November 30, 2018
Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions, and national origins.

In this week's Friday Focus : Jr. High Robotics Team Headed for State Tournament; "Runnels on the Rowe" Dec. 1; Beauty and the Beast Cast Announced; Sign Up for Parents Night Out Babysitting for Grades K-5; Teachers Participate in Professional Development Conferences; Decking the Halls of Jones Creek Library; Around the World in Eight Plays; Victory and Honor; Kudos and Notable Events; We Sincerely Thank; Weekly Photo Album; Athletic Corner; Friendly Reminders
Jr. High Robotics Team Qualifies for State
The Jr. High Robotics Team placed 2nd among 14 competitors at the First Lego League Qualifying Tournament held at Woodlawn High School Nov. 16 and qualified to advance to the First Lego League State Tournament in New Orleans on Dec. 15.

The team, also known as the Electric Einsteins, also came away with the 1st-place trophy in Core Values and 3rd place honors in Robot Missions. On the team are 6th graders Lina Derzi, Zeb Tate and Parker Wright, and 7th graders Summer Guerin and Poppy Pellissier. Coaching the team is elementary teacher Sheri Allen.

(Representing Runnels at the First Lego League Qualifying Tournament at Woodlawn High are, front row, from left, Summer Guerin and Poppy Pellissier; back row, Lina Derzi, Parker Wright, Zeb Tate, and Coach Sheri Allen.)

Support Our Libraries at "Runnels on the Rowe"
Be sure to join us at Perkins Rowe tomorrow for our very first "Runnels on the Rowe" shopping event to benefit the elementary and junior and senior high libraries.

Mention "Runnels" at checkout when you make purchases at Barnes & Noble Perkins Rowe, La Madeleine, and The Impeccable Pig for a percentage of the sales to be donated to our library programs. Shop all day at Barnes & Noble and La Madeleine and from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at The Impeccable Pig .

Student artwork will be on display at Barnes & Noble in the cafe' area, and art teachers and illustrators Lee Randall ( Chicory and Roux ) and Sydney McGraw ( Joshua the Rescue Kitty ) will be doing a book signing from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.

We Have a Cast for Beauty and the Beast!
In case you haven't heard, our winter musical is going to be Disney's Beauty and the Beast! The lavish production will feature students in second grade through high school. ( Elementary parents will receive an email next week inviting students to join the cast. ) The show will run for three performances, Feb. 15-17, in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre.

In leading roles are seniors Sophia Torres as "Belle," Carson Badinger as the "Beast," Peter Lukinovich as "Gaston," Alex Morgan as "Lumiere," Daniel Mayeaux as "Cogsworth," and Kayla Evans as "Mrs. Potts," with junior Aubri Watts as "Chip." Senior Landon Simpson portrays "Lefou," Eli Latiolais, grade 8, is "Maurice," senior Thomas Worsham plays "Monsieur D'Arque," junior Anna Manning is "Babette," Caroline Collins, grade 10, is "Madame De La Grande Bouche," and sophomore Sophie Edwards plays the "Enchantress/Narrator."

Running the show will be K-12 Theatre Program Chair Neena Kelfstrom, with vocal direction by Aaron Turnipseed and choreography by Rachel Hart. In a departure from past musicals, this year's show will feature pre-recorded music instead of a live band.

Tickets go on sale Jan. 7 at Online tickets are $12. At the door, tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. More information:

( Photos: From left are Carson Badinger, Sophia Torres, and Peter Lukinovich. )

Sign Up for "Parents Night Out" Hosted by the Class of 2020

If you need a little "me" time to shop, relax, or catch up with friends, here's your chance!

The Class of 2020 will host a special "Parents Night Out" in the Runnels Catalano Gym for Runnels elementary students in grades K-5 on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 5:00-9:00 p.m.

Have your children wear comfy clothes and soft-soled shoes ... and tell them to be prepared for fun! The current junior class will be doing the entertaining while Runnels faculty and staff will be on hand for supervision.

Registration is required and includes pizza, beverages, and snacks. Fees are $30 for one child, $50 for two, and $65 for three. RSVP by Thursday, Dec. 6. Space is limited. This is a fundraiser for the Class of 2020.

Shaking Up Teaching and Learning
Several faculty members had the chance to plug in to the latest developments on the educational technology front by attending the 2018 LACUE (Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators) Professional Development Conference in New Orleans this week.

Participating were elementary teachers Renee' Miller, Cheyenne Davis, Sheri Allen, Rachele Smith, and Becky Hillman and Jr./Sr. High teacher Kathy Judd.

