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Fort Bend & Sugar Land Schools, Sports, and Students Feb 2012

LAMAR CONSOLIDATED SENIOR  EARNS EDMUNDS FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP – Lamar Consolidated High School senior Morgan Pierce received a $500 scholarship from The Edmunds Foundation.

Morgan qualified for the scholarship by writing an essay about Nanotechnology. She plans to major in psychology at either Texas A&M University or Texas Tech University in the fall of 2012. Morgan is active in community service and enjoys being an active part of the Lamar Fillies.

Eric Edmunds created the Michael Anthony Scholarship Fund for Lamar Consolidated seniors who need the extra money to cover the cost for books or tuition at college.


AUSTIN HS THESPIANS WIN BIG AT COMPETITION – Austin High School performers made a name for themselves as they snagged several spots at the Texas Thespian State Festival and will go on to compete at nationals this summer. The Texas Thespian Festival 2011 allowed students to audition for scholarships, attend main stage and play marathon productions, attend workshops, and compete in individual events.

Students who qualified for Nationals from this event are: Ben Rauls, Duet Acting; Courtney Russell, Duet Acting; Kara Crawford, Duet Musical; David Herrera, Duet Musical; and Erin Lavespere, Costume Design. Bradley Smith received the highest honor of being cast in the All-State Show, Coram Boy, directed by Luis Munos.

Rachel Kossar and Nora Hunt auditioned and received call backs and scholarship offers from more than 20 colleges.


Cadet Brian Williams places a wreath at a gravesite as part of Wreaths Across America.

CLEMENTS CADETS HONOR FALLEN HEROES – Cadets from William P. Clements High School assisted in the placing of fresh wreaths on more than 31,000 gravesites at Houston National Cemetery. The cadets have been selling wreaths throughout the school year. This is the first year the cadets participated in this honorable occasion, contributing more than 600 wreaths.


Caitlyn Wingerson (center) with her art teacher Carol Houlihan (left) and Principal Joseph Chandler.

ARTWORK OF GARCIA MS STUDENT FEATURED IN PBK CALENDARCaitlyn Wingerson, a student at Garcia Middle School, is one of 26 students to have her artwork featured in the PBK Art Contest Calendar 2012. Her artwork is featured for the month of November.

Each year, PBK Architects Inc., solicits artwork from student artists representing each of the schools for which they served as architect. The entries are judged by PBK’s staff of design professionals, and the winners are showcased in the firm’s annual, 13-month calendar.


CLEMENTS HS NJROTC RECOGNIZES CADET OF THE MONTH – The Clements NJROTC/NNDCC Unit selected Cadet Francesca Ghizzoni as the November Cadet of the Month. Cadet Ghizzoni is a ninth-grade student, which classifies her as a Naval Science I Student. She has a strong work ethic that has truly made a positive impact on her instructors and the cadet corps, and meets each situation with a smile.

In addition, she has learned all the required knowledge (chain of command, orders to the sentry, etc.), and when in uniform she emulates a recruiting poster picture. Additionally, Cadet Ghizzoni is a member of the Unarmed Drill Team.


Kempner football players with bikes and scooters that were collected for Fort Bend ISD children.

KEMPNER FOOTBALL TEAM HOLDS BICYCLE DRIVE – Kempner’s football players and coaches conducted a two-week donation drive that benefited children of Fort Bend ISD families who have been identified by district social workers as needing holiday assistance. Thanks to the support of Kempner students and staff, the team collected enough funds to purchase 12 bicycles, 15 scooters and several bicycle helmets.

“Our bicycle donation drive is our way of giving back to the community that supports us,” said Darrin Andrus, Kempner’s head football coach and athletic coordinator. The team also holds an annual food drive to benefit area food pantries.


Students are fascinated by the sight of caterpillars in the garden.

BUTTERFLY HABITAT OFFERS DULLES ELEMENTARY STUDENTS HANDS-ON LEARNING – Students at Dulles Elementary School are experiencing nature at its best by visiting the living butterfly habitat that was created on their campus this year.

The butterfly habitat supports the second-grade science unit for this year and offers students hands-on learning experiences. To work in the garden, students take on roles as data collectors, rule makers, scribers and planters.

