Feb. 22, 2019
Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions, and national origins.

In Focus this week: Sophomore Earns Highest Possible Score on ACT; Runnels Seventh Grader Elected Junior Beta State President; Bravo To Beauty and the Beast Cast and Crew; Runnels Band Student Makes Carnegie Hall Debut; Open House Saturday, Feb. 23 for The Church Academy Families; Winning Tablescape Artists Announced; Kudos and Notable Events; We Sincerely Thank; Weekly Photo Album; Athletic Corner; Friendly Reminders.

A Perfect 36! Sophomore Aces ACT College Readiness Exam

Connor Porthouse, grade 10, has earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT, acing the college readiness exam on his rookie attempt as a high school student. ( Connor is the second Runnels student to earn the highest possible score on the ACT this school year. Click here to read about the first.)
“I’m really, really happy and glad I don’t have to take it again,” Connor said with a smile.
Only one-tenth of one percent of students who take the ACT achieve the highest possible score. That’s about one in every one-thousand students.   
“This is an amazing accomplishment, exemplifying Connor’s personal commitment to academic excellence and hard work,” said Assistant Head of School and Jr./Sr. High Principal Conchetta Foshee. “His characteristic pursuit of a vigorous advanced course schedule also helped him achieve at this level,” she added. 

To prepare for the exam, Connor read ACT review books and took a practice test at home, which he said were a help. But he also credits the honors and AP (Advanced Placement) courses he has been able to get at Runnels. ( Photo: Connor Porthouse)

Runnels 7th Grader Elected LA Junior Beta President

Congratulations to seventh grader Ben Hader for being elected Louisiana Junior Beta President at the state convention in Lafayette's Cajundome today.

Ben, who has been a Runnels student since his preschool days, is the first member of our Junior Beta Club to be named state president.

As president, he will attend the national Junior Beta Convention in Oklahoma City this summer where he will serve as an ambassador for our state. He also has the option of throwing his hat in the ring for national office. Next February at the 2020 Junior Beta State Convention, he'll give the keynote and help facilitate the proceedings. We'll have a complete update on all Runnels awards and accomplishments at this year's state convention in next week's Friday Focus . ( Photo: President Ben Hader at the 2019 Jr. Beta State Convention.)
Pure Enchantment: Beauty and the Beast

Hats off to the entire company of our school-wide production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast , which ran for four performances in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre Feb. 15-17 . The play showcased the talents and skills of a hugely accomplished cast and crew, with each contributing to the overwhelming success of this charming production.
Running the show was director Neena McLain aided by assistant director and stage manager Camille Doucet, grade 12, assistant stage manager Marshall Pentes, grade 10, and junior stage manager Kate Kelfstrom, grade 7. Choreography was provided by Rachel Hart, with vocal direction by Aaron Turnipseed. The sets were designed and constructed by the high school Technical Theater classes.

We extend our grateful thanks to everyone who helped bring this enchanting tale that celebrates hope, courage, and the redemptive power of love so charmingly to life on our stage. ( Photo: Alex Morgan, Daniel Mayeaux and Sophia Torres in "Beauty and the Beast." )

Runnels Band Student Makes Carnegie Hall Debut

Sophomore band student Evan Beoubay has achieved a milestone few musical performers ever reach. At the age of 15, he played Carnegie Hall.

On Feb. 10, he took the stage as a member of the Honors Band in the 2019 High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall.

This prestigious program brings together accomplished student musicians in grades 9-12 from around the world for five days in New York to prepare for and present a concert at the celebrated venue.

A member of the Runnels Band since fourth grade, Evan worried that he would be “burned out” by the intense experience of rehearsing and performing at Carnegie Hall but found that it renewed his passion for playing the clarinet. ( Photo: Evan Beoubay in the clarinet section at Carnegie Hall on Feb. 10.)

Open House Tomorrow for The Church Academy Families and Anyone Else Interested in Learning about Runnels

You've probably seen media accounts of the closure of The Church Academy (formerly The Christian Life Academy) in Baton Rouge at the end of this school year. In an effort to provide information about our school to Church Academy families, we are hosting an Open House for preschool through senior high grades on our main campus tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 23, from 1 – 3 p.m. in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre.
If you know of any families interested in learning what our school has to offer, please let them know about this event and encourage them to attend. More information: admissions@runnels.org
Garden Club Tablescapes Winners Announced

Congratulations to the students whose original artwork won first-place awards at the Baton Rouge Garden Club's annual Tablescapes Flower Show on Feb. 16 at Independence Park.