Mrs. Miller said the group especially benefited from a workshop presented by Kasey Bell about making the most of digital tools in the classroom. They also liked a session about "fun formative assessments" that introduced new tech tools for measuring how well students understand what is taught. A highlight for Mrs. Smith was learning to incorporate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) concepts and activities into 4th-6th-grade reading classes.

Earlier this month, high school English teachers Kylie Harbin and Sherry Wilks went to Houston for the NTCE (National Council of Teachers of English) 2018 Convention and Exhibition.

They participated in workshops by “English teacher idols” Penny Kittle and Kylene Beers and learned the latest on literature circles and building dialogues with non-confident readers and writers through conferencing. Mrs. Harbin said she was excited to learn about a new website entitled that features interactive editions of the plays with multimedia resources. Another high point of the conference was attending a seminar by best-selling YA author, Kwame Alexander.

( Photo: Relaxing at the Hewlett Packard photo booth at the LACUE conference in New Orleans are, from left, Sheri Allen, Becky Hillman, Renee' Miller, Cheyenne Davis, and Rachele Smith.)
Decking the Halls of Jones Creek Library
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Jones Creek Library thanks to the artistic efforts of community businesses, organizations,and schools -- including the students in Runnels K-5 art classes.

Each December the library sponsors a display of theme-related holiday decorations called "Celebration of the Trees."
"We did a Runnels K-5 Art tree," said elementary art teacher Burgundy Brumfield. "The 4th and 5th grade students made "color wheel balls" using colored card stock. They traced, cut, folded, and guled, making sure their ornaments turned out in the correct color wheel order."

The 1st-3rd graders in Jennifer Leeper's classes crafted copper wire fish ornaments decorated with multi-color beads and strands of wire in the style of American sculptor Alexander Calder. In Lauren Downing's kindergarten art classes, the children painted concentric circles in bright colors on round discs to make ornaments reminiscent of artwork by Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky.

The "Celebration of the Trees" exhibit goes up at the Jones Creek Library tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

(Photo:Displaying the concentric circle ornaments they made for the "art tree" at the Jones Creek Library are kindergartners Chase Pittman and Chase Wiltcher. )
Around the World in Eight Plays
International folktales sprang to life on our stage this week as junior high drama students performed Around the World in Eight Plays .

In a series of stories featuring dragon kings, a witch with iron teeth, the Little Sister of the Sun, a demon snake, and the requisite number of evil sisters and changelings, we were transported through their acting skills to enchanted landscapes in far flung corners of the world.

Congratulations to the players, their director Landon Simpson, grade 12, assistant director Kayla Evans, grade 12, and their teacher, Neena Kelfstrom!

( Photo: Junior high drama students Reide Walker and Amelia Breeden in a scene from a Russian folktale in "Around the World in Eight Plays." )

Victory and Honor
The Olympic spirit was alive and well in Ann Ostrom’s junior high classical languages class this week. In association with their studies of the Greek city-states, the students held a mini-Olympiad.

"Before they could compete, contestants had to create a banner and two coins representing their city-states and compose the Olympic Oath that would govern their actions during the competition," said Mrs. Ostrom.

Events included a footrace, wrestling (with thumbs), a javelin (velcro target) throw, discus throw (frisbee), and chariot race (wheelbarrow).

Ali Guerin representing Athens won the footrace; Olivia Chaisson representing Thebes won the discus (frisbee) throw; Yaseen Pirzadah representing Argos won the javelin (velcro target) throw; Arthur Donaldson representing Corinth won the (thumb) wrestling event; and Ali and Olivia took first place in the chariot (wheelbarrow) race. Winners of individual events were presented with laurel crowns and the overall champion, Olivia, received red victory ribbons (as depicted on a vase from ancient Greece).

Many thanks to Latin student assistants Natalie Fairley, Anna Somerville, Marshall Pentes, Connor Porthouse, and Bailey Ourso.

( Photo: At the junior high classical languages class' mini-Olympiad, Ali Guerin wins the footrace. )
Kudos and Notable Events
Putting on Their Dancing Shoes ... Bravo to the members of the junior and senior high dance classes and their instructor, Rachel Hart, for presenting a lovely and informative program in the Theatre today. In the program, students demonstrated their accomplishments in the areas of ballet and modern, lyrical, and jazz dance while Mrs. Hart explained their steps and movements to the audience. Seasonal costumes and music provided the recital with a festive flair.