The school’s PTO raised funds for the outdoor project through its “Caterpillar Coin” fundraiser. The funds were used to purchase garden tools, and flowers and plants for butterflies and caterpillars.

The school also commissioned Jimmy Turner of Decks for Less to build the raised bed in the garden, and received overwhelming support from Don Johnson and the Cockrell Butterfly Center at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, as well as parent volunteers. The PTO also plans to raise funds for a weather station and science and nature pods to accommodate multiple student learning groups in the outdoor classroom.


Members of the Chinese Delegation with Fort Bend ISD panel guests and Clements High School administrators.

CHINESE DELEGATION VISITS CLEMENTS HS – A delegation from the Continuing Education College for Teachers visited Clements High School in December as part of an educational tour of area schools. The college is part of Xi’an University of Arts and Science in Shaanxi, China.

Members of the delegation asked a variety of questions about the district’s educational policies and procedures, student achievement, testing and school operations. Three principals — Ken Gregorski, Clements High School; David Yaffie, Baines Middle School; and Pamela Browning, Scanlan Oaks Elementary — were on hand to answer questions. After the panel discussion, delegates were given a tour of the campus, and visited the orchestra and choir classes.


Foster High football coach Mark Wiatrek with Addison Marshall.

FOSTER HIGH STUDENT DELIVERS SPEECH, TROPHY AT LOMBARDI AWARDS – Foster High School senior Addison Marshall might have been the smallest person on the stage, which featured an NFL Hall of Fame quarterback, a former NFL running back, three college football coaches, and the four finalists for the Houston Rotary Lombardi Trophy, which is given each year to the nation’s top collegiate lineman.

But his words, which represented his own struggle, as well as the struggles of the other “Front Line Kids” in attendance, made him a giant in the eyes of those in attendance.

“Addie” spoke to the audience at the 42nd Rotary Lombardi Awards. He was among about a dozen young cancer survivors in attendance at the ceremony. Texas Children’s Cancer Center and MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Center are among the charities receiving funds from the event’s proceeds.

Addison thanked the four finalists – University of Alabama stars Dont’a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw, Stanford’s Jonathan Martin and Luke Kuechly from Boston College, who won the award, for visiting the children’s hospitals, spending time laughing with patients and taking photos.

“Cancer may steal many things in your life, but it can’t touch the power of football and what the sport has taught me,” Addison told the audience. “This year I was blessed with the opportunity to be back on the field and practice beside my lifelong friends in the Texas sauna we call ‘two-a-days.’ This is a privilege that I will never take for granted. I’d like to thank my coaches and friends for never giving up on me and keeping my dream alive of playing (Foster) Falcon football.”

Addison is also a semifinalist for the High School Rudy Award, which “celebrates inspirational young athletes who embody the values of character, courage, contribution and commitment through the sport of football.”


(L-R) Priti Avantsa, Fort Bend ISD Title I social worker; and Jennifer Ogilvie, director, First United Methodist Day School.

AREA SCHOOL SUPPORTS FORT BEND ISD’S TITLE I HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM – The First United Methodist Day School’s Children’s Chapel donated more than 125 toys and gift cards to support the Fort Bend ISD Title I Holiday Assistance Program. The program provides holiday gifts to students who are identified by Parent Resource Center coordinators as needing assistance at the District’s Title I elementary and middle schools. The program originally benefitted students at one elementary campus, but has since expanded to include all Fort Bend ISD Title I elementary and middle schools. The program is in its fifth year of operation.


The Austin Angels Dance Team with the items for the families.

AUSTIN ANGELS ADOPT FAMILIES FOR HOLIDAYS – Each year, the Austin Angels Dance Team helps families who are in crisis enjoy a special holiday. This is the eighth holiday season the Angels have adopted  families. This year, the Angels decided to adopt two Austin High School families that have both been faced with the loss of their homes. Through this program, the girls are afforded the opportunity to engage in a “hands-on” project to provide assistance to families in need.


(L-R)IBMA Academy students Lexus Srilamsingha and Belinda Bernardo.

BUSH HS INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND MARKETING ACADEMY HOSTS OPEN HOUSE – The International Business and Marketing Academy at Bush High School hosted an Open House to invite prespective students and their families to tour the campus and learn more about the academy courses.

