November 15, 2019
Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions, and national origins.
Please support our school by completing the re-enrollment process as early as you possibly can. Remember, all high school re-enrollment tuition and fees will go into an escrow fund and will be refunded if the high school does not continue. A decision that there will be a high school next year could be made earlier than the enrollment deadline of Jan. 31 if a sufficient number enroll and pay early. You are the best advertisement for our school! Whenever you get the chance, share what you love about Runnels with other parents.

Another way to help is by making a donation to the Runnels High School Support Fund . A voluntary donation in any amount is welcome and greatly appreciated.

In this week's Focus : Honoring Veterans with Musical Tributes; Kudos and Notable Events; Doing the Math to Help Those in Need; Delivering Cookies and Thank Yous to Local Heroes; Owl Pellets Under Investigation in Kindergarten; After-School Art Class to Hold Art Show; Elementary Library Fall Scholastic Book Fair Open Sunday; Kudos and Notable Events; Thank Yous; Weekly Photo Album; Athletic Corner, and Friendly Reminders.
Members of the Advanced Band and Orchestra pause for a keepsake photo after the Jr./Sr. High Veterans Day program with Lt. Col. Timothy Toler, who retired from the U.S. Army in 1996 after serving our nation for 26 years. Though the students know him as the man who repairs their wind instruments, Mr. Toler served in Vietnam as a Communications Officer, in the Louisiana Army National Guard as Commander of a Combat Engineer Company and Executive Officer, and in the U.S. Army Reserve 321st Material Management Center as the Division Chief, with deployment to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait during Desert Storm.
Honoring Our Veterans with Musical Tributes
To show our gratitude to the men and women who served our nation as members of the armed forces, Runnels hosted two receptions and musical programs in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. Special guests were members of our extended school family who have been or are currently serving in the military.

Hosting the assemblies were Founding Headmaster Dr. L.K. Runnels and Gladys Runnels, Head of School Marcia Mackay and Assistant Head of School Conchetta Foshee.

The programs featured patriotic music performed by students in the band, strings, harp and general music programs.

Special moments came in both assemblies when veterans and those currently serving in the military were invited to stand as the band played the theme representing their branch of the military.

At both programs officers of the High School Senior Beta Club presented a memorial wreath and dedicated it to deceased veterans. Later, the wreath was delivered to Memorial Plaza next to the USS Kidd where it will remain through Nov. 17. 

We sincerely thank Jill Swetnam for planning and organizing the Veterans Day observances and Laura Roark for hosting the receptions.

( Photo: Fifteen harps were lined up in front of the stage for the Elementary Veterans Day Musical Tribute to Veterans to perform "Amazing Grace.")

Doing the Math to Help Those in Need
Students at Runnels Elementary School raised $2,951.00 in donations for the 2019 St. Jude Children's Research Hospital's Math-A-Thon.

To collect contributions, students in grades 1-6 are invited to sign up sponsors to pay for the completion of math problems in a hardcopy or online booklet provided by St. Jude's. 

According to Runnels Math-A-Thon sponsor Christine Pousson, the project “reinforces math skills while helping raise funds for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.”

The top fundraisers at Runnels this year were sixth grader Laura Golda in first place, third grader Emmett Murphy in second, and first grader Charlotte Funk and her brother, fourth grader Ryan Funk in a tie for third. 

Since 2002, Runnels students have raised approximately $170,000 for the charity. 

(Photo: Top St. Jude’s Math-A-Thon fund raisers at Runnels Elementary this year are, front row from left, Charlotte Funk and Ryan Funk; back row, Emmett Murphy and Laura Golda.) 
Delivering Cookies and Cards to Local Heroes
Jr. Beta Club members participated in the annual “Cookies for Heroes” project by delivering approximately 30 boxes of homemade cookies and thank you cards on Nov. 8 to community heroes, including firefighters, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) officers, members of the EBR Sheriff’s Office and Police Department, D.A.R.E. officers, and deputies staffing the gatehouse at Runnels School.

The club officers are Ben Hader, president, Katherine Campbell, vice president, Gibby Guay, secretary, and Reilly Wilks, treasurer. Sponsoring the club are elementary teachers Christine Pousson, John Baird, and Candice Ortlieb. 

