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

In Focus this week: Runnels DAR Good Citizen Award Winner Honored; Bravo to Runnels Orchestra for Outstanding Performance with LSU Philharmonia; Raider Rally Tonight at 5:30; Globe Trotting Kindergarten Musical; High School Drama Department To Stage Neil Simon's Rumors ; Kudos and Notable Events; We Sincerely Thank; Weekly Photo Album; Athletic Corner; Friendly Reminders.

Runnels DAR Good Citizen Award Recipient Honored

Senior Anna Claire Pousson was selected to receive the 2019 Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Good Citizen Award at Runnels and went on to win honors in the organization's scholarship program.

As an award recipient, Anna Claire was eligible to enter the DAR Good Citizens scholarship contest, which required the submission of an essay on the issues facing the U.S. as it moves forward as a nation.

"My essay focused on the problem of modern Americans losing sight of the nation’s core values that are included in the Constitution, such as equality for all," said Anna Claire.

Her essay won the Baton Rouge Chapter contest and went on to capture first place in the South Central District. At a luncheon ceremony this week, she was presented with a small scholarship and a certificate of achievement.  

The DAR award is presented to outstanding seniors who demonstrate the qualities of service, leadership, reliability, good character and patriotism. Only one senior per year is recognized as a school’s DAR Good Citizen.

An Honor Roll student and AP (Advanced Placement) Scholar with Honors, Anna Claire is a member of the National Honor Society and Senior Beta Club and has served as an officer of both organizations. A four-year member of the volleyball team, she has also played tennis for Runnels and served as a class officer.

She was recently recognized by the River Road Chapter of the National Charity League for volunteer service to the community and was presented with a Six Year Award for participation in grades 7 through 12. She also volunteers with CASA.

A violinist with the Runnels Orchestra since fourth grade, Anna Claire has been awarded a music scholarship to the University of Louisiana – Lafayette, where she plans to major in political science with a concentration in pre-law.

A Runnels Raider since preschool, Anna Claire is the daughter of Christine and Martin Pousson. 
16th Annual Raider Rally Tonight at 5:30

Join us tonight from 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. on the elementary playground for the Raider Rally! Come on out and dunk a coach or a teacher, play some Ga Ga Ball, toss a few rings or dirty socks, get your face painted, win a fish, eat delicious food, and enjoy lots, lots more!

Sponsored by the Booster Club, the Rally is a school-wide fundraiser with proceeds benefiting classes, clubs, organizations, and athletic teams.

Tickets (50 cents each or a strip for $10) will be sold at the gate. Runnels logo items will be available for purchase by check or cash only.

Please make sure that your elementary aged children are accompanied by a supervising adult. Thank you in advance for your support.
Bravo to String Orchestra for Outstanding LSU Concert

Congratulations to the members of the Runnels String Orchestra and their directors, Jennifer and Dan Cassin, for a dazzling performance with the LSU Philharmonia in the Recital Hall at LSU's College of Music on Tuesday night. They played Little Suite for Strings by Christopher Lowry, a work composed for Runnels.

"The concert was nothing short of magnificent," said Gladys Runnels, vice president of Runnels Schools, Inc., who was in the audience with her husband, Founding Headmaster Dr. L.K. Runnels. "The piece composed for our school is really, really beautiful. It's also very complex and difficult! Our students played every note through every movement perfectly and beautifully. Kelly and I were both so touched and so proud of them and Jennifer and Dan Cassin. How exciting it was to hear beautiful harp music performed by Runnels harp teacher Gabi Werries in the same concert!"

Runnels Advanced String Orchestra: (Violin 1) Annie Fink, Catherine Bonaventure, Micah Roper, Anna Claire Pousson, Ally Sutton; (Violin 2) George Forgey, Ali Guerin, Madeleine Reonas, Olivia Chaisson, Emma Felton, Sela Basso, Jasmine Townsend, Fatima Ahmed; (Viola) Emily Schacht, Andrew Schacht, Ryan Roper, Hannah Landry; and (Cello) Connor Porthouse and Brooke Parsons. ( Photo: Runnels Orchestra and LSU Philharmonia in side by side concert at LSU March 19 directed by LSU Symphony Conductor Carlos Riazuelo.)

