March 29, 2019
Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions, and national origins.

In Focus this week: Junior Class Ring Ceremony Celebrates Approach of Senior Year; Runnels Artists Selected for Baton Rouge Gallery Show; Crosses and Scissors Hand Washing Method Presentation at Preschool; Eighth Grade Participates in Youth Legislature at Louisiana Old State Capitol; Sixth-Grade Play To Wrap Up Runnels Theater Season; Poetry March Madness in AP English Literature; Kindergartners and Sixth Graders Buddy Up for Fitness Challenge; Kudos and Notable Events; We Sincerely Thank; Weekly Photo Album; Athletic Corner; Friendly Reminders.

Junior Class Ring Ceremony Celebrates Coming of Senior Year

The Runnels Class of 2020 marked the start of senior year activities with a traditional Ring Ceremony held this morning in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre.

Juniors were presented with school rings, heirlooms, or gifts by family members, close friends, or someone who had significantly touched their lives. As students stepped forward to receive the tokens, Jr./Sr. High Assistant Principal Dana Schlotterer offered remarks showcasing their interests and accomplishments.

Conducting the ceremony were Head of School Marcia Mackay, Assistant Head of School and Jr./Sr. High Principal Conchetta Foshee, and Jr./Sr. High Vice Principal Rita Haik.

Special thank yous go to junior class sponsors Nicole Latiolais and Colleen Spillane for organizing the event, junior class president Anna Manning and senior class president Daniel Mayeaux for delivering addresses at the ceremony, the Advanced String Orchestra and director Jennifer Cassin for providing music, sophomore Caroline Collins for singing the Alma Mater , Laura Roark for arranging the reception, and Neena McLain and the tech theatre classes for stage lighting. 

( Photo: Junior Aubri Watts gets a surprise gift of tickets to see "Hamilton" from her mom Amanda Watts at the Ring Ceremony. Aubri also received her mother's high school graduation ring. )

Eighth Graders Participate in Youth Legislature

The entire 8th grade had an inside look at the workings of state government this week by participating in Youth Legislature at the Louisiana Old State Capitol. The two-day mock legislative session sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge allows students to assume the roles of key players in state government, including governor, cabinet members, state senators and representatives, lobbyists, and members of the press corps. Participants also have the opportunity to propose, defend, and vote on bills they have prepared in advance.

This year, four bills from Runnels were passed by the Senate and House of Representatives and immediately signed into law by the governor. Authoring the bills were Evan Shaneyfelt and Greyson Torres (Applied Economics Course), Amelia Breeden and Quin Dukaric (Making Schools More Disability-Friendly), Ethan Ho and Alan Lam (Lorax Bill), and Brooke Parsons and Cassidy Wartelle (Unsafe Foster Homes).

"The students worked extremely hard throughout the year researching and drafting their bills," said LA Studies teacher and Youth Legislature sponsor Rachel Kane. "Watching as our students presented and defended their bills with confidence was simply awesome."

We sincerely thank Mrs. Kane for organizing the Youth Legislature trip and working with students on preparing and writing their bills. ( Photo: Alan Lam, left, and Ethan Ho with their successful bill at Youth Legislature.)

Artists Selected for Baton Rouge Gallery Show

The artwork of six Runnels students has been chosen to appear in the Baton Rouge Gallery's annual Real-Life Experience Juried High School Exhibition in April. Congratulations to seniors Seth Miller and Alexis Rogers, junior Eric Ho, and freshmen Katie Hinkle, Jensen Holiday, and Brieanna Saltzman.

The show, which runs April 2-25, features more than 50 pieces of original art created by students from East Baton Rouge public and private high schools. A First Wednesday Opening Reception will be held at the gallery on April 3 from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

(Photo: Front row, from left, Eric Ho, Seth Miller, Alexis Rogers, back row, Katie Hinkle, Brieanna Saltzman, and Jensen Holliday.)
Local Mom's Unique Circles and Scissors Hand Washing Method Makes Big Splash at Preschool

Baton Rouge mom and entrepreneur Jenny Iverstine was at our preschool last week to share her one minute Circles and Scissors hand washing technique with students and staff. "It was an interactive presentation," said Preschool Co-Director Janice Leger. "Jenny related well to the students and used fast songs, puppets and, of course, lots of hand motions. It was really impressive."

