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Fort Bend & Sugar Land Schools, Sports, and Students : August 2010

Texans quarterback Matt Schaub with Kempner High School student Jordan Paul at the Ultimate Driving Experience.

TEENS LEARN FROM ULTIMATE DRIVING EXPERIENCE – Teens had the opportunity to experience the “Ultimate Driving Experience” at  Gulf Greyhound Park in La Marque.  It was held in a controlled environment under the close supervision of BMW driver training instructors with special guest Texans quarterback Matt Schaub.

Teens learned the importance of not texting while driving and also experienced driving  under simulated wet conditions on a wet skid pad, and the proper procedure to stop with ABS brakes. Jordan Paul, a sophomore at  Kempner High School, was chosen to drive the BMW with Schaub as his passenger. BMW driving instructors instructed teens with the correct driving responses for accident avoidance during the entire driving experience.


Eric Edward Abney

AUSTIN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT EARNS EAGLE RANKEric Edward Abney of Boy Scout Troop 38 earned the Eagle Scout Rank, the highest rank awarded to a Boy Scout. Eric joined Cub Scout Pack 38 as a Tiger Cub in 2000. He progressed through the ranks to earn Cub Scouting’s highest award, the Arrow of Light. In 2005, he joined Troop 38 and was inducted into the Order of the Arrow.

His Eagle Leadership Project consisted of designing, building and installing two trophy shelves in the Sartartia Middle School Jaguar Band halls for Julie Jezek, band director, and Edward Odeh, assistant band director. Eric completed his Eagle Project with the help of fellow scouts from his troop and several adults.


(L-R, front row) Chris Vann, Daniel Amante; (middle row) Quinn Slazinski, Alex Chaumette, Zack Bornstein, Andrew Stoltenberg, Michael Hopkins, Hunter McKay, James Taylor, Canyon Goheen, Mitchell Kuntz, Austin Essex; (back row) Coach David Chaumette, Manager Mike Slazinski and Coach Bryan Stoltenberg.

FIRST COLONY NATIONAL ALL STAR TEAM NAMED DISTRICT CHAMPS – The 9-year-old First Colony National All Star team won the Texas District 16 Championship for little league baseball.


The 2010-11 Clements High School Stars Dance Team officers are Victoria Fortenberry, Taylor Rainosek, Christina Dillon, Harley Guel, Anna Busier; (back row) Chelsea Harrison, Lauren Castiglioni, Morgan Davis, Katherine Saunders, Nasim Heydari and Michelle Barth. Not pictured: Michelle Shutter.

CHS STARS OFFICERS PREPARE FOR NEW YEAR – The 2010-11 Clements High School Stars Dance Team officers have hit the ground running for the upcoming school year. The girls have already competed at Dance Camp this summer bringing home four  major awards, including Home Routine Superior Performance.

Teams from all over the region were represented and participated in the Crowd Pleasers Event downtown Houston at the Hyatt  Regency. The competing officers for Clements High School were: Anna Busier, Lauren Castiglioni, Morgan Davis, Christina Dillon, Victoria Fortneberry, Harley Guel, Nasim Heydari, Taylor Rainosek, Katherine  Saunders and Michelle Shutter.

Director Chelsea Harrison and Assistant Director Michelle Barth look forward to a busy, yet successful year.


Standing in front of Cinderella’s castle are Troop 721 members: (l-r) Krisha Desai, Sarah Munson, Shama Tajani, Bina Patel, Poonam Vaidya, Samantha Lane, Courtney Kohnaski and Ellyn Sinicropi.

LOCAL GIRL SCOUTS GIVE A DAY AND GET A LIFETIME OF MEMORIES – When Walt Disney Parks announced a new program that celebrated the spirit of volunteer service with a simple proposition: “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day,” Rainbow Stars Service Unit Girl Scout Troop 721 leader Asha Vaidya told her scouts if they all got a ticket, she would find a way to get them to Disney.

The program started on Jan. 1, 2010, and by Jan. 18, all the girls and many of the parents in Troop 721 had volunteered their time at Goodwill Industries of Houston – Missouri City location.