Globe Hopping Kindergarten Musical Delights Audiences

The kindergartners took us on a virtual journey around the world with their spring musical this year. The Travel Hour ran for two performances on March 21 and 22 in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre.

The show, presented in the format of a home shopping network "airing" an infomercial promoting an around-the-world vacation. Previously videotaped "presenters" announced the trip's itinerary, and "travelers" performed songs and dances showing the wonders of New York, Scotland, India, Japan, and New Orleans.

Congratulations to our talented performers, director Julie Horridge, and the legion of teachers and parents who helped get this adorable show "on the road." ( Photo: Josie White and Chase Pittman "travel" to Scotland in the kindergarten musical.)

High School Drama Department To Stage Neil Simon's Rumors April 4 and 5

The Runnels High School drama department will present Neil Simon’s madcap comedy Rumors for two performances in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre April 4 and 5 at 7:00 p.m.

Set at a swanky New York dinner party in the '80s, Rumors is a farce fueled by quirky characters, pratfalls, clever one-liners, and goofy situations. It’s comedy at its very best cooked up by a master of the genre.

In featured roles are seniors Thomas Worsham, Kayla Evans, Madaleine Alessi, and Alex Morgan, junior Aubri Watts, sophomore Preston Kyle, senior Emma Tooraen, senior Carson Badinger, sophomore Marshall Pentes, and junior Jackie Hinkley. 

Directing the show is K-12 Theatre Program Chair Neena McLain with the assistance of senior Sophia Torres. The stage manager is senior Camille Doucet and the assistant stage manager is sophomore Caroline Collins. 

Because some of the language in this play may not be suitable for children younger than high school age, parental guidance (PG-13) is recommended.

Advance tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students. At the door, tickets are $10 for all. Online ticket sales start Monday, March 25. (Online ticket sales close 12 hours before each performance.)

Robotics Club Update

The Jr./Sr. High Robotics Team had its final tournament of the season March 16. Runnels placed eighth out of twenty teams. 

"Overall, the team did very well this season and team members continue to develop the skills needed to be good engineers and leaders," said sponsor Jennifer Leeper.

The team sincerely thanks Jonathan Hebert (IT Department) for helping to design and print its first 3D-printed component; Richard Oram for mentoring; Derek and Kasia Gawronski for hosting practice at their home and lending a hand throughout the season; Kristina Porthouse for making lunch arrangements during tournaments; and all of the robotics team parents for continuous support in this endeavor. ( Photo: Jr./Sr. High Robotics Team members Connor Porthouse, left, and Reagan Kyle prepare the arm of the robot to attach the new scoop. )
Kudos and Notable Events
JCL Goes To State Convention ... Runnels competed well at the Louisiana Junior Classical League (JCL) Convention held in Baton Rouge last weekend. Attending were high school students Anna Somerville, Kalyee Freiberger, Chris Ortego, Joseph Ismail, and Alex Morgan, who was there as first vice president of the state JCL.

In individual competition, Chris Ortego placed first in Ancient Geography, Classical Literature, Latin Derivatives, Roman History, and Vocabulary and second in Academic Decathlon, Ancient Geography, and Greek Pentathlon. In the Overall Academic Sweeps, he finished third. 

Senior Kalyee Freiberger placed first in Maps in the Graphic Arts category, and sophomore Joseph Ismail was second in Latin Derivatives, Mottoes, Reading Comprehension, and Vocabulary. Also bringing home a second-place ribbon was senior Anna Somerville in Upper Sight Reading - Latin.

( Photo: Senior Anna Somerville works on the banner for the JCL state convention. )
It's a Wrap! ... The final pep rally of the year, held March 21 in the gym, was bursting with Raider Spirit and support for spring sports. The members of the baseball and softball teams (the tennis team was away) were introduced to tumultuous applause.

There was plenty of fun to go around as students and teachers tested their skills by participating in zany challenges

The cheerleaders and dance team performed, the "Pep Band," conducted by Jill Swetnam, played, and the seniors had a moment when they took the floor for a cheer and a rap by Thomas Worsham.

Many thanks to the cheer squad and sponsors Sherry Wilks and Rachel Hart for orchestrating this special event.

( Photo: Wearing his signature red scarf, Thomas Worsham performs a rap surrounded by fellow seniors.)

CLICK HERE for videos from the pep rally today. CLICK HERE for a video of the senior rap.
National Charity League Honors ... Rachel Wehbe and Anna Claire Pousson were among 15 area seniors honored by the River Road Chapter of the National Honor Society for their volunteer service in our community at a Senior Soiree held March 16 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Both girls also were honored as recipients of the Six Year Award for their volunteer service from seventh through twelfth grades. Rachel is the daughter of Donna and Albert Wehbe, and Anna Claire is the daughter of Christine and Martin Pousson. ( Photo: Rachel Wehbe. See photo of Anna Claire Pousson above.)
Daddy and Daughter Dance ... The PAR's third annual Daddy and Daughter Dance for grades K-6 will be held on Sunday, March 24 from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. in the school gym. Tickets are $20 for PAR members ($4 for each additional daughter) and $25 for non-PAR members ($5 for additional daughters).

Parents Night Out ... The Class of 2020 will host a spring Parents Night Out for students in grades K-5 on Saturday, March 30 from 5:30 - 9:30 p.m. in the gym. Pre-registration is required by March 27. It includes pizza, beverages, and snacks. Fees are $30 for one child, $50 for two, and $65 for three.

We Sincerely Thank...
Home Cooking ... A jumbo thank you goes to everyone who contributed to Thursday's "Home Cooking" senior luncheon in the gym, with special shout-outs to the Sutton Family for pot roast, baked chicken, rice and gravy and green beans; the Rogers Family for macaroni and cheese; the Freiberger Family for dessert and forks; the Worsham Family for drinks; the Chiasson Family for mashed potatoes; the Pousson Family for warming dishes, plates and napkins; and the Taliaferro Family for rolls and salad.

Sharing Knowledge ... Many thanks to industrial hygiene expert Dr. Mike Harris for visiting with students in David Marschall's environmental science classes on March 20 to share information about workplace hazards.

Preschool Present ... We extend our thanks to Julie and Michael Vagi , parents of Elli, Pre-K, for donating a set of wooden yard dice to the preschool for Pre-K math activities.
Guest Artists ... Our sincerest thanks goes to the Caladium Piano Trio for making a special guest appearance today in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre to perform selections from an upcoming recital at Southeastern Louisiana University. They performed selections by Shostakovich, Turina and Smetana for fifth-hour string students and guests.

Trio members are Lin He , assistant professor of violin at LSU, Dan Cassin , a faculty member at Runnels and Southeastern Louisiana University, and Constance Carroll , Piano Professor Emeritus at LSU.

Join them for their concert at Southeastern on Tuesday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Pottle Auditorium in the Music Building. They will repeat the program at the LSU School of Music on Friday, April 5 at 7:30. Both are free and open to the public. ( Photo: From left are Constance Carroll, Lin He, and Dan Cassin .)
Tennis season is in full swing! Above, tennis seniors strike a yearbook pose before a game.
In this week's photo album: Kindergarten Musical, JCL Convention, Latin Shields, Neon Pep Rally, Tennis, Preschool Garden Week and Candids.
Athletic Corner

At the LA State Championship Meet, the Runnels powerlifting team made a great showing, earning one title and six medals, with 14 lifters competing. The meet was held at the Rapides Coliseum in Alexandria on March 15 and 16.

Junior Julia Sager claimed the LA State Champion title, placing first in the girls 123-lbs. weight class. Sophomore Mia Alfonso placed third in the same category. In the 114-lbs. weight class, eighth grader Meredith Taliaferro placed third. In the 105-lbs. weight class, Micah Roper placed fifth and Ryan Roper sixth. Emma Schlotterer placed sixth and Erin Oehrle eighth in the 132-lbs. weight class. The girls team placed fifth overall in a field of 21 teams.

Senior Seth Chiasson placed second in the 148-lbs. weight class, while senior Justin Taliaferro placed third in the 198-lbs. weight class. Junior Hudson Hillman also earned third in the 123-lbs. weight class. Placing fifth were seniors Aaron Taliaferro in the 165-lbs. weight class and Spencer Spivak in the 132-lbs. weight class. Eighth grader Eli Latiolais placed sixth in the 220-lbs. weight class, while senior Caleb Reid placed eighth in the 198-lbs. weight class. The boys team finished seventh out of 22 teams this year.

“Congratulations to all the lifters on a great effort over the two-day meet,” said Head Coach Mitch Reeves. “Thanks to the administration, the incredible coaching staff, and the marvelous parents that supported us all year!” Also directing the team were assistant coaches Tom Babcock, Greg Taliaferro, Lonnie Leger, and Dr. Mike Day. 

(Photo at left: Meredith Taliaferro, Julia Sager and Mia Alfonso.)
(Photo at right: Hudson Hillman, Justin Taliaferro and Seth Chiasson.)

At last week's Red Stick Invitational, the Track and Field Raiders continued to get stronger and make improvements. Annie Fink finished 1st in the 1600m and 2nd in 800m. New PRs were set by Sydney Worsham, 3200m, Dawson Latona, 3200m, Eric Ho, long jump, Janie Schlotterer, 100m, Angele Lansing, discus, and Fatima Ahmad, discus.

This week, the team will compete against some of the best local talent at the BHS Bat Gourrier Relays. Go, Raiders!

The Junior High School Track and Field Raiders did a great job at their first meet. Raiders placed in the top 3 for several events: Zeb Tate and Carli Shay, discus; Annie Garrison, 200m.

Track and Field Head Coach Julie Fink said, “We are really proud of each athlete and their willingness to chase top marks on the track and in the field.”

Tuesday, the varsity baseball team opened up district play with a 25-0 victory over Crescent City. Sam Haase pitched 5 innings of no hit baseball and struck out 14 batters. The Raiders had 14 hits with Aaron Taliaferro, Justin Taliaferro, Grayson Gulley, Jake Best, and Sam Haase each having two hits.
The Raiders will play French Settlement Friday at 5:00 p.m. and a double header at home Saturday against Family Christian Academy at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Wednesday evening, the junior high baseball team opened its season with an 8-7 victory over the Thunder. Rossie Harrison pitched two innings and struck out six batters. The game was tied going into the last inning and Jonathan Harper worked a one out walk to reach base. Harrison came up and drove him in with a walk off hit.
Scoring another win on Thursday, the Raiders defeated the Astros 12-1. Preston Treadaway and Tate Smith combined shut down the Astros over three innings. Jonathan Harper and Sam Wilson each had an RBI along with a triple by Malek Badawi.  Eli Latiolais led the team with 3 RBIs and 2 hits in the victory.

The Lady Raiders softball team is currently 10-5 and ranked #3 in the state. The Ladies played in the Grace Christian Tournament last weekend in Alexandria. They went 2-1 with wins over Hornbeck and Avoyelles. The Lady Raiders came back and played three games at home going 2-1 with wins over Northeast and Mt. Hermon. They will play again this weekend in the Port Allen Tournament.

Congratulations to Collin Bueche for making the 2018-19 LHSSA All-Academic Composite Boys Basketball Team for Division V. Collin was one of 22 basketball players in the state to make the composite team in boys basketball. Only student-athletes with the highest GPAs (4.0) from each class/division qualify for the All-Academic Composite Team in a sport.