The method relies on five steps that are easy for youngsters to remember: bubbles, circles, scissors, itchy palms, and ring around the wrist. The first step, "bubbles," is clear: just make lots of them. "Circles" refers to washing around and on the backs of the palms. "Scissors" is a way to remember to wash in between the fingers and get all four sides of the hands and the thumbs clean. The "itchy palms" part refers to washing the fingertips, and "ring around the wrist" is a tip to grab the wrists with soapy hands and turn them.

"I liked how the presentation and method related to children at their level," said preschool nurse Vallerie Myer. "The technique is good. It helps get the whole hand clean." She said there are plans to incorporate the crosses and circle method into hygiene practices already in place at the preschool.

( Photo: Jenny Iverstine and preschool nurse Vallerie Myer introduce preschoolers to Crosses and Scissors hand washing.)

Sixth-Grade Play To Wrap Up Runnels Theater Season

The sixth-grade drama students will present Bedtime Stories (As Told By Our Dad) (Who Messed Them Up) for two performances in the Drama Room April 11 and 12. Directed by elementary drama teacher Sonya Blanchard, the show puts an interesting spin on traditional tales.
As Mrs. Blanchard explains: "When it's Dad's turn to tell bedtime stories, he gets a little fuzzy on the details. The Princess and the Pea has a prince with snoring problems, The Boy Who Cried Wolf summons a dinosaur, and Rumpelstiltskin somehow manages to turn gold into straw." Both shows start at 7:00 p.m. All tickets are $5.00 at the door
Poetry March Madness in AP English Lit.

Students in Norma Marsh's AP English Literature classes used tournament brackets to analyze and discuss poems, narrowing favorites down from 32 to 16, 8, 4, and, finally, to one winner in each class.

Mrs. Marsh said she was "deeply impressed" by the conversations students had about the poems. "They insightfully argued about the effects of the language and the deeper meanings poets were trying to convey. I considered the discourse to be above what one would expect from a college freshman level class." 

The zero hour class picked Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden as their number one, and first hour chose Wilfred Owens' Dulce et Decorum Est as theirs. To conclude their studies of poetry, Mrs. Marsh explained, students will write a letter about their favorite poem, discussing language and meaning. ( At work in AP English are, from left, Hannah Cassano, Hannah Page, Madison Sutton, Jillian Edmonson, Anna Claire Pousson, and Haley Brassard.)
Teaming Up for Fitness Challenge

The kindergartners and their sixth grade buddies met for the 4th annual Fun Fitness Challenge this afternoon on the elementary playground. "The kindergartners do circuit workouts twice a week throughout the year," said kindergarten fitness teacher Mary Winnett, "and this afternoon they completed 34 of those stations with their buddies."

The children walked across a ladder, tossed noodle javelins through hoops, partner walked with rubber chickens, crossed a balance beam, played catch while balancing on rocking discs, ran a tire course, and scissor jumped.

“The activities promote a variety of fitness skills including balance, coordination, agility and strength,” said Mrs. Winnett. “My heart is full of joy from watching the buddies interacting with each other. They are so kind, loving and patient with one another.” 

( Photo: Sofia Dodd, 6B, and her kindergarten buddy, Madelyn Haselden, walk the line at the Fitness Challenge.)
Kudos and Notable Events
Alum Takes Part in Ag Day Panel in D.C. ... Runnels alumnae Irene Lewis ('16), now a junior at Southern A&M College majoring in Plant and Soil Sciences, participated in the National Ag Day Youth Panel at the Press Club in Washington, D.C. on March 14. Irene took part as the Region IV Undergraduate Vice President of MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences). Titled "Observations from the Next Generation of America's Agriculturists," the panel discussion was moderated by United States Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Stephen Censky.

Mrs. Wishy-Washy Returns ... After reading one of their favorite stories, Mrs. Wishy-Washy by New Zealand author Joy Cowley, the kindergartners got a good "scrubbing" from Kindergarten Director Paula Naquin, portraying a Cajun version of the main character. She herded each child into her "washtub" for a pretend scrubbing on Wednesday just like Mrs. Wishy-Washy did with her farmyard animals in the book. Mrs. Naquin's efforts were rewarded with gales of laughter as the children, one by one, did their time in the tub. ( Photo: "In the tub you go," says kindergarten director Paula Naquin posing as Mrs. Wishy-Washy to kindergartner Charlotte Funk.)

Bark and Roll Rescue Pet Supply Drive ... The freshman class is sponsoring a pet supply drive next week (April 1-12) to benefit Bark and Roll Rescue, a local foster home based dog shelter. Founded by Runnels mom Dana Kahn, Bark and Roll is the group that brings the adorable pups to our school during exam weeks. Donation bins will be located in the gym, and cash contributions can be made in junior and senior high English classes or the office. Here's what Bark and Roll needs: Nutro and wellness treats, puppy pads, pill pockets, dome-shaped food bowls, half-inch wide leashes, decorative accessories (collars, bows, and hats for photos), poop bags, Nylabones, Benebones, or any type of rubber puppy chew. Donations from their Amazon Smile wish list are also very welcome.
We Sincerely Thank...
Raider Rally - Booster Club President Julie Stevenson reports that the Raider Rally was a grand success: "We had 19 booths this year and the sales totaled $6,134 (before costs incurred). We thank everyone who came out to support the event, with special thanks to Mike Smith for stepping up to grill the burgers, Marty Pousson for providing fried catfish, and Shawn Worsham for again supplying french fries. We also thank booth coordinator Amy Taliaferro and special assistants Becky Hillman, Wendy Worsham, Renee' Miller, and Ron Miller. Many thanks to Mr. Kenny, David, and Cody for their help with set up. We extend an extra-special thank you to the Class of 2019 for donating its game booth profits back to the Booster Club. We also thank the Booster Club members who worked at the Rally and the booth volunteers who brought back many of our favorite games and added a few creative new ones." ( Photo: Lending a hand at Raider Rally are, from left, Mike Smith, Ron Miller, Marty Pousson, and Shawn Worsham. )

Under the Sea - We extend a huge thank you to everyone who assisted with our Daddy/Daughter Dance, Under the Sea, last Sunday in the gym, with special salutes to Brittany McCauley, Kara Baquet, Karen Rhinehart, Wendy Milam, David Latona, Will Stevenson and Randi Bergeron . MORE PHOTOS...
Books and Authors - We extend a special thank you to local children's author Kat Pigott for visiting the preschool recently to read her book Dinosaur Pancakes to students. She presented signed copies of her two books, Dinosaur Pancakes and I See You, Green Dinosaur , to the preschool. We also send a huge thank you to Derrie Perez for donating books from the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg about Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte to our school.
The Acting Life ... Professional actor Arlando Smith, in town to appear in the Swine Palace production of "Airline Highway," shared insights and experiences from his life as a performer with Neena McLain's high school drama students on March 27 in the Theatre.

(Photo: Arlando Smith and Neena McLain with Theatre III and IV students.)
Achieving Success ... Former LSU star basketball player, businessman, author, local influencer, and motivational speaker Collis Temple III presented an inspirational talk to our junior and senior high students on March 26 about how he overcame challenges in his life by following the "three common denominators for being successful." (Photo: Collis Temple III with some students at his presentation.)
Drawing Lesson ... Alumnae Lauren DeWitt ('10), now a graphic artist and illustrator in Brooklyn, visited our Elementary Library March 27 and 28 to read her book, "Oswald Bumblepit Wanders the World," to students in grades 1-3. She also presented a lesson on how to draw the main character, a bee named Oswald. (Photo: Lauren DeWitt shows 3rd graders how she drew the bumblebee character that appears in her book.)
Congratulations to the senior class for winning the Raider Spirit Cup! (Above: Class officers Daniel Mayeaux, Emma Tooraen, Anna Claire Pousson, and Kayla Evans and a few friends accept the trophy on behalf of the seniors at the Raider Rally on March 22.)
In this week's photo album: Raider Rally, Guest Speaker Collis Temple III, Mrs. Wishy-Washy Visits Kindergarten, Guest Artist Lauren DeWitt, Kindergarten and 6th Grade Buddy Fitness Challenge, 8th Grade at Youth Leg, and Candids.
Athletic Corner

This week, the varsity tennis team competed against U-High. Sophie Edwards gave it her all in her first competitive singles match. Though she came up short, she played some amazing tennis. Ian Duke had a stellar performance, winning his singles match 6-1, 6-0. Doubles pair Eric Huygues and Daniel Mayeaux played great tennis to defeat their opponents.

