Feb. 8, 2019
Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions, and national origins.

In Focus this week: Local Therapist Shares Insights on Dangers of Teen Vaping; "Pennies for Patients"; STEM Roller Coaster Project in Physics; Book Reports at the "Wax Museum"; Lion Dancing to Celebrate Lunar New Year; Welcome Back, Raiders; First Annual PAR Mother & Son Dance Set for Feb. 24; Kudos and Notable Events; We Sincerely Thank; Weekly Photo Album; Athletic Corner; Friendly Reminders.

Local Therapist Shares Insights on Dangers of Vaping

Vaping rates today are skyrocketing, especially among teens. Though vaping is a nicotine-delivery system, many teens perceive it as harmless. It looks cool, you don't smell like smoke after you use it, and it comes in candy colors and flavors. What's not to like? But according to licensed marriage and family therapist Dr. Roger Butner, vaping is deceptively dangerous. In an interactive presentation to our junior and senior high students in the auditorium on Monday, he laid out compelling evidence that vaping is far from harmless. ( Photo: Dr. Roger Butner.)

Lion Dancing To Celebrate the Lunar New Year

Runnels junior Eric Ho rang in the Lunar New Year with a traditional lion dance -- not as an observer, but as a participant. As a member of the Southern Lotus Lion Dance Association, Eric portrays the head of a lion in cultural performances around town to celebrate the new year.

This is his second year with the lion dance troupe, which he joined through his Buddhist Youth Group at the Tam Bao Temple in Baton Rouge. Although he and his group trained last year during spring break with what he considers the best lion dance team in Texas, the Rising Phoenix Lion Dance Association in Dallas, he said he still has a lot more to learn. 

“The lion dance brings joy and good luck,” Eric explained, adding that it is said to have originated long ago when a monster was terrorizing a village. "A Buddhist monk created a second monster (the lion in the lion dance) and firecrackers to make noise to scare away the first monster." The mirror on the front of the lion head costume is intended to frighten and chase off the original monster (bad luck). The costume requires two dancers, one to move the tail section and another to control the head. The costume is imported from Malaysia. 

Eric and the Southern Lotus Lion Dance Association will be performing again this Sunday, Feb. 10 at the Vinh Phat Market at 9:00 a.m. and the Asian Supermarket at 10:00 a.m. Both stores are on Florida Blvd. ( Photo: Eric Ho costumed for the Lion Dance.)
Welcome Back, Raiders!

Towering over Head of School Marcia Mackay in the photo ( at left) taken at the Raider basketball game in the gym Monday night are Runnels alums Conner Raines ( left) and Paul Lukinovich ('17). Fresh from Marine Corps Boot Camp in South Carolina and wearing their Private First Class stripes, they were here on leave. "We were given 10 days between boot camp and our next training to try and recruit anyone who believes they want to take on the challenge," said Paul. The two marines will be on the move again Monday, headed to North Carolina for SOI (School of Infantry) to train as Infantry Riflemen. Anyone with thoughts of joining up is invited to contact SSTG Ornelas at the Baton Rouge Recruiter Sub Station on Jefferson Hwy. "Have them tell him that Private First Class Lukinovich sent them," added Paul.
Mother and Son Dance Set for Feb. 24

Superheroes in grades K-6 and their moms are invited to attend the 1st annual Mother and Son Dance sponsored by the Parent Association of Runnels (PAR). Dress up as a superhero or come incognito. For tickets, CLICK HERE.

PAR Mother & Son Dance
Catalano Gym
Sunday, Feb. 24
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Grades K-6
District Literary Rally Ready ... Congratulations to the 59 junior and senior high students selected to represent our school at the 2019 District Literary Rally at Southeastern University on Feb. 23.

They are Carson Badinger and Connor Porthouse, Advanced Math 1; Madison Sutton and Thomas Worsham, Advanced Math 2; Caroline Pousson and Malek Badawi, Algebra 1; Dawson Latona and Drake Tooraen, Algebra 2; Eric Ho and Ian Shaneyfelt, American History; Blake Siewert and Brandon Hall, Art 1X; Jillian Edmonson and Seth Miller, Art 2X; Alex Morgan, Art 3X; Brieanna Saltzman and Erin Oehrle, Art 4X; Calvin Pittman and Evan Shaneyfelt, Business Computer Applications; Reagan Kyle and Ryan Roper, Biology 1; Natalia Tooraen and Ryan Ly, Calculus; Anna Kadi and Kayla Evans, Calculus 2; Marshall Pentes and Mia Alfonso, Chemistry; Collin Bueche, Civics.

