Runnels has always been the school for all races, religion, and national origins.

High School Commencement Edition 
from Head of School Marcia Mackay

Dear Runnels Family,

In this special mid-week high school commencement edition of the Focus 2018 High School Commencement Exercises Held May 19; Co-Valedictorians, Salutatorian and 4.0 Scholar Award Winners; Where Are They Headed?; Special  Awards Presented; Music Scholarship Recipients Recognized; "R" Award Winners Announced; "Lifers" Thank Parents with Roses; Kudos and Thank Yous; Friendly Reminders;  Commencement Ceremony Photo Album.

Celebrating Our 2018 Graduates

The Runnels Class of 2018  

We recognized the accomplishments and achievements of the members of the Class of 2018 at the 32nd Runnels High School Commencement Exercises held in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre on May 19. 

Here are a few "fun facts" about this extraordinary group of graduates provided by Junior and Senior High Assistant Principal Dana Schlotterer:

Their average GPA is 3.56 and their average ACT score is 28, the highest ever attained by a graduating class at Runnels. While nearly all meet the requirements for TOPS, 77 percent are eligible for one of the higher level TOPS awards, and 61 percent qualified for the TOPS Honors Award, which offers the maximum benefit. 

Scholarship offers -- not including TOPS -- hit the 8 million dollar mark ($8,324,416), with 19 students receiving offers in the six-figure range.

Nearly half of the class has attended Runnels since first grade or before, and more than 75 percent graduated with honors ( cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude). 

As Head of School Marcia Mackay said in her introductory remarks at the ceremony, "Although you are a small group, you have been a mighty class!"

Photo: Among those presiding at the ceremony were, from left, Jr./Sr. High Assistant Principal Pamela Babcock (at the podium) Head of School Marcia Mackay, Assistant Head of School and Jr./Sr. High Principal Conchetta Foshee and Jr./Sr. High Assistant Principal Dana Schlotterer.

Co-Valedictorians Sam Matthews (second from left) and Alex Matthews with their parents, Dr. Kip Matthews and Karen Matthews.
Co-Valedictorians, Salutatorian, and 4.0 Scholars Honored 

Among those honored at the graduation were Co-Valedictorians  Alexander Matthews and Samuel Matthews and Salutatorian Isabelle McCall

Alex and Sam, identical twin brothers who have been at Runnels since preschool, are two of a kind in more ways than one. Both are National Merit Scholars and AP Scholars with Distinction, both plan to attend the same college,Texas Christian University, where they'll major in the same subject, mechanical engineering. In a slight departure,
Salutatorian Isabelle McCall
Alex was awarded a national Mu Alpha Theta Scholarship, and Sam, a top tier runner, was recruited to run track at TCU as an invited walk-on athlete. 

Isabelle, who is also a National Merit Scholar and a National AP Scholar, will attend Tulane University as a Dean's Honor Scholar. Only 100 incoming first-time freshmen receive this award at Tulane, which covers full tuition and is renewable for up to five years. Collectively, our Co-Valedictorians and Salutatorian received more than 2.1 million dollars in scholarship offers. 

At the commencement ceremony, eight graduates were presented with the 4.0 Scholar Award for maintaining a 4.0 GPA all through high school. These students are  Ally Garrity, Kaylen Howe, Natalie Justus, Alex Matthews, Sam Matthews, Sean Parker, Kaitlyn Roy, and Austin Stansbury.   

Processing into the Theatre for the Commencement Exercises are Ila Bordelon-Walker and Colin Bonine.
Where Are They Headed Next? 

Most members of this graduating class will be heading off to colleges and universities to pursue their undergraduate degrees in the fall.  Our seniors were granted admission to 63 different colleges and universities. A full 36 percent are moving out of state to continue their educations. 

Wherever they decide to roam, we'll miss them and hope they keep in touch. One great way to stay connected to Runnels is to follow us on Facebook through our alumni page: Runnels School Alumni Association.

Special Awards Presented

Congratulations to the seniors who received special awards at the commencement ceremony. They are  A shley Stansbury  - Daughters of the American Revolution Award; Jourdan Milton  - Kiwanis Club Most Courteous Student Award; Sam Day - Knights of Columbus Patriotic Award; Max Sager  - Senior Spirit Medal; Natalie Justus - Senior Scholarship Medal; and Brandon Kelfstrom  - Raider Citizenship Medal. 