This is the 14th year the Runnels Jr. Beta Club has taken part in this annual event, which recognizes local heroes and commemorates 9/11.

(Photo Caption: Delivering thank you cards and cookies to firefighters at the St. George Fire Station Nov. 8 as part of the national “Cookies for Heroes” program are Runnels Jr. Beta Club members, from left, Sarah Ortlieb, Annie Garrison, Leyna Huynh, and Amelia Guess.) 
Owl Pellets Under Investigation in Kindergarten
Parents joined their kindergartners in science class this week to help them dissect owl pellets and examine their contents.

Using special tool kits that included flashlights, toothbrushes, toothpicks, and other implements, the kindergartners dug through the pellets to see what the owls had eaten.

With the help of a bone chart, they were able to identify rodent skulls, ribs, spinal columns, shoulder blades, pelvis bones, and even bird beaks.

Many thanks to the Runnels Kindergarten parents for helping with the owl pellet dissections!

(Photo: Kindergartner Mason Pevey and his mom Yen Hoang dissect owl pellets this afternoon.)
After-School Art Students To Hold Art Show in Library Dec. 4 - 19
Students in the after-school Elements of Art class will have a closing art show, which will be open to the public, in the Elementary Library from Dec. 4 through Dec. 19.

As the first semester of this popular class draws to a close, students have been concentrating on painting. Recently, they made color wheels using acrylic paint to learn about color mixing and blending.

After the color wheels, they turned to creating still life paintings in acrylic paint on canvas. "In this project we further explore this painting medium and also practice color mixing and blending skills with a brush," said art teacher Sydney McGraw.

Mrs. McGraw will teach another after-school art class for students in grades 2-6 next semester. It runs from Jan. 14 through May 12 on Tuesdays from 3:15 - 4:15 p.m. Contact her at for more information. Better hurry, though, there is already a waiting list for the next session!

(Photo: In the 7 Elements of Art after-school art class, teacher Sydney McGraw works with elementary students, from left, Mohammed Zaid, Bryce Ritter, Bella Haselden-Dispenza, and Sophie LeBlanc.)
Elementary Library Scholastic Book Fair Open Sunday, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Get a jump on your holiday shopping with a visit to the Elementary Library's Fall Scholastic Book Fair in the Drama Room. It's open this Sunday for "Family Day" from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Special book fair events next week include: "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.

(Photo: Sixth-graders help their kindergarten buddies select books for their Wish Lists at the Book Fair Preview in the Drama Room today.)

Kudos and Notable Events
Dancing Mice in Moscow Ballet ... Runnels will have a presence in the Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker at the LSU Student Union Theatre tonight! Appearing as mice will be elementary students Emma Hazel and Laney Wingate and Lily and Reese Downing and Layla Lain.

Emma Hazel and Laney will also be in the cast of Theatre Baton Rouge's production of A Christmas Carol. Also in the show will be elementary students Gibby Guay and Alexander Hayden.

(Photo: At the audition for the "Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker" are, from left, Emma Hazel Wingate, Reese Downing, Lily Downing, and Laney Wingate. Not pictured: Layla Lain.)
Applause for Once Upon a Pandora's Box ... Congratulations to the cast and crew of this year's sixth and seventh grade play Once Upon a Pandora's Box presented in the Elementary Drama Room Nov. 7 and 8. The play was a comedy that took great liberties with mythology, fairy tales and modern life in a New York apartment building. Kudos to director Julie Horridge.

(Photo: In a scene from "Once Upon a Pandora's Box" are, from left, Ashlynn Harper, Jenna Sheikha, and Sadie Miller.)
"Toys for Tots" at Runnels Nov. 20 - Dec. 18 ... To help needy children in the Baton Rouge area this holiday season, Runnels once again will serve as a drop off location for the Marine "Toys for Tots" Program. 

If you would like to participate, please place new, unwrapped toys in the collection boxes located in the foyer of the Elementary School on or before Wednesday, Dec. 18. 
We Sincerely Thank...
Preschool Shade Sail ... We extend a huge thank you to James Pittman for helping preschool teacher Michael Bordelon rehang the shade sale on the Pre-K playground so it would stand a bit higher and away from the light pole.

