May 4, 2018
Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions, and national origins.
In this week's edition of the Friday Focus : Spring Art Show Awards; Signing Ceremony; Kindergartners Explore Mobile Gem Mine; Leadership Summit; Part 6 in Our Series on Seniors Signing with College Teams; Kudos and Thank Yous; Friendly Reminders; Weekly Photo Album; and Athletic Corner.
Spring Art Show Awards Announced
The school-wide Spring Art Show, held last Sunday in the Catalano Gym, attracted a large and appreciative crowd. Visitors strolled through the “gallery” viewing nearly 1,000 pieces of original student artwork.

Awards for winners in elementary grades were displayed on their artwork at the show. Students in grades 7-12 received their awards at a special ceremony in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre following the event.

We sincerely thank art department head Lee Brandt Randall and art faculty members Millie Johnson, Lauren Downing, Burgundy Brumfield, Fred Parker, Sydney McGraw and Nicole Latiolais for organizing and mounting the art show. We also extend our thanks to the Jazz Souls for providing music for the art show and Mo's Art Supply in Baton Rouge for donating $10 in "Mo Bucks" (gift certificates to use at their store) to each of our junior and senior high Judge's Choice winners.

(Photo: Sixth grader Alyssa Oubre wins a Librarian's Choice award for her pastel "Really...," which will go on permanent exhibit in the Elementary Library starting in August.)

College Soccer, Baseball, Track, and Swimming Teams Recruit Runnels Seniors
Six Runnels seniors signed on the dotted line this week to formalize their intentions of playing for college teams. To celebrate their achievements, the High School Athletic Department hosted a signing ceremony in the Catalano Gym on Thursday, which was attended by their families, coaches, teachers, school administrators, teammates and friends.

Congratulations to soccer players Lainee Alfonso, Ally Garrity and Max Sager, baseball player Colin Bonine, runner Sam Matthews, and swimmer Jordyn Miller!

Here's where they'll be going next year. Lainee signed with William Carey University, Ally is headed to the University of West Alabama, and Max is going to Birmingham-Southern University. Colin signed on to pitch for Delgado Community College in New Orleans, Sam Matthews agreed to run track as an invited walk-on at Texas Christian University, and Jordyn Miller is headed to Birmingham-Southern University as a member of the Panthers swim team.

Excavating Knowledge about Rocks and Minerals
The kindergartners went prospecting for gems this week aboard Diamond Del's Mobile Gem Mine. The interactive mining exhibit on wheels provides students with an opportunity to "pan" for "gold" and other hidden gems and learn about rock identification.

Aboard the mobile "mine," students were given wooden mining boxes full of ore, which they immersed in running water and sieved to reveal interesting rocks and semi-precious stones such as pumice, tiger's eye, fools gold, rose quartz, pumice, and agate. (Photo: Kindergartner Natalie White makes a great discovery aboard Diamond Del's Mobile Gem Mine.)
Juniors to Attend Leadership Summit at Ole Miss
Emma Tooraen and Rachel Wehbe have been selected to attend the 10th Annual Apex Leadership Summit at the University of Mississippi in Oxford this summer.

The program offers sessions on leadership development, team building, social responsibility, problem-solving and developing a leadership resume. Community outreach programs and informational meetings with representatives of academic programs at Ole Miss are also included.

( Photo: Emma Tooraen and Rachel Wehbe )
Seniors Sign with College Teams - Part Six in a Series
This is the final entry in our six-part series on athletes in the Runnels Class of 2018 signing with college teams.

Colin Bonine has accepted a baseball scholarship to Delgado Community College in New Orleans, where he has been recruited as a pitcher.

Though he’s only been a Runnels Raider for the last two years, Colin said he has been playing baseball since he was 8. “Baseball has always been a big part of my life,” he explained. “My older brother played in the pros as well as my dad, so I have always been around baseball.”

He considers his fastball, slider, and change-up his best pitches.

Colin said he chose Delgado because its baseball program has been very successful. "Many of their players go on to NCAA Division 1 schools," he noted. 

“This decision will help me further develop not only as a pitcher and baseball player,” he added, “but also as a well-rounded student-athlete.” He said he plans to major in business as a freshman at Delgado.

Congratulations to Colin, his parents Eddie and Christine Bonine, and his Runnels coaches, Ben Young, Tookie Johnson, Mark Landry, and Brent Hoeprich. 