Emily Schacht and Michal Gawronski; English 1; Chris Ortego and Joseph Ismail, English 2; Aubri Watts and Grace Sandefur, English 3; Jillian Edmonson and Sydney Markham, English 4; Camille Doucet and Micah Roper, Environmental Science; Alex Frederic, French 1; Mickey Kaiser, French 3; Lunn Hitchcock and Mason Pentes, Geometry; Eric Huygues, Health; Alan Lam and Emma Collett, Physical Science; Daniel Mayeaux, Physics; Evan Beoubay and Hannah Page, Psychology; Lucy Reeves and Ramsey Rogers, Spanish 1; Sophie Edwards, Spanish 2; Janie Schlotterer and Madisan Milam, Spanish 3; Julia Sager and Katherine Oehrle, Spelling; Daniel Holliday and Marcus Glaze, World Geography; and Parker Collett and Preston Kyle, World History.  
Kudos and Notable Events ...
Dancing to Nationals ... Freshman Hailey Lester qualified for the national Showbiz dance competition at regionals held on Jan. 27. Hailey, an elite competitive dancer, earned 2nd place overall and 1st place for her jazz solo, competing against approximately 30 other dancers in her age group. Hailey said she dances every day at school and spends an additional 10 hours a week at a local studio, Baton Rouge Dance Connection. The national competition will be held this summer. ( Photo: Hailey Lester)

Honor Jazz Band ... Mason Pizzalato, 6C, was selected to the East Baton Rouge Middle School Honor Jazz Band on the electric bass. The concert will be held at the Manship Theater on Feb. 13 at 7:00 p.m.

Alum and Artist ... Jacquelyn LeVann ('09), now a full-time professional artist in New Orleans, recently was featured in New Orleans 365, an online art and business publication. CLICK HERE to catch up with Jackie.
We Sincerely Thank...
New Stools for Harp Room ... Many thanks to Gina and Michael Golda (Laura, 5A and Sarah, grade 8) for donating four new stools to the harp program. Elementary students will sit on the stools to play their harps in class. ( Photo: Happily seated on the new stools are harp students, from left, Kiera Slaten, Gracie Doughty and Wesleigh Doughty.)

Happy Lunar New Year Packets ... A huge thank you goes to the students of the 1st grade class. They thoughtfully made "Happy Lunar New Year" good luck packets for the kindergartners and our elementary administrators this week. Into the packets went Happy Lunar New Year wishes written in red marker on yellow sheets of paper (to represent the colors for Lunar New Year), explained 1st grader teacher Kari Calhoun. Each gift also contained a Chinese lucky coin, said to bring the receiver good fortune, and a piece of chewy candy made from taro root. 

Elementary Chess Club Comeback ... Our grateful thanks goes to Rev. Donnie Wilkinson (Mollybeth, grade 10, and John Harper, 5B) for reviving the Elementary Chess Club. Thirty students signed up to join the club, which had its first meeting today. The group will meet each Friday during lunch and recess in Room 24.
( Photo: Kindergartners display their oil pastel and watercolor paintings of "Pigeon" from the Mo Willems book series. For a snack, they also decorated graham crackers to look like "buses" similar to those pictured in the book, Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Bus!)
In this week's photo album: Elementary Students Trying Out Musical Instruments, 1st Graders Giving Out Their Lunar New Year Packets, 5th Grade Wax Museum, Kindergarten Fitness, Physics Roller Coasters, "Pasta for Pennies" Kick-Off Assemblies, Mo Willems "Pigeons" in Kindergarten, Shakespeare Contest Winners, Preschool Dinosaurs, Elementary Chess Club Meeting, 2nd Grade Long Division, and a sneak preview of Beauty and the Beast.
Athletic Corner

Today is the deadline to sign up for the following sports: Boys Baseball, Girls Volleyball and Boys/Girls Track and Field. If you are submitting forms for multiple sports, complete a separate Sign-Up Form for each individual sport. Once your (required) physical form and/or Physician Order/Airway Action Plan (asthma) are complete, bring a copy to the Jr./Sr. High Office. If you have any questions, contact Junior High Athletic Director Sam Coates, s.coates@runnels.org .

