November 1, 2019
Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions, and national origins.
Enrollment packets for the 2020-21 school year were mailed to you this week. Be sure to open yours as soon as you receive it. Please support our school in any way you can, especially by enrolling early. Remember that what you are purchasing is something priceless, an education for your children. Please ask other parents and families to consider a Runnels education for their kids, too.

In this week's Focus : Raider Rally Tonight; Soaring ACT Scores for Class of 2019; Cheers! to the Cast and Crew of And Then There Were None ; Elementary Costume Parade Stirs Up Smiles; Sixth-Grade Play, Once Upon a Pandora's Box , Set for Nov. 7 and 8; Elementary Library's Fall Scholastic Book Fair Nov. 15-20; LA Studies Classes Take on Rougarou Escape Challenge; Kudos and Notable Events; Thank Yous; Weekly Photo Album; Athletic Corner, and Friendly Reminders.
Bundle Up for the Raider Rally!

Throw on something warm and hustle your family into the car! It's Raider Rally night! Judging from the number of clubs, classes, and organizations participating this year, it's going to be a really big show!

Enjoy games and prizes galore, hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, performances by the "Pep Band" and varsity cheerleaders, and much more! Come at 5:30 and stay until closing at 8:00 p.m. The Booster Club asks that you make sure your elementary children are accompanied by a supervising adult at the Rally. See you there!

Soaring ACT Scores for Runnels Class of 2019
The Runnels Class of 2019 performed well on the ACT exam, which is a national test that measures a student's readiness for college. The average composite score for Runnels was 26.1, significantly above the state average of 18.8 and the nation's score of 20.07. Our students' average also surpassed that of the two states with the highest composite average, a tie between Massachusetts and Connecticut at 25.4. (Scores range from 1-36.)

In individual subjects, Runnels' scores were again outstanding. In English, our average was 27.3 compared to 18.7 for the state. In Math, the Runnels average was 24.6 as opposed to the state's 18.2. In Reading, our score of 27.3 dramatically outpaced the state average of 19.2. Runnels students also did well in Science, earning an average score of 24.5 compared to the state's 18.8.
Three Cheers for Cast and Crew of And Then There Were None
British mystery came to the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre last weekend in the form of Agatha Christie's renowned whodunnit, And Then There Were None . Those lucky enough to be in the audience had a jolly good time counting the bodies (and toy soldiers on the mantle) as the 10 victims were dramatically dispatched, one by one, to the tune of a menacing nursery rhyme.

The performances and contributions of the talented cast and crew were top hat. Kudos also go to director Sonya Blanchard, who ran the show with the assistance of stage manager and light board operator Chase Duhe', assistant director and stage manager Madisan Milam, set designer Brad Blanchard, lighting designer Kendall Krebsbach, sound board operator Karli Hebert, and back stage props mistress, Janie Schlotterer. Shout-outs go to Kenny Copsey and his team for set construction, Drew Burbank for program, poster, and t-shirt artwork, and Wendy Milam for cast and production photos.

We also extend thanks to the many volunteers who contributed to making this show an outstanding success.

(Photo: In a scene from "And Then There Were None" are, from left, Sophie Edwards, Jackie Hinkle, Abby Robbins, Mollybeth Wilkinson, and Marshall Pentes.)

Elementary Costume Parade Stirs Up Excitement
Friendly ghosts, the Big, Bad Wolf, a troop of wizards and witches, Cruella de Vil and at least 101 Dalmations, and all manner of nameless things were in the gym Oct. 31 for the annual Elementary Costume Parade.

At the event, each grade took a turn displaying their costumes and shaking hands with the crowd. The senior class performed a dance to music that included "Thriller," and the elementary students participated in Halloween games and a dance party.

Jumbo thank yous go to emcee Julie Horridge, ex officio mistress of ceremonies Lee Brandt Randall, D.J. Sarah Haase, event organizer Beth Golden, games assistants Nikki Roton and Wendy Worsham, and alumna Majdal Ismail (Class of '12) for playing Little Red Riding Hood to Ms. Randall's Big Bad Wolf.