Southeastern Honor Band ... Congratulations to the six Runnels 7th-12th-Grade Band students who have been selected to the 2018 High School Southeastern Invitational Honor Band. They are ( in photo, from left ) Ian Duke, Chris Yura, Evan Beoubay, Lance LeBlanc, Ramsey Rogers , and Preston Kyle. Their concert was today in Hammond.

In Holiday Shows Around Town ...
Runnels will have a strong presence in Theatre Baton Rouge's Dec. 7-16 performances of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol . Eight members of our school community are in the show. Congratulations to elementary students Harper Guay, Ethan Ly, Lauren Ly, Alex Hayden , and Gibson Guay , freshmen Sydney Mistretta and Abby Robbins , and Abby's mom, Ona Robbins , for being cast in the play.

Appearing in Playmakers of Baton Rouge's Elf Junior Dec. 7-16 are Olivia Williams , grade 7, and Matthew Campbell , grade 5.

Cast as "Thing 1" in Central Community Theatre's production of Seussical Junior is 6th grader Ashlynn Harper . The show runs tonight and tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. at BREC's Independence Park. 

Teacher Wins Leading Role in Christmas Classic . .. Elementary drama teacher Sonya Blanchard will step out of the classroom and onto the stage in December to portray one of the most famous characters in movie history. She's been cast in the role of "Mary Bailey" in the Ascension Community Theatre's production of It's a Wonderful Life . Based on the 1946 film starring James Stewart as George Bailey and Donna Reed as his wife Mary, the play has become a holiday staple.

An actor, dance instructor and choreographer for more than 30 years, Ms. Blanchard has been involved in productions by Theatre Baton Rouge, the Ascension Community Theatre, Playmakers of Baton Rouge, and the Baker Little Theatre. Performances of It's a Wonderful Life will be Dec. 13-16 and 20-23 in Gonzales.

NHS Breakfast Bake Sale ... Business was booming at the National Honor Society's breakfast bake sale on Thursday. The club sold pastries, juice, and other breakfast fare, with proceeds going towards club expenses such as senior graduation cords and a charitable donation at the end of the school year. Junior Anna Manning coordinated the sale with the assistance of committee members Annie Fink, Julia Sager, Catherine Bonaventure, Jillian Edmonson, and Madison Sutton . ( Photo: From left are NHS members Matthew Alfonso, Anna Manning, and Sophia Torres. )

Thespian Club Performs No Exit ... Kudos to officers of the Thespian Club for a nuanced performance of Jean-Paul Sartre's existential masterpiece No Exit in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre last night. Senior Camille Doucet ( at center in photo ) directed the one-act play featuring performances by ( from left in photo ) sophomore Sophie Edwards and seniors Sophia Torres , Kayla Evans and Alex Morgan . Production advisor N eena McLain handled the lighting, junior Gracie Smith was in charge of sound, and high school technical theatre students did the set construction.
We Sincerely Thank ...
Upping the Security Factor ... Students in grades 7-12 sat spellbound in our auditorium Thursday morning as former Baton Rouge Police Chief Jeff LeDuff used a combination of audience participation, down home humor and charm, and fascinating stories from his 30 years on the police force to present practical pointers on how to increase personal safety and security.

Many thanks to Chief LeDuff and his son Kelly LeDuff of Open Eyes Safety Training and Consulting for bringing their important message to our school community.

( Photo: At the Open Eyes presentation in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre Thursday are, from left, Kelly LeDuff, Lance LeBlanc, Nick D'Gerolamo, former Baton Rouge Police Chief Jeff LeDuff, Camille Doucet, and Emma Schlotterer. )
Drummers Drumming ... Runnels alumnus Thomas Burke (‘12), a four-year member of LSU’s Tiger Band drumline, stopped by the band room after school on Nov. 16 to work with our 7th-12th-grade drummers.

Earlier in the day, the band and director Jill Swetnam had been at LSU’s Tigerama. A huge thank you goes to Thomas for sharing his expertise with our students.

( Alum Thomas Burke, left, works with drummers Dawson Latona and Nathan Hall in the band room.)

Runnels on LPB ... We sincerely thank Jr./Sr. High Assistant Principal Dana Schlotterer for representing our school so beautifully as a guest on LPB's Louisiana Public Square this month . In the episode, "An Eye on Admissions," which aired statewide Nov. 21, Mrs. Schlotterer brought her characteristic professionalism and clarity to the conversation about "holistic admissions" at LSU.


( Jr./Sr. High Principal Dana Schlotterer helps senior Aaron Taliaferro with a college application.)