Varsity Basketball Head Coach Ben Young with seniors, from left, Griffin Kennedy, Cade Tate, Collin Bueche and London Deshotel on Senior Night in the Catalano Gym.

The Raiders have won 5 straight games. Basketball seniors (Cade Tate, Collin Bueche, London Deshotel and Griffin Kennedy) and Cheerleading senior (Hannah Page) were feted on Senior Night, Feb. 1. The Raiders crushed Maurepas 104-62. Cade had a career high 57 points while Griffin added 11 points, and Collin contributed 8 points. The Raiders then defeated Doyle on Monday night, 61-58. Tate had 17 points, Collin Coates 12 points and Griffin Kennedy 11 points. 

On Tuesday, the Raiders started the District Tournament against Kenner Discovery, and ran out to a 52-12 halftime lead and won 75-41. Everyone on the team contributed points that night. In the semifinal game, the Raiders again got out to an early lead and defeated Holden 70-45. It was a great team effort on both ends of the court. Runnels held Holden to 30% from the field, and four players were in double figures for the Raiders. Cade Tate had 18 points along with 7 assists. Collin Coates had 18 points while blocking 4 shots. Ben Holliday had 13 points and Collin Bueche had 10 points.

The Raiders are now 27-13 and are playing Crescent City in the District Championship game tonight at Holden at 7:15 p.m.

Click here for more photos from Senior Night (Special thanks go to Matt Hebert and Mollybeth Wilkinson for providing some of the photos).


The boys varsity soccer team has completed the 2018-2019 high school season. “We had a very young team this year with nine freshman and one 8th grader,” said Coach Chris Stewart. “Although our record was not great, our young team gained valuable experience that we hope to benefit from next season.” Coach Stewart also complimented the great leadership from seniors, Ryan Lam and Alex Morgan, along with the three captains, Ryan Lam, Eli Todaro, and Charlie Garrison.
Junior high boys basketball team s (7th grade on left and 8th on right) celebrate after winning in their divisions at the St. Jean Vianney Tournament last weekend.

It was a great weekend for Runnels junior high basketball with both the 7th and 8th grade teams taking home trophies from the St. Jean Vianney Tournament. The 7th grade won, beating Most Blessed Sacrament in the Championship game 38-24. Rossie Harrison and Cooper Coates each scored 12 points, with Ben Hader adding 6. The Raiders also beat St. George and St. Jean Vianney.

The 8th grade beat St. Jean Vianney 32-26 in their final game. Alan Lam scored 12 points and Alex Lam another 10. The Raiders also beat St. Theresa, and St. Alphonsus.
Varsity Boys Basketball – District Tournament in Holden – 7:15 p.m.

On Saturday
Varsity Cheer Mini Cheer Clinic for Elementary – 10:30 a.m. in the Gym

Email game and fan photos to  n.latiolais@runnels.org . Please include the event and the name of the students pictured .  
Friendly Reminders
Feb. 4 - 22 / " Pasta for Pennies"

Feb. 9 / Mini-Cheer Clinic for Grades K-5 / Catalano Gym, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Feb. 13 / Catered Teacher Appreciation Luncheon / Catalano Gym, 11:15 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Click here for more information on how to volunteer.

Feb. 15 - 17 / Disney's Beauty and the Beast / Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, Friday, Feb. 15 at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 16 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb. 17 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets: $10 for students, $12 for adults in advance and $15 for all at the door. Click here to purchase tickets .

Feb. 20 - 22 / Jr. Beta State Convention / Cajundome in Lafayette

Feb. 22 / Elementary Drama Performances

Feb. 23 / Louisiana High School District Rally / Southeastern University

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

Feb. 27 / Band Solo & Ensemble Festival

Feb. 28 / Strings Solo & Ensemble Festival

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

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

March 2 - March 10 / Mardi Gras School Holiday

March 11 / School Resumes