The International Business and Marketing Academy is a dynamic four-year program that enhances the high school core curriculum by providing additional academic courses that emphasize marketing, business and international studies. Through the program, students are also given the opportunity to earn college credit through the College Now program.

During the Open House, Shelby Nilsen,  academy director, led guests on a tour of the academy classrooms, where they met with academy instructors and the DECA sponsor.


(Front row) Brooklyn Chapman, Lexi Hermes, Brienna Walker, Ainsley McGee, Emily Nguyen, Bailey Rech, Matthias Konrad; (back row) Vicki Peters, librarian; Suzanne Stavinoha, counselor; Caroline Harriss; Caitlin Kurtz; Kylie Walters; and Joe Imrie, assistant principal.

CAMPBELL ELEMENTARY STUDENTS  COLLECT ITEMS FOR FORT BEND COUNTY’S HELPING HANDS – Campbell Elementary PTA and Kids for Kindness joined efforts to benefit Fort Bend County’s Helping Hands. All students, kindergarten through fifth grade, took part in gathering a collection of various items: toiletries, outerwear, socks, and undergarments. The Campbell PTA sponsored the traditional “Giving Tree “ displayed in the front foyer. Students brought items and put them under the tree.

Kids for Kindness sponsored a school-wide stocking stuffer event. Students donated a variety of small items to stuff into stockings including candy canes, chocolate, stickers, pencils, tablets, puzzles, books and small toys. At the December Kids for Kindness meeting, members stuffed stockings to send with items under the Giving Tree. The Campbell PTA delivered the stockings and other items.


Fran Rader, Annette Burke and the Highlands Student Council with Adriane Gray, LOL founder and executive director; and board member Jennifer Hartmann (center).

HIGHLANDS ELEMENTARY RAISES FUNDS FOR LUNCHES FOR LOVE – Highlands Elementary Student Council, under the direction of moderators Fran Rader and Annette Burke, raised $955 for Lunches of Love, a nonprofit organization, that is committed to helping end childhood hunger in the Rosenberg-Richmond area. Many children living in families that face the challenge of providing food rely on a school lunch as their primary meal of the day. Lunches of Love is there to help fill the gap during extended school holidays including Christmas break, spring break and summer vacation. This program offers a nutritious sack lunch and a snack to these children.

This program was launched through First United Methodist Church in Rosenberg during Christmas break 2009, and fed approximately 150 children. Currently, this program is feeding 1,200 children and has expanded to include two elementary schools.


Sartartia Middle School PAL students with the toys that were collected.

SARTARTIA MS STUDENTS DONATE MORE THAN 900 TOYS TO SANTA’S EXCHANGE – To help make the holiday season brighter for children throughout Fort Bend County, Sartartia Middle School students and staff collected more than 900 toys for Santa’s Exchange. The school’s PAL students, led by sponsor Amber Muscarello, spearheaded the campaign at the campus. For a two-week period, students and staff donated new, unwrapped toys to the campaign.

As a reward to the eighth-grade class, which donated the most toys (614), Sartartia teachers and administrators performed their own rendition of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, sung by science teacher Ian MacIntyre. Santa’s Exchange is a service project of the Sugar Land Exchange Club, operated in conjunction with the Sugar Land Rotary, Fort Bend Exchange Club and Project SMILE.


FIRST COLONY SWIM TEAM MEMBERS PARTICIPATE IN MEETS– Thirty-seven senior swimmers from First Colony Swim Team competed at Gulf Senior Champs in December. Kaitlyn Swinney qualified for Winter Junior Nationals for the first time with her 400 IM time of 4:57.08. This time also qualifies her for Short Course Nationals.  Additionally, Kaitlyn achieved two new NCSA Junior National times in the 200 Back and 200 IM respectively. Teammate Corey Dukemade had his first NCSA Junior National time when he swam to a 16:31.92 in the 1500 Free. Not to be outdone,Kyle Yubroke broke the FCST team records in the Boys 15-19/Open 200 IM with a time of 2:11.40. Kyle also broke the meet record in the Men’s 100 Breast with a time of 1:05.20.  Breaking the Boys 15-18/Open 400 Medley Relay with a time of 3:58.5 were Daniel Graviss, Kyle Yu, Clement Dulac and Brett Pinfold.