With help from Air Tran, the girls made it to the Magic Kingdom on June 8 for a grand celebration. Not only were they celebrating being Disney VoluntEARS, they were also celebrating the completion of their Girl Scout Silver Award and the President’s Volunteer Service Award – Silver Level.


Jacob Wilson

TROOP 148 ANNOUNCES EAGLE SCOUTJacob Wilson from Boy Scout Troop 148 in Sugar Land became an Eagle Scout. He is a senior at Kempner High School. He is in the Kempner marching band, as captain of the drum line and a percussionist in the full orchestra, as well as being in National Honor Society, Junior Engineering Technical Society and Mu Alpha Theta math club.

As an active member of his church, he is in the youth group and play drums in the praise band. In 2009, Jacob earned the Eagle Scout rank. For his Eagle project, he expanded the stage and upgraded the electrical system used by the praise band at the youth center at Sugar Land First United Methodist church. He planned, designed, raised donations and coordinated more than 30 volunteers to build and complete the project.


Elizabeth Bess earns Girl Scouts highest achievement, the Gold Award.

LOCAL GIRL SCOUT EARNS GOLD AWARD – Girl Scout and Austin High School student Elizabeth Bess earned the Gold Award by educating the community on pet care. She wrote an article for a local paper explaining what to do for pets during hurricanes. She made dog bag posts for local parks and taught several boys and girls how to make these. She also held an animal food drive for the local animal shelters and trained 19 younger girls how to make dog beds for the local shelters.


Blue Blaze team members are: (back row) Alan Ward, John Nork, Coach David Amundson; (middle row) Alex Mendiola, Alex Plunkett, Jalen Flowers, Ren Polvado, Matthew Ward, Aidan Skipper; (back row) Alex Amundson, Carter Crispin, Garrett Holgorsen and Spencer Reitz.

FCLL NAMED NATIONAL ALL STAR TEAM – The 2010 First Colony Little League 10U National League All Star team was named on June 3. The team, Blue Blaze, will be managed by Alan Ward and coached by David Amundson.


Girls from Troop 721 make pillows for cardiac patients with the help of Mary Bley.

GIRL SCOUTS SEW PILLOWS FOR CARDIAC PATIENTS – Girl Scouts from Rainbow Stars Service Unit Troop 724 came together to share a little love with patients recovering from heart surgery with the help of eighth- grade Sartartia Middle School science teacher Mary Bley.

They sewed and tied 10 pillows for patients in the cardiac unit of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Home.

These pillows serve a very critical role in the successful recovery of a patient who has had open- heart surgery. By hugging the pillow, the chest cavity is kept intact and there is less likely hood of stitches tearing.


(L-R) Meagan Bell, Zachary Myones, Kaitlyn Carter, Alan Harkins, Jonathan Williamson and Stephen Ogier.

SIX DULLES SENIORS RECEIVE SCHOLARSHIPS – Six Dulles High School seniors were honored with scholarships for academics, performance and service at the 38th annual band spring banquet. Booster Club president Lois Cleveland and scholarship chair Mary Ann Yeung presented six $500 scholarships from the Band and Dance Team Booster Club. Receiving scholarships were Dulles Doll Meagan Bell, who will major in environmental sciences at the University of Texas; band member Zachary Myones, who will pursue a triple major of clarinet performance, aerospace engineering, and mechanical engineering at Case Western Reserve University; band member Kaitlyn Carter, who will study biology and natural sciences at University of Houston; band member Alan Harkins, who will pursue a degree in mechanical engineering at Rice University; band member Jonathan Williamson, who will major in computer engineering at Texas A&M; and band member Stephen Ogier, who will study Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M.

Two-time first chair bass clarinet at the Texas All-State Band, Myones was chosen as the honoree of the Bill Duggan Scholarship.

Williamson also received the 18th Annual Jennifer Berkenkamp Scholarship of $1,000.


Michelle Huang with art teacher Carl Stockman.

ART WORK OF GT ACADEMY STUDENT EARNS TOP AWARDSMichelle Huang, a seventh-grade student at Quail Valley Middle School’s GT Academy, received three top awards in regional and national art programs.

