Fort Bend & Sugar Land Schools,
Sports, and Students January 2017
Fort Bend Christian Academy Cast of Twelve Angry Jurors Win State Championship
Members of the Fort Bend Christian Academy Theatre Department advanced, for the first time in school history, to the TAPPS One-Act Play Championship. Their outstanding performance earned them the title of State TAPPS One-Act Play Champions. Kolton Kaminski received the Honorable Mention Cast Award and both Ethan Walker and Kelsey Brown received All-Star Cast Awards.
“I could not be more proud of this group of students and the hard work they put into making this play come to life,” said Lana Thompson, Drama & Theatre Arts teacher.
The cast performed Twelve Angry Jurors, a play about a jury forced to reconsider its nearly unanimous decision by the single dissenter who sows a seed of reasonable doubt. The story begins after closing arguments have been presented in a homicide case, as the judge is giving his instructions to the jury. The 12 jurors must unanimously decide on a verdict of guilty or not guilty.
“They started this year with the goal to advance, and they came together to form a chemistry onstage that allowed them to fulfill that goal,” Thompson said. “I am so incredibly grateful to have been a part of it all and watch them, step by step, create this world onstage that drew the audience in from the moment the play began.”
Without a dedicated theatre space on campus, the students had limited rehearsals on a real stage, but they did not let that hinder them.
“When we were awarded first place in state, it was a surreal experience,” student Levi Loveless said. “It never would have happened without our theatre teacher pushing us to become better actors and to really take this play seriously.”
Lamar Consolidated High trio named NASA Scholars
Three Lamar Consolidated High school juniors will spend the summer learning about rocket science with engineers and scientists at NASA. CiCi Lu, Dion Okeke and Wisdom Orakwue have all been selected as NASA Aerospace Scholars.
During the school year, the trio will take part in interactive lessons on NASA activities related to space exploration, earth science, technology and aeronautics; design challenges such as 3D drawing, video creation and interactive poster design; and virtual chats with NASA engineers and scientists.
During their week-long residential summer experience, the three Mustangs will participate in team projects and briefings directed by NASA engineers and scientists; hands-on design challenge and engineering activities to plan a mission to Mars; and tours of NASA facilities.
All three students take part in Project Lead The Way, a curriculum that provides hands-on classroom experiences in science, technology, engineering and math and the technology students association.
Fort Bend Christian Academy Athletes Sign National Letters of Intent
Fort Bend Christian Academy high school students, faculty and families gathered on National Signing Day to witness and celebrate four female athletes as they signed NCAA National Letters of Intent to play at the collegiate level.
Volleyball player Taylor Bannister committed to play for the LSU Tigers in the Southeastern Conference. Although Taylor has only played volleyball for four years, she lettered in the last three. Taylor started her club career with Texas Premier, and is currently playing for the Texas Tornadoes. Taylor is a two-time 1st Team All-District award winner, as well as a two-time 1st Team All-State winner. She was also named to the 2015 TAPPS State All-Tournament team.
Samantha Lin signed her National Letter of Intent to play volleyball for the Trinity University Tigers in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. Sami has played Volleyball for eight years and lettered for four years. Her Club team is Club Catalyst. Some of Sami’s awards include: TAPPS District MVP, two-time State Runner-up, three-time 1st Team All-District and 2015 TAPPS State All-Tournament Team.
Softball player Claire McKissick signed with Texas Tech Red Raiders in the Big 12 Conference. Claire has played softball for nine years, lettered for four years and served as team captain since her sophomore year. Her club team is the Texas Aces Express Gold. Some of Claire’s awards are: 1st Team All-District and 1st Team All-State in 2014, 2015 and 2016, as well as being named to the TAPPS State All-Tournament team in 2016.
Danielle Sonnier committed to play softball for the Texas Southern Tigers in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Danielle has played softball for nine years while lettering at FBCA for four years. She currently plays for the Impact Gold Navy National Team. Some of Danielle’s awards are 1st Team All-District, 1st Team All-State and being chosen to the TAPPS State All-Tournament team in 2016.
FBISD NAMES BONNIE BEARD AGRICULTURE CENTER IN HONOR OF LONGTIME AG TEACHER
On Nov. 14, the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees voted to name its newest agriculture facility the Bonnie Beard Agriculture Center, in honor of a current Dulles High School teacher who is considered a trailblazer in agricultural education. Beard’s career spans 40 years, with 39 of those at Dulles High School.
“Bonnie is a legendary educator and community leader,” said Dr. Christie Whitbeck, FBISD deputy superintendent. “She has not only helped influence FFA students at Dulles, but across other FBISD schools and in the state of Texas. She has left a legacy and paved the way for female and male agriculture education instructors throughout the state, and her passion and love of students and teaching has inspired generations of teenagers with a love for the land, animals, and traditions of Texas.”
The Bonnie Beard Agriculture Center will open in April of 2017, adjacent to Travis High School. As per board policy, Fort Bend ISD asked the community to submit nominations for the new facility during the month of September, and then established a committee to select the name. The committee consisted of teachers, community/ parent/student representatives, and District staff, as well as FBISD Trustee Dave Rosenthal.
“We received multiple nominations for Bonnie, all describing the difference that she has made in the lives of students and fellow teachers. She is certainly well-deserving of this recognition, and we are proud to have her as part of the FBISD family,” said Whitbeck.
LOCAL GIRL SCOUT EARNS GOLD AWARD
Ambassador Girl Scout Gustaline Samba 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 benefits the community and will have a long-term impact on it.