Phoebe Koontz, grade 8, won the first-place award in Art for her pen and ink drawing of a "Yawning Jaguar." Wilks Pittman, grade 7, created the pen and ink drawing of a "Viper" in the table setting by Janet Taylor that took first-place in Table Arrangements division; and Hope Oubre, grade 7, drew the Prismacolor picture of a "Red Bird" that inspired Sharon Harley's niche arrangement, which won 1st place in the Niche category. Their art teachers at Runnels are Lee Randall and Sydney McGraw. ( Photo: Phoebe Koontz, grade 8, with "Yawning Jaguar" at the Tablescapes Flower Show.)
Kudos and Notable Events ...
American Idol , Ascension Parish Style ... Freshman Sydney Mistretta is one of 16 finalists in the Ascension Icon 2019 Singing Competition at the Lamar Dixon Center tonight. For the "American Idol" style contest, she’ll perform “Break It To Me Gently” by Juice Newton in front of celebrity judges Alison Dubuc, Clayton Decoteau, Julie Jones, and Mike Waguespack. If she makes it into the final five, her encore will be “Get It Right” from the TV series Glee . Active in Center Stage’s musical theater elite senior group and a veteran of musical theater singing competitions, Sydney said this contest, with its concentration on pop music, is a departure for her and she’s excited to be a finalist. The top prize is $1,000. ( Photo: Sydney Mistretta)
Young Actors Turn in Stellar Performances ... Upper and lower elementary drama students brought their talents to the stage of the Drama Room this week. Upper elementary students in Sonya Blanchard's classes presented The Boy Who Cried Wolf, billed as "A reimagining of Aesop's cautionary tale." There were laughs galore in this colorful retelling of the fable.

Our first and second graders were excited to perform a musical new to our drama department entitled Wing It! The plot concerns a group of baby birds who are not so sure they want to leave their safe and cozy nest. We follow the fledglings as they learn about the trials and rewards of taking risks and what it means to truly soar. ( Photo: Taking a curtain call after a performance of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" are upper elementary drama students, from left, Riley Whittemore, Alex Griffin, Cameron Stevenson, Ethan Ly, and Conner Joubert.)
National Proportions ... Pre-algebra students in Renee' Miller's classes are using what they have learned about ratios and proportion to create an accurate scale drawing of the United States.

They started with drawings of individual states set up on a grid of 6 mm squares. Their assignment was to use scale proportion to create an enlarged grid for new, larger scale drawings of the states using a ratio of 6:36.

Using math, they figured out how long and wide their paper would have to be to accommodate the larger grid system in which each horizontal and vertical grid line would be 36 mm apart. Once the math was done, and the grid lines lightly sketched on the larger paper, they started the laborious process of transferring the images of the states, square by square, onto the new grid. Next week, the students will assemble their states into an accurate large scale map of the U.S.A. ( Sophia Rabeaux, 6C, works on drawing her states on the large scale grid. )
Building Bridges... After learning basic information about beam, arch, suspension, and cable stayed bridges and the forces that can impact their stability, the students in Amy Guillory's Introduction to Engineering class built model bridges using Popsicle sticks, toothpicks, and plenty of ingenuity.

"Each bridge style has pros and cons," said Mrs. Guillory. "Suspension bridges can typically span greater lengths, but are the most costly option. Cable stayed bridges offer some of the same advantages as suspension bridges at a lesser cost, so they are becoming a popular option." Before building began, the students sketched their designs and used the drawings to help guide their process. Later, they tested the bridges with wind "to determine if they distributed torsion and shearing forces without twisting or cracking," Mrs. Guillory explained. ( Photo: Barrett Couvillon, grade 10, and teaching assistant Caroline Henning, grade 12, at work on a suspension bridge. )
We Sincerely Thank...
"Pasta for Patients" Update ... A huge thank you goes to everyone who has contributed to our "Pasta for Pennies" fundraiser in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Campaign sponsor Renee' Miller reports that our school is in the lead in the Hero Squad Online Giving Challenge. If we remain in the lead through the end of the campaign, our school will receive a gift card from Wal-Mart, she explained. "Though we've met our online giving goal of $2,500," she added, "we will keep our online giving page open as we continue to strive toward our overall goal, which we have not quite met. So far, six lunch classes have earned ice cream parties." CLICK HERE TO DONATE ONLINE...