She earned a silver medal after participating in the Junior Visual Arts Scholastic event. This is the highest award presented to middle-school participants of the event. .

Michelle also participated in the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition and received two Gold Key Awards for Region-at-Large. Among the 165,000 young artists and writers in grades 7-12 to enter the competition, less than 1 percent received the Gold Key Award. Michelle earned one award for her oil painting titled, A Proud U.S. Captain, and another for her charcoal drawing Pondering.

Additional artwork of Michelle’s was displayed in the Hayloft Gallery at Reliant Center during the Rodeo season this school year. She earned the honor after winning “Best of Show” in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo – School Art Program, Fort Bend ISD Middle School Category. This was the second consecutive year that she received “Best of Show.”

FCST SENIOR SWIMMERS AT SENIOR CIRCUIT – FCST Senior Swimmers continue their record breaking season this summer. The swimmers competed at the Senior Circuit Meet at Texas A&M in June. Overall, the team had one new Gulf record, 15 new team records, and seven new Junior National Cuts.

Simone Manuel broke the Girls 13-14-year-old 50 Free Gulf record. She also broke five team records in the Girls 13-14 50 Free, 100 Free, 100 Back, 50 Fly, and 200 IM. Other team record breakers include: Eric Ahrns, Madeline Locus, Madison Varisco, Kaitlyn Swinney and Kyle Yu. In addition to these excellent record breaking swims, Manuel, Locus, Swinney and Romy Landeck achieved new Junior National Cuts.


Assistant Coach Kelli Jacoby, Rachel Fox and head softball Coach Kelly Ferguson.

RACHEL FOX RECEIVES PLAYER OF THE YEAR, ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARDS – Rachel Fox of Fort Bend Baptist Academy has been named the 2009-10 Gatorade Texas High School Softball Player of the Year and is now a finalist for the Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary of honoring the best high school athletes from across the 48 states and the District of Columbia, the award recognizes academic achievement and outstanding character on and off the field, in addition to exemplary athletic accomplishments.

“It has been an honor and privilege to coach Rachel for the past four years,” said Kelly Ferguson, head coach of the FBBA Eagles. “The impact that she has made on Fort Bend Baptist Academy’s softball program is immeasurable. Rachel’s work ethic is amazing and was demonstrated daily to her teammates.”

The 5-foot, 4-inch pitcher led the Eagles to their third TAPPS 4A State Championship in four years. She has signed to play collegiately for the University of Texas.

Rachel was also named as Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation’s High School Athlete of the Year for the 2010 spring season by Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation and KPRC Local 2.  Fort Bend Baptist Academy also received a $2,500 check from Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation in honor of Fox winning the 2010 award.

Athlete of the Week is a program sponsored by Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation and KPRC Local 2. An outstanding athlete is chosen on a weekly basis from a local high school. At the end of the spring season, the athlete with the best all-around season, as judged by the sports team at KPRC Local 2, is named Athlete of the Year.


Eighth-grade winners Erick Quinn, Steven Jackson, Lianne Martin and Tiffany Ike with their teachers.

NINE WINNERS NAMED IN ANNUAL MIDDLE SCHOOL POETRY SLAM – Nine talented Fort Bend ISD middle school students were named winners of the Second Annual District Poetry Slam for Middle School Students. Sponsored by Fort Bend ISD’s Educational Technology Department, the Poetry Slam invited students from each middle school in the district to compete by creating and delivering their own original poems.

The Poetry Slam, which was presented via distance learning technology, included four rounds of competition. Ten students from nine middle schools competed in Round One. The top three students from each school then advanced to Round Two of the competition. At the end of the third round, 24 students went on to compete in the final round.

Winners of the Second Annual District Poetry Slam for Middle School students were: Eighth Grade, first place winners, Tiffany Ike, Garcia Middle School; and Lianna Martin, Sugar Land Middle School; second place, Steven Jackson, Garcia Middle School; third place,  Peter Quinn, Garcia Middle School; Seventh Grade, first place, Mason Bynes, First Colony Middle School, and Timia Whitsey, Quail Valley Middle School; second place, Mariya Fatakdawala, Garcia Middle School and Marissa Valdez, Garcia Middle School; third place, Braxton Williams, Missouri City Middle School.


