Fort Bend & Sugar Land Schools,
Sports, and Students August 2016
FORT BEND EDUCATION FOUNDATION AWARDS GRANTS
At its 2016 Grant Awards Program, the Fort Bend Education Foundation presented Fort Bend ISD with a check for nearly $460,000 to fund Grants for Teachers and Schools, Professional Development Grants, and New Teacher Grants.
Since its inception, the Education Foundation has awarded $5 million in grants to teachers and schools. For the 2015-16 school yeatr, the Education Foundation awarded 185 grants totaling $288,772 to support the Grants to Teachers and Schools Program. The Foundation also awarded $38,755 for two Founders Grants, 311 New Teacher Gifts for $24,803, an additional $25,000 in Professional Development Grants and $82,036 in pass-through grants for a total of $459,366 this year.
SIENNA PLANTATION SCHOOLS SEE BIG GAINS, HIGH GRADES ON NEW REPORT CARD
Fort Bend ISD schools serving Sienna Plantation students saw a marked increase in the annual rankings recently released by Children at Risk, a nonprofit organization that publishes reports on the performance of Texas schools. Four of the schools serving Sienna Plantation experienced gains of 25 percent or more over 2015, including Heritage Rose Elementary, which saw a 160 percent climb in rankings from last year, indicative of the strength of the current academic staff and curriculum.
“We are very proud of how the students have responded to the rigorous demands we have placed on them this year and the innovative teaching methods we have introduced,” said Lavanta Williams, principal of Heritage Rose Elementary.
Baines Middle School marked a 78 percent year-over-year increase in the rankings list and Sienna Crossing Elementary saw a 31 percent increase in this year’s rankings. Scanlan Oaks’ ranking increased 25 percent in 2016 as compared to 2015. First Colony Middle School and Schiff Elementary were ranked near their 2015 tally. Ridge Point High School was included on the Children at Risk rankings for the first time this year, placing No. 21 among Houston’s 171 high schools and No. 64 among the 1,159 Texas high schools included on the report.
FLUOR FOUNDATION FUNDS STEM PROGRAMS IN LAMAR
The Fluor Foundation has donated $20,800 to the Lamar Educational Awards Foundation (LEAF) to underwrite science, technology engineering and math (STEM) programs.
“It’s encouraging to see the results of the STEM program at Lamar CISD,” said Tim Palmore, senior project manager for Fluor. “I was invited to meet with the students enrolled in this program at Lamar Consolidated High School and see first-hand how it is preparing these students for college and/or future careers. The students were truly excited about what they are learning and how it is preparing them for the future. Fluor is pleased to support LEAF with this donation to assist with the STEM program.”
“We are thrilled that Fluor is committed to supporting the students of Lamar CISD,” said Janice Knight, executive director of LEAF, which supports creative ideas and classroom projects of Lamar CISD teachers that would otherwise go unfunded.
SULLIVAN ES HOSTS SUMMER PLAYDATE IN THE PARK
Sullivan Elementary School hosted its first Summer Playdate on June 16 to welcome students who will attend the new school in the fall. Hosted by the school’s PTA at the Club at Riverstone Park, the event welcomed nearly 500 members of the school’s “Dalmatian” family who had an opportunity to enjoy a fun day at the park while meeting Principal Donna Whisonant and other members of the administrative team, faculty and staff members, as well as school mascot “Patches.”
“It was great to see so many of our students with their families at our first meet-and-greet playdate,” said Whisonant. “We enjoyed good conversation, laughter and fun, and were excited to see Patches arrive on a fire truck. That was one of the highlights of the evening.”
GIRL SCOUT TROOP 19352 BRONZE AWARD
Girl Scouting’s highest awards — the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards — are a girl’s chance to make a lasting difference in the world. Girl Scouts of San Jacinto is honored to present the members of Troop 19352 with the Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest recognition for achievement in Girl Scouting for girls in grades 4-5. The Bronze Award recognizes Girl Scouts who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects that address important community needs.
