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Fort Bend & Sugar Land Schools,
Sports, and Students Nov ember 2016

Vianca Jimenez, a senior at Kempner High School, earned the Girl Scout Gold Award.

Vianca Jimenez, a senior at Kempner High School, earned the Girl Scout Gold Award.


Vianca Jimenez, a senior at Kempner High School, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award. The award recognizes girls in grades 9 through 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.

To earn the award, Jimenez rallied more than 15 volunteers to create a garden on the ground of Lakeview Elementary School to celebrate the school’s 100th anniversary. At the request of the teachers and school’s principal, the garden contains pollinator plants or plants that attract bees and butterflies.

“Lakeview did not have a very welcoming garden in the front of the school and many of the trees were poorly maintained,” said Jimenez. “I have always wanted to give back to the school since I have created some of my best memories there.”

By completing her Gold Award project, Jimenez sharpened her communication, team leading, problem solving and organization skills.

“I learned that I can accomplish a lot more than I thought was possible,” said Jimenez.

According to the Girl Scout Research Institute’s (GSRI) report, The Power of the Girl Scout Gold Award: Excellence in Leadership and Life, Girl Scout Gold Award recipients receive greater lifetime benefits than their peers with regard to positive sense of self, life satisfaction, leadership, life success, community service, and civic engagement thanks to their experience in Girl Scouting, including earning their Gold Award. To learn more about the Girl Scout Gold Award, which turns 100 this year, visit girlscouts.org.


(L-R:) Brady Sanders, Chloe Jones, Brittany Rogers, Reagan Thomey, Jordan Nellums (checkered shirt) Ritjua Kashid, Evan Blackwell, Griffin Gallardo (standing with camera), Cassidy Lapp (with white purse), Autumn Horn, Reece Grover.

(L-R:) Brady Sanders, Chloe Jones, Brittany Rogers, Reagan Thomey, Jordan Nellums (checkered shirt) Ritjua Kashid, Evan Blackwell, Griffin Gallardo (standing with camera), Cassidy Lapp (with white purse), Autumn Horn, Reece Grover. (Photo – Margie Machos)


The Ridge Point High School Theatre Production class recently presented Remembrance, 15 Years Later, to mark the 15th anniversary of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. The production consisted of two different one-act plays, War at Home, by Nicole Quinn and Nina Shengold; and 110 Stories, by Sara Tuft; and featured the Junior Varsity dance team in a stunning finale that left the audience in tears.

War at Home was about a group of students in a New York State High School 100 miles north of Ground Zero, and their initial response to the events of 9/11. The text of this ensemble piece was created from their journal writings of over 40 students, teachers, and community members in the weeks immediately following the tragedy.

110 Stories is a memory play that tells the true accounts of survivors. From the first crash to the last goodbye, at Ground Zero, 110 Stories took the audience through 9/11 as told by those who were there. Based on interviews, this docu-play weaves together stories not shown on the news, from people who were physically there –– like a mother looking for her child, a photojournalist, an ironworker, a chiropractor and the homeless who called the area around the World Trade Center their home. The chief storyteller is a firefighter who lost all of the members of his fire department, including a probationary firefighter, for whom he felt a great deal of responsibility.

The Ridge Point cast and crew of over 50 had a very short time to prepare the piece for their audience, only putting the show together in five rehearsals. Their commitment to telling the survivors’ stories was their first priority from the first day of school.

Ridge Point Fine Arts Department is preparing for the next production, the classic family musical, The Wizard of Oz, which will run Oct. 27, 29 and 31 at 7 p.m. On Oct. 29, there is an additional performance at 2 p.m.


Maggie Carpenter has been named a National Merit Semifinalist.

Maggie Carpenter has been named a National Merit Semifinalist.


Maggie Carpenter, a senior at Fort Bend Christian Academy, has been named a National Merit Semifinalist in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program. The program has existed for more than 60 years and continues to acknowledge and reward exceptional high school seniors.

About 1.6 million juniors entered into the competition, and only 16,000 Semifinalists remain. Carpenter has the opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered next spring.

“This award opens up many opportunities for me regarding college choices,” Carpen­ter said. “However, I am leaving my options open as to which college I will be attending. Though I am undecided on what major I want to study, I am planning on pursuing a major that will lead into a career in the medical field.”

In addition to her dedication to superior academics at FBCA, Carpenter is heavily involved in extracurricular organizations as well. She has been a member of the Varsity Cheer Squad for all four years of high school and serves as Captain this year. She is also the President of National Honor Society, Interact Club and Mu Alpha Theta as well as being involved in several other clubs and leadership positions.



Four Lamar CISD students were among the 1,144 outstanding 4th-8th graders who participated in Education in Action’s summer 2016 Lone Star Leadership Academy camps.

Reading Junior High School’s Ryan Telford and Wertheimer Middle School’s Aiden Kampwerth and Megan Smith all visited the Houston/Galveston-area camp. Wertheimer’s Brodi Grieve visited the Austin/San Antonio academy.

These young leaders were selected for the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps based on academic success and leadership ability, an educator recommendation and involvement in school/community activities. Participating students, representing communities across Texas, traveled to Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin/San Antonio or Houston/ Galveston to take part in the camps.

During the weeklong, overnight camps, these distinguished students developed leadership skills while learning about the great state of Texas. Participants experienced what they are learning in school through visits to historical sites.

Dallas/Fort Worth participants visited the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District and the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.

The Austin/San Antonio group visited the offices of state legislators at the Texas State Capitol, the Bullock Texas State History Museum, did some bat watching on the Lone Star Riverboat and visited the Alamo.

The Houston/Galveston camp visited NASA, took a boat tour of Galveston Bay with a marine biologist, and toured the San Jacinto Battleground Monument and Moody Gardens.

Professionals at each site also introduced students to a wide variety of unique careers during each camp.

The Lone Star Leadership Academy is a unique opportunity for outstanding students to learn about Texas leaders and what it means to be from the Lone Star State.

Educators are invited to nominate their outstanding 4th-8th graders for Lone Star Leadership Academy camps online at educationinaction.org/nominate. The facilitator/ student ratio is one to 10. All facilitators are Texas educators. Call 817-562-4957 or visit educationinaction.org/lone-star-leadership-academy for more information.


The SFAHS marching band and Angels perform at the Friendswood High School Marching Band Festival where they were awarded a first place finish.

The SFAHS marching band and Angels perform at the Friendswood High School Marching Band Festival where they were awarded a first place finish.


On Sept. 22, the Austin High School Marching Band had the honor of performing the National Anthem at Minute Maid Park before the Astros played the Los Angeles Angels. The band performed a beautiful rendition of the anthem from behind second base. A student from the group said, “Seeing all those people standing for the anthem and watching us, it was a powerful moment.”

On Sept. 24, the Marching Band and Angels Dance Team performed this year’s show “Summertime!” and won 1st Place at the Friendswood High School Marching Band Festival in Friendswood. The show is very popular with the audience, with its playful musical selections and light and airy feel focusing on kids having fun in the summer. At the festival, Austin won Outstanding General Effect, Outstanding Visual, Outstanding Music Performance and Outstanding Auxiliary, as well as the overall first place finish.

There are still opportunities to see the show. The Band and Angels perform at every SFA football game and the UIL Marching Contest on Oct. 25. For more information or to find out ways to support the AHS band, go to sfaband.org.


Brothers Mark and Christopher ZumMallen.

Brothers Mark and Christopher ZumMallen.


Sugar Land’s Boy Scout Troop 441 recently added two new Eagle Scouts to its ranks, brothers Christopher and Mark ZumMallen. Troop 441 is sponsored by Christ Church Sugar Land. The troop was founded in 1989 and has over 145 Eagle Scouts to date.

In order to earn the Eagle award, a scout must complete 21 or more merit badges; learn numerous useful skills such as first aid, orienteering and knot tying; participate in many outdoor adventures; and complete an Eagle project for the benefit of the community – all while demonstrating leadership and character.

Christopher (17) led an Eagle project to build and install receptacles for Sugar Land Parks Department at Colony Bend Park. Mark (15) led his Eagle project on behalf of Fort Bend Family Promise, creating benches and an outdoor garden space at their new location in Missouri City as a memorial to trustee Mary Lou Coltharp. Christopher completed all Eagle requirements in February 2016; Mark in August 2016. They will have a combined Eagle ceremony on Nov. 27.