Samba’s project addressed the issue of bike safety in a community where many students ride their bikes to school. The project was called “Project Cycle Safety Shield.” She organized and held a safe biking clinic for Parkway Children’s Day School and Community at Parkway United Methodist Church’s Spring Community outreach event. The clinic included safe biking instruction, the importance of wearing a helmet along with fitting and sizing, situational awareness when riding on the road or on bike trails, and the benefits of healthy exercise from bike riding. She also built a carport-like structure for the school to provide outside storage for their bikes.
Samba is the daughter of Michael and Anacita Samba. She has also been the recipient of the Girl Scout Bronze and Silver awards.
FOSTER HIGH STUDENT TO PERFORM WITH NATIONAL HONOR CHOIR
Foster High School junior Malia Nelson will travel to Minneapolis in March to sing with the American Choral Directors Association National High School Honor Choir. Nelson made the Honor Choir after competing with 2,500 students from across the United States.
The Honor Choir will sing at the American Choral Directors annual conference and will be accompanied by the Minnesota Orchestra.
Jason Carson is the Director of the Foster High School Choral program.
FOSTER SENIOR CHOSEN AS QUESTBRIDGE FINALIST
Foster High School senior Zhi Wei Liang is a finalist in the National QuestBridge Scholar Program. Founded in 1994, QuestBridge is a national nonprofit based in Palo Alto, California that connects the nation’s most exceptional, low-income youth with leading colleges and opportunities. By working with these students — beginning in high school through college to their first job —QuestBridge aims to increase the percentage of these students attending the nation’s best colleges and to support them to achieve success in their careers and communities.
University and colleges in the QuestBridge program include Brown, California Institute of Technology, Columbia, Dartmouth, Duke, MIT, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Princeton, Rice, Stanford, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt, Washington and Lee and Yale.
CALVARY EPISCOPAL PREPARATORY ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT
Calvary Episcopal Preparatory (CEP) hosted its 11th annual golf tournament on Nov. 7 at Pecan Grove Country Club with over 90 golfers. Nonprofit CEP expressed gratitiude to the 42 individual and organizational sponsors for supporting the school, including the Blue & Gold Sponsors: ABM American Business Machines, Cadence Trust, Friend of Calvary, Intrua Financial, McAlister’s Deli and New First Financial.
DULLES MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT LEADERS SUPPORT ALZHEIMER’S RESEARCH
Students in DMS Teen Leadership, PALs and AVID took part in the 2016 Fort Bend County Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Oct. 29, at Constellation Field. The students exceeded their fundraising goal, raising over $5,000. The DMS team was organized by Teen Leadership teacher Jessica Knox, who was personally motivated after losing her grandmother to Alzheimer’s. Students worked passionately to raise awareness of the disease across the campus, in addition to raising money.
“I have never seen such a hardworking group of students who put their all into an organization that most have not been directly affected by. That didn’t matter to them; all they knew was the story of my grandmother and what so many others go through. They just wanted to help,” said Knox.
Dulles Middle School students represented the orange flower, which is given to participants who support a future without Alzheimer’s. The remaining flowers are: purple, for those who have lost a loved one to Alzheimer’s; blue, for those who currently have Alzheimer’s; and yellow, for those who are caregivers to someone who has Alzheimer’s.
Learn more at alz.org.
STEPHEN F. AUSTIN HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND & ANGELS DANCE TEAM ADVANCE TO STATE
The Stephen F. Austin High School Band & Angels Dance Team came in first place at the UIL Area E 6A Contest on Oct. 29, at the Berry Center in Cypress. This qualified them to advance to the UIL 6A State Marching Band Contest on Nov. 8 at the Alamodome in San Antonio where they finished 18th out of 40 bands. Their statewide result was 18th out of 239, which is a very impressive placing.
This is the second time since 2006 that the Band and Angels have advanced to the UIL state championships, and the first time since 2002 that they have taken first place at the area contest. In total, there were 40 marching bands from in and around Houston competing in Area E, which is the largest area in the state of Texas. FBISD had two schools advance, Austin and Clements.
The procedure for selecting bands to advance from area to state is by adding the five judges’ rankings for each band. The final ranking is determined by assigning the band with the lowest composite score first place, the next lowest composite score is second place and so on until the band with the highest composite score is listed last.
The title of this year’s show was “Summertime!” and included music from American composer, George Gershwin. Musical selections include Rhapsody in Blue, Summertime from Porgy and Bess, Second Rhapsody, and An American in Paris.
Band director Bob Chreste told his students, “You must believe that anything is possible when you have a group of people where everyone understands and achieves their role on the team, and are willing to do whatever it takes to help the team.” That commitment to excellence resulted in a win and the group’s advancement to the UIL 6A State Marching Band Contest. For more information, go to sfaband.org.
STUDENT COUNCIL WORKSHOPS TRAIN NEW ES AND MS LEADERS
Highlands Elementary hosted the Fort Bend meeting of the Leaders ‘R’ Us™ Student Council workshop on Oct. 26, featuring other schools from Fort Bend, Alvin ISD, Alief ISD, and other districts. The one-day workshops empower student leaders in grades four through eight and their sponsors with ways to enrich the leadership opportunities on their campuses. Additional FBISD campuses represented were Brazos Bend, Briargate, Commonwealth, Drabek, Jordan, Oyster Creek, Schiff and Sullivan.
Amy Stinson, a fifth-grade social studies and reading teacher and student council advisor at Drabek Elementary, says that the workshop was helpful because councils were able to share ideas, including “never do again” ideas. She mentioned that her students found it helpful to learn about what each officer position does and loved learning the songs. Of the 140 programs honored in Texas for 2016, two schools in Fort Bend ISD received the distinction: Highlands, earning its first honor, and Schiff, receiving the honor for the fifth time.
Carolyn Solomon, project manager for the Leaders ‘R’ Us™ workshops, said this is the 18th year of the workshop, which has trained over 50,000 students across Texas.