When the girls discovered the Fort Bend Women’s Center and their needs, they developed a Take Action plan to address these needs. This was a huge undertaking for the girls. First, the Scouts collected donated items to have a garage sale. The garage sale raised $550 for the project. The funds raised at the garage sale were partially used to host a movie night with refreshments for the women and children at the center. The remaining funds were used to purchase much needed hygiene products and toys. Additionally, the girls set up a donation box at Settlers Way Elementary to gather more hygiene products. The girls also made 48 sit-upons for the kids at the Center to use in the living room.
The members of Troop 19352 used their strengths, talents, and skills and put their with each taking a leadership role.
Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council is the second-largest Girl Scout council in the country, serving more than 66,000 girls and 19,000 adults in 26 southeast Texas counties. Girl Scouts celebrated its centennial in 2012.
LOCAL STUDENT WINS NATIONAL FINANCIAL LITERACY COMPETITION, $120,000 SCHOLARSHIP
High school senior Angela Lin thought a lot this year about the university she would attend. With two older brothers already in college, a mother who teaches, and a father working abroad to help cover costs for the family, she also worried about how she would pay her tuition. That all changed this week when Angela won the H&R Block Budget Challenge and earned $120,000 in college scholarships.
Lin, age 18, of Sugar Land, Texas, was named most “real-world ready” out of more than 150,000 high school students competing in the national personal finance competition this school year. She earned a $20,000 scholarship through the program this fall and was surprised at the Clements High School year-end ceremony for to learn she had also earned the competition’s $100,000 grand prize. She said she knew participating in the challenge would help her learn more about money management and be beneficial for her future. But she had no idea just how beneficial.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Lin, who plans to enter the University of Houston this fall, studying management information systems. “This scholarship will pay for my entire college career and then some. This is such a tremendous help for my family, and my parents can retire now knowing my education is covered.”
The Budget Challenge offers high school educators free online curriculum that replicates an adult’s financial life by requiring students to pay bills, save for retirement and repay student loans from the safety of a classroom. Lin’s home state of Texas is one of only seven states that requires high school students to be tested on personal finance concepts before graduation.
“Too many teens graduate each year without personal finance skills or the confidence to succeed on their own,” said Kathy Collins, H&R Block chief marketing officer. “The H&R Block Budget Challenge helps address a critical need in thousands of high schools each year. Hearing what this program means to teachers and students is so rewarding and reinforces how important this program is.”
In addition to providing free curriculum, the program has awarded more than $6 million in scholarships and grants nationwide through the Budget Challenge. Lin’s classmates, Jonathan Chang, Ashvin Nihalani and Christopher Winters were among the 132 students who earned $20,000 scholarships this year, and their business education teacher, Gregory Eppes, was among the 60 teachers awarded a classroom grant.
FBISD SENIORS RECEIVE 2016 INDO-AMERICAN CHARITY FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS
The Indo-American Charity Foundation (IACF) has awarded $30,000 in scholarships to 30 deserving high school graduates, including 21 Fort Bend ISD seniors representing nine high schools. The scholarship recipients were selected based on their grade point average, SAT/ACT scores, personal essay, letters of recommendation and financial need. This is the third year that the IACF has supported FBISD students.
FBISD seniors receiving 2016 IACF scholarships (listed by campus) include:
Austin High School – Eduardo Lopez, Lauren Robertson, Ava Sanjana; Clements High School – Daniel Wang, Han Wen Zhang; Dulles High School – Kathryn Carrabine, Victoria Levin, Perla Macias, Ariel Nguyen; Elkins High School – Allen Watson; Hightower High School – Oluwafunto Amy Bola Akindona, Jada Ceasar, Susmitha Mahankali (recipient of the IACF’s highest award, the David Raj Scholarship), English Pratt, La’Tayra Watts; Marshall High School – Mohogany Antoine, Samitra Baldon; Ridge Point High School – Rhian Collier; Travis High School – Lauren Freemount; and Willowridge High School – Javier Cervantes and Lapria Oppenhammer.
LOCAL BOY SCOUT COMPLETES EAGLE SERVICE PROJECT
Crockett Middle School eighth-grade scholar-athlete Christion Chancellor of Boy Scout Troop 148 completed his Eagle Service Project at Juan Seguin Elementary in February and received his Eagle Scout rank on April 19.
