October 18, 2019
Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions, and national origins.

In this week's Focus : Mr. Baird Honored for 25 Years as Jr. Beta Sponsor; Top Ten Winner in Poetry Contest; Doing the Math to Help Others; Kindergarten Sneak-A-Peek Open House Sunday, Oct. 20; Exploring Ancient Civilization at Poverty Point; Get Your Tickets for And Then There Were None; Mischievous Teddy Bears Party in Kindergarten Classrooms; Kudos and Notable Events; Thank Yous; Friendly Reminders; Weekly Photo Album; and Athletic Corner.
Mr. Baird Honored for 25 Years as Junior Beta Sponsor
Elementary science teacher John Baird recently celebrated his 25th year as a Junior Beta Club sponsor at Runnels. To acknowledge and honor this achievement, he received a beautiful crystal paper weight and certificate of recognition from the National Beta Club.

Congratulations to Mr. Baird on this distinguished accomplishment! We sincerely thank him for the significant contributions he has made to generations of Runnels student through his commitment to the Jr. Beta Club and its ideals of academic achievement, character, leadership, and service.

( Photo: Mr. Baird and some Jr. Beta members stop for a photo op before an after-school trip to a Corn Maze this afternoon.)
Top Ten Winner in Poetry Contest
Sophomore Charlie Garrison was named a Top Ten Winner in Creative Communications' Summer 2019 Poetry Contest. He received the award for his original poem, "Great Blue Heron," which will be published in Creative Communications' 2019 summer anthology, A Celebration of Poet s.

Each Top Ten Winner receives a $25 cash prize and a complimentary copy of the anthology. Charlie's work was submitted to the contest by his freshman English teacher, Michele Stanfield.

Charlie is the son of Rachel and Rob Garrison.

( Photo: Charlie Garrison)
Doing the Math to Help Others
The annual St. Jude Math-A-Thon swung into action at Runnels this morning with kick-off assemblies in the Elementary Drama Room. By participating in the fundraiser, students in grades 1-6 have the opportunity to practice math skills while helping to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, whose mission is to treat children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food.

To participate, students sign up friends and family to sponsor them to complete grade-appropriate math problems in a Math-A-Thon activity book. The money pledged by sponsors is donated to St. Jude. Envelopes with complete instructions will be sent home with students by Monday.

"Math-A-Thon," said campaign sponsor and elementary math teacher Christine Pousson, "reinforces math skills while helping raise funds for St. Jude. Our goal this year is to try to raise $8,000." Since 1991, Runnels has been able to donate nearly $170,000 to the children's charity.

Looking for a Great Kindergarten? We've Got One!

Please take a few minutes to spread the word about our Kindergarten Sneak-A-Peek Open House among your family, friends, and neighbors. It's this Sunday, Oct. 20 on the main campus from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Parents and their rising kindergarten children are invited to join us for this interactive Open House. It's a great opportunity to look us over, explore our kindergarten learning areas, and participate in activities our kindergartners enjoy every day.

Exploring Ancient Civilizations at Poverty Point
To understand more about ancient civilizations, which they have been learning about in social studies, the sixth graders recently traveled to Poverty Point, one of the oldest known Paleo-Indian mound systems in North America and the only UNESCO World Heritage site in our state.

During the all-day trip to Epps, LA, the students learned about the hunter-gatherer civilization that built Poverty Point more than 3,000 years ago.

At Poverty Point, they participated in many hands-on activities, including sifting excavated soil through a large sieve to look for artifacts and launching a spear with an Atlatl -- a tool used by Paleo-Indians for hunting. The students also examined "cooking stones," used by indigenous people at Poverty Point for cooking foods in underground ovens, and visited the park's museum to see exhibits about artifacts.

( Photo: Sixth graders at Poverty Point.)
Just the Ticket for Mystery Lovers
If you're in the mood for a good mystery, we've got just the ticket for you! Agatha Christie's most popular and perplexing whodunnit And Then There Were None will be presented Oct. 25 and 26 at 7:00 p.m. in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre.

Be sure to get your ticket soon! You won't want to miss a minute of this pulse-pounding puzzler presented by the Runnels High School Theatre Department. Advance tickets are $8 for students and $10 for adults. At the door, all tickets are $12. (Advance ticket sales close 12 hours before each show.)

( Photo: Cast members in a scene from Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None." )
Mischievous Teddy Bears PARTY in Kindergarten Classrooms
The kindergartners brought their teddy bears and other stuffed animals to school on Thursday for the annual Teddy Bear Sleepover, but when they got back to school on Friday morning and walked into the classroom, they were in for quite a surprise!

The bears and their buddies had thrown a PARTY and left a terrible mess. The students found writing on the boards, shaving cream all over the desks, Legos and puzzle pieces strewn across the floor, toilet paper hanging from the ceilings, and loud classic rock music blaring from speakers! 

Like responsible parents, the children explained to their stuffed animals that everybody should clean up their own messes. Some of the naughtiest bears, like the one that had crawled into a pizza box, were sent to the cool down corner to think about what they had done. But pretty soon, everybody pitched in to clean up the awful mess, and in no time at all, the rooms were spic and span and the mischievous stuffed animals were back in loving arms. 

(Photo: Kindergartners Robbie Roton, Ella Balhadjali, and Xander Ducote discover the mess their stuffed animals left in the classroom after the Teddy Bear Sleepover. )
Kudos and Notable Events
UL-L Halloween Concert ... Runnels alum Anna Claire Pousson (Class of '18), now a freshman at UL-Lafayette, will make her debut as a violinist with the UL Symphony Orchestra on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the annual Halloween Concert. Also on stage as a member of the UL-L School of Music faculty will be Runnels Orchestra Director and Anna Claire's violin teacher at Runnels, Jennifer Cassin .

(Photo: At a Halloween Concert rehearsal at UL-L are, from left, Anna Claire Pousson and Jennifer Cassin.)
Getting the Votes ... The Jr. Beta Club recently elected officers for the 2019-2020 school year. Congratulations to Ben Hader , president; Katherine Campbell , vice president; Gibby Guay , secretary; and Reilly Wilks , treasurer. Christine Pousson is the club's head sponsor and the assistant sponsors are John Baird and Candice Ortlieb.

(Photo: Ben Hader, Katherine Campbell, Gibby Guay, and Reilly Wilks.)

All-State Band Honors ... Congratulations to junior Evan Beoubay for being named 2nd chair clarinet in the 2019 Louisiana All-State Concert Band. The performance will take place Nov. 24 at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge.
Order Your Throwback Spirit Shirt! ... In honor of our school's 55th birthday, the Class of 2022 is resurrecting our old raccoon mascot as the logo on an all new spirit shirt. Available in toddler through adult sizes, the heather grey short-sleeved t-shirt is priced at $20. You can purchase the t-shirt through your Smart Tuition account or you can print out and complete the online order form and pay with exact change or a check made out to Runnels at any school office.

Pretty Panda Pix ... Students in Burgundy Brumfield's second hour upper elementary art class display the panda paintings they created in class last week for a lesson on values and shading. They drew the bodies of the pandas in black ink, using very light to very dark tones. For a splash of color, they decided to add bamboo to the background, which they applied in vibrant shades of green, creating a panorama of very pretty panda pictures.
T-Shirt Designer ... Congratulations to Alaina Milam, 6B, for winning this year's sixth-grade t-shirt design contest! Her yellow and white drawing features a lightbulb with rays of light fanning out of the top containing the words "Runnels School Class Of." Underneath the light bulb, she positioned the year the class will graduate, "2026." Students gave the t-shirts a test drive by wearing them on their field trip to Poverty Point.
Lending a Hand ... Members of the Runnels Jr. Beta Club spent a recent evening volunteering at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. Matthew Campbell, 6A, and his mom, Annalee, Alex Griffin, 6A, and her mom, Carrie, and Ben Hader, 8th grade, and his dad, Jeremy boxed up grocery items for distribution in our community. (Photo: Helping out at the Food Bank Oct. 15 are, from left, Matthew Campbell, Annalee Campbell, Alex Griffin, and Carrie Griffin.)
We Sincerely Thank...
Ortlieb Foundation Supporters ... We sincerely thank the students who participated in last Sunday's fundraiser at Basics Paintball in Denham Springs for the Ortlieb Foundation, a non-profit that provides scholarships for college students recovering from cancer.

Created by cancer survivor Evan Ortlieb (brother-in-law of elementary teacher Candice Ortlieb ) and his family, the foundation has awarded more than $50,000 in need-based scholarships over the past 10 years.