Come out to Forest Park Wednesday, April 3, and celebrate our seniors in their final home match of their high school years. The team will be honoring seniors Rachel Wehbe, Kalyee Freiberger, Anna Kadi, Ryan Lam, Ian Lansing, Daniel Mayeaux, Ian Duke and Eric Huygues.

Last weekend at the Bat Gourrier Relays, junior Annie Fink took 2nd place against a strong field and broke her own school record in the 1600m with a time of 5:25.82. Fink also placed 3rd in the 800m, while London Deshotel took 3rd in the High Jump. New PRs were set by several members members of the team: Fatima Ahmad (discus/100m), Janie Schlotterer (100m), Annie Fink (1600m/800m), Angele Lansing (shot put), Ian Lansing (discus), Dawson Latona (1600m/800m/400m), Ryan Ly (300m) and Bailey Hyatt (long jump).

(Photo: Annie Fink)

At the Ascension Catholic Meet against a large field of contenders, the junior high track and field team continued to show improvement and had several top finishes. Members finishing in the top 10 were: Carli Shay (discus), Gibby Guay (discus), Zeb Tate (discus, long jump, 100m), Wyatt Horridge (hurdles) and the boys 4x100m squad of Wyatt Horridge, Evan Ho, Sawyer Suchanek, and Zeb Tate. The team competes next on March 31 at Woodlawn High School.

Congratulations to senior Cade Tate for earning an honorable mention to the All-State for Louisiana Sports Writers Association for the Class B team.

(Photo: Cade Tate)

The varsity baseball team had a full slate of games this past week. Last Friday, the team lost a close game, 6-5, against French Settlement. After a rough couple of innings, the boys fell behind, 6-1. However, they rallied back to make it a close game and fell short in the loss.

Last Saturday, the boys defeated Family Christian twice in a double header, 14-0 and 20-1. The high school team continued district play on Monday, defeating the Kenner Discovery 12-0. Sam Haase pitched five shutout innings. On Tuesday, the Raiders played the 4th ranked team in the state, the Doyle Tigers, but lost 12-5. Jake Best and Aaron Taliaferro led the way with two hits each. Wednesday, the Raiders played Kenner Discovery a second time in district and beat the Swamp Owls 21-3. Grayson Gulley leads the team, averaging .419 at the plate and compiling 19 RBIs, along with Blaine Nicholson batting .382.

Today the boys take on St. James at home.

On Wednesday, the junior high baseball team played the Tigers and lost 9-8. Rossie Harrison and Tate Smith each had 2 RBIs in the loss. Last night, the Raiders took on the Dodgers and tied 4-4 (apparently there are ties in baseball). Rossie Harrison knocked 2 hits in the game, scoring 1. Preston Treadaway and Harrison combined to strike out 5 batters in the game.

The Raiders play again next week at 7:20 p.m. on Monday and Thursday at Cedar Park Ridge.

New Scoreboard Installed on Softball Field

We sincerely thank Misty Mandujano for donating several hours of welding to help with the installation of the new scoreboard on the softball field.

Big thank yous also go to the softball dads who helped hang the sign and to Charles Bouche and Greg Taliaferro for hooking up the electrical system and making sure it works.
Varsity Baseball vs. St. James at HOME – 4:00 p.m.

Varsity Softball vs. Dunham at HOME – 11:00 a.m. – Senior Day!

Email game and fan photos to . Please include the event and the name of the students pictured .  
Friendly Reminders

April 4 / Science Explorium / Gym, 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

April 4 & 5 / High School Drama - Rumors / Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 7:00 p.m. 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.