We also thank PAR president Blake Stevenson for organizing Halloween snacks for our students, with special nods to PAR volunteers Wendy Dolan, Mercedes Dooley, Meredith Wartelle, Haleigh Wingate, Rachel Stewart, Kristen Morgan, Tenesha Lain, Tiffany Slaton and Gina Golda for serving up the treats.

( Photo: Greeting the crowd at the Halloween Parade with her new pet, the Big, Bad Wolf -- a handle marionette she designed and built herself -- is art department head Lee Brandt Randall.)

Famous Fairy Tale Villains Featured in 6th- and 7th-Grade Play
This year's sixth-grade play, Once Upon a Pandora's Box, is a comic mashup of myth and fairytale. On a whim, the Greek god Zeus rounds up five legendary fairy tale villains and locks them inside Pandora's Box, which magically appears in a New York apartment in the 21st century.

At the apartment, Tabitha and her brother Louis find the box and open it, allowing the storybook baddies to escape and run wild. In rummaging through Tabitha's belongings, the villains find some stories she has written in a notebook. They plan to take control of her fictional characters and change the plots -- but not in a good way. Will Tabitha be able to harness the power of her own storytelling or will the Big Bad Wolf and company take her characters down a much darker path than she had planned?

Once Upon a Pandora's Box, directed by Julie Horridge, runs Nov. 7 and 8 at 7:00 p.m. in the Elementary Drama Room. Tickets are available at the door for $5.00 each.
"Arctic Adventure" Scholastic Book Fair Nov. 15 - 20
The Elementary Library's Fall Scholastic Book Fair is right around the corner. Be sure to visit the Drama Room Nov. 15-20 to get in a little pre-holiday shopping. In keeping with the season, this year's theme is Arctic Adventure: Snow Much to Read! The book fair will feature a blizzard of books in a vast range of subjects and genres. You're sure to find a great selection of titles and gift items for all ages.

Special book fair events include: "Preview Day" on Nov. 15; "Family Day" on Sunday, Nov. 17; "Costume Day" on Nov. 18; "Donuts with Grownups" from 7:00 - 8:00 a.m. on Nov. 19; and "Muffins in the Morning" from 7:00 - 8:00 a.m. on Nov. 20.

LA Studies Classes Take on Rougarou Escape Challenge
In the spirit of Halloween, Eunice McCarney's Louisiana Studies classes took on a haunted escape room challenge populated by creepy swamp creatures, ghost ridden antebellum homes, and Louisiana's very own werewolf, the rougarou.

To escape from the rougarou, students had to answer 13 questions based on readings and their own class notes. Working in teams, they took on questions about Louisiana history, geography, and folklore. Topics ranged from the name of the resident ghost in the Old State Capitol to the legend of the rougarou and why he fears the number 13. (Apparently, he can only count to 12. When he has to go up to 13, he gets scared and confused and has to start again. This goes on until dawn when he has to get away from the sun.)

Seventh grade LA Studies students in Jade Dolan's classes also explored our state's folk traditions on Oct. 31. They started class with a reading about a loup garou (or rougarou) and responded by writing their own mystery, ghost, or horror story on some aspect of Louisiana culture.

( Photo: Working together on the Louisiana Studies Rougarou Escape Challenge Oct. 31 are eighth graders, from left, Caleb Johnston, Cooper Coates, Hope Oubre and Enzo Rovai.
Kudos and Notable Events
Makers Pumpkin Project ... To showcase little pumpkins the kindergartners brought back from their trip to the Barnhill Nature Reserve, the fifth graders did a maker project in the Elementary Library. Using 20 straws and four feet of masking tape, they created pumpkin stands. "After brainstorming design ideas independently," said Elementary Librarian Amanda Albin, "the fifth graders worked in groups to implement one design. They were super creative!"

(Photo: With the pumpkin stand they made in the Elementary Library are fifth graders, from left, Adin Brunner, Grace Doughty, and Andrew Harbin.)
GREAT PUMPKIN Raffle Winner ... Congrats to senior Jenna Carballo, the winner of the "It's the GREAT PUMPKIN, Charlie Brown raffle sponsored by Runnels High School Athletics. Her prize? A giant pumpkin, of course, chock full of Halloween candy.