Special thank yous go to Noah Hebert, 6B, and Luke Calhoun , 2B. Noah met his goal of raising $200 more for this year’s campaign than he did last year with his online giving page. Noah was the top online fundraiser in the Mississippi and Louisiana LLS chapter in the 2018 campaign. Luke Calhoun put his entrepreneurial skills to work by opening a Pennies for Pasta lemonade stand. He raised $200, which included a matching grant from his dad’s practice, Central Vision Care. ( Photo: Luke Calhoun tries to drum up business for his Pasta for Pennies lemonade stand as his dad, Mike Calhoun, looks on. )
( Above Photo: Showing their best "surprised faces" for a song in today's second grade performance of "Winging It!" in the Elementary Drama Room are, from left, Adleigh Watts, Ellis Belhadjali, April Gomez, and Addie Willis.)
In this week's photo album: Third-Grade Wind Experiment, Sixth-Grade Science - Sound and Resonance, Art, Biology, Pre-Algebra Scale Drawings, Elementary Drama Performances, Junior Beta Convention, and Candids.
Athletic Corner

The Indoor Track and Field team’s Lady Raiders had strong performances at the Division 2 (classes 3A-C) Indoor State Championship with five qualifying runners. Junior Annie Fink attacked the 1600m with a time of 5:31, racing to a 5th-place finish and setting a new PR in the 800m of 2:29. The girls 4x800m team of Micah Roper, Ryan Roper, Blaiklee Guillot and Sydney Worsham improved its qualifying mark by 10 seconds and finished 11th. In the 3200m, Micah Roper raced with a lot of courage to finish 8th in the state.

( Photo: Annie Fink, grade 11, in competition at the Indoor State Championships .)

The Raiders varsity basketball team finished up the regular season last Friday night with a 89-62 blowout win against 3A Albany. There were four players in double digits. Cade Tate scored 33 points, Collin Coates had 15 points and Ben Holliday and Ben Stafford each added 11 points. The Raiders finish the regular season 30-14, and this is the first 30 win year in ten years. Runnels is the 3rd seed in Division 5, and is waiting to play the winner of Episcopal School of Acadiana and Claiborne Christian. The quarterfinal game will most likely be Friday, March 1 at home. The Raiders are seeking their first Top 28 appearance since 2008. There is a home game tonight versus Lee High at 6 p.m.

This week, the Rolling Raiders scored two victories. On Monday, the bowling team brought home another win as they defeated Glen Oaks 20-7. On Wednesday, the team also won its match against U-High. Juniors Mitchell Egger and Sarah Stanfield each improved their overall average.

Varsity Volleyball Coach Jean Martinez and Junior High Volleyball Coach Zoe Craig will be holding a Mardi Gras Mambo Volleyball Camp March 6 - 8 from 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. The camp is open to all Runnels students in grades 5-8. Camp fees are $75 made payable to Jean Martinez. Please submit completed and signed Liability Waiver with payment.
Girls Powerlifting Regional Meet - Denham Springs High - 4:45 p.m.
Varsity Track & Field – STM Meet at Lakeshore High School 
Varsity Softball vs. Port Allen at Home - 5:00 p.m. 
Varsity Basketball Exhibition Game vs. Lee at Home – 6:00 p.m.

Boys Powerlifting Regional Meet - Denham Springs High - 9:45 a.m. - SPIRIT EVENT!

Email game and fan photos to  n.latiolais@runnels.org . Please include the event and the name of the students pictured .  
Friendly Reminders
Feb. 23 / Louisiana High School District Rally / Southeastern University

Feb. 24 / "Pasta for Patients" Fundraiser Ends / Click here to donate online.

Feb. 24 / PAR Mother & Son Dance / Catalano Gym, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Click here for tickets.

Feb. 27 / Jr. High Drama Performance / The American Revolution in 40 Minutes or Less, Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 2:10 p.m.

Feb. 27 / Band Solo & Ensemble Festival

Feb. 28 / Strings Solo & Ensemble Festival

Feb. 28. / Kindergarten Taste of Louisiana , Kindergarten Classrooms, 10:30 a.m.

Mar. 1 / Elementary Mardi Gras Celebration / Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 1:35 p.m.

Mar. 2 - March 10 / Mardi Gras School Holiday

Through Mar. 6 / Register for After-School ACT Prep Workshops at Runnels / Click here to register .

Mar. 11 / School Resumes

Mar. 18 / Practice ACT at Runnels for all juniors / Theatre, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon