 - Friday, 9/20 from 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. The Elementary Library will happily welcome donations of gently used books for the sale. Bring donations to either library during school hours. All proceeds from the Used Book Sale will go to our library program.

Sept. 18 / Preschool Yearbook Picture Day in the Activity Building, 8:30 a.m.

Sept. 28 / Sadie's High School Dance in the Catalano Gym, 7:30 p.m.