(Photo: Raffle winner Jenna Carballo.)

Art Teacher at LA Book Festival ... Art teacher and book illustrator Lee Brandt Randall will be featured in two events at the LA Book Festival in downtown Baton Rouge Nov. 2. She'll be there with her most recent book Thibodeaux Turtle and Boudreaux Bunny: The Tortoise and the Hare with a Louisiana Twist and the two cable puppets she designed and created based on its two main characters. The Book Talk will take place in Tent 2 from 1:00 - 1:30 p.m. and a book signing will be held in the Barnes & Noble Tent from 1:45 - 2:30 p.m.
Blowing Boo Bubbles ... Students in Kitty Gant's Life Science classes added more fun to Halloween by making Boo Bubbles. The experiment took warm water, dry ice, liquid soap, a large container, a rubber hose with a nozzle, and, of course, goggles and gloves for safety. Students put warm water into the container and dropped in some dry ice pellets then loosely capped the vessel. A dry ice mist wafted from the nozzle of the hose. When the end of the hose was dipped into the bubble solution that had some glycerin mixed in, ghostly bubbles were produced. The bubbles were opaque because they were full of dry ice, in the form of a gas.

(Photo: With Life Science teacher Kitty Gant are junior high students, from left, Carli Shay, Sarah Ortlieb, and Amelia Guess.)
Halloween Hellos ... Cheery Halloween greetings flew around the main campus this week thanks to the efforts of our Photography Club. The young shutterbugs revived our Boo Gram tradition! For a modest fee of 50 cents each, they hand delivered more than 100 Halloween howdys and sweet treats to students, faculty and staff this week.

The Photography Club is open to students in grades 7-12. Wendy Milam is the organization's sponsor.

(Photo: Eighth grader Summer Guerin buys a Boo Gram for a friend from Photography Club members, from left, Brynn Myles and Alaysia Mandujano, who are also eighth graders.)
Kick Off Quiz Bowl Tournament ... Runnels' new high school Quiz Bowl team will have its debut competition this Saturday, Nov. 2 at LSU in the Louisiana Quiz Bowl Association's "SpoOoOoktacular IV Tournament."

On Team Runnels are high school students Alex Frederic, Jensen Holliday, Joseph Ismail, Reagan Kyle, Chris Ortego, and Marshall Pentes. Coaching the team are sponsors Colleen LeBlanc and Ann Ostrom. We wish them the best of luck as they go into battle this weekend.
Southeastern Honor Band ... Congratulations to the students selected to the 2019 Southeastern Honor Band! They are clarinetists Evan Beoubay and Reagan Kyle; alto saxophonists Chris Yura, Ramsey Rogers, and Preston Kyle; trombone player Tate Smith; and percussionist Kaylee Caillouet. Their concert will be held Dec. 7 at 2:00 p.m. in the Pottle Music Building at Southeastern University.

(Photo: From left are Reagan Kyle, Tate Smith, Kaylee Caillouet, Evan Beoubay, and Chris Yura. Not pictured: Preston Kyle and Ramsey Rogers.)

Two-Sentence Horror Stories ... Kudos to the winners of the Jr./Sr. High Library Writing Center's Two-Sentence Horror Story Writing Co ntest! The Gold winners were Ryan Ly and Evan Shaneyfelt; the Silver winners were J ohn Latona, Preston Kyle, Blaine Nicholson, and Omar Badawi ; and the Bronze winners were Sophia Horridge and Malek Badawi .
We Sincerely Thank...
Preschool Halloween Carnival ... The preschoolers celebrated Trick-or-Treat season on Oct. 25 with a special event all their own, the annual Halloween Carnival. Lending a hand with the games and festivities were members of the National Honor Society. We extend special thanks to them and their sponsors, Norma Marsh and Colleen LeBlanc. We also sincerely thank Michael Bordelon for planning and organizing the event. "He made the preschool carnival amazing," said Preschool Co-Director Janice Leger.
Have Music, Will Travel ... Many thanks to the Advanced String Orchestra and its directors, Jennifer and Dan Cassin , for traveling to the preschool Oct. 30 to present a concert of "spooky music" for the students and faculty. On the repertoire were "Pirates of the Caribbean Suite," "Thriller," and "Dies Irae: Fantasia."

