May 18, 2018
Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions, and national origins.
In this week's edition of the Friday Focus : Senior Stroll; State Literary Rally; Solo & Ensemble Festival for Beginning and Fifth-Grade Band Students; Getting Ready for Summer Reading; New Club Officers; First-Grade Pirates; Kelly Awards; New Summer Camps at Runnels; Kudos and Thank Yous; Friendly Reminders; Weekly Photo Album; and Athletic Corner.

Three Cheers for the Senior Class!
A chorus of cheers met the members of the Class of 2018 as they took one last walk together across the campus during this morning's "Senior Stroll." Students in grades K-11, teachers, family members, and friends gathered along the walkways to offer congratulations and well wishes along with hugs, handshakes and plenty of high-fives.

Last night, the seniors gathered on the softball field for the first ever "Senior Sunset" at Runnels. They thanked their class sponsors, Monique Howe and Ellen Sager, and presented them with gifts. They also enjoyed a dinner of grilled hot dogs and hamburgers topped off with a dessert of ice cream and S'mores.

Though we introduced the "Senior Stroll" for the first time last year and started the "Senior Sunrise" and "Senior Sunset" during this school year, all three events are becoming cherished traditions at our school. (Photo: Kindergartners give the graduates a sweet "Senior Stroll" send-off with "good luck" signs, cheers and smiles.)

Runnels Representatives Excel at State Literary Rally
Ten Runnels Junior and Senior High students collected top honors at the State Literary Rally held April 21 at Louisiana State University. Seven placed first in their subjects and three earned Superior/Excellent ratings in Open Events.

These students and their subjects are senior Davood Boushehri , Advanced Math – Functions and Statistics; eighth-grader Gareth Oram , French I; freshman Joseph Ismail, World Geography; eighth grader Dawson Latona , Physical Science; senior Isabelle McCall , Environmental Science; freshman Marshall Pentes , Biology I; and freshman Connor Porthouse , Algebra II. Earning Superior ratings in Open Events at the literary rally were junior Ian Lansing in Spanish II – Extemporaneous Speaking and Aubri Watts in Spanish II - Interpretive Reading. Eighth grader Farzeen Wahid scored an Excellent rating in Spanish I - Interpretive Reading. ( Photo: Among the students earning top awards at the 2018 Literary Rally are, front row, from left, Farzeen Wahid, Dawson Latona, Marshall Pentes; back row, Joseph Ismail, Conner Porthouse, and Gareth Oram. )

4th and 5th Graders Take a Turn at Solo & Ensemble Festival
Beginning Band and Fifth-Grade Band students competed in Solo and Ensemble Festival this week. They performed before judges not affiliated with Runnels and were scored according to their abilities as soloists or members of an ensemble or both. Congratulations to the competitors and their band director, Shanna Drescher.

Beginning Band : Superior Ratings – Bryant Aucoin, Rowen Basso, Gracie Coates, Maeve Dolan, Jack Ezell, Jonathan Garrity, Laura Golda, Alex Griffin, Evan Ho, Sammy Ismail, Jacob Luker, Lexie Matens, Alaina Milam, Ryan Stevens, Cameron Stevenson, Sawyer Suchanek, Damien Tinsley, John Harper Wilkinson; Excellent Ratings - Nicolas Morgan and Ethan Vagi.

5th-Grade Band : Superior Ratings – Olivia Brunner, Dylan Evans, Annie Garrison, Gibson Guay, Amelia Guess, Ashlynn Harper, Luke Hillman, Wyatt Horridge, Danyel Howell, Leyna Huynh, Addison Latona, Sadie Miller, Carter
Parsons, Mason Pizzalato, Carli Shay, Jenna Sheikha, Taylor Valentine, Lilah Wartelle, and Harrison Whittemore; Excellent Ratings - Christian Caillouet, Jake Carey, Nathan Coxe, and Joseph Hebert.

( Photo: Fourth-graders, from left, Alaina Milam, Sammy Ismail, and Damien Tinsley rehearse in the Band Room prior to taking their turns in front of Solo & Ensemble judges this week. )
Displays, Book Trailers Help Students Decide What to Read
Students have a wide range of choices when it comes to summer reading at Runnels. To help them decide what to read, Junior and Senior High Librarian Wendy Herumin has been pulling summer reading titles from library shelves and putting them on display for browsing. "My primary goal," she said, "was to have hard copies in the library that students could pick up and evaluate. For the few books we're missing, I found book trailers (video previews)."

To view the book trailers, she created Google classrooms for students to join. "If parents would like to see the trailers," she added, "they should ask students to sign in at home and view them together." More information:

Summer reading lists are available on the school website ( Click on the "Summer Reading & Skills Buildin g" icon on the homepage.

Rolling Out Club Officers for Upcoming School Year
Some school clubs are getting a head start on next school year by selecting and seating their new officers. Congratulations to the 2018-2019 officers of the Thespian, Senior Beta and Verse Ace (poetry) clubs.

