March 13, 2020
Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions, and national origins.

In keeping with the Governor's proclamation, Runnels will be closed from March 16 through April 13 in an effort to help halt the spread of the coronavirus. Since our spring break runs from April 13-17, school at Runnels will not resume until Monday, April 20. Click here for more information...

In Focus : Raiders Vie for State Crown; Annie Fink Named Advocate Star of Stars in XC; Junior Wins DEMCO Essay Contest; Runnels Donates Rare Bird Specimen to LSU; Kudos and Notable Events; We Sincerely Thank; Weekly Photo Album; Athletic Corner; Friendly Reminders.
Raiders Vie for State Crown Tonight

Breaking News from LHSAA: Due to the Governor's coronavirus directives, only athletes, coaches, officials, and designated TV personnel will be permitted to attend the state championship basketball game tonight at Istrouma High. Fortunately, the game will be streamed so we can watch the play-by-play action on NFHS .

If you didn't make it to Tuesday night’s semi-final playoff game against Family Christian in our gym, you missed a real nail-biter! The hard-fought battle brought fans to the edge of their seats. “I could hardly stand the tension.” said elementary teacher and alumni Raiders basketball mom Catherine Barger, “It was so exciting!” The Raiders edged out FCA by a score of 69-68 to snag a spot in the state championship tonight.

Congratulations to Head Coach Ben Young and the mighty Raiders! The players are Rossie Harrison, Alex Lam, Charlie Tucker, Alan Lam, Jack Kahn, Chris Cox, Tyler Thibodeaux, Baron Stevenson, Ben Stafford, Phillip Lukinovich, Cooper Coates, Collin Coates, Grant Treadaway, Drew Burbank, Ben Holliday, and Wesley Stevenson. We'll be there in spirit when they take on Jehovah-Jireh in the state final for District V tonight. Go, Raiders!!

(Photo: Ben Holliday keeps the ball away from his FCA opponent at the semi-final playoff game.)

Annie Fink Named XC Star of Stars

The honors continue to pour in for Running Raiders standout Annie Fink. This week, she was named The Advocate’s 2020 Star of Stars in Girls Cross Country!

The award was a surprise for Annie. On Tuesday during lunch hour in Novak Hall, she was "ambushed" by Advocate project manager Emily Ward and sports editor Perryn Keys who delivered the news along with a balloon bouquet and an invitation to the Star of Stars award ceremony in May. On hand to share the moment were Annie’s parents, Julie and Linn Fink, who are also her cross country coaches.

The Advocate’s Star of Stars program, now in its 35th year, honors the most outstanding high school athletes from across the Baton Rouge metro area in 15 individual sports. Selection is based on all-district, all-metro, and all-state honors, results of regional and state competitions, and recommendations from area coaches.

Annie will be presented with her Star of Stars award on May 18 at The Advocate’s High School Sports Star of Stars event at the L’Auberge Casino and Hotel.

(Photo: From left are Assistant Cross Country Coach Linn Fink, Advocate sports editor Perryn Keys, senior Annie Fink, Head Cross Country Coach Julie Fink, and Advocate project manager Emily Ward.)

Runnels Junior Wins DEMCO Essay Contest

Joseph Ismail, grade 11, is going to Washington, D.C. this summer as one of the four top prize winners in the 2020 DEMCO Essay Contest. Finalists were selected from a group of 12 semi-finalists that also included Runnels junior Kaylee Caillouet.

For this year's annual essay contest, which was open to high school juniors from both private and public schools throughout DEMCO's seven-parish service area, students were asked to write a letter to a public official addressing a topic of concern that was important to them. The submissions were judged on originality, composition, neatness, and how well the writer addressed the subject.

For the final round of competition, the 12 semi-finalists presented their essays orally before judges at an evening banquet at White Oak Plantation on March 10. Joseph's essay was a letter to President Trump about the need to increase funding to NASA. Kaylee's letter, which was addressed to the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, suggested better procedures for school lockdowns during emergency situations. Both essays were written as an assignment in Colleen LeBlanc's English Language and Composition AP class. Mrs. LeBlanc and high school teacher Ann Ostrom joined the students and their families at the banquet.