Photo: Jourdan Milton, right, receives the Kiwanis Club's Most Courteous Student Award from Assistant Head of School and Junior and Senior High Principal Conchetta Foshee.

 Harrison Bonaventure
Music Scholarship Students Recognized at Commencement

... Four students representing our band, strings and harp programs were awarded scholarships to continue their music studies in college. They were recognized at the graduation ceremony and presented with keepsake pins of their musical instruments.

Harrison Bonaventure received a music scholarship to Birmingham Southern College where he has been invited to play viola in their music program. This year he was selected as a member of the All-Parish Honor Orchestra.

Sam Day was awarded a music scholarship to play the trombone for the University of Lafayette "Pride of Acadiana" Marching Band. He also was invited to perform in the school's music program in the spring. Sam recently was honored by the Louisiana Music Educators Association with the Academic All-State Award.

Jordyn Miller has received a Music Arts scholarship to Birmingham Southern College where she will continue her harp studies and play in the school music program.

Sean Parker will be playing the cello in the Emory University Symphony Orchestra as a representative of the Emory Scholars Program. Sean, who has participated in the Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall, was a member of the All-State and All-Parish Orchestras for all four years of high school. He also was honored by the Louisiana Music Educators Association with the Academic All-State Award.

Sam Matthews

Kaylen Howe
"R" Award Winners Announced 

The "R" Award is the highest honor presented to scholar-athletes in the senior class at Runnels. This year's recipients are Sam Matthews and Kaylen Howe. They were recognized for their accomplishments both in the classroom and on the field at the 2018 Commencement Exercises. Selection of the "R" Award winners is based on several criteria including participation and achievement in sports during the senior year, high school GPA, participation in school clubs and other extracurricular activities as a senior, plus overall character.

Runnels "Lifer" Bruce Huynh and his parents, Chung Huynh and Tammy Le.
Runnels "Lifers" Thank Parents with Roses

It's a tradition at Runnels for seniors who have been with us continuously since first grade or before to present roses to their parents at graduation.  We affectionately call these students our "Lifers." 

This year, we have 20 "Lifers" in the senior class. Eight, including our Co-Valedictorians, have been with us since they were two-year-olds at the preschool! 


We Sincerely Thank ...

Mrs. Mackay presents flowers to Mrs. Foshee (at right), Mrs. Haik (far left), Mrs. Schlotterer (second from left) and Mrs. Babcock (not pictured) at the commencement ceremony.
... At the commencement ceremony, Head of School Marcia Mackay expressed her appreciation to Assistant Head of School and Jr./Sr. High Principal Conchetta Foshee, Jr./Sr. High Vice Principal Rita Haik, and Jr./Sr. High Assistant Principals Pamela Babcock and Dana Schlotterer for all they did to make the year special for our seniors, including launching the new "Senior Sunrise" and "Senior Sunset" events and hosting the second annual "Senior Stroll." 

... A huge thank you goes to landscaper Roger Cheney and his crew for the abundance of beautiful spring flowers dotting the grounds of the main campus. Their extra efforts at this time of year helped make the Runnels campus even more inviting and welcoming than usual.

A colorful display of flowers greets visitors to our campus.
... We sincerely thank the members of the Runnels Chapter of the National Honor Society for taking on host and hostess duties at the commencement ceremony. We also thank their sponsors, Norma Marsh and Colleen LeBlanc

... Big thank yous also go to High School Graduation Committee members Pamela Babcock, Kenneth Copsey, David Cummings, Conchetta Foshee, Amy Guillory, Rita Haik, Neena Kelfstrom, Rachel Mathias, Connie Point, Karen Rhinehart, Laura Roark, and Dana Schlotterer

Kudos To...

Eagle Scouts, from left, Kyle Sieberth, Garrett Miller, and Sam Day are recognized at the commencement exercises.

... Class of 2018 members Sam Day, Garrett Miller, and Kyle Sieberth for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest attainable in American Boy Scouting. Approximately four percent of Scouts achieve this honor, which requires earning at least 21 merit badges and the completion of a multi-phase community service project. Congratulations to our Eagle Scouts and their parents!

Friendly Reminders

May 25:     Last Day of School; Awards Ceremony- Grades 2-5, Theatre, 8:30-10:00 am
(Dismissal follows the ceremony.)

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Baton Rouge, LA 70816