Romy Landeck and Simone Manuel competed at AT&T Winter Nationals in Atlanta, Ga. Romy finaled in the 200m Breast and finished 22nd overall with a time of 2:35.44.  Simone finaled in the 100m Free and finished 18th overall with a time of 56.54.


Carl Peters, Ginger Carribine, principal at Sartartia Middle School, and Jim McIngvale, Gallery Furniture.

CAREER DAY HELD AT SARTARTIA MIDDLE SCHOOL – All eighth-grade students at Sartartia Middle School participated in the school’s Career Day. Speakers from a variety of backgrounds came together to impart the knowledge they have about their careers to the students. Counselors and teachers also used Career Day as a time to talk to students about the importance of choosing classes, making good grades, and preparing for college or technical training.

One session of Career Day was with Neal Adair from the Texas Scholars. Texas Scholars – High School and Beyond is an initiative of Texas Business and Education Coalition where volunteers and educators work together to motivate students to take a more purposeful approach in high school, and plan for and work toward a career of their choosing after high school.

Career Day was the students’ first exposure to different jobs. Eighth-graders listened to six speakers, all experts in their respective fields, to find out what their jobs entailed. They also attended a career fair, which gave them exposure to other vocational fields and other career paths. Career Day started with keynote speaker Jim McIngvale who enlightened the students on how he started his company. The students received his message to stay in school and become “problem solvers” as well. The event ended with Jessica Willey, reporter for ABC-13, wrapping up all the information the students had received during the day.


Kindergartener Nicole Haas explains how she designed her birthday wagon to Sue Sierra, principal at Colony Bend Elementary School.

COLONY BEND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL HOLDS 30TH ANNIVERSARY PARADE – This year marks the 30th anniversary of Colony Bend Elementary School, and students and staff have taken part in various celebratory events to mark the occasion.

Among the events was a 30th anniversary parade that welcomed parents and former students to the school. Students marched along the school hallways carrying birthday posters and banners. After the parade, guests took part in an assembly in the school’s cafeteria. Sue Sierra, principal, welcomed guests to the event and introduced students Muhib Methani, Nicole Haas, Steven Silva and Daisy and Sophie Muddimer who designed special birthday wagons. Counselor Sarah Guffey shared the history of the school and spoke of the many changes that have taken place since the school opened in 1981. Guests also viewed a photo slideshow of school highlights over the past 30 years, and enjoyed performances by the choir.


The 2011-212 G/T Mentorship Class (l-r, front row) Naomi Brown, G/T Mentorship Program instructor; Stephanie Hamborsky, Mosum Shah; (middle row) Avani Patel, Felicia Chiao, Meghan Kamath, Neerja Aggarwal; and (back row) Shibly Abughazaleh, Jay Shah, Christopher Jordan, Arjun Merchant and Aditya Srivatsan.

EXPERT PANEL GIVES CAREER ADVICE TO G/T MENTORSHIP STUDENTS – Fort Bend ISD’s High School Gifted and Talented Mentorship Program hosted a professional panel in November to give G/T Mentorship students an opportunity to hone their communication skills and receive expert advice from area professionals regarding continuing education, preparing for the workforce and other topics.

Among the panel guests were Dr. Agusto Rodriguez, Rice University’s Department of Kinesiology Sports Medicine; Dr. John Novak, Curtice Commercial Real Estate; Pat Pollicoff, city of Sugar Land Public communications director; Robert Janssen Jr., vice president, Planned Community Developers, Sugar Land; John Healey, Fort Bend County district attorney; Carlos Camacho, vice president, Jacobs Consultancy; and Jim Beck Brown, chief executive officer, Memorial Hermann Hospital-Sugar Land.

The professionals spoke about their educational backgrounds, career paths and current professions. They also offered students advice on preparing resumes, college courses and advanced degrees, pursuing career paths, and seeking mentors.

Fort Bend ISD’s High School G/T Mentorship Program is headed by Jeannette Spain, director of Gifted/Talented and Academy Programs; Crystal Wilson, G/T coordinator; and Naomi Brown, GT mentorship instructor.


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