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Fort Bend & Sugar Land Schools,
Sports, and Students May 2017


Jade Bryant

Jade Bryant

FORT BEND AUSTIN STUDENT EARNS GIRL SCOUTS HIGHEST HONOR FOR SERVICE PROJECT

Jade Bryant, a junior at Fort Bend Austin High School, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouting. The award recognizes girls in grades 9-12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable community service projects that require a minimum of 80 hours to complete. Less than 5 percent of Girl Scouts earn the award.

According to the March of Dimes, in the United States the preterm birth rate among black women is 48 percent higher than the rate among all other women. Bryant was born premature and wanted to share her personal testimony with her community to raise awareness about the importance of prenatal care and living a healthy lifestyle.

To earn the Gold Award, she hosted five seminars on the topic in underserved communities of Houston and Galveston and created a video presentation that can be shared with several organizations for continued education purposes.

“My goal was to educate and motivate each person that attended my seminars to take every precaution necessary to have a full-term and healthy pregnancy,” said Bryant.

After graduating from high school in 2018, Bryant aspires to pursue a career in nursing.

To learn more about the Girl Scout Gold Award, visit girlscouts.org.

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Cara Coffman

Cara Coffman

Grace-Braun

LAMAR CISD STUDENTS NAMED NATIONAL MERIT FINALISTS

Cole Jackson

Cole Jackson

Terry High School senior Cole Jackson and George Ranch High School seniors Grace Braun and Cara Coffman are all finalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program.

This year, 15,000 finalists were named in the National Merit Scholarship Program’s 61st competition. A total of 1.5 million high school juniors initially entered the competition by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT (PSAT) test.

To become a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program, students submitted detailed scholarship applications that included information about their academic records, co-curricular activities, leadership abilities, honors, awards and employment.

About 16,000 students, or approximately one-third of the 50,000 high scorers, qualify as Semifinalists. To ensure that academically-talented young people from all parts of the United States are included in this talent pool, Semifinalists are designated on a state-representational basis. They are the highest scoring entrants in each state. NMSC provides scholarship application materials to Semifinalists through their high schools.

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The George Ranch High School Lariettes display their National Championship trophies.

The George Ranch High School Lariettes display their National Championship trophies.

DANCING WITH THE HORNS! GEORGE RANCH HS LARIETTES EARN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Competing against 1,200 dancers and 175 teams, the George Ranch High School Lariettes are National Champions on their hip hop, novelty and military routines. George Ranch High School’s Lariettes earned these titles as they ended their competition season March 25 at the M.A. National Championship in Fort Worth. M.A. Nationals is the one of the largest and most competitive competitions featuring teams from all over the country.

The dance team was also made the prestigious Winners Circle for being one of the top scoring teams in the entire competition and were awarded National Champions in the medium team division. The National Championship not only earned the team an impressive trophy, earning them national champion jackets awarded only to a few teams.

The Lariette officers also competed and received National Champion for their hip hop routine and were 2nd runner-up for their novelty routine.

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Foster High School’s Nkechinyere “ChiChi” Nwankwo wins Gold.

Foster High School’s Nkechinyere “ChiChi” Nwankwo wins Gold.

FOSTER’S NWANKWO EARNS SECOND STATE WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP AND NATIONAL TITLE

Foster High School’s Nkechinyere “ChiChi” Nwankwo wrestled her way to her second state championship, taking gold at the 2017 UIL Wrestling Tournament in Cypress.

She took the gold in the 5A 185-lb. division, after earning the crown at 205 lbs. in 2016.

“Her drop in weight class was for several reasons,” said her coach, Jeffery Rayome. “She wanted to prove she could wrestle in any weight class you put her in. She started losing weight because she wants to continue in the sport. College and international weight classes have smaller weight classes, so we were preparing for having to be at that weight.”

Nwankwo also added to her champsionship credentials when she won the U.S. Marine Corps Girls Junior Folkstyle Nationals in Oklahoma City on March 25 at 180 lbs. Collegiate wrestling is sometimes known as folkstyle wresting, and is a style of amateur wrestling practiced at the college and university level in the U.S.

Next year, Nwankwo will be wrestling for Oklahoma City University.