Both scouts joined the program as Tiger Cub Scouts (first grade); they have been active in scouting for more than 10 years. Both boys attend Kempner High School and are active in fine arts groups and academic honor societies in addition to scouting.


Librarian Christine Wheeless with PK students (l-r) Thomas Felinski, Lissette Rameriz, Sean Olivia, and behind them Leone Mwandia, Nnamdi Nwozu and Zory Frye.

Librarian Christine Wheeless with PK students (l-r) Thomas Felinski, Lissette Rameriz, Sean Olivia, and behind them Leone Mwandia, Nnamdi Nwozu and Zory Frye.


As Calvary Episcopal Preparatory began its school year, all doors were open except one. The Library door was closed in preparation for the traditional Library Reveal. This annual event occurs at the beginning of school where librarians and volunteers transform the library into a 3D wonderland.

Long hours, lots of tape, paper, and countless trips to Hobby Lobby and Home Depot create a one-of-a kind experience that opens a new door into reading and gives insight as to what kind of books are available to students in the library.

Every year, the librarians choose a new theme, and it is always a surprise to students and faculty. This year’s theme was nonfiction. Students are asked to unplug, disconnect from technology and let their senses awaken as they walk through the door. Upon entering the library, the cold of the Arctic and the wonder of the northern lights awaken students’ senses. Next, students are on a safari in the Serengeti and enclosed in the canopy of the rainforest. They were able to experience going into the Pyramid of Giza and walking on the moon’s surface. There was an entire science section featuring weather, science lab equipment, volcano display, and dinosaurs.

Next up was a display of landmarks such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Eiffel Tower, and famous American landmarks like the White House, Mount Rushmore, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Students finished their tour walking through a medieval kitchen, learning fascinating facts about the Great Barrier Reef, and seeing a display of the Great Wall of China.

This exploration through the library piques the students’ interest and opens their eyes to books they never dreamed about. It is the library’s goal to guide students to an adventure in books in order to discover what the world and beyond has to offer.



Fort Bend ISD has announced that eighty-two (82) seniors are among the nation’s nearly 16,000 scholars named Semifinalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program, sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2017 program by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screening of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

Fort Bend ISD’s 2017 National Merit Semifinalists (represented by campus) are:


Austin High School – Zakariya Ali, Karen Ding, Valerie Gray, Abdul Hashmi, Tyler Johnson, Olivia Liu, Maria Yasir, Jason Zhang, Alexander Zhao

Bush High School – Phillip Le

Clements High School – Nadia Bixenman, Kevin Chen, Stephanie Chin, Eric Chiu, Elizabeth Christman, Yinzhi Dong, Brittny Efendy, Michael Guo, Ashwin Hareesh, Jared Hrebenar, Catherine Huang, Da Huang, Angela Hwang, Sara Joshi, Dhruva Karkada, Drew Kaul, Eshani Kaul, Ryan Lam, Shruti Misra, Daniel Mock, Vikram Mullick, Meghan Nguyen, Zhongqi Ning, Aaron Pan, Anthony Pham, Varun Rajaram, Nila Ramaswamy, Kevin Rao, Jefferson Ren, Shruti Shah, Mike Shao, Yue Shi, Saeed Syed, Edward Tan, Sara Venkataraman, Byron Xu, Kevin Xu, Kangrui Xue, Shenghao Yu, Lucia Zhang, Fan Zhou, Jina Zhou

Dulles High School – Bruce Adams, Shreyas Balaji, Srijeeta Biswas, Lang Chen, Jedd Rodney Galera, Sanjana Kapoor, Rahul Kilambi, Vineel Kodikanti, Samir Kumar, Elaina Li, Anish Patel, Sanika Phanse, Serdjan Rolovic, Harinandan Sainath, Megan Sham, Megan Teo, Delphi Uthirakulathu, Ashish Wadhwani, Jonathan Yang, Sean Yu, Claire Zheng

Elkins High School – Gabrielle Le, Roxanna Shahraki

Hightower High School – Srivats Srinivasan

Kempner High School – Sammy Khondker,
Eli Smith

Ridge Point High School – Meredith Streeter

Travis High School – Andrew Chen, Jason Lihuang, Jason Osborn

These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $33 million, that will be offered next spring.

About 15,000 of the Semi-finalists are expec­ted to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin or religious preference.

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