February 14, 2020
Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions, and national origins.

In Focus this week: Senior Named National Merit Finalist; The Sound of Music, One of Our Favorite Things; Junior High Students Participate in Youth Legislature; Flat Stanleys Go North to Alaska; Math and Mapping; Brushing and Flossing; Kudos and Notable Events; We Sincerely Thank; Weekly Photo Album; Athletic Corner; Friendly Reminders.
Senior Named National Merit Finalist

Runnels senior Aubri M. Watts has advanced to Finalist standing in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program competition. As a Finalists, she will be considered for National Merit Scholarships to be awarded this spring.

To become Finalists, Semifinalists must maintain outstanding academic records throughout high school, receive the endorsement of their high school principal, and submit SAT scores confirming their performance on the initial qualifying test. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be chosen from the Finalist group. Scholarship awards will be announced starting in March of 2020.

“Being selected as a National Merit Finalist opens up an enormous number of additional scholarship opportunities,” said Runnels Jr./Sr. High Assistant Principal Dana Schlotterer. “Watching Aubri work toward this milestone over the last four years has been a privilege. She could not be more deserving of this honor. We cannot wait to see what she accomplishes in college." 

Aubri is the daughter of Dr. Amanda Watts and Neal Watts.

( Photo: Aubri Watts)
The Sound of Music at Runnels ... One of Our Favorite Things!

Treat your loved ones to The Sound of Music at Runnels this weekend! Tickets are still available for both shows -- Feb. 14 and 15 at 7:00 p.m. in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre. This family friendly musical is sure to make the top spot on your list of favorite things!

The Sound of Music follows the story of Maria, a joyful woman who leaves the convent where she is training to be a nun to take on the role of governess to a family of seven children. The Tony-Award winning play was adapted into the classic film starring Julie Andrews as Maria.

Advance tickets are $12 for students and $15 for adults. At the door, all tickets are $18. (Online ticket sales close 12 hours before each show.) CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS.

(Photos: Maria, played by junior Sophie Edwards, teaches the Von Trapp children about the joy of singing in a scene from 'The Sound of Music.' Clockwise from left are Ethan Ly, Sophia Horridge, Lauren Ly, Conner Joubert, Sophie Edwards, Madisan Milam, Brooke Drescher, and Harper Guay.)
Jr. High Students Accrue Exciting Achievements at Youth Legislature

Our 7th and 8th graders had an inside look at the workings of state government this week when they took part in Youth Legislature 2020 at the Old State Capitol.

Sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge, the two-day mock legislative session allows students to undertake roles in all three branches of government and the news media for a hands-on look at the legislative process at work. They also had the opportunity to present and defend bills they had prepared in class.

Of the 12 bills presented at the session, six were drafted by Runnels students, and four of these were passed. Congratulations to Poppy Pellissier and Lily Hayden on their bill, Open My Window, which advocates for fewer restrictions on school laptops; Reide Walker and Luke Hillman for their bill, The Dead Zone, which requires better oil spill clean up in the Gulf and more penalties for polluting; Jenna Sheikha and Sadie Miller for their bill, Babies Behind Bars, which calls for more visitation rights for incarcerated mothers of newborns; and Julia Brashier and Ava McCann for their bill, Bro Watch the Car, which advocates for more crosswalks in Louisiana.

Elected to office were Ben Hader, President Pro-Tem of the Senate; Gibby Guay, Secretary of State and Press Secretary; Stuart Roark, Chaplain of the Senate; Jake Carey, Chaplain of the House; Brendan Levins, Clerk of the House; and Annabelle Pepitone, Sergeant-at-Arms for the House. Landree Clark and Reed Miller were appointed to the Cabinet.

Our thanks to Louisiana Studies teachers Jade Dolan and Eunice McCarney for preparing our students for Youth Legislature 2020 and sponsoring them at the session and English teachers Sherry Wilks and Kylie Harbin for chaperoning.

(Photo: A group of Runnels delegates with LA Studies teachers and chaperones at the Old State Capitol.)

Flat Stanleys Go North to Alaska

The fun of reading and writing about Flat Stanley, a character from a children's book of the same name by Jeff Brown, exploded in Leah Pizzalato's 4th-grade English class when the students learned they were going to make flat people of their own and exchange them with students in Alaska!

"Each student made his or her own flat person and wrote a personal letter to go with it," said Mrs. Pizzalato. "These were sent to Heather Baker's 4th-grade class at K-Beach Elementary in Soldotna, Alaska." Mrs. Baker's class did the same.

This week, the Alaskan letters and flat people arrived at Runnels. The letters were full of information and anecdotes about the children's families, pets, and pastimes as well as their favorite computer games, colors, and foods. One letter addressed the weather and how it affects recess, explaining that when the temperature hits -10 degrees F or higher, the children at K-Beach Elementary are allowed to go outside for recess!