At the Cypress tournament, Foster freshman – and ChiChi’s brother – Chidozie “Dot” Nwankwo earned a third place medal in the 5A 285-lb. classification. Older brother Nwankwo Nwankwo, who graduated last year, finished second in the 285-lb class in the 2016 State Wrestling tournament.

Fulshear High School sophomore Alex Torres also made the state tournament, finishing 5th in the 5A 195-lb. weight class.

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Kennedye Miller

Kennedye Miller

FOSTER SENIOR AMONG 160 FINALISTS IN THE NATION FOR USDA FULL SCHOLARSHIP

Foster High School senior Kennedye Miller is a finalist for U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 1890 National Scholars Program.

Miller is one of only 160 finalists in the nation and is vying for a full ride (tuition, fees, room, board, books, laptop and paid summer internships) for college. The program awards scholarships to students attending one of the 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Universities and pursuing a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, or related academic disciplines.

Scholarship winners are employed with the USDA upon graduation and commit to four years of service in return for the scholarship.

Miller plans to attend Tennessee State University.

The goal of the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is to increase the number of minorities studying agriculture, food, natural resource sciences and other related disciplines.

Land-grant universities (also called land-grant college or land-grant institution) were created by the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. The Morrill Acts funded educational institutions by granting federally-controlled land to the states for them to sell, to raise funds, to establish and endow “land-grant” colleges. The mission of these institutions is to focus on the teaching of practical agriculture, science, military science and engineering. This mission was in contrast to the historic practice of higher education to focus on an abstract liberal arts curriculum.

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Fort Bend ISD students, staff and administrators enjoy their time in China. The group visited Beijing, Hong Kong and Guanzhou/Foshan.

Fort Bend ISD students, staff and administrators enjoy their time in China. The group visited Beijing, Hong Kong and Guanzhou/Foshan.

FORT BEND ISD STUDENTS AND STAFF VISIT CHINA AS PART OF DISTRICT EXCHANGE PROGRAM

Organized in partnership with the Fort Bend County Global Initiative, the District’s annual trip to China is meant to give high school students an academic and cultural experience abroad. The two-week trip, held in January, is part of an annual student exchange that partners FBISD students with students from one of the District’s sister schools, Foshan #2 High School, in China. The students are immersed in local culture and return with expanded perspectives of themselves and the world. The trip isnow in its third year. The students who participated in the 2017 trip were, by high school:

Austin – Shea Davis; Clements – Madison Taylor and Ross Trivisonno; Dulles – Marina Baez, Jessica Chambers, Ashley Clopton, Nicole Quintero and Taylor Zylicz; Elkins – Raegan Cruse, Abraham Pazhoor and Lindsey Strickler; Hightower – Elijah Hughes, William Johnson and Navneet Venugopal; Kempner – Cierra Farris; Ridge Point – Natalie Bassett, Seth Brotherto, and Megan Van der Walt; and Willowridge – Terrian Spurs.

The group began the trip in Beijing, spending two days sightseeing and visiting historical landmarks including the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. After that, they traveled to Guanzhou/Foshan, where the group remained for the duration of the trip, in addition to a quick trip to Hong Kong.

In Guanzhou/Foshan, the students became part of the student body at Foshan #2 High School. They were paired with local students and were able to communicate in advance with their host friends and family. They were given uniforms, attended classes taught in English, and like their classmates, stayed in dormitories during the week. During the weekend, the students were able to live with their host families and enjoy local activities.

The annual trip is just one part of the District’s partnership with the Fort Bend County Global Initiative. Each fall, students from Foshan #2 High School visit Houston and live the Fort Bend ISD experience. Families host the students and they attend school and events with their District counterpart. Lorelei Thorp, the FBISD Global Initiative Program Coordinator, has already seen a relationship between these two parts of the exchange. Families who host visiting students from China are often among the families whose students participate in the trip to China. This is what led Kempner student Cierra Farris to apply for the trip — her family hosted a Chinese student who Cierra now considers part of her family. The two students were even able to reconnect during the group’s trip to China.

District administrators have also begun talking about how to expand the partnership with the Fort Bend County Global Initiative. Possibilities include creating a teacher exchange with the sister schools in China. The District hosted a group of students from Taiwan in the fall and there is an opportunity for FBISD students to visit Taiwan in a similar type of exchange. In whatever ways the partnership grows, Fort Bend students will continue to experience the life-changing power of exposure to and immersion in another culture.

The students, high school sophomores, juniors and seniors, were accompanied by District administrators, board members and educators. They were: FBISD Board Trustees KP George and Grayle James; Steve Bassett, FBISD Chief Financial Officer; Dr. Anthony Indelicato, Assistant Superintendent; Lorelei Thorp, ESL Teacher at Kempner High School; and Meng-Yu Wang, Dulles High School Chinese teacher. Thorp and Wang have helped lead and facilitate the cultural exchange with China for the last three years.

Applications for the fall 2017 trip to China are available now. The China trip is anticipated to occur from Nov. 16-30.

To find out more about the Fort Bend County Global Initiative, visit fbgi.org or contact Dr. Audra Ude, director of student leadership at audra.ude@fortbendisd.com or 281-634-0293.

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Students competing in the History Bee are (l-r): Crisana DiShazo, Ryanne Dobbs, Isabel Beale, Kase Boetter, Scott Stephenson, Aidan Stimatz (National History Bee qualifier), Lillian Matta, Grace Stewart and Katelyn Benoit.

Students competing in the History Bee are (l-r): Crisana DiShazo, Ryanne Dobbs, Isabel Beale, Kase Boetter, Scott Stephenson, Aidan Stimatz (National History Bee qualifier), Lillian Matta, Grace Stewart and Katelyn Benoit.

CALVARY EPISCOPAL STUDENTS COMPETE IN HISTORY BEE

Nine Calvary Episcopal Preparatory students from CEP’s seventh and eighth grade U.S. history classes qualified to compete at the Regional History Bee, held recently at Holy Spirit Episcopal School in Houston. One of these students, Aidan Stimatz, placed in the top eight for his grade, and qualified to move on to the national competition in Atlanta this summer. Questions at the bee included both world history and U.S. history topics. Students answered in a buzz-in format in several rounds. Congratulations to each of these students for their attention to history and their competitive spirit.

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“Flank Rider” by Alexander Chzhanov.

“Flank Rider” by Alexander Chzhanov.

LCISD RODEO ARTWORK

Some talented Lamar CISD art students were invited to submit their work at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Student Art Auction. Leading the way was Foster High’s Alexander Chzhanov, the Class Champion for Monochro­m­atic Drawing. His work “Flank Rider” brought $77,000 in the auction.

Reading Junior High’s Alex Velasquez was one of only two junior high students to make the auction. The Junior High Reserve Class Champion’s work “Monroe Flower” was purchased for $59,000.

Foster’s Michael David Archibong, was named Reserve Class Champion for his painting “If Scout Could Talk.” His work brought a final bid of $39,000.

“Monroe Flower” by Alex Velasquez.

“Monroe Flower” by Alex Velasquez.

“If Scout Could Talk” by David Archibong.

“If Scout Could Talk” by David Archibong.

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Ike Okafor, Lillian Matta and Katelyn Benoit take a quick photo break between PSIA competitions.

Ike Okafor, Lillian Matta and Katelyn Benoit take a quick photo break between PSIA competitions.

CALVARY EPISCOPAL PREP HOSTS PSIA DISTRICT 14A COMPETITION

For the second year in a row, Calvary Episcopal Preparatory hosted and participated in PSIA (Private School Interscholastic Association) District 14A competition on March 4. Twelve area schools with 500 students competing in multiple events were welcomed to the highly academic competitive contest event.

The academic competition is for students in first-eighth grades. Competition categories range from storytelling, spelling and creative writing to maps, graphs and charts, music memory, onsite drawing, prose interpretation, mathematics and number sense among many others.

This is CEP’s second year hosting, and the school was pleased to receive several emails that expressed how impressed attendees and competitor school officials were with Calvary’s hospitality, organization and attention to detail by its staff and volunteers. The PSIA results caused great celebration on campus with 34 qualifying state entries and overall total winning points putting Calvary in first place among the competitive schools.


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