( Photo: Colin Bonine and Head Baseball Coach Ben Young at the signing ceremony in the school gym on May 2. )
Kudos and Thank Yous...
Spring Strings... Congratulations to the Runnels String Orchestra and directors Jennifer and Dan Cassin for an outstanding concert in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre on May 2. The program, which featured traditional and classical music, included “Finlandia” by the Beginning String Orchestra, “Pirates of the Caribbean” by the Intermediate String Orchestra, and Aaron Copland’s “Hoedown” by the Advanced String Students. ( Photo: Seniors, from left, Justin Reeves, Harrison Bonaventure and Sean Parker take a bow at their final performance as members of the Runnels String Orchestra. )

Big Band Sounds ... The 6th-12th-Grade Band -- 79 members strong -- treated us to a spring concert in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre on May 1. Directed by Jill Swetnam, the show featured a selection of solo and ensemble pieces punctuated by the soaring sounds of the full band performing three crowd favorites, "Spiderman," "Sweet Caroline" and "Land of 1000 Dances." Congratulations to the band and its director for an exceptional musical experience. ( Photo: Senior band members, from left, Sam Matthews, Alex Matthews and Sam Day are recognized at the concert. )

Runnels Recognized as a Top "Pennies for Patients" Fundraising School
Runnels School has been named one of the top fundraising schools in the Mississippi and Louisiana chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s "Pennies for Patients" 2018 campaign. Our school raised the 7th highest amount for the charity this year.

“We had more than 750 K-12 schools across Louisiana and Mississippi participate, so this is a great achievement,” said Julie Capdeville of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. “Please give all of your students, teachers, and parents a big thank you from LLS!!” she added.

Mu Alpha Theta Scholarship Winner
Senior Alex Matthews recently was awarded a $4,000 Mu Alpha Theta Scholarship. The scholarship is presented to outstanding math students who have been actively involved in Mu Alpha Theta competitions and projects.

A member of Mu Alpha Theta since 8th grade, Alex has participated in four state conventions and served as president of the Runnels chapter this year. As a rising junior, Alex was elected recording secretary of the Mu Alpha Theta state board. In this capacity, he participated in two national conventions.

Alex, a National Merit Finalist, plans to use his scholarship to attend Texas Christian University. He is the son of Kenneth and Karen Matthews. (Photo: Alex Matthews)

We Sincerely Thank...

... David Latona, father of Dawson, grade 8, John Morgan, grade 7, and Addison, grade 5, for portraying the main character in Eric Carle's classic children's book The Grouchy Ladybug in the kindergarten this week. Mr. Latona acted out the part of the ladybug while Head of School Marcia Mackay read the story and students took on the roles of supporting characters.

(Photo: Mrs. Mackay reads "The Grouchy Ladybug" while kindergartner George Etheridge and volunteer parent David Latona act out scenes from the book.)

Friendly Reminders
May 5 / Jr./Sr. High Dance Performance , Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 7:00 pm

May 6 / RPO Daddy/Daughter Dance , Catalano Gym, 2:00 – 4:00 pm Click here to purchase tickets...
May 7 / 4th & 5th Grade Band Concert , Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 7:00 pm

May 8 / Last Day of Classes for Seniors

May 10 / Elementary Drama Performances, Elementary Drama Room, all day

May 10 / 6th - 12th Grade Free Athletic Physicals , Catalano Gym, 6:00 pm; click here to register.

May 11 / J unior Beta Spring Dance , Catalano Gym, 7:00 pm

May 12 / Playwriting/Directing Class Presents One-Act Plays , Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 2:00 pm, with Kelly Awards presented at 4:30 pm in the Theatre.

May 15 / Elementary Chorus Concert , Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 8:45 am

May 17 / Kindergarten Fun in the Sun Day

May 17 / Senior Sunset , 7:00 pm

May 18 / Senior Stroll, Main Campus Walkways, 10:45 am

May 19 / High School Commencement, Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 4:00 pm ( Due to limited seating, this event is by invitation only .)

Click here for summer camp information. Be sure to check back next week for newly added camps.
( Above ) In a team-building exercise, 8th-grade girls attempt to untangle themselves without letting go of each other's hands on Spirit Cup Fun Day. The afternoon of outdoor activities was the prize awarded to the 8th grade for winning the Jr./Sr. High Spirit Competition this year.