(Photo: Collin Bueche)

The junior high boys basketball season has come to an end. The 8th grade team had 31 wins and 15 losses, while the 7th grade had 32 wins and 14 losses. The 6th grade team finished its season with 8 wins, 14 losses and one tie.

Junior High Basketball Coach Sam Coates offered thanks “to the parents and fans for a great season.”

“It has been a true joy to watch these boys grow as players and as people. They not only worked hard but were great teammates that supported one another," said Coach Coates. "Every year an 8th grade team moves on. I will really miss this year's group. They are a special class. I appreciate all of the support from the parents and school administration.” 

The Raiders varsity tennis team took on Woodlawn and Ascension Catholic this week. Though suffering a loss to Woodlawn, Catherine Bonaventure rallied back with a big win over Ascension Catholic in Singles. Kalyee Freiberger and Sophie Edwards had a tough loss to Woodlawn; however, Kalyee recovered by beating Ascension Catholic in her first Singles match. Anna Kadi got her first Singles wins this week as well. Eric Huygues had a winning week, first in Doubles with partner Daniel Mayeaux against Ascension Catholic and then in Singles against Woodlawn. Ryan Lam also had a winning week -- winning Doubles with Ian Lansing over Woodlawn and then in Singles over Ascension Catholic. Though suffering a loss, Ian Duke played a tough 3 set Sngles match against Ascension Catholic. Ian Lansing and Daniel Mayeaux paired up to defeat Ascension Catholic.

Thursday, the Raiders attended the Cajun Classic Wheelchair Tournament. In its 30th year, the Cajun Classic is a premier tournament bringing players from all over the world to Baton Rouge. The Raiders assisted the tournament as Ball Kids to these amazing athletes during play. "It was awesome to witness high level tennis competition from these wheelchair athletes," said Head Coach Keenan Ruff. "The Raiders enjoyed being able to give their time and talent to a wonderful event."

(PHOTO: Seniors Ian Duke and Anna Kadi lend a hand to one of the players at the Cajun Classic Wheelchair Tournament.)
Varsity Baseball at French Settlement – 5:00 p.m.
Varsity Softball at Port Allen Tourney (Erwinville Rec. Center) – 5:30 p.m.

Varsity Softball at Port Allen Tourney (Erwinville Rec. Center) – 9:00 a.m. & 5:00 p.m.
Varsity Baseball vs. Family Christian at Home – 10:00 a.m. & 12:15 p.m.

Email game and fan photos to . Please include the event and the name of the students pictured .  
Friendly Reminders
March 22 / Raider Rally / Elementary Playground, 5:30 - 8:00 p.m.
March 24 / Daddy/Daughter Dance / 2:00 p.m., Gym, Click here for tickets.
March 27-28 / Runnels Alum and Book Illustrator Lauren DeWitt ('10) Visits Elementary Library / Click here for book order form.
March 28-29 / Youth Legislature - Grade 8 / Old State Capitol
March 29 / Elementary Strings Camp for Beginning and Intermediate String Students / Baton Rouge Center for Visual and Performing Arts, concert at 4:30 p.m. 
March 29 / Ring Ceremony for Juniors / 11:20 a.m.,Theatre
March 29 / Fun Fitness Friday for Kindergartners and 6th-Grade Buddies / 12:30 - 2:30, Playground
April 4 / Science Explorium / Gym, 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
April 4 & 5 / High School Drama Department Presents Neil Simon's Rumors / Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 7:00 p.m. Ticket sales start March 25. Click here for tickets
April 10 / National Honor Society Induction Ceremony / Theatre, 11:50 a.m.
April 13 / Jr. and Sr. High School Prom / Shaw Center, 7:00 p.m.
April 17 / High School Talent Show / Theatre, 2:00 p.m.
April 19 - 26 / Spring Break
April 29 / School Resumes
April 30 / Athletic Recognition Ceremony / Theatre, 11:20 a.m.