Joseph's all-expense paid trip to our nation's capital is set for June. He'll join more than 1,500 students from across America for the 56th Annual Electric Cooperative Youth Tour.

( Photo: Kaylee Caillouet and Joseph Ismail)
Runnels Donates Rare Bird Specimen to LSU

A recent donation of a century-old collection of mounted bird specimens by Runnels School to the LSU Museum of Natural Science is helping to preserve the past. The collection of 50 Louisiana birds in a glass-enclosed exhibit case included an especially rare find -- the now extinct Eskimo Curlew.

"We're excited to receive the collection, especially the Eskimo Curlew," said Steve Cardiff, a collections manager at the museum. "We want it and can make sure it's protected going forward."

Mr. Cardiff and his colleague, Donna Dittman, also a collections manager at the museum, were on campus March 6 to officially accept the donation and transport it to the LSU campus. Representing Runnels were Environmental Science AP teacher Dave Marschall and former Runnels Jr./Sr. High vice principal Monica Bryan. Both were instrumental in facilitating the donation.

The collection, originally housed in a museum, was given to our school in 2005 by Runnels parents Mike Steinberg and Barbara Schlichtman, who had inherited it from a family member. They donated it to Runnels before moving to Hawaii.

Mrs. Bryan, who served as our junior high life science teacher at the time, worked with LSU bird expert Richard Gibbons to identify the specimens. He verified that the birds in the collection, all of which migrate through Louisiana at some point in their life cycles, had been mounted about 100 years ago.

Pronouncing the Eskimo Curlew a jewel, Dr. Gibbons added: "If this is indeed an Eskimo Curlew, it would be only the second preserved specimen in the state."

Now the con servation director for Houston Audubon, Dr. Gibbons has submitted a request to the LSU Museum of Natural Science to borrow the Eskimo Curlew for research and study.

We sincerely thank Mrs. Bryan for spearheading the donation to LSU, Mr. Marschall for his assistance, and maintenance supervisor Kenny Copsey for helping with the transfer of the collection case.

Once installed at the LSU Museum of Natural Science, the collection will bear a plaque acknowledging its donation by Runnels School.

( Photo: With the collection of mounted bird specimens that Runnels is donating to the LSU Museum of Natural Science are, from left, Donna Dittmann, Steve Cardiff, Monica Bryan, and Dave Marschall. )
Kudos and Notable Events
Art Flow 2020 ... Original artwork by Runnels art teacher Sydney McGraw and her students, Izzy Arey, Jossy Stegall, and Brieanna Saltzman, has been selected to appear in Art Flow 2020, an art exhibit sponsored by the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge.

The exhibit, which showcases the work of Louisiana artists, is scheduled to be held March 16 through April 5 at the Gallery of the Manship Theatre at the Shaw Center for the Arts. Congrats to Mrs. McGraw and her talented students!

(Photo: From left are Jossy Stegall, grade 8, Izzy Arey, grade 8, junior and senior high art teacher Sydney McGraw, and Brieanna Saltzman, grade 10.)
Wild Things ... Kudos to our elementary drama students and their teachers for presenting two outstanding plays in the Drama Room this week.

Students in Julie Horridge's 1X and 1Y sections delighted audiences with lively songs, dances, and dialogue from the children's musical, It's a Jungle Out There (photo).

Sonya Blanchard's upper elementary drama students impressed us with their productions of Gran's Guide to Stop an Ogre, a creative take on dealing with bullies -- those that appear in fairy tales and in real life.

We Sincerely Thank ...
Raiders in Focus ... Many thanks to Runnels moms Melanie Hyatt and Cindi Harrison for sharing photos and video, respectively, from Tuesday's semi-final basketball game. (See Weekly Album for the pictures and our top story for the video.)

(Photo: Collin Coates cuts down one of the nets after the Raiders win the state semi-final playoff game in the Catalano Gym Tuesday night.)

Preschool Teacher Appreciation Continued ... " We had another awesome Teacher Appreciation Day at the preschool," said Preschool Co-Director Janice Leger . We sincerely thank Nikki Guidry and Christy Carpenter for heading up the event. Faculty and staff breakfasted on casseroles, Chick-Fil-A biscuits, and other assorted goodies and lunched on soups, pasta dishes, salads, and yummy cupcakes. Special thanks go to Mary Le, Lauren Peterson, Jessica Patton, Christy Carpenter , and Nicole Roton .
Say It with Flowers ... Mrs. Eberly's AP Biology students decided to "repurpose" the plants they used in a recent biology lab to spread joy across our campus. In their Transpiration Lab, one of the “big 12” labs in AP Biology, students measure the rate of transpiration -- water lost from a plant’s leaves -- in various environmental conditions. For the experiment, groups of plants were subjected to varying levels of light, heat, moisture, and wind. Each day students would weigh the plants to determine water loss.After collecting their final data this week, the students decided to put put the plants in individual containers, labeled them with inspirational messages, and distribute them around campus.

In this week's photo album: 11th Grade Field Trip to WWII Museum, Runnels Donates 100 Year Old Mounted Bird Collection to LSU Museum, Annie Fink Named Advocate Star of Stars, AP Biology Plants, Semi-Final Basketball Game, Raider Star Drawing, Harry Potter Club, and Candids.
Athletic Corner
Runnels Basketball Team Scores another W and Heads to State Tonight! GO RAIDERS!
The Raiders won the State Semifinals against FCA in the final home game for Runnels. Runnels jumped out to a 25-9 lead in the first quarter and led 36-24 going into the half. Going into the fourth quarter the Raiders were up 15, and held on to win 69-68. Ben Holliday led the scoring with 22 points including 6 three pointers. Collin Coates and Phillip Lukinovich added 15 points each. Jack Kahn added 10 points. This is the school's first appearance in the State Championship game. Runnels takes on Jehovah Jireh tonight at Istrouma at 7 p.m. for the State Championship. See feature article above.
Monday was Senior Night and the last game for the Runnels Bowling Team. The Runnels Raiders did not disappoint. They shut down Brighton Academy 24-3. It was a wonderful season. Congratulations, Raiders!

(Photo: The bowling team members are, back row, from left, Eddie Tunis, Kyle Nicholson, Lunn Hitchcock , Rachel Hargrove, Lance LeBlanc, Josh Freeman, Omid Boushehri, and Jacob Tate; front row, Beau Blanchard, Joel Pena, and Karli Hebert.)
Currently the Lady Raiders softball team is 10-0 and ranked #1 in the state. Chloe Bueche continues to dominate in the circle, posting a 7-0 record with an ERA of 0.70 and 43 strikeouts in 30 innings pitched.

On offense, Brooke Sandefur leads the team with a .731 average and 9 doubles. Carlie Aucoin has shut down baserunners throwing out 10 of 19. Reilly Wilks is hitting a .375 average and collected 3 RBI’s against Dunham.

This week, first year player and senior Erin Oehrle collected her first hit in a win versus Family Christian!

This weekend, the Ladies play in the Northeast tournament. On Saturday, the team will play East Iberville at 11:00 a.m. and the winner of game two at 3:00 p.m.

(Photo: Lady Raiders softball team takes the field.)
At the West Feliciana Relays, the Outdoor Track & Field team girls finished 6th and the boys 7th. Congratulations to Blaiklee Guillot and her breakout performance and her 1st place finish in the 800m and Tyler Thibodeaux's in the 1600m! 

KUDOS... Senior Annie Fink received the prestigious invitation to The Advocate's Star of Stars Sports Award banquet for her performance as the best female Cross Country runner of 2019. See feature article above.
G et your Raider spirit apparel at the Booster Club's Spirit Store !

Basketball State Championship vs. Jehovah Jireh at Istrouma High – 7:00 p.m. – Admission is $10.

Softball – Northeast Tournament at Northeast – 11:00 a.m. vs. East Iberville – 3:00 p.m. bracket game
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Friendly Reminders
April 12-17 / Spring Break

April 20 / School Resumes