In this week's album: 4th Grade Science Projects, Edison Car Programming in Elementary Computer Science, Diamond Del's Mobile Gem Mine, Circuits in Physics, Athletic Awards Ceremony, 8th-Grade Spirit Cup Fun Day, 3rd Grade Preposition Comic Books, State Track Meet (Special thanks to Norbert Courville for track photos.) The Grouchy Ladybug Comes to Kindergarten, "Raider Star" Assemblies, and Candids.
Athletic Corner

The Athletic Department is offering pre-participation athletic physicals for currently enrolled Runnels students in the Catalano Gym on Thursday, May 10 starting at 6:00 pm. If your child will be participating in our 6th-12th-grade sports programs during the 2018-19 school year, you are welcome to use this service, which is offered at no cost to our athletes. The Booster Club will provide complimentary jambalaya for all attendees.

A parent or guardian must accompany students during the screenings. To register for a physical, please click the link below. Registration is required.

Letter Jackets: Representatives from the Recognition Co., which handles our letter jacket orders, will be available during this event. Students who have lettered in a sport may order letter jackets at this time.


At the LHSAA Class B State Track and Field Championships at LSU on Thursday, the Runnels Raiders captured several top spots. Sam Matthews finished 2nd in the 1600m and 800m and 3rd in the 3200m. Kaylen Howe came in 3rd in the 800m, Annie Fink finished 2nd in the 160m, and Micah Roper placed 3rd in the 1600m and 2nd in the 3200m. Eighth grader Dawson Latona captured 4th place in the 3200m and freshman John Spillane finished 4th in the 100m.

"I am so proud of our team and the way our students competed," said Head Coach Julie Fink. "Each one gave nothing but their best, resulting in some of the best performances of their careers. Our team motto is "Believe and Achieve," and we met that challenge. Congratulations on an outstanding season and a huge thank you to everyone who came out to support us last night."

(Photos: Some of the action at the LHSAA Class B Track and Field Championships Thursday at LSU.)


Last weekend, powerlifters Sam Day, Aaron Taliaferro and Justin Taliaferro each took home a 1st place medal from the USA Powerlifting meet at Woodlawn. All three Raiders qualified to compete in the USA Powerlifting High School Nationals on March 27, 2019 in Alexandria.

(Photo: First place medalists, from left, Justin Taliaferro, Sam Day and Aaron Taliaferro at the USAPL meet.)

Last weekend, the tennis team competed in a three- day state meet in Monroe. Kudos to senior Kyle Sieberth for defeating the #2 seed and making it to the semifinals. Although he lost the final battle, reaching the semi-finals was a crowning achievement for Kyle. 

Ryan Lam and Daniel Mayeaux played hard but ultimately lost a tight match to a strong team from Country Day in the first round of Doubles competition. Junior Eric Huygues won his first round handily, but then lost to the eventual winner of the entire tournament in the round of 16s. According to Head Tennis Coach Kathrin Sieberth, “Eric showed grit against a powerhouse opponent.”

(Photo: From left, tennis players Eric Huygues, Ryan Lam, Daniel Mayeaux and Kyle Sieberth with their families and coaches Kathrin Sieberth and Keenan Ruff at the State Tennis Meet.)

This morning, the varsity baseball team hit the road and headed to Winnsboro for the quarterfinals. The Raiders take on Family Community at 6: pm. Go get ‘em, boys!


The Lady Raiders softball team made a strong showing last weekend at the state tournament in Sulfur. The Ladies made it to the semifinals for the first time in 10 years, finishing the year 18-7. Congratulations on an outstanding season!

On Wednesday, the junior high baseball team defeated the Raptors 4-1. Shelby Anders pitched 5 innings, striking out 10 and allowing no earned runs. Anders, Rossie Harrison, and Jonathan Harper all contributed hits to the victory. 

Last night, the Raiders beat the Astros 14-9. Ben Hader pitched, earning the win, with Nick D'Gerolamo receiving the save. Archer Amedee, Alex Lam, and Rossie Harrison each knocked in 2 RBIs.

Varsity Baseball
Quarterfinals in Winnsboro at 6:00 pm

Email photos to
Please include the date and location of the event and the students pictured .