October 11, 2019
Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions, and national origins.
Great fun was had at the Elementary School's "Sunday Funday" last weekend. It was lovely to see the parents of our young students enjoying spending time with each other. The snowballs turned out to be a hit. There were 150 served! I heard giggles and laughter everywhere. Thank you to Sarah Haase for organizing it all and to everyone who helped to make it a success!

In this week's Focus : Storybook Character Parade at Preschool; Kindergarten Sneak-A-Peek for Prospective Families Oct. 20; And Then There Were None Cast Goes Thrifting for Props and Costumes; Get Your Throwback Spirit Shirt to Celebrate Runnels' 55th Anniversary; Animals and Their Habitats Showcased in Fourth-Grade Science; Yes, We Really Do Use Fractions in Real Life; So, What Are You Reading; Kudos and Notable Events; Thank Yous; Friendly Reminders; Weekly Photo Album; and Athletic Corner.
Spotlight on Reading at Preschool "Storybook Character Parade"
Books sprang to life at the Runnels Preschool the morning of Oct. 11 when the pre-kindergarten students presented their annual “Storybook Character Parade.”
For the event, which was held in affiliation with the preschool’s Fall Scholastic Book Fair, the youngsters dressed up as characters from their favorite books. 

As a large audience of family and friends looked on, each costumed youngster stepped forward for a short “book talk” with pre-kindergarten teacher and event emcee, teacher Danielle Banquer. The children introduced themselves, named the characters they were portraying, and announced the titles of their favorite books.

"The purpose of the 'Storybook Character Parade,'" said Preschool Co-Director Karen Runnels, "is to emphasize the importance of reading with young children. Early reading creates a love for reading in our students and sets them up for success in school."

( Photo: In character as "Pete the Cat" from the famous children's book series is pre-kindergartner Gary Sander with emcee Danielle Banquer dressed up as Sherlock Holmes.)

Open House Oct. 20 for Prospective Kindergarten Parents, Students

We're hosting an interactive Open House for rising kindergarten parents and students Sunday, Oct. 20 from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. on the main campus. If you're a preschool parent, please join us for this special event. And if you know somebody searching for an excellent kindergarten program, please tell them about Runnels!

At our Sneak-A-Peek Open House, students and parents can explore our school's kindergarten learning areas and participate in many of the activities our kindergarten students enjoy each day. At Runnels, kindergarten students receive one-on-one instruction in reading and math (Cubby Time) on a daily basis. The curriculum also includes daily small group lessons in Singapore Math, language arts, phonics, science, social studies, handwriting, art, music and movement, and fitness.

In addition, our kindergartners take part in the Manners of the Heart Program, which reinforces values we embrace and encourage at our school such as kindness, respect, tolerance, and acceptance .

And Then There Were None Cast Goes Thrifting for Props and Costumes
And Then There Were None cast and crew members went thrift shopping together Oct. 5 for last minute wardrobe items and props. Director Sonya Blanchard, along for the ride, pronounced it a successful shopping trip and bonding experience.

There's always plenty to do as the opening night of a show approaches. "Behind-the-scenes work is underway," Mrs. Blanchard said, "such as ordering t-shirts and posters, collecting bios for the program, painting scenery, preparing microphones, recording sound clips, designing light cues, selling tickets, and the list goes on. This is definitely a huge project and the Runnels' students have risen to the challenge!"

Come see the show, an edge-of-your-seat Agatha Christie thriller, Oct. 25 and 26 in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre at 7:00 p.m. CLICK HERE FOR TICKET INFORMATION...

( Photo: Out shopping for "And Then There Were None" costumes and props are, from left, Kyra Reeves, Sophia Horridge, Abby Robbins, Sydney Mistretta, Eli Latiolais, Karli Hebert, director Sonya Blanchard, Sophie Edwards, and Marshall Pentes.)
Get Your Throwback Spirit Shirt Featuring Rocket the Raider!
Before there was a Runnels Raider, there was a Runnels Raccoon! And now he's back! In honor of our school's 55th birthday, the Class of 2022 is resurrecting this fuzzy little Raider as the logo on an all new spirit shirt. Available in toddler through adult sizes, the heather grey short-sleeved t-shirt is available for $20. You can purchase it through your Smart Tuition account or you can print out and complete the order form (CLICK HERE) , and pay with exact change or a check made out to Runnels at any school office.

The Tale of the Runnels Raccoon ... We adopted a raccoon as our mascot in the early days of our school because there was a family of raccoons living in a tree on the playground at the Jefferson Hwy. preschool campus. When the S. Harrell's Ferry Rd. campus opened and school sports teams got going, some of the older students wanted a different symbol. That's when the "Masked Raider" came along. Since the mask gave the "Raider" a resemblance to the little raccoon, it was a popular replacement choice. Gladys Runnels remembers that the first drawings of the "Raider" always had a little raccoon somewhere in the picture. Then, over time, the little raccoon disappeared.
Animals and Their Habitats Showcased in Fourth Grade Science
Creativity helped power scientific discovery in fourth grade this week as students used their artistic skills to make shoebox dioramas displaying their discoveries about animals and their habitats.

For the project, each fourth grader did research on a particular animal and wrote a one-page report based on the findings. The reports included the animal's scientific name, information about its habitat, and whether its status was good, endangered or threatened. Based on their research, students created shoebox dioramas of the animals in their environments or territories, which they presented in class this week along with oral reports.

" I am so impressed with my students and all of their hard work and creativity," said fourth-grade science teacher April Wilkinson. "I was most excited to see how proud they were to share their projects with the class. Much fun and learning was had by all!"

( Photo: Jordan Bergeron presents his talk and diorama about crocodiles and their habitat.)
Yes, We Really Do Use Fractions in Real-Life!
To show that fractions have real-life applications, students in Michelle Harper's upper elementary math classes designed quilts this week. On a grid (quilt) with 36 squares, they had to design a pattern that used six colors in six specific percentages of the grid.

To figure out how many squares of each color were needed, they converted the fractions (percentages) to whole numbers. Once the math was done, the students used their own creative flair to design the numerically inspired masterpieces. Though they all used the same six colors in the same percentages, each quilt was stunningly unique.

In another authentic fraction lesson this week, students brought their favorite recipes to class to practice doubling fractions and converting between improper fractions and mixed numbers.

( Photo: Working on his fraction quilt in math class is fifth grader Jonah Kennedy.)
So, What Are You Reading?
First grader Taylor Ezell is a big fan of Minecraft. He enjoys playing it and reading books about how to play it. His current free reader is Minecraft: Combat Handbook by Stephanie Milton. It's part of a four-book series to teach players everything they need to know about playing the game.

Taylor said he's reading the series because he wants to get better at the video game, which he plays on his dad's phone. "It helps me because so," he explained.

Because books about video games are so popular with elementary readers right now, we have a large collection in the Elementary Library, with multiple copies of most titles, including the Beginners Minecraft Series. "Gaming books and graphic novels were the top books checked out last year," said Elementary Librarian Amanda Albin. "Minecraft is the overall favorite."

( Photo: Reading and Minecraft enthusiast Taylor Ezell.)
Kudos and Notable Events
Helping Brave Heart ... Members of the Jr. Beta Club stayed after school Oct. 4 to put together 50 Life Books for the local child advocacy group, Brave Heart, whose mission is to help children who have been removed from their homes by the courts due to abuse or neglect. The Life Books serve as memory journals for children in the Brave Heart program. The club also donated binders for the Life Books to the charity.

In a thank-you note to Jr. Beta Club sponsor Christine Pousson, Brave Heart representative Marci Sparrow remarked on how diligent and hardworking the Runnels students were: "Our partnership with Runnels' Jr. Beta Club has been for many years and I've worked with a lot of groups over that time but I've never been more impressed than I was on Friday (Oct. 4).... Three cheers for the kids and their school!!!"

(Photo: Assembling Life Books for Brave Heart are, from front left, Cameron Stevenson, Alex Griffin, Lexie Matens, Sammy Ismail, Alaina Milam, Laura Golda, and Jr. Beta co-sponsor Candice Ortlieb.)

Considering a Gap Year? ... Jr./Sr. High Assistant Principal and College Adviser Dana Schlotterer was recently asked to weigh in by Louisiana Next Magazine on whether it's advisable for high school seniors to take a gap year before college. As always, she had savvy and informative advice on the subject. CHECK OUT THE ARTICLE...

All-State Honor Orchestra ... Congratulations to high school students and String Orchestra musicians Ryan Roper, Andrew Schacht, and Emily Schacht for being selected to the All-State Honor Orchestra. Their concert will be held Nov. 24 at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge.

Sports Figure ... Runnels alumnus Max Sager (Class of '18) was profiled in the Oct. 2019 issue of Southern Jewish Life Magazine . A standout soccer player during his junior and senior high days at Runnels, Max is now a rising sophomore at Birmingham-Southern, where he plays soccer for the Panthers. READ MORE...

On Stage in Tarzan ... Kudos to junior Caroline Collins , seventh grader Brendan Levins , and sophomore Emily Schacht for being in the cast of Christian Youth Theater’s production of Disney’s Tarzan, The Stage Musical , coming to LSU’s Claude L. Shaver Theatre Oct. 17-20. CLICK HERE FOR TICKET INFORMATION...
Guatemalan Worry Dolls ... In Spanish II class today, students had a chance to make Guatemalan worry dolls after viewing a video in Spanish about their origin and cultural significance. "Known as muñecas quitapenas in Spanish, Guatemalan worry dolls are small, handmade, human-shaped figures, usually sold in sets," said Spanish teacher Rachel Laiche. "Tradition says a child tells their worries or problems to one of the dolls and then, puts it under their pillow. The doll carries the worries so the child can be relieved of them and rest peacefully." 

(Photo: Mrs. Laiche helps freshman Zenna Shammout with her Guatemalan worry doll made from pipe cleaners, yarn and colorful fabric.)
Into the Woods ... Members of the Nature Club went for a morning hike Oct. 5 at BREC's Kendalwood Road Park. Sponsor Sydney McGraw reports that the students were able to practice photographing native plants and animals, including several Orbweaver Spiders. "They also used the SEEK app to identify species they discovered along the way," she added.

(Photo: On the Nature Club outing at Kendalwood Road Park last Saturday are, from left, Mrs. McGraw and junior and senior high students Jack Ezell, Ashleigh Cooper, Julie Breeden, Amelia Breeden, Aidan Dooley, Alaysia Mandujano and Zayne Mandujano.)
Testing Catapults ... After physics and physics honors students built small-scale catapults with crafting supplies, it was time to put them to the test. On Monday, they moved outside to see "which student in each class could launch a candy pumpkin the longest horizontal distance," said their teacher, Amy Guillory. While concentrating on horizontal displacement (distance moved in a horizontal direction), the students also had to incorporate the best launch angle into their designs. "All of the catapults successfully launched a candy pumpkin, so I consider that a win," said Mrs. Guillory. (Photo: Senior Ryan Ly launches his candy pumpkin while Karli Hebert, Rachel Hargrove, Janie Schlotterer, Jenna Carballo, Catherine Bonaventure and Eric Ho, also seniors, watch.)
ACT Prep Workshops ... Oct. 15, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. - Math; Oct. 17, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. - Science; Saturday, Oct. 19, 8:00 a.m. - 12 noon - Post Workshop Test.
We Sincerely Thank...
Pitching In ... Special thanks and kudos go to the preschool faculty and staff for going above and beyond in making accommodations for the many special events that took place at the preschool this week. The preschool hosted Pizza Night, two Grandparents' Days, the Fall Scholastic Book Fair, and the Storybook Character Parade. "It has been a sweet week," said Preschool Co-Director Janice Leger, "and we would like to shout out to all for their willing hearts and hard work."

( Photo: Planting flowers at Grandparents' Day for the 2s at the preschool.)

Super Cool Gift .. Derrie Perez and Janet Toms (grandmothers of Stuart Roark, grade 8) donated over 100 cool-down cloths to the Cross Country team. We sincerely thank them for this thoughtful contribution.

Raider Star Kick-Off Assemblies ... The first Raider Star Assemblies of the school year, held Oct. 10 in the Elementary Drama Room, scored a touchdown with elementary fans. On stage to quarterback the games and activities was fifth-grade science teacher John Baird, assisted by second grade reading, composition and spelling teacher Nikki Roton. Elementary drama and kindergarten teacher Julie Horridge kept the "Fight" songs coming as DJ, and Elementary Assistant Principal Beth Golden planned and coordinated the football themed event.
(" Sunday Funday" ... Elementary students playing Jenga at our first annual "Sunday Funday" on Oct. 6.)

In this week's album:
Fourth Grade Animals and Their Habitats Project, "Pink Out" Pep Rally, Physics Catapults, "Sunday Funday," Raider Star Drawing, Art Candids, Preschool Grandparents' Days, and Candids. (Special thanks to members of the photography club for some of the "Pink Out" photos.)

(Photo: Earlier in the school year the students in one of our kindergarten sections (the As) decided to call themselves the "Armadillos." Imagine their delight when they saw a real armadillo on this week's field trip to the Barn Hill Preserve. Teacher Stacey Smith had to gather the group for a keepsake photo with their newfound friend and namesake.)
Athletic Corner
Visit the Booster Club’s Spirit Store for Runnels Apparel Year Round!

Click below to enter store.


The Running Raiders were on their game at the KSC Cross Country Classic in Orlando. Senior Annie Fink placed first in the 5K. Gracie Coates, grade 6, placed third, while Harrison Whittemore, grade 7, placed fifth. Eighth-grader Tyler Thibodeaux ran a new Personal Record. The team took in some of the local activities with a visit to Universal Studies that included the new attraction, Halloween Horror Nights.

(Photo: Head Cross Country Coach Julie Fink, center, and members of the Cross Country team take a photo op at Universal Studios while in Orlando for the KSC Cross Country Classic.)