According to the Ortlieb Foundation website , the family set up the charity "to give back to the very community that supported Evan during his 2.5 year bout with cancer." A huge thank you goes to fifth grader Alyssa Lee , sixth graders Dru Hairford, Conner Joubert, Nico Morgan, Rebecca Ortlieb, and Sawyer Suchanek , and seventh grader Sarah Ortlieb for rallying behind this cause.

( Photo: From left are, front row, Dru Hairford, Rebecca Ortlieb, Sarah Ortlieb, Alyssa Lee, back row, Nico Morgan, Sawyer Suchanek, and Conner Joubert.)

The Write Stuff ... Special thanks go to the volunteer student tutors on staff in the Jr./Sr. High School Library's Writing Center. "We're having the smoothest, best run year yet," said Jr./Sr. High Librarian and Writing Center Coordinator Wendy Herumin. The tutors are Catherine Bonaventure, Eric Ho, Dawson Latona, Ryan Ly, Erin Oehrle, Gareth Oram, Chris Ortego, Ryan Roper, Emily Schacht, Mollybeth Wilkinson, Chris Yura, and Aubri Watts .

IT Experts Come to Call ... Many thanks to Allison Miller of local IT company General Informatics for visiting with students in Sheri Allen's Introduction to Computer Science classes this week. Ms. Miller and an engineer from the company spoke with the elementary classes about what they do. "The students heard about how computer science and critical thinking are used to solve real-world problems every day," said Mrs. Allen. "Ms. Miller demonstrated a device that General Informatics programmed to help local police write and print electronic tickets from a printer that can be worn on a belt!" The visitors also enjoyed seeing projects that Runnels students have programmed.

Ambassadorial Assistance ... Huge thank yous are extended to the following folks for donating items to the Student Ambassadors Club for Raider Rally: Roger and Chemaine Butner, Chad and Shannon D'Gerolamo, David and Lisa Latona, Eric and Nicole Mistretta, Chad and Sherry Roper, Shawn and Wendy Worsham, and Jason and Christine Guillot.
Above: We extend special thanks to the firefighters from the Eastside Fire Department who visited our main campus today to teach students in grades 1-3 about fire safety.

In this week's album: Computer Docking Stations, Food Bank Volunteers, Jr. Beta Officers, Sixth-Grade at Poverty Point, Spanish II Worry Dolls, Elementary School Math-A-thon, Smoke Truck, Kindergarten Teddy Bear Sleepover, Preschool Apple Week, and Candids.
Athletic Corner
Visit the Booster Club’s Spirit Store for Runnels Apparel Year Round!

Click below to enter store.


Runnels and St. Luke's are co-hosting The Legacy Cross Country Challenge, a premier middle school race in the Baton Rouge area, on Thursday, Oct. 24. 

Boy and girl athletes in grades 6-8 will each run a 2-mile race. T-Shirts will be awarded to the top fifteen finishers as well a trophy for first in each race. Elementary runners in grades 1-5 will race together in a timed and recorded 1-mile run. No scores or awards will be given for this race.

Registration opens at 3 p.m. and the races begin at 4 p.m., with an awards presentation at 5:45 pm. The races will be run on The Legacy Bonne Esperance, which is located at the former Sherwood Forest Country Club at 1655 Sherwood Forest Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70815 . Legacy will be grilling hot dogs and hamburgers at the concession stand. There is no gate fee to enter and no outside food or drinks will be allowed.

Come support the Runnels racing community and grab dinner. Please contact Head Cross Country Coach Julie Fink at  j.fink@runnels.org with any questions.

Last Monday, the Lady Raiders Volleyball team defeated Family Christian Academy (25-14, 25-14, 25-19) advancing its position to 2nd place in District rankings. The team was led by Karli Hebert with 15 assists, Rachel Hargrove with 9 kills, Jenna Carballo with 5 digs and Summer Guerin with 5 aces.
Join the Lady Raiders volleyball Team for Senior Night on Monday, Oct. 21 as they take on Brighton in this District game for first place. JV plays at 5 p.m. and Varsity at 6 p.m. After the varsity match, celebrate with the seniors as they finish up their high school volleyball careers.

Last Saturday, the Running Raiders ran off with a new School Record and 33 new Personal Records (PR) at the Catholic High Invitational Meet. Senior Annie Fink claimed 2nd place for the 3-mile run with a finish time of 17:43 -- a new School Record and PR. The high school boys team is now ranked 2nd in the class B division. 

Head Cross Country Coach Julie Fink said she is “very proud of all the improvements of our athletes.”


Congratulations to Runnels seniors, Annie Fink, Eric Ho and Ryan Ly, for being named to the 2019 LHSAA All-Academic Composite Cross Country Team. In order to be selected to the All-Academic Composite 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 or better based on a 4.0 scale. 

Last Saturday, the varsity swim team made a big splash, with each swimmer competing in a new event and earning a state qualifying time. This season each of the varsity swimmers have qualified for the state meet in three individual events. Per entry rules, they will only be able to swim in two categories. 
Senior Erin Oehrle placed 2nd in the 100 Backstroke with a new state qualifying time and 3rd in the 50 Freestyle. Junior Kate Oehrle placed 3rd overall in both the 200 IM with a new state qualifying time and the 100 Breaststroke. Senior Hudson Hillman placed 4th in the 200 IM with a new state qualifying time and 7th in the 100 Breaststroke. Junior Barrett Couvillion placed 3rd in the 100 Freestyle with a new state qualifying time and 6th in the 500 Freestyle.

Swimmers compete next in the Capital City Swim League City Championships on Nov. 2 and 3.

Last weekend, the junior high swimming teams also competed, with several finishers in the top 10. 
In the Girls 200 Medley A Relay, Lily Hayden, Annie Garrison, Mikalyn Shay and Sela Basso placed 6th overall, while the B Relay consisting of Paige Ashley, Carli Shay, Lauren Ly and Sadie Raymond placed 11th overall.
In the Boys 200 Medley A Relay, Jack Ezell, Carter Rogillio, Carter Parsons and Christian Caillouet placed 8th overall, while the B Relay consisting of Tyler Felton, Aubrey Francois, Ethan Ly and Alex Hayden placed 11th overall.

In the Girls 50 Freestyle, Sela Basso placed 5th, Mikalyn Shay was 6th and Paige Ashley placed 11th. Annie Garrison placed 9th in the girls 50 Butterfly. In the Girls 50 Backstroke, Lily Hayden placed 9th and Paige Ashley placed 12th. Annie Garrison placed 2nd, Carli Shay placed 9th and Sela Basso placed 10th in the Girls 50 Breaststroke. In the Girls 100 Freestyle Lily Hayden placed 15th and Mikalyn Shay placed 16 overall.
In the Boys 50 Freestyle, Carter Parsons placed 12th, Christian Caillouet scored 13th and Jack Ezell was 14th overall. Jack Ezell placed 16th in the boys 50 Backstroke and Carter Parsons placed 15th overall in the boys 100 Freestyle.

The Jr. High swim team will compete in the City Championship Meet on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 11 a.m.

(LEFT: Seventh graders Jack Ezell, left, and Aubrey Francois high five.) 

(RIGHT: Waiting to start the swim meet are junior high swim team members, from left, Mikalyn Shay (8), Sela Basso (8), Annie Garrison (7), Carli Shay (7) and Harper Guay (5). Harper, sitting out for an illness, showed up to support her teammates.)

Volleyball Baton Rouge High Tournament – Time TBA

Volleyball Baton Rouge High Tournament – Time TBA
Cross Country Middle School Only St. Thomas More Eagle Dash – LSU Innovation Park – Girls 8:20, Boys 9:00

Volleybal l vs. Brighton at home– 5:00 p.m. SENIOR NIGHT!

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. 19 / ACT Post Workshop Test / 8:00 a.m. - 12 noon

Oct. 22 / Beginning Band Concert / Theatre, 10:15 a.m.

Oct. 25 / National Honor Society Volunteers at Preschool Carnival / 8:00 a.m.

Oct. 25 / Popsicle Friday / Grades 4-6, Lunch Recess

Oct. 25 and 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...

Oct. 30 / Advanced Strings Performs at Preschool / 9:00 a.m.

Oct. 31 / Elementary Halloween Parade / Theatre, 8:45 a.m. (for Grades K-6 and 12)

Oct. 31 / Jr./Sr. High PAR Snack / Outdoor Plaza, 11:50 a.m.

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.