In This Week's Photo Album: Kindergartners Write Letters to Santa with 6th-Grade Buddies, Rock Identification in Science, Ornament Painting in Kindergarten, Open Eyes Presentation, No Exit, Mini-Olympiad in Classical Languages, and Candids.
Athletic Corner

Congratulations are in order for several members of the Cross Country team. Junior Annie Fink was selected to the 1st team 2018 Cross Country All-Metro Girls Team. And Dawson Latona received an Honorable Mention selection to the 2018 Cross Country All-Metro Boys Team.

The Louisiana Track and Field Coaches Association also announced the 2018 Composite XC Team. Runners selected had the top 25 individual times ( regardless of LHSAA classification) from the state championship meet held on Nov. 12-13. Kudos to Annie Fink, Micah Roper and Sydney Worsham from the girls team and Dawson Latona from the boys for their outstanding times.

All-Metro Cross Country Team information will be published in The Advocate later this year.
(Pictured: Annie Fink)
(Photo: Dawson Latona)

The Raiders basketball team is currently 9-4 for the season after defeating Northlake Christian Wednesday night, 52-46, and Family Christian Academy on Monday, 71-43. Cade Tate led both games, scoring with 26 points in each. Collin Coates scored 19 points and 19 rebounds against Family Chri stian. Over the Thanksgiving break, the Raiders fell to 4A Lakeshore and 3A Albany but defeated Pine. Tonight Runnels travels to Episcopal School of Acadiana.

(Photo: Kade Tate off the floor putting one up. Photo courtesy of Matthew Hebert.

The junior high Raiders took on St. Alphonsus this week with 2 wins and 1 loss. The 6th grade lost 32-23. Preston Treadaway led the team, scoring 8 points. The 7th grade won 42-32, with Cooper Coates and Rossie Harrison each scoring 16 points. The 8th grade also had a victory (36-26), with Alex Lam scoring 10, Alan Lam scoring 8, and Shelby Anders scoring 8.

The 7th-grade team is currently 5-1 while the 8th-grade team is 4-2.

The junior high soccer season has begun. The boys team is currently 2-0 for the season. The boys beat Glasgow 8-1 and BRIS 2-0 by forfeiture.The girls team scored a win against LP Jackets, 6-1

(Photo: Amelia Guess. Photo courtesy of her mother, Holly.)
Varsity Boys Basketball at ESA – JV at 5:00 p.m. & Varsity at 6:00 p.m.

On Saturday
Jr. High Boys Basketball at St. Theresa Tournament – 7th at 10:00 a.m. & 8th at 10:45 a.m.
Jr. High Girls Soccer vs Sherwood Lady Falcons at Burbank— 9:30 a.m.
Jr. High Girls Soccer vs UHigh at Burbank—11:00 a.m.
Varsity Boys Soccer at Copa Acadiana Tournament in Lafayette

On Sunday
Jr. High Boys vs Zachary Blaze at Burbank—2:30 p.m.

Email game and fan photos to . Please include the event and the name of the student pictured .  
Friendly Reminders
Dec. 1 / Runnels on the Rowe Library Fundraiser / Mention Runnels tomorrow when you shop at Barnes & Noble, La Madeleine, and the Impeccable Pig at Perkins Rowe for our library programs to receive a percentage of the sales. See you there! CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Dec. 1 / American Harp Society at Jones Creek Library / at 2:30 p.m.; Several Runnels students will be among the harpists performing in a holiday concert hosted by the newly formed Bayou Chapter of the American Harp Society at the library. The Bayou Chapter of the American Harp Society was organized by Runnels parent Rebecca Todaro.

Dec. 4 / String Orchestra Concert   / Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 9:00 a.m. 

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

Dec. 6 / 7th - 12th Grade Band Concert / Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 7:00 p.m. 

Dec. 10 / 4th and 5th Grade Band Concert / Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 7:00 p.m. 

Dec. 12 / Harp Concert / Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 9:20 a.m. 

Dec. 14 / Elementary Drama Performances / Drama Room, Snow Show , grades 4-6 (1st hour drama class, 8:30 a.m., 2nd hour drama class, 9:20 a.m., and 3rd hour drama class, 10:10 a.m.); Elfenia , 3A (12:10 p.m.) and 3B (2:25 p.m.); On with the Snow , 1A (1:45 p.m.) and 2B (12:50 p.m.)

(Extended) Through Dec. 17 / Toys for Tots Drive at Runnels / Collection barrels are in the foyer of the Elementary School. All donations will go to children in the Greater Baton Rouge area. New, unwrapped toys are welcome.