(Photo: Senior strings student Andrew Schacht shows his viola to preschoolers at the "spooky music" concert on Oct. 30.)

Jigsaw Puzzle Frame Makes Big Hit in Library ... We sincerely thank Nickolas Pizzalato (Cohen, 4A, and Mason, grade 7) for making the new jigsaw frame for the Elementary Library. The frame has been a big hit with jigsaw enthusiasts of all ages.
Above: Twenty students in the 2020 graduating class are Runnels "lifers" which means they have attended our school steadily since at least the first grade. The Class of 2020 "lifers" are, front row from left, Sam Haase, Grayson Gulley, Ricky Harrison, Ben Holliday, Jack Kahn and Cole Latiolais; back row, Minna Ismail, Sarah Stanfield, Janie Schlotterer, Rachel Hargrove, Natalia Tooraen, Erin Oehrle, Bailey Hyatt, Annie Fink, Julia Sager, Anna Manning, Catherine Bonaventure, Eric Ho, John Spillane, and Andrew Schacht.

In this week's album: Rougarou Breakout, Third Grade Science Students Learn about Leaf Pigments, Boo Bubbles, Quiz Bowl, Southeastern Honor Band, Ordering Class Rings, Sixth Grade Library Makers Project, Advanced Strings at the Preschool, Balloon Racers in Physical Science, Lifers, Preschool Carnival, and Candids.
Athletic Corner
Get your winter spirit apparel at the Booster Club’s Spirit Store!

Click below to enter store.


On Wednesday evening, the Runnels Junior High boys and girls basketball teams took on Doyle Elementary in the Catalano Gym. The Junior High Lady Raiders Basketball team lost to Doyle 28-19, with Annie Garrison scoring 10 points to lead the team. The 7th Grade boys were defeated 42-23, with Preston Treadway scoring 11 points. In overtime, the 8th Grade boys' team suffered a heartbreaking loss, 33-31, with a last second shot by Doyle. Rossie Harrison scored 14 points and Cooper Coates had 10.

(Photo: Rossie Harrison, eighth grade, gets some payback as he sets up for a free throw.)

Varsity Swim Meet – Time TBA
Cross Country Baton Rouge Metro Championship – Highland Road Park – Varsity Boys 8:00, Varsity Girls 8:30, MS Boys 9:10, MS Girls 9:40, JV 10:10

SEND US YOUR PHOTOS FOR THE FOCUS Email photos to Please include the date and location of the event and the students pictured .  
Friendly Reminders
NOW through (extended time!) Nov. 8 / St. Jude Math-A-Thon /

Nov. 1 / Raider Rally / main campus, 5:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Nov. 1-6 / Operation Gratitude / Donate leftover Halloween Candy to deployed military and veterans in the Elementary Library.

Nov. 2 / Jr. Beta District Day / St. Amant High School

Nov. 3 / Daylight Savings Time Ends at 2:00 a.m. / Remember to turn your clocks back one hour!

Nov. 5 - Nov. 21 ( corrected starting date ) / Sr. Beta Thanksgiving Food Drive for the Baton Rouge Food Bank / Collection barrels located in Elementary and Jr./Sr. High Offices.

Nov. 7 and 8 / Once Upon a Pandora's Box / Drama Room, 7:00 p.m. Tickets: $5 each at the door.

Nov. 11 / Veterans Day Programs / Theatre, Reception for Veterans and Guests, 8:00 a.m.; Elementary Musical Tribute to Veterans, 9:00 a.m.; Reception for Jr./Sr. High Program, 10:30; Jr./Sr. High Program 11:20 a.m.

Nov. 15-21 / Elementary Fall Scholastic Book Fair / Drama Room

Nov. 25-29 / Thanksgiving Holiday / School Resumes Monday, Dec. 2