Christion joined the Scouting program in 2008 as a Tiger Cub Scout in Pack 1776 at the age of 6. His goal was to complete his Eagle Project by eighth grade and earn his Eagle Rank before ninth grade.
For his Eagle Service Project, Christion managed and led scouts, scouters and several men from the Missouri City-Sugar Land Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity Alumni chapter to install two in-ground benches on the playground of Juan Seguin Elementary where he attended elementary school. Christion is also the president of the Missouri City-Sugar Land Kappa League and a continued active member in Boy Scout Troop 148, which is the oldest continually active Troop in Sugar Land, chartered more than 60 years ago. Christion will attend George Bush High School in the fall.
LOCAL GIRL SCOUT EARNS GOLD AWARD
Ambassador Girl Scout Julia Shepstone of New Territory (Brazos Valley Community – Troop 28103) completed her Girl Scout Gold Award – the highest achievement a Girl Scout can earn, symbolizing outstanding accomplishments in the areas of leadership, community service and advocacy. The Girl Scout Gold Award involves more than a year of work, including a minimum of 80 hours of planning and leading a project that will have a long-term benefit on the community.
Shepstone’s project addressed the issue of communication about scoliosis, the curvature and twisting of the spine. Most times, scoliosis is idiopathic, meaning that the root cause of that particular case is unknown. Through her website (bendybacks.org) and outreach programs, Shepstone improved understanding about scoliosis.
In today’s society, the average American has never heard of scoliosis. Shepstone aimed to change that fact. In terms of who benefitted, she originally intended to only reach out to scoliosis patients themselves, but she later decided to extend the reach to scoliosis patients’ parents, relatives and friends. On her website, she decided to share her own parents’ opinions about her case of scoliosis. Shepstone said, “With the dozens of families and patients I did help, I felt proudest when I was able to calm a worried mother or father contemplating the obstacles of scoliosis treatment.”
Shepstone, daughter of Sharon and Keith Shepstone, is a 12th-grader at Stephen F Austin High School. She plans to pursue a finance degree from Texas A&M University in the fall of 2017.
LAWRENCE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL NAMED ASSOCIATE SUPERINTENDENT FOR ARCHDIOCESE
Starting July 1, St. Laurence Catholic School (SLCS) Principal Debra Haney will serve even more students as the new Associate Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Haney has dedicated more than 23 years to Catholic education. Prior to serving as principal at SLCS, Haney was the principal at John Paul II Catholic School for six years. She started her career in education as teacher and eventually assistant principal at St. Laurence.
“St. Laurence Catholic School has enjoyed 10 years of inspired leadership with Principal Haney,” said Rev. Drew Wood, St. Laurence Catholic Church Pastor.
“I have been honored and privileged to serve in a school whose staff, students, and parents are extremely hard-working and incredibly talented,” said Haney. “I would like to thank the St. Laurence community for its support and stewardship throughout my years as principal.”
Suzanne Barto, who has served as assistant principal for the last nine years, is the school’s new head principal.
2016 MAYOR’S ART SCHOLARSHIP FBISD RECIPIENTS
Two Fort Bend area high school students shone as 2016 Houston Arts Partners’ annual Mayor’s Art Scholarship recepients. The two students were awarded scholarships to the university of their choice through this annual competition. FBISD recipients are Andy Wei (First Place, Clements High School) and Linda Li, (Second Place, Clements High School)
The annual Mayor’s Art Scholarship competition fosters collaboration among Houston-area high school fine arts departments and recognizes excellence in student art, which expresses cultural identities and features of life in Houston area neighborhoods. Through the Mayor’s Art Scholarship, the City of Houston and Houston Arts Partners promote visual arts in the city, providing a forum for self-expression and creative thinking, recognizing achievement and excellence in visual arts among high school students, and fostering art as a means to strengthen relationships amongst students, communities and higher education.
The Mayor’s Office, the Office of Education Initiatives, the Office of Cultural Affairs, participating school districts, fine arts teachers, students, arts organization partners and jurors received thanks for their participation and collaboration.