On Saturday, Sept. 28 the middle school swim team rocked its second meet of the season. The girls 200 Yard Freestyle A Relay team of Mikalyn Shay (8th), Lily Hayden (8th), Sela Basso (8th) and Annie Garrison (7th) finished seventh overall. The Girls B Relay team of Carli Shay (7th), Gibby Guay (7th), Paige Ashley (7th) and Elise Parrish (6th) placed 12th. 

The Boys 200 Yard Freestyle A Relay placed 8th overall and included Carter Parsons (7th), Christian Caillouet (7th), Jack Ezell (7th) and Ethan Ly (5th). The B Relay team of Aubrey Francois (7th), Carter Rogillio (5th), Tyler Felton (5th) and Alex Hayden (5th) finished 13th.

Top finishers in their individual events included: Sela Basso (8th) placed 13th, Jack Ezell (7th) in 10th, and Christian Caillouet (7th) was 16th in the 50 Yard Freestyle; Lily Hayden (8th) placed 9th, Jack Ezell came in 13th, and Paige Ashley (7th) in 15th in the 50 Yard Backstroke; and Carli Shay (7th) came in 9th, and Sela Basso (8th) placed 13th for the 50 Yard Breaststroke.

Swimmers in the challenging and competitive 100 Yard Individual Medley were Mikalyn Shay (8th), who finished in 17th place, Annie Garrison (7th) 18th, Carli Shay (7th) 19th, and Ethan Ly (5th) 19th.

Annie Garrison placed first overall with a new PR in the 50 Yard Breaststroke! 

The last regular season meet is today at Crawfish Aquatics at 4 p.m.

(Photo: Head Swimming Coach Matthew Kiggans leads the team in a "Go, Raiders" cheer before the swim meet.)

Last Saturday, the varsity swim team competed in its second meet of the season. Senior Erin Oehrle placed fifth in the 50 Yard Freestyle and 7th in the 100 Yard Backstroke. Junior Kate Oehrle placed ninth in the 50 Yard Freestyle and fifth in the 100 Yard Breaststroke. Senior Hudson Hillman placed 13th overall for the 100 Yard Breaststroke. And junior Barrett Couvillion placed sixth in the 200 Yard Freestyle and eighth in the 500 Yard Freestyle. 

The varsity team swims again in its last regular season meet this Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. at Crawfish Aquatics.


Varsity Girls Soccer will have a Parent/Player meeting on Thursday, Oct. 17th at 6:00 p.m. in Room #41 on the second floor of the gym. Athletes in 7th-12th grades interested in joining the team should attend with at least one parent. If you have any questions, please contact Coach Estuardo Silva at e.silva@runnels.org .


The Lady Raiders Volleyball team was 3-0 this week. The Ladies defeated Louisiana School for the Deaf, 25-22, 25-14, 25-15, Thrive Academy, 25-9, 25-11, 25-5 and Brighton, 25-23, 25-23, 20-25, 25-18. Team leaders against Brighton were seniors Karli Hebert with 22 assists, 4 aces and 4 digs, Jenna Carballo with 4 kills and 11 digs, and Rachel Hargrove with 10 kills.
On Monday, the Ladies will take on Family Christian Academy in a BIG game to determine district rankings. If the Ladies win, they will place 2nd. Junior Varsity will play at 5 p.m. and the Varsity at 6 p.m. Go, Ladies!!
On Monday, Oct. 21, come cheer on the Ladies for Senior Night. The team will take on Brighton. If the Ladies win, they will grab first place in District. 


On Friday
Middle School Swim Meet – 4:30 p.m.

On Saturday
High School Swim Meet – 7:55 a.m.
Volleyball – Central JV Tourney – 10:00 a.m. vs. St. Michael, 11:00 a.m. vs. Lakeshore, 1:00 p.m. vs. Dunham, 4:00 if we are 1st or 2nd out of our pool – Central High School
Cross Country – CHS Invitational – Time TBA

SEND US YOUR PHOTOS FOR THE FOCUS Email photos to  n.latiolais@runnels.org. Please include the date and location of the event and the students pictured .  
Friendly Reminders
Oct. 15 / Honors Art, Tech Theatre, and Media Art Field Trip / 13th Gate

Oct. 16 / PSAT for 10th & 11th Graders / 8:30 a.m.

Oct. 18 / St. Jude's Math-A-Thon Kickoff

Oct. 18 / Popsicle Friday

Oct. 18 / Jr. Beta Field Trip / Corn Maze

Oct. 25 & 26 / And Then There Were None / Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $8 for students and $10 for adults if purchased in advance. At the door, tickets are $12 for all. (Online sales close 12 hours prior to each performance.) CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS...

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

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