Revving up students at the Be Fit Rally are Clutch, the Houston Rockets mascot; Steven Ramirez, sports medicine coordinator at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital; Karen Chitty-Boe, marketing director at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital; Shawn Respert, director of player programs for the Houston Rockets; Toni Scott, nurse at Commonwealth Elementary; and Charmaine Hobin, principal at Commonwealth Elementary.

COMMONWEALTH ELEMENTARY WINS BE FIT RALLY – Commonwealth Elementary won the Be Fit Rally for its high level of student participation in the Be Fit Challenge, presented by Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and the Houston Rockets. The rally featured a high-level performance and inspirational messages from Rockets entertainment designed to inspire all students to be fit.

More than 200 students at Common­wealth Elementary participated in Be Fit Bingo by completing at least five of 25 nutrition, physical fitness and self-esteem activities. The Be Fit Challenge encourages parents to take part in their children’s healthy lifestyles.

MISSOURI CITY MIDDLE SCHOOL WELCOMES NASA ASTRONAUT – Students and staff at Missouri City Middle School welcomed NASA astronaut Stephanie Wilson to the campus following her 15-day mission aboard space shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station STS-131.

The Missouri City Middle family took particular interest in the mission after learning the historical relevance of the flight. The April 5 mission marked the first time that four female astronauts were in space together, and it would be one of the final flights for space shuttle Discovery. Equally meaningful was knowing that Wilson carried onboard a Missouri City Middle School spirit shirt presented to her by the school’s PTO. Wilson returned with the shirt, which was autographed by all crew members who flew aboard Discovery during the April mission.


Drabek Elementary’s top readers from grades 1-5.

DRABEK DRAGONS EARN GRAND PRIZE IN READ TO ACHIEVE CHALLENGE – The Drabek Elementary School Dragons were recognized as the top performing Houston-area school in the Read to Achieve program, presented by H-E-B and the Houston Rockets.

The Read to Achieve program helps promote the value of reading and online literacy, as well as encourage families and adults to read regularly to young children.

The Drabek Dragons completed a total of 1,346,801 minutes of reading during a single month, and also claimed the second place top reader award, which was presented to fourth-grade student Hamza Moten during the Rockets Read to Achieve Jam Fest. Hamza completed 16,835 minutes of reading in less than a month’s time.

When participating in the program, Drabek chose the theme, “Drabek Dragons are 1 in a Million…A Million Minutes in 1 Month.” Students read books during their lunch breaks and recess, and even while waiting in the car rider line after school. All of their efforts paid off with students exceeding the school’s goal by 346,801 minutes.


Cole, Austin, Marlos and Robert proudly display their first-place ribbons in the medley relay against the Sharpstown Stingrays.

SUGAR CREEK GATORS SWAMP OPPONENTS – The Sugar Creek Gators swim team won their first two meets against the Town West Tidal Waves and the Sharpstown Stingrays.

Swimming against the Stingrays in the medley relay, the 7-8 boys took the blue ribbon and helped their team swamp the Stingrays in the overall meet.


Colony Bend Elementary Math Masters are: (l-r, front row) Regan Jeppesen, Sandra Seijas, Llaran Turner, Alina Mawji, Baonan Ji; (back row) Uma Sethuraman, Safa Maknojia, Guilherme Voss Messias dos Santos, Nandan Marwaha, Saif Marknojia, Sonal Marwaha, program coordinator, Hayden Price, Kevin Lee and Sara Venkataraman.

MATH MASTERS AT COLONY BEND ELEMENTARY EARN HIGH HONORS – Members of Colony Bend Elementary School’s Math Masters Club earned high honors at a Texas Math Science Coaches Association competition. The competition focused on students’ knowledge of high level math concepts such as number sense, calculator, general math and general science.

After competing against students from 26 elementary schools, Colony Bend’s Math Masters earned fifth place overall and received Commended Performance on the National 2010 fifth-grade Math League test.