Thespian Club (Pictured, from left, in photo) : Alex Morgan, president; Sophia Torres, vice president; Kayla Evans, secretary; and Sophie Edwards, secretary-elect.

Senior Beta Club : Sarah Stanfield, president; Amelia Jennings, vice president; Kyra Reeves, secretary; Kalyee Freiberger, treasurer; and Tyler Robbins, historian.

Verse Ace : Mickey Kaiser, president; Thomas Worsham, vice president; and Sarah Stanfield, secretary.
Ahoy! Pirates Sighted on Elementary Playground
Fun and adventure were on deck in the first grade today as students pretended to take to the high seas as swashbuckling pirates. Wearing their best pirate costumes, which included "parrots," eye patches, hooks, gold earrings, "tattoos" and anything with a Jolly Roger logo, the youngsters went on a scavenger hunt in the elementary playground for buried treasure.

"It encouraged collaborative play and team building," said elementary teacher Julie Stevenson, who organized the hunt. A good deal of language arts skills were also in play as students carefully read the list of items they were hunting for and carefully listing them in print as they were dug up.

Another activity found students "swabbing the deck" on Fort Wild Thing, which did service as a ship (The Mrs. Mackay) and "walking the plank" on a picnic bench. In class, they exercised their imaginations and their writing skills by pretending they were pirates and describing their characteristics with lots of colorful adjectives and adverbs.

( Photo: First grade "pirates" Evan Lee and Braden Marks collaborate on the scavenger hunt list. )
A Touch of Hollywood Glamour at Kelly Awards
The second annual Kelly Awards were presented in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre last weekend to recognize the accomplishments of students working on stage and behind the curtain in our school productions. Congratulations to winners of this year's awards:

Best Costume- Kayla Evans in Mary Poppins ;
Best Accent - Daniel Mayeaux in Tartuffe
Best Solo- Sophia Torres in Mary Poppins
Best Title Character- Kayla Evans in Mary Poppins
Biggest, Fastest, Loudest - Caroline Collins 
Club Clown (Funniest Thespian) - Landon Simpson 
Best Dynamic Duo - Peter Lukinovich and Landon Simpson in Tartuffe
Best On-Stage Couple- Kayla Evans and Alex Morgan in Mary Poppins
The Brock Dardar Techie Award - Camille Doucet
Jenkins Award- Karli Hebert and Janie Schlotterer 
Rising Star Award- Sophie Edwards

( Photo: New members of the Thespian Club take a bow at the Kelly Awards last Saturday. )
New this week: Summer Art Camp with Sydney McGraw and Summer Private Lessons on All Band Instruments with Jill Swetnam

Click here for summer camp information. Be sure to check back next week for newly added camps.
Kudos and Thank Yous...
Ice Cream Science ... A huge thank you goes to William Katzman of LIGO, father of Ellie Katzman, pre-kindergarten, for conducting an experiment with liquid nitrogen at the preschool this morning and making homemade ice cream for the students and teachers to enjoy.

( Photo: Pre-kindergartner Ellie Katzman and her dad William Katzman. )

Helping Our Feathered Friends ... Many thanks go to elementary and kindergarten teacher Candice Ortlieb, mother of Sarah, grade 5, and Rebecca, grade 4, for donating two cypress bird- houses built by 3rd grader Shane Gros and his grandfather, Wayne Foster, to the elementary school. The bird houses will be installed on the kindergarten playground. Shane and his grandfather build birdhouses as a hobby. (Photo: Shane Gros, grade 3.)
Two Moms, One Play ... Kudos to the Runnels moms appearing in Theatre Baton Rouge's current production of Gidion's Knot , a drama for mature audiences that runs through Sunday, May 20. Featured in the production are Allyson Guay , mother of Gibson, grade 5, and Harper, grade 3, and Erica Malone , mother of preschoolers Dulcie and Juniper. ( Photo: Allyson Guay and Erica Malone in "Gidion's Knot." )

Newly Published Fourth-Grade Poets

Congratulations to the 19 students in Leah Pizzalato's fourth-grade English class who recently had their poems selected for publication in the spring 2018 poetry contest sponsored by Creative Communication. The new authors are Matthew Campbell, Lizzie Castille, Adam Chittom, Gracie Coates, Maeve Dolan, Sadie Edwards, Jonathan Garrity, Alex Griffin, Laura Golda, Dru Hairford, Evan Ho, Conner Joubert, Emily Khalil, Rebecca Ortlieb, Alaina Milam, Kelly Messenger, Madelyn Sandifer, Ryan Stevens, and John Harper Wilkinson.

Their work will appear in an upcoming edition of Creative Communication's hardcover anthology, A Celebration of Today's Writers .

(Photo: Representing the 19 newly published poets in the fourth grade are, front row, from left, Adam Chittom, Jonathan Garrity, Ryan Stevens; back row: Conner Joubert, Matthew Campbell, Sadie Edwards, John Harper Wilkinson, and Madelyn Sandifer.)

Red, White and Blue Tribute ...Kudos to the Upper Elementary Chorus and Director Johnice Thoms for a rousing concert of patriotic music performed in the Drama Room on May 15. Special guests included the kindergartners and their sixth-grade buddies, who enjoyed the concert together.
Heartfelt Thanks ... We sincerely thank anatomical and clinical pathologist Dr. Rebecca Whittemore, mother of Harrison, grade 5, Riley, grade 4, and Wilson, K, for sharing her expertise on the structure and workings of the human heart with students in John Baird's fifth-grade science classes this week.
White Coats for Runnels Alums
Four Runnels alumna participated in the White Coat Ceremony at the LSU Health Sciences Center School of Medicine recently. Congratulations to 2013 Runnels graduates Madelinn Fink and Elizabeth Forgey and 2011 graduates Amanda Rushing and Hannah Zachary . All four successfully completed their first year of medical school and were presented with their white doctor's coats, symbolizing their transition into the clinical stage of medical training.

During the summer break, Madelinn will work at Camp Tiger (for special needs children), where she will take on a leadership role as secretary. This is her second year at the camp. She also received an internship through the Central Louisiana Area Health Education Center (CLAHEC) to work with a pediatrician in the Walker area.

Elizabeth also will devote some of her summer break to volunteering at Camp Tiger, which is sponsored by the LSU Medical School in New Orleans. In addition, she will be shadowing a psychiatrist.

Amanda is headed to Vanderbilt University in Nashville for an internship with the National Institute of Health. She'll be studying the molecular and genetic factors that influence pediatric obesity.

Hannah will be in New Orleans during the break doing neurological clinical research, studying abnormal eye movements in patients with multiple sclerosis.

( Photos: At the White Coat Ceremony are, from left, Hannah Zachary, Julie Fink, Madelinn Fink and Linn Fink, Amanda Rushing, and Elizabeth Forgey. )
Friendly Reminders
May 19 / High School Commencement, Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 4:00 pm ( Due to limited seating, this event is by invitation only .)

May 21 / Kindergarten Recognition Ceremony , Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 8:45 am

May 22 / First-Grade Finale , Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 8:45 am

May 23 / Sixth-Grade Graduation Ceremony , Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 7:00 pm

May 25 / Grades 2-5 Awards Ceremony , Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 8:30 am

May 25 / Dismissal : 10:00 am

Aug. 13 / School Resumes , 8:30 am
Runnels "Lifers" ... Nearly half of the students in the Class of 2018 have attended Runnels since 1st grade or before. In keeping with a long-standing tradition, these 20 "Lifers" will present their parents with bouquets of roses at the Commencement Exercises in our Theatre this Saturday.

In this week's album: 4th Grade Math Board Games, 5th Grade Heart Dissections, Elementary Chorus Concert, Kindergarten Water Day, Kelly Awards, 1st Grade Pirate Day, 4th- and 5th-Grade Solo & Ensemble Festival, Preschool Field Trip, and Candids.
Athletic Corner
Stay up-to-date with Booster Club activities by visiting its web page for upcoming events.


Monday evening, the junior high baseball team crushed the first place Dodgers 5-0. Shelby Anders threw a no-hitter with 7 strike-outs. In the final inning of play, Rossie Harrison hit a grand slam and Jonathan Harper contributed an RBI.

The Raiders finished the regular season with a 10-5 record, earning the number 2 seed going into the playoffs. The Raiders will play in the semifinals on Wednesday at 5:45 pm at Cedar Ridge Park. If the boys are successful, the championship game will be played Thursday at 6:30 pm. Good luck, Raiders!

(Above: 2018 Junior High Baseball Team - Back row, from left: Coach Brent Hoeprich, Malek Badawi, Rossie Harrison, Michael Hillman, Alex Lam, Eli Latiolais, Baron Stevenson, Nick D’Gerolamo, Tate Smith and Assistant Coach Sean Smith; Front row, from left: Alan Lam, Sam Wilson, Jonathan Harper, Harrison White, Shelby Anders, Archer Amedee, Niko Carey, Sean Mockler, and Ben Hader.

Right: Rossie Harrison's headed home from his grand slam. Photo courtesy of Michelle Harper.)
Kyle Sieberth

Congratulations to senior Kyle Sieberth for making the All-Metro Singles Tennis Team. Kyle’s season record of 9 wins and 1 loss, as well as his outstanding showings at both Regionals and State, contributed to his selection, said Head Tennis Coach Kathryn Sieberth.

All-Metro Tennis team players are selected by high school tennis coaches. Each school submits nominations based on their players' seasonal performances. Only 6 boys and 6 girls are chosen for the All-Metro Singles Team.

Junior High Baseball Playoffs
at Cedar Ridge, Wednesday, May 23 at 5:45 pm.

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