Over the next couple of weeks -- which includes Mardi Gras break -- our students will take the Alaskan flat people home. They'll write in a journal about adventures they have with the flat people and document the experiences with photos, to be returned to school. The students in Mrs. Baker's class in Alaska will be doing the same thing with the flat people from Runnels. Both sets of flat travelers will eventually return to their home states with great stories and pictures of their experiences to share.

(Photo: With flat visitors from Alaska are, from left, Lorelei Welch, Emma Hazel Wingate, and Jordan Bergeron.)
Math and Mapping

Students in Renee' Miller's pre-algebra class are using what they have learned about ratios and proportions to create an accurately proportioned large-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.

First, they used their math skills to figure how out long and wide their paper would have to be to accommodate the larger grid system where 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 process of transferring the images of the states, square by square, onto the new grid. The next step will be to assemble the states into an accurate large-scale map of the United States.

(Photo: Brandon Yan, 6A, works on the mapping project in pre-algebra class.)
Brushing and Flossing

Since February is National Children's Dental Health Month, students in Tish Tooraen's lower elementary P.E. classes got to work this week learning the importance of dental hygiene. They practiced brushing and flossing properly by gluing miniature marshmallow "teeth" onto pink construction paper "mouths." They brushed the "teeth" with Q-tips for two minutes and used green yarn to floss.

They also did an experiment with eggshells (substituting for teeth) to test for stains after soaking overnight in milk, cola, and water. Even after a good brushing with a soft bristle toothbrush and toothpaste, the egg soaked in cola remained stained.

(Photo: Melanie Howard works hard flossing her marshmallow teeth.)
Kudos and Notable Events
Teachers' Pets ... Creatures great and small made an appearance at our preschool this week in honor of Pet Week. Teacher Danielle Banquer introduced the children to her kitty, Cat Benatar, which she carries around in a large but cozy purse. Also on the visitor's list were prize-winning golden retrievers, KT and Khay, owned and trained by John Runnels, husband of Preschool Co-Director Karen Runnels. Another welcome guest was Velveeta the box turtle, raised from an egg by teacher Michael Bordelon and his family. Many thanks to all for sharing their pets with our preschoolers.

(Photo: Preschool teacher Danielle Banquer introduces her pet, Cat Benatar, to preschool students.)
Digging for Dinosaurs ... The kindergartners had terrific fun hunting for fossils in Katherine Phillippe's science classes recently. After reading a booklet titled Pete the Paleontologist with their teacher, the students used brushes, tweezers, forks, and other "paleontologists' tools" to sift through plastic bins filled with sand. Careful excavation of the thick sand yielded a treasure trove of dinosaur skulls, crystals, full bodied miniature plastic dinosaurs, shells, bones, and other interesting tidbits, which the children dutifully classified and counted just like Pete the Paleontologist

(Photo: Hudson Ferguson and Emme Vagi digging for fossils.)
3D Printer Cactus Project ... Kudos to Computer Applications students Annie Garrison, Krina Patel, and Enzo Rovai for creating winning 3D drawings of a cactus using the Paint 3D app from Microsoft.

"We explore Google and Microsoft apps in class," explained Computer Applications teacher Kathleen Judd. For the project, each student created a 3D drawing of a cactus in Paint 3D. A vote was held in each class to pick the best drawing. "The winners had their cacti printed on the Jr./Sr. High 3D printer," Mrs. Judd added. Many thanks to IT's Jonathan Hebert for facilitating the project.

( Photo: From left are Jonathan Hebert, with students Annie Garrison, Enzo Rovai and Krina Patel and their winning 3D cacti.)

Online Trivia Contest Winners ... To get us warmed up for Trivia Night next Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the Jr./Sr. High Andy Mack Memorial Library, the Quiz Bowl team ran an online trivia contest all week long. Daily winners (from drawing of all who answered the questions correctly) won $2 to spend at our school store. Congrats to drawing winners Madison Cummins, Lilah Wartelle, Rowen Basso, and Jr./Sr. High secretary Beth Morrison. You can still get advance tickets for Quiz Bowl Trivia Night in the Jr./Sr. High Office or Jr./Sr. High English classes for $8. At the door, all tickets are $10.
We Sincerely Thank ...
Salad and Pasta for Seniors ... At this month's senior luncheon, held Wednesday in the gym, members of the Class of 2020 feasted on Italian food! Students enjoyed a hearty salad and two luscious pasta dishes, topped off with tiramisu and homemade chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

Many thanks to senior moms Rebecca Todaro and Tish Tooraen for hosting the luncheon and Marcello's of Lafayette for contributing to the feast.

( Photo: Eli Todaro, Rebecca Todaro, Tish Tooraen, and Natalia Tooraen.)
S peaking of the Environment ... Linn Fink , a senior engineer with Occidental Chemical Corp., visited Dave Marschall's Environmental Science AP class this week to provide first-hand information about the closing of an EPA-designated Superfund site in Sorrento. For the closing, decades-old industrial waste had to be dug up, incinerated, and reburied. Mr. Fink's presentation showed challenges met during the process to protect public health. 