In the fifth-grade individual competition, Baonan Ji earned first place after posting a perfect score, Sara Venkataraman received second place, and Nandan Marwaha earned third place. In the fourth-grade individual competition, Guilherme Voss Messias dos Santos earned first place, and Uma Sethuraman earned second place.


Showing off her first-place ribbon for winning her first-ever race in the girls 6 and under freestyle is Lillie Hudson with Coach Alexis Burrmann.

FIRST COLONY GOLD SWIM TEAM WINS FIRST MEET – The First Colony Gold swim team won its first meet of the 2010 Southwest Houston Recreational Swim League summer season with a victory over the Ashton Village Vikings.


Connor Duran and Madison Taylor are delegates in Education in Action’s Lone Star Leadership program.

SIENNA CROSSING FIFTH-GRADERS SELECTED AS DELEGATES IN  LEADERSHIP ACADEMYConnor Duran and Madison Taylor, fifth-grade students at Sienna Crossing Elementary School, have been selected as delegates in Education in Action’s 2010 Lone Star Leadership Academy-Dallas/Fort Worth summer program.

The program selects outstanding students in grades 5 and 6 from across the state. All participants must show commitment to community or school involvement, maintain an 85 or higher overall grade point average, and receive a teacher recommendation.

As Lone Star Leadership Academy delegates, Duran and Taylor will have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills through activities, simulations and visits to significant Texas sites.


Sugar Land Mayor James Thompson with leadership students (from left) Courtney Chow, Shahana Momin and Meaghan Connolly.

FORT BEND ISD’S JUNIOR STUDENT LEADERSHIP GROUP EXPLORES CITY GOVERNMENT – Members of Fort Bend ISD’s Junior Student Leadership Program experienced another fast-paced day of learning as part of their most recent seminar, “Leadership in City Government” sponsored by board member Daniel Menendez.

The first stop was Sugar Land City Hall, where students had the opportunity to meet with Allen Owen, mayor of Missouri City; James Thompson, mayor of Sugar Land; and Allen Bogard, city manager for Sugar Land. The city officials informed students about their roles in city government and explained how they contribute to the decision-making process concerning health, safety and financial issues that affect local citizens. The student leaders met with young professionals at City Hall to learn about their roles and the educational paths they took to secure their jobs.

The group also met with fire fighters at Sugar Land Fire Station No. 1. Capt. Michael McLemore and members of his crew spoke about the programs and services fire fighters provide to citizens.

The day ended with a tour of the new fire house, lunch and StrengthFinders activities led by program facilitator Lynda Ruther.


(L-R) Scholarship winners Katherine Walker, Brandon Salazar and Princess Roberts. Not pictured is Colin Capello.

FORT BEND STUDENT ATHLETES RECEIVE BOOSTER CLUB SCHOLARSHIPS – Four 2010 graduating seniors from Stephen F. Austin High School each received $500 college scholarships from the Austin High School Athletic Booster Club. The students were selected based on their athletic and academic achievements, commitment to community service as well as outstanding coach and teacher recommendations.

Recipients and their future universities are: Katherine Walker, University of Miami; Brandon Salazar, Texas A&M University; Princess Roberts, University of Houston; and Colin Capello, University of Texas at Austin.


TelfairLife coordinator Kiva Mann (center) with 2010 scholarship winners Shyamin Mehra and Hemal Shah. Not pictured is Oluwafemi Aborisade.

TELFAIR AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS TO KEMPNER HIGH SENIORS – Three graduating Fort Bend seniors each received $2,000 college scholarships from TelfairLife, the community service organization for the 2,018-acre Telfair master-planned community in Sugar Land. Receiving scholarships are: Shyamin Mehra, who will attend Rice University; Hemal Shah, who will go to Texas A&M University; and Oluwafemi Aborisade.

Now in its second year, the TelfairLife scholarship program is administered by the Fort Bend Education Foundation, which selects the recipients based on criteria such as demonstrated leadership abilities.


FRESHMAN TRACK STAR AT MARSHALL HIGH SCHOOL Mylana Hearn, a ninth-grade student at Marshall High School, set a high athletic standard for upcoming freshmen athletes to meet. She is the first freshman in the history of Marshall High School to advance to the 5A UIL State Track and Field Meet and compete in an individual event. Hearn competed in the Girls Triple Jump 5A event at state and placed sixth.

Hearn advanced to the state meet after earning 28 points at the district meet. At the District Meet, she placed first in the High Jump event, first in Triple Jump, third in Long Jump, and fifth in the 100-Meter Hurdles. Hearn is coached by head girls’ track coach, Benita Smith.


Sugar Creek Gator Girls Medley Winners The Sugar Creek Gators' 9-10 girls are: (l-r) Allie Housewright, Katie Groth, Kelsey Jones and Hannah Moore.

SUGAR CREEK GATOR GIRLS – The Sugar Creek Gators 9-10 girls glided against their Covington Woods opponents to take the blue ribbon in the medley relay. The winning team members are Allie Housewright (freestyle), Katie Groth (butterfly), Kelsey Jones (breaststroke) and Hannah Moore (backstroke).


Chelsea Powers (second from left) with (l-r) Earl Littman, past executive director of CBHS and founder the Drugs Kill Program, and parents Jackie and Steve Powers.

DRUG-FREE STUDENT RECEIVES SCHOLARSHIPChelsea Powers, a recent Fort Bend ISD graduate was presented with a college scholarship from the Coalition of Behavioral Health Services for remaining Drug Free for the entire 12 years that she was in school.

Chelsea was part of the Drugs Kill Program in Fort Bend ISD, and signed her Drug Free Pledge in May 1999 while in kindergarten.


(L-R, back row) Tiffany Duong, Shelbie Morgan, Cristina Bonilla; (front row) Andrea Carmona, Mel Hull and Salvador Guerra.

(L-R, back row) Brittany Pipkins, Stephanie Lau; (front row) Dasha Bert and Karen Desrosiers.

HIGHTOWER STUDENT ARTWORK DISPLAYED IN ART EXHIBIT AND CONTEST – Ten Hightower High School advanced art students in Beth Agar’s class entered artwork in the 2010 Dr. Mari Jon Filla Student Art Exhibit and Contest—“The Dog, Man’s Best Friend!,” which was held July 22-25 in Hall C of the Reliant Center in conjunction with the Reliant Park World Series of Dog Shows.

The contest invited students in grades K-12 from several Houston area school districts to express on canvas their unconditional love for the family pet. Hightower High School art students participating in the contest were: Dasha Bert, Cristina Bonilla, Andrea Carmona, Karen Desrosiers, Tiffany Duong, Salvador Guerra, Mel Hull, Stephanie Lau, Shelbie Morgan and Brittany Pipkins.


(L-R) Martha Harkins, Alan Harkins and Brian Harkins with the plaque and knife presented to Alan during the Eagle Court of Honor.

ALAN HARKINS EARNS EAGLE SCOUT RANK – Alan Harkins of Troop 731 earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Alan was recognized in a special Eagle Court of Honor ceremony held  on June 12 at Southminster Presbyterian  Church.

Alan, son of Brian and Martha Harkins of Missouri City, started scouting in 2000 with Cub Scout Pack 820. He progressed through the Cub Scout ranks, achieving the Arrow of Light, the highest award in Cub Scouting. He joined BSA Troop 731 in 2003. He advanced through the ranks completing merit badges, serving the community with numerous service hours, and serving in a number of leadership positions in the troop. Alan was also selected for the Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouting’s Honor  Society.

Alan’s Eagle project was designing, coordinating and building a 50-foot-diameter labyrinth with pavers on the grounds of Southminster Presbyterian Church where he and his family are members.

Alan graduated magna cum laude from Dulles High School in June 2010, where he was an active member of band, National Honor  Society and the soccer team. Other honors he received include being a National Merit finalist, National Hispanic Scholar and National AP  Scholar. Alan will attend Rice University beginning this fall, with
the intent of majoring in mechanical engineering.

Alan was presented with a plaque from the Exchange Club of Sugar Land, a special collectible Norman Rockwell Knife from Troop  731, and a proclamation from Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen recognizing his accomplishments.

Alan is the 58th boy to earn the rank of Eagle  Scout in Troop 731 since its inception in 1991.

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