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Fort Bend & Sugar Land Schools, Sports, and Students : November 2010

Kritaarth Mahankali serves as a student leader at the Teach Africa Leadership Summit.

CLEMENTS STUDENT ATTENDS LEADERSHIP SUMMIT AT U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATEKritaarth Mahankali, a senior at Clements High School, was one of two students to represent the city of Houston as a student leader at the first USAID funded Teach Africa Leadership Summit sponsored by the Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa in partnership with the U.S. Department of State. More than 300 student leaders, representing the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Los Angeles, Portland, Atlanta, Houston and Pittsburgh were selected to attend.


Tillie the Tooth (aka Debbie Snelling) and Anne Pencak educate students on oral health.

TILLIE CELEBRATES 20 YEARS, MORE THAN 100,000 STUDENTS – For 20 years, Tillie the Tooth (Debbie Snelling) has been joining her counterpart, Anne Pencak, in educating students throughout the Fort Bend area in oral health. The two dental educators are part of the team from Dr. Larry Caldwell’s office, a board certified pediatric dentist in Sugar Land. Together, they created the program that has educated more than 100,000 students to date.

Tillie evolved in 1990 when Debbie and Anne decided it was time to bring some fun into the concept of teaching children to brush and floss their teeth. The original Tillie costume was designed and fabricated by Debbie, and has since been re-fabricated by a professional costumer. Tillie The Tooth elicits audience participation and partaking in hands-on demonstrations.

Tillie presents with food particles and plaque all over her. Children from the audience compete for the chance to brush with a 3-foot tooth brush. More children opt for the chance to become a tooth themselves by wearing a quickly put on costume, and participating in a “Row of Teeth” so that others can have the chance to floss with a 5-foot piece of floss while watching debris fly out from in between the teeth. The excitement builds as they move into discussing nutrition.

Tillie’s antics create a fun and entertaining atmosphere for the program. Tillie is usually dancing around, making silly gestures and doing those sort of things that make kids laugh, while Anne is quick to get them back to focus and hold their attention while continuing with the program.

That is why they believe the program has been such a popular success among nurses and preschool directors in the Fort Bend area. Tillie and Anne visit area elementary schools and pre-K programs twice a month and anticipate seeing more than 5,000 students alone this school year.

Larry Caldwell, D.D.S., provides this program for the students of the area and has given out toothbrushes to every student who has ever participated.


Elizabeth McGoldrick, Margo Seals, Catherine Gallo, Chelsea Okoroafor and Megan Ramirez clean up trash along the Galveston shoreline.

GIRL SCOUT TROOP 277 LENDS A HELPING HAND – Five Cadettes from Troop 277 of the Rainbow Stars Service Unit helped turn the tide against trash by participating in the 24th Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach fall cleanup program. The girls were assigned a 2-mile stretch of Galveston shoreline where they bagged and cataloged trash.  This data will be used by the Texas General Land Office to study the source and composition of trash on the beaches. The troop ended the day with lunch and shopping on The Strand.


Surrounded by donations for Common Threads are: (l-r) Mekenzie Scholl, Maggie Fish, Ashlan Turner, Emma Stutts, Olivia Ledkins and Colin Fish.

AUSTIN ELEMENTARY PTO COLLECTS ITEMS FOR COMMON THREADS – The Austin Elementary PTO held a two-week drive to collect items for Common Threads. The first week brought in carloads of school supplies and uniforms, while the second week resulted in donations of backpacks, lunch kits and other clothing.


Children from Little Wonders Learning Center plant trees.

LITTLE WONDERS SHARES THE MESSAGE TO GO GREEN – Children from Little Wonders Learning Center are going green in a big way by planting trees for “Trees Across Sugar Land,” making compost piles, picking up trash for”Texas trash off” and visiting the recycling center to drop off collected items. These inspiring 3- to 5-year-olds have even won art contests using recyclable materials and trash.

After taking a class field trip to see the movie Earth, the children were so inspired they raised enough money to adopt a polar bear family. Their latest project involves helping with the water crisis. They have raised enough money to send one of their own parents to Guatemala to build a well with Living Water International.


LAMAR STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN SUMMER LEADERSHIP ACADEMY – Seven Lamar CISD students spent parts of the summer taking in the sights around Texas and sharpening leadership skills. Jose Hinojosa, Ethan Hoover, Jenna Sweet, Rachel Tankersley, Asia Rios, Jessica Cambric and Taylor Hrachovy all took part in Education in Action’s Lone Star Leadership Academy.

Only 983 outstanding Texas fifth-eighth- grade students from across the state are selected to participate in the Lone Star Leadership Academy programs in Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin or Houston/Galveston. Selection is based on academic success and leadership ability, an educator recommendation and involvement in school/community activities.

Students developed leadership skills while learning about Texas. Participants also visited  historically, politically, scientifically and environmentally significant sites.


Amanda Alcorn

QUAIL VALLEY ELEMENTARY STUDENT COMPETES FOR MISS PRETEEN HOUSTON TITLEAmanda Alcorn, a fifth-grade student at Quail Valley Elementary School, was selected to participate in the 2010 Miss Pre-Teen Houston pageant competition. To qualify, Amanda submitted an application and took part in an interview session.

During the Houston pageant, Amanda competed among young ladies between the ages of 7-19 in modeling routines, which included casual and formal wear. She was also judged on her personality and interviewing skills.

The winner of Miss Pre-Teen Houston pageant will go on to represent Houston and the surrounding communities at the National Competition in Florida.


LITERACY CALENDAR FEATURES ARTWORK OF STUDENTS – To help celebrate the success of Fort Bend ISD’s Reading Recovery and Descubriendo la Lectura Program, the program’s teacher leaders created the FBISD Literacy Calendar 2010-11 that features some of the artwork of actual students who have successfully completed the program.

This year marks the 17th year anniversary for Reading Recovery and the 12th year for Descubriendo la Lectura. Since their existence, the programs have served more than 9,481 first-grade students who had difficulty learning to read and write.

The calendar features 13 student drawings, as well as an overview of the program, testimonials from program participants, and a list of the 2010-11 FBISD campuses, and teachers, that offer the program to


Troop 1631’s newest Eagle Scouts.

NEW EAGLE SCOUTS FROM TROOP 1631 – A joint Eagle Court of Honor was held at First Colony Conference Center for Warren Chan, Daniel Kau, Justin Lam and Oliver Mao for their advancement to the rank of Eagle Scout. The journey began when they joined Boy Scout Troop 1631 in 2004.

For Warren’s service project, he planned and led a crew to lay down several different eco-friendly layers of materials to stabilize part of a rain storm channel leading to Buffalo Bayou for Houston Arboretum.

Daniel designed and built shelves for Fort Bend Chinese Church to help organize music equipment in the back and the lost-and-found behind the reception desk.

For Justin’s Eagle project, he executed a plan to replace the shelving in the Clements orchestra room where violins are stored.

Oliver led a team of Scouts and volunteers from the Houston Chinese Community Center to create and landscape a 135-square-foot flower bed along the property line and laid mulch over the Community Center’s landscaping.


FORT BEND COUNTY FAIR QUEEN – The results for the Fort Bend County Fair Queen competition are: Fair Queen, Marketing Winner – Jackie Snader, Foster FFA; first runner up, Jessica Carabajal; second runner up, Kaylan Millis – George Ranch FFA; third runner up, Kaitlin Hoffman; fourth runner up, Caitlin Herrera; Interview Winner, Ciara Jasso; and Style Show Winner, Caitlin Herrera. The total sales were $171, 092, which is a new record.


Christina Dillon

CLEMENTS STUDENT COMPLETES INTERNSHIP AT NASAChristina Dillon, a student at Clements High School, attended a week-long summer internship at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Nominated by State Rep. Charlie Howard, she was selected as one of 368 high school juniors from across the state to be part of High School Aerospace Scholars. To qualify for the internship, scholars completed 10 web-based assignments during the 2009-10 school year, while maintaining a grade point average of 90.

The internship included working with NASA engineers to design a mission to Mars, a tour of the JSC facilities, and briefings by noted NASA employees — including astronauts. Students concluded the internship by presenting proposals at a closing event to parents, members of the Texas Legislature, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Rotary, NASA and JSC senior management.


FOUR STUDENTS NAMED FOR THE 2011 NATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM – Four students from Fort Bend ISD selected as semifinalists in the 2011 National Achievement Scholarship Program are: Celsea Clark, Demarquin Johnson and Stephanie Ogwo from Hightower High School, and Onyed­ikachi Chi-Ukpai, Kempner High School.

These students represent more than 160,000 African-American high school juniors from all parts of the U.S. who requested consideration in the 2010 National Achievement Program when they took the 2009 PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. They will compete for one of 700 National Achievement $2,500 scholarships, as well as about 100 corporate-sponsored Achievement Scholarship awards. Winners will be announced in early April.


Angela Wang receives a $5,000 U.S. savings bond and the honor of having her artwork displayed on a Coke machine used at her school for one year.

FIRST-PLACE WINNER OF CONTEST NAMED AT AUSTIN HS – Austin High School senior Angela Wang was named first-place winner in the “2010 Art of Harmony – Eco-Project,” sponsored by Coca-Cola and Walmart. She was among more than 1,000 high school students throughout the Greater Houston and southeast Texas areas to participate in the contest.

Participants competed for the opportunity to have their artwork displayed during an Art of Harmony tour, which showcases the artwork of the 12 finalists in public areas such as local libraries, museums, shopping malls and business centers. Angela and another Austin High School student, Angel You, were named finalists in the contest. Contest judges included local artists, art educators, community and business leaders, elected officials and Coca-Cola representatives.


(L-R, back row) Fluor employees Cynthia von Tesmar and Richard Meserole; with (front row) Chaianne Bee, Pink Elementary Principal Chandra Woods, Common Threads Coordinator Jill Duban and Breanna Castillo.

PINK ELEMENTARY BENEFITS FROM DONATION – The employees of Fluor made an $8,100 donation to Lamar CISD’s Common Threads Program that will be used for the students at Pink Elementary in Richmond.

“It’s been a tough year for a lot of families,” said Jill Duban, Common Threads coordinator. “This money will help many students with the basics needed for education including glue sticks, crayons, notebooks and backpacks.”


Ashley Coyle accepts an award last year from The Daughters of the American Revolution with Irene Barr, assistant principal of Foster High School.

FOSTER HS GRADUATE NOMINATED FOR SCHOLARSHIPAshley Coyle, a student at Baylor University and 2010 graduate of Foster High School, has been nominated by the Honorable Texas State Rep. Dora Olivo for the Texas Armed Services Scholarship for her participation in the ROTC program at Baylor University. She could receive up to $10,000.

To remain eligible she must participate in the ROTC program at college and remain in good standing during her four years at Baylor and serve four years in any military branch.

Ashley served as commander of the Foster Air Force Junior ROTC during her senior year. She is currently in the pre-nursing program and enrolled concurrently with the Air Force ROTC program.


(L-R) Quinten Davis with Neil Dougherty, iHoops director of athlete and coach programs.

CROCKETT STUDENT ADVANCES TO NATIONAL FINALS OF 2010 IHOOPS SKILLS ChallengeQuinten Davis, a student at Crockett Middle School, was one of 18 regional winners to advance to the 2010 iHoops Skills Challenge National Finals. Sponsored by iHoops, the youth basketball initiative of the NCAA and NBA, the skills challenge is a free nationwide basketball program for boys and girls ages 9 to 14. Finalists were determined following regional competitions in 29 NBA team markets, where winners’ times were compared nationally to determine the top 3 in each gender and age group.


Taylor Cobb is the 2010 Houston Area 5A Batting Champion.

JUNIOR BASEBALL STAR AT AUSTIN HS – Taylor Cobb, a junior at Austin High School, was named the 2010 Houston Area 5A Batting Champion based on his athletic performance this past season. Taylor helped lead the Austin Bulldogs to the playoffs with a .562 batting average on 105 times at bat and 43 RBI’s. The Bulldogs made school history with their victory over Baytown Lee, earning them the Area Championship title. Early last season, Taylor received a nomination for Athlete of the Week from the Houston Chronicle.


Junior Majestic team from Dance Works

DANCE WORKS STUDIO JUNIOR TEAM WINS NATIONALS – The Junior Majestic competitive team from Dance Works won top honors at contest and earned the title of National Champions for 2010. The Juniors competed in hip hop, jazz, pom and production.


New Territory Torpedoes Swim Team College Scholarship sponsor Loren Gulledge of Gulledge Insurance Agency awards team scholarships to Azeem Abdullah, James Bernard, Paul Bernard, Brian Lisco and Lucas Poliak.

NEW TERRITORY TORPEDOES AWARD SCHOLARSHIPS – