October 25, 2019
Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions, and national origins.

In this week's Focus : Senior Wins Outstanding Volunteer Award; Come on Out to Raider Rally Next Friday, Nov. 1; Middle School Honor Band Chooses 14 from Runnels; Preschool Presents Tribute to Equine Friends; New Equipment in Media Classroom Benefits Students; Let the Battle of the Books Begin; Kudos and Notable Events; Thank Yous; Weekly Photo Album; Athletic Corner, and Friendly Reminders.
Senior Wins Outstanding Volunteer Award
Senior John Spillane has won the 2019 Outstanding High School Volunteer Award from the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair Foundation. The honor includes a $500 scholarship.

The award recognizes seniors in every high school in East Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes who have performed exemplary volunteer service at school and in the community.

The Runnels administration nominated John, who is an Eagle Scout, to receive the award. "He is an all-around good campus citizen," said Jr./Sr. High Assistant Principal Dana Schlotterer. "He's always willing to step in and help." (Photo: John Spillane)

19th Annual Raider Rally Coming Up Next Friday!
Join us Friday, Nov. 1 from 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. on the elementary playground for an evening of Raider style family fun. On the "midway" at the 19th annual Raider Rally, we'll have games, raffles, prizes, club and class sponsored activities and merchandise, and exciting performances by the “Pep Band” and cheerleaders. For munchies, you can purchase hot dog and hamburger dinners, fried funnel cakes, cotton candy, and more!

Tickets for games will be sold at the gate for $10 per strip or 50 cents each. Logo items will be available for purchase by check or cash only.

Sponsored by the Booster Club, the Rally is a school-wide fundraiser to benefit classes, clubs, organizations, and athletic teams. 

The Booster Club asks that you make sure your elementary age children are accompanied by a supervising adult at the Rally.
Middle School Honor Band Recruits 14 from Runnels
Congratulations to the students selected to the 2019 Middle School Honor Band! Five were named 1st chairs in their sections.

Symphonic Band : Katherine Campbell, 1st chair, flute; Luke Hillman,1st chair trumpet; Addison Watson, 2nd chair, clarinet; Harrison White, 3rd chair, clarinet; Alyssa Oubre 3rd chair, battery percussion; Hope Oubre, 3rd chair trumpet; Harrison Whittemore, 4th chair, trombone; and Lily Hayden, 4th chair, clarinet.

Concert Band : Laura Golda, 1st chair flute; Sawyer Suchanek, 1st chair, trombone; Mason Pizzalato, 1st chair, bass; John Harper Wilkinson, 2nd chair, flute; Alaysia Mandujano, 3rd chair, clarinet; and Maeve Dolan, 6th chair flute.

At Runnels, their band instructor is Jill Swetnam. The Middle School Honor Band concert will be held on Nov. 15 at 7:00 p.m. at McKinley Middle Magnet School.

( Photo: Chosen for the 2019 Middle School Honor Band are, front row from left: Sawyer Suchanek, Addison Watson, Alyssa Oubre, Luke Hillman, Laura Golda, Maeve Dolan, Hope Oubre; back row; Alaysia Mandujano, Lily Hayden, Harrison Whittemore, John Harper Wilkinson, and Mason Pizzalato. Not pictured: Katherine Campbell and Harrison White.)
Preschool Presents Tributes to "Tank" and "What About Bob"
When the Baton Rouge Mounted Patrol Unit paid its annual visit to the Runnels Preschool this week, two familiar faces were missing. "Tank" and "What About Bob," regular equine guests and great favorites at the preschool sadly passed away. To celebrate their lives and honor their contributions to the community, the preschoolers presented the mounted police with a special tribute on Wednesday.

For the presentation. the students and faculty made a collage of photos taken of Runnels preschoolers with the horses over the years. Preschool Co-Director Karen Runnels presented the gift honoring "What About Bob" to his partner of eight years, Officer Israel Chatman. Accepting the tribute to "Tank" was Officer Paul Patterson.

Runnels was the very first preschool the mounted police visited after the unit was created in 2007. Over the years, the mounted police have made regular stops at Runnels for Community Helpers Week.

(Photo: Pre-kindergarten students with Baton Rouge Mounted Patrol officers and their horses, "Lady" and "King.")

New Equipment in Media Classroom Benefits Students
Docking stations were added to the desktops in the media arts and multimedia production classroom last week. By plugging their laptops into the docking stations, students get the functionality of the larger desktop monitors and full-size keyboards along with the mobility of the laptops.
The Adobe Creative Cloud software was recently installed on the students' laptops, allowing them the options to work at home as well as school. Prior to the addition of the docking stations, students were only able to access the software on the desktop computers.

Students also benefit from the extra visibility provided by dual monitors. This is especially useful in media classes, where multiple programs and windows are open at the same time.

Jr./Sr. High Vice Principal Rita Haik was a great advocate of this initiative and helped facilitate these recent upgrades to our media programs.

(Photo: Media arts students give the new docking stations a test drive.)
Let the Battle of the Books Begin!
Junior high students are about to take on a new reading challenge: The Battle of the Books! It's fun, intense, engaging, and competitive. Working in teams of 10, they'll read 10 books -- one book per student.

They'll have until the first of the year to closely read the novel, attempting to master its content and becoming experts in terms of understanding plot, character, theme, setting, and other literary elements. Later in the school year, they'll put their knowledge to the test in a school championship and a regional meet against Episcopal, Central Middle School, and Denham Springs Junior High.

Our thanks to Jr./Sr. High Librarian Wendy Herumin, seventh grade English teacher Sherry Wilks and eighth grade English teacher Kylie Harbin for organizing this exciting new venture.

( Photo: Picking Books and Eating Lunch - Over lunch in the foyer of the Theatre today members of a seventh reading grade team chew on the tough problem of picking novels for Battle of the Books.)

Kudos and Notable Events
Beginning Band Kicks Off Concert Season ... Kudos to the members of the Beginning Band and its director, Shanna Drescher, for a fabulous and informative concert in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre Oct. 22. After only eight weeks of band instruction, the youngsters beautifully performed several pieces demonstrating how much they have learned in so short a time. (Photo: Beginning Band members directed by Shanna Drescher perform their debut concert in the Theatre on Oct. 22.)
Operation Gratitude ... In honor of Veterans Day, students in grades 1-6 will be participating in a service project to help deployed military and veterans. During their library time the Nov. 4-8, they'll be reading books about military families and veterans and writing letters and drawing pictures for them. Runnels families are also invited to participate by dropping off any leftover Halloween candy in the library between Nov. 1-6. The letters, pictures, and candy will go to Operation Gratitude for inclusion in care packages for deployed troops and veterans.

Veterans Day Tributes ... On Nov. 11, Runnels will honor veterans and military personnel in our school family with special programs in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre. At 8:00 a.m., we'll host a reception for veterans and their guests in the foyer of the Theatre. At 9:00 a.m. the Elementary School will present a "Musical Tribute to Veterans." At 11:20 a.m., the Jr./Sr. High will present its Veterans Day program in the Theatre. More information: l.roark@runnels.org.
Center for River Studies ... To cap off their recent lessons on the Mississippi River and its impact on the development of our state and nation, the fourth grade social studies students took a field trip to LSU’s Center for River Studies on Thursday.

Located near the banks of the river, the center, which partners with the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, houses one of the world’s largest movable physical models of the Mississippi River Delta and southeast Louisiana. The 10,000 sq. ft. model is illuminated with 20 high intensity projectors. “The visit was an exciting way to reinforce the river’s impact on our lives,” said fourth grade social studies teacher Christine Pousson.
Behind the Scenes at The 13th Gate ... After the screaming stopped, our high school art, honors art, media arts, and technical theater students got a behind-the-scenes peek at The 13th Gate during a field trip to the world famous haunted house last week. They learned that it takes three to four months to get one theme (or room) ready to show and a full 12 months to prepare for the next year's opening. "The kids loved it," said media arts teacher and trip organizer Nicole Latiolais.

The group also made a stop at LASM to see the "Sound Is an Invisible Color" multimedia exhibit by Christopher Janney, who designed the entrance to the new Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital.
Pumpkin Patch ... For a seasonal project in Lauren Downing's kindergarten art class last week, students brought their own pumpkins from home. Each child chose one color to paint his or her pumpkin. "We added glitter on top for a bit of glitz," said Mrs. Downing. They arranged their artwork around the kindergarten garden to create a colorful pumpkin patch.

(Photo: Kindergartners, from left, Emme Vagi and Teagan Dickie.)
Mayor's Youth Advisory Council ... Congratulations to juniors Fatima Ahmad and Preston Kyle for their recent appointment to the Mayor's Youth Advisory Council as representatives of our school. The purpose of the group is to serve, represent, and advocate on behalf of the youth in the city of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish. Council members will also complete a service project and work on an initiative to encourage college attendance among students in the parish. (Photo: Fatima Ahmad and Preston Kyle.)
We Sincerely Thank...
World Series Luncheon ... A stadium-sized thank you goes to senior moms Melanie Hyatt, Kristen Manning, and Ellen Sager, Penny Earle (Mitchell Egger's grandmother), and class sponsor Nicole Latiolais for hosting Thursday's "Senior Lunch Goes to the World Series" in the gym. They hit it out of the ball park with their delicious hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, brownies, and Cracker Jacks!

( Photo: "World Series" luncheon hosts, from left, Penny Earle, Ellen Sager, and Melanie Hyatt. Not pictured: Kristen Manning and Nicole Latiolais.)

Sneak-A-Peek ... We sincerely thank Admissions Director Sarah Haase, the Kindergarten faculty and Elementary Assistant Principal Beth Golden for organizing, planning, and hosting last weekend's Kindergarten Open House, with a tip of the hat to Student Ambassadors Alex Frederic, Sophia Horridge, and Ali Ismail.

Cross Country Legacy Challenge Race ... A huge thank you goes to DEMCO for sponsoring the MS XC Legacy Challenge Race on Oct. 24, with a special shout-out to David Latona for helping to secure it. We also thank the Running Raider Parents who volunteered at the MS XC Legacy Challenge! Their amazing efforts helped make Runnels shine! In addition, we extend our grateful thanks to Kylie Harbin for taking photos (See Weekly Album.) at the meet.

Rural Life Museum Volunteers ... Many thanks to the Sr. Beta Club members who have been volunteering at the LSU Rural Life Museum Corn Maze and Fall Festival every Saturday in October.
Above: Thespian Club members, from left, Marshall Pentes, Karli Hebert, Abby Robbins, Sophie Edwards and Kissa Nicholas-Whitt sell goodies to promote their show " And Then There Were None ." Tickets are still available for both performances. (See Friendly Reminders.)

In this week's album: Middle School Honor Band, Senior World Series Lunch, Thespian Bake Sale, Beginning Band Concert, Fourth Grade Science, Algebra II, Digital Jack-O-Lanterns in Media Arts, Kindergarten Sneak-A-Peek, Jr. Beta Banners, Preschool, Kindergarten Pumpkin Painting, Legacy Cross Country Challenge, and Candids.
Athletic Corner
Visit the Booster Club’s Spirit Store for Runnels Apparel Year Round!

Click below to enter store.


On Monday, the Lady Raiders celebrated Senior Night with a big “W” against Brighton in an exciting 5 game match, 3-2, earning 1st place in the District. Way to go, Lady Raiders. Leading the team were seniors Karli Hebert with 20 assists and 5 aces, Rachel Hargrove with 13 kills and Jenna Carballo with 15 digs. 

Volleyball Coach Jean Martinez appreciated the students’ support of the seniors for their last home game.

(Photo: Coach Jean Martinez celebrates the District win with the volleyball team members.)


Thursday, Runnels and St. Luke's co-hosted The Legacy Cross Country Challenge including 13 area schools with 300 participants. The middle school Boys and Girls improved their race strategy and racing times. Finishing in the top 15 and receiving t-shirt awards were Carli Shay in 5th place and Dru Hairford in 9th. 

This premier middle school race, held at the Old Sherwood Forest Country Club, was sponsored by The Legacy, DEMCO, and TruBlue Water. Head Cross Country Coach Julie Fink extends “a huge thank you to all the parents and the High School team who helped at the Legacy XC Challenge.” Fink said, “The Runnels Running Raiders shined.”

Last weekend at the St. Thomas More Eagle Dash, Annie Garrison soared into 1st place, helping the girls team claim a 5th place finish. Carli Shay swooped in finishing 8th with both girls receiving t-shirt awards. 

Running next, the High School PRE-State Meet will be held this Saturday, Oct. 26 in Natchitoches.

(Photo: Over 300 participates gathered for The Legacy Cross Country Challenge co-hosted by Runnels on Thursday, Oct. 24.)

On Tuesday the basketball team will be playing two 10-minute varsity halves against Maurepas in a Jamboree in Holden at 4:30 p.m. The team will have its first home game on Wednesday, Nov. 6th.

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
Cross Country Varsity at NSU in Natchitoches

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
NOW through Nov. 1 / St. Jude Math-A-Thon / Click here to register or donate online ...

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. 29 / Jostens on Campus / Theatre, 10:10 a.m., Juniors; 11:00 a.m., Seniors

Oct. 30 / Advanced Strings Field Trip to Preschool / 9:00 a.m.

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

Nov. 1 / Jostens Ordering Meeting / Library, 10:10 a.m., Seniors; 11:00 a.m., Juniors

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

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

Nov. 1 - 21 / Sr. Beta Thanksgiving Food Drive for the Baton Rouge Food Bank

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 Assembly, 9:00 a.m.; Jr./Sr. High Assembly, 11:20 a.m.