(Photo: Second from right is guest speaker Linn Fink with Environmental Science AP students and Mr. Marschall.)
Grazie Mille, PAR! ... Thanks to the hard work, generosity, and thoughtfulness of our PAR, the faculty and staff enjoyed a lavish Teacher Appreciation Luncheon in the gym on Thursday. The Italian-themed meal featured a salad bar, six different pasta dishes catered by New York Pizza and Pasta, and a dazzling assortment of fabulous desserts, many of them homemade! We sincerely thank the Teacher Appreciation chair Shasta Felton, PAR President Blake Stevenson, the PAR and everyone who contributed to making this event such a treat for our faculty and staff. We felt very appreciated and extremely well fed! Special thanks go to on-site hostesses Blake Stevenson, Wendy Dolan, Wendy Milam, Julie Tinsley, and Patricia LeBlanc.

(Se rving pasta at this week's Teacher Appreciation catered luncheon are, from left, Julie Tinsley, Blake Stevenson, Shasta Felton, Wendy Dolan, and Patricia LeBlanc.)

New Refrigerator for Preschool ... We sincerely thank preschool dad Steven Guidry and his employer, the Home Depot , for the recent donation of a refrigerator to the Jefferson Hwy. campus. We also thank preschool dad Adam Wyatt for helping to deliver it.

In this week's photo album: Second Grade Valentine Letters, Counting Back Change in Third Grade, Fourth-Grade Flat Stanleys, Fifth-Grade Math, Dissecting Squid in Biology II, Senior Italian Lunch, 3D Printer Cactus Project, Preschool Pet Week, Teacher Appreciation Luncheon, Prealgebra Maps, and Candids.

(Photo: Bringing down the house with their performance of "How Can Love Survive?" in 'The Sound of Music' are, from left, Mollybeth Wilkinson as the Baroness, Evan Beoubay as Captain Von Trapp, and Eli Latiolais as Max.)
Athletic Corner
G et your Raider spirit apparel at the Booster Club's Spirit Store !
Runnels Raiders are district champions! The Raiders defeated Christ Episcopal last Friday night 80-54, led by Wesley Stevenson's 20 points. The Raiders went on the road Tuesday night for a hard fought win against the Holden Rockets. The final score was 67-63, in what was a back and forth game that decided the district title. Collin Coates led the way with 27 points and both Ben Holliday and Ben Stafford added 15 points.  
Tuesday is SENIOR NIGHT and the last regular season home game. The Raiders will take on Family Christian Academy. Senior basketball team members Ben Holliday, Jack Kahn and Phillip Lukinovich and cheerleader Kissa Nicholas-Whitt will be honored with a presentation before the varsity game at 6 p.m. Come out and support the Raiders!

*** 1000 career points ***
Collin Coates and Ben Holliday scored their 1000th career point this year. Collin did it against Central and Ben completed the feat against Maurepas. Congratulations to both of these players!
The Runnels 8th grade boys basketball team won the St. Jean Vianney tournament on Saturday. The Raiders defeated St. Alphonsus for the win, 32-18. Kareem Badawi and Tyler Thibodeaux each scored 10 points, with Cooper Coates adding another 8 points.

(Photo: Runnels 8th grade basketball team takes first place in the St. Jean Vianney Tournament.)
Wednesday, the Runnels Bowling team took on Madison Prep. While ultimately defeated, the team had some stellar scores. Josh Freeman led with a 177, while Rachel Hargrove with 158 and Sarah Stanfield with 150 were close behind. Omid Boushehri, a first-time player, scored a 110.

Bowling Coach Michele Stanfield said, “I'm proud of all of them! It was a tough team and a good game.”
Basketball vs. Family Christian Academy – 6:00 p.m. --SENIOR NIGHT!
Send in your fan pics to n.latiolais@runnels.org
Friendly Reminders

Feb. 14 & 15 / The Sound of Music / Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 7:00 p.m. (Online ticket sales close 12 hours prior to each show.)

Feb. 16 - 20 / Elementary Library Spring Used Book Sale / Elem. Library CLICK HERE FOR HOURS...

Feb. 19 / Band - Solo and Ensemble Festival

Feb. 19 / Author of Britfield and the Lost Crown at Runnels / Elem. Library, 12:30 p.m.
Feb. 20 / Strings - Solo & Ensemble Festival

Feb. 20 / Quiz Bowl Trivia Night / Jr./Sr. High Andy Mack Memorial Library, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Feb. 20 / Army War College Presentation / Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 8:30 a.m.
Feb. 21 / Elementary Mardi Gras Celebration / Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 1:30 p.m.
Feb. 24-28 / Mardi Gras Break
March 2 / School Resumes