Birthday Fiesta ... Shout-outs go to the preschool parents who provided a fiesta birthday lunch for six preschool staff members celebrating birthdays in August through December. "We appreciate the parents helping us celebrate a new year in the life of our staff members in this special way," said Preschool Co-Director Karen Runnels. We extend special thanks to Jennifer Kinberger for providing chicken, beef and beans from Superior Grill. We also thank Jessica Patto n for guacamole and helping with set up, Trupti Patel for chips, Artie Varnado for tortillas, Danielle Skrandel for salsa, Lauren Hymel for shredded cheese, Shalane Hathorn for shredded lettuce and taco shells, Mary Le for pico de gallo, Kristin Parker for cake, Yajun Rong for supplying utensils, and Christy Carpenter for providing plates and napkins.

In this week's album: Veteran's Day, Kindergarten Owl Pellets, Algebra Barbie Bungee Jump, Book Fair Wish Lists, After-School Art, Preschool Animal Week, and Candids.
Athletic Corner
Get your winter spirit apparel at the Booster Club’s Spirit Store!

Click below to enter store.


Last Sunday, the Runnels Cross Country team claimed top awards at the Warrior Race at Highland Road Park. In the high school girls varsity race, senior Annie Fink captured her fourth 1st place win of the season and the girls varsity team finished 3rd overall. Sophomore Dawson Latona led the high school boys race, fi nishing 10th, and receiving a t-shirt award. The boys team finished in 9th place. 
The junior high girls team was led by Paige Ashley while the boys were led by Evan Ho. New PRs at the Warrior Run were: Dawson Latona, Paige Ashley, Emma Felton, Alex Griffin, Madelyn Sandifer, Andrew Harbin, Mason Pizzalato and Harrison Whittemore.
Following the meet, the teams celebrated their season with gumbo and awards at Rice and Roux. Each team member received an award including such prizes as the Biggest Loser (most time lost), the On Fire Award (>3 PRs this season), Leader of the Pack, Extra Mile Award + traditional HS team awards. Annie Fink was awarded the Most Outstanding female, Dawson Latona was the Most Outstanding male and Eric Ho received the Team Player Award.
Head Cross Country Coach Julie Fink extends a big thank you to Shasta and Dustin Felton, the owners of Rice and Roux, for hosting the team party.

(Photo: Cross Country team members at the Warrior Race . )

Senior Annie Fink has been invited to be a preferred walk-on with a spot on the Cross Country and Track and Field roster at LSU in the Fall of 2020. Annie has verbally committed to LSU and is very excited about her opportunity to be a part of the Cross Country and Track and Field team. Congratulations, Annie!

(Photo: Senior Annie Fink . )
The Runnels Junior High boys and girls basketball teams had 2 wins and 1 loss against Juban Parc on Monday. The 7th grade boys lost a tough game, 27-21, with Preston Treadway scoring 8.

The girls team claimed a victory with the final score of 11-7, with Gracie Coates scoring the 11.

In overtime, the 8th grade boys prevailed, winning 35-31. Cooper Coates scored 14 points and had 8 blocks, while Rossie Harrison scored 16 points.

(Photo: Cooper Coates, grade 8, heads straight for the basket. Photo courtesy of Rich Harrison.)
At the Capital City Swim League’s all divisions meet, senior and team co-captain Erin Oehrle placed 10th in the 100 Yard Backstroke and 15th in the 50 Yard Freestyle. Co-Captain Kate Oehrle placed 10th in the 100 Yard Breaststroke and 11th in the 200 Yard Individual Medley with personal best times in both events. The girls team placed 14th out of 29 teams with only two swimmers. The boys team captain Hudson Hillman swam his season’s best times in the 50 Yard Freestyle and the 100 Yard Breaststroke. Erin, Kate and Hudson, along with Barrett Couvillon, will next swim at the State Championship in Sulphur, LA on Nov. 20-21.
According to Swim Coach Leighanne Kiggins, multiple teams won State championships in Division 1 and 3 last year. “With the times our swimmers are swimming, we expect them to place higher at the Division 4 State Championship.

Senior Erin Oehrle has been named to the All-Academic Metro Swim team. In order to be selected to the Academic All-State team, the student had to be a senior, played the sport for two years, and achieved a six-semester cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 based on a 4.0 scale. Kudos, Erin!

(Photo: Senior Erin Oehrle pictured with her All-Academic shirt.)
SWIMMING: 5th-8th Grade
The junior high swim team competed in Division 2 of the City Championships. The girls team came out in 4th place overall and the boys were 6th overall.  
The girls relay, consisting of eighth-graders Lily Hayden, Sela Basso and Mikalyn Shay and seventh-grader Annie Garrison, placed 4th in the 200 Yard Medley and 5th in the 200 Freestyle relays. The boys relay, consisting of seventh-graders Carter Parsons, Christian Caillouet, Jack Ezell and Aubrey Francois, placed 7th in the 200 Yard Medley and 6th in the 200 Freestyle relays.
In the 5th and 6th grade events, Ethan Ly placed 5th overall for the boys in the 100 Yard IM. Preliminary Finalists for the 50 Yard Freestyle were Lauren Ly in 10th place, Elise Parrish in 15th and Ethan Ly in 11th.
In the 50 Yard Backstroke, Lauren Ly placed 13th, Elise Parrish placed 14th and Molly Banquer placed 16th overall for the girls. Carter Rogillio placed 10th and Alex Hayden placed 13th for the boys. Finalists for the boys 50 Yard Breaststroke were Carter Rogillio in 5th place and Alex Hayden in 7th place overall.
In the 7th and 8th grade events, Carli Shay placed 4th overall in the girls 100 Yard IM. In the 50 Yard Freestyle, Sela Basso placed 6th, Mikalyn Shay placed 7th and Carli Shay placed 14th overall for the girls. Carter Parsons placed 8th, Jack Ezell placed 9th and Christian Caillouet placed 11th overall for the boys team.
Annie Garrison received 3rd place for the girls 50 Yard Butterfly. Lily Hayden placed 7th overall in the 50 Yard Backstroke, and Christian Caillouet and Jack Ezell placed 5th and 6th, respectively. In the 50 Yard Breaststroke, Annie Garrison placed 2nd overall. 
Preliminary finalists were Sela Basso, 10th place, and Aubrey Francois in 15th place. Finalists in the 100 Yard Freestyle for the girls team were Lily Hayden in 5th place, followed closely by Mikalyn Shay in 6th place with a .02 second difference in times. Carter Parsons placed 5th overall for the boys.
“The junior high team had such a fantastic season this year,” said swim coaches Matthew and Leighanne Kiggins. “We really enjoyed getting to know each and every swimmer. We are very happy with everyone's improvement, especially our large group of very new swimmers!”

Basketball vs. JS Clark – JV 5:30 p.m. Varsity 6:30 p.m.

Jr High Basketball at St. Amant High School – Girls vs. St. Amant 9:30 a.m., 8th vs. Galvez 11:15 a.m., Girls vs. Galvez 1:00 p.m., Boys vs. St. Theresa 3:00 p.m.

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
Nov. 15-20 / Elementary Fall Scholastic Book Fair / Drama Room

Nov. 20 - Dec. 18 / Marine "Toys for Tots" Drive at Runnels

Through Nov. 21 / Sr. Beta Food Drive for Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank

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

Dec. 3 / Strings Concert / Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre / 9:00 a.m.

Dec. 5 / 6th and 7th Grade Band Concert / Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre / 11:00 a.m.

Dec. 6 / Sr. Beta Salvation Angel Tree Program Donations Due / Bring your donations to Theatre Dressing Room during 0 Hour.

Dec. 5 / 8th - 12th Grade Band Concert / Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre / 7:00 p.m.

Dec. 6 / Harp Concert / Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre / 10:15 a.m.

Dec. 9 / Beginning and Intermediate Band Concert / Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre / 7:00 p.m.

Dec. 11 / Jr./Sr. High Dance Performance / Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre / 9:00 a.m.

Dec. 13 / Elementary Drama Performances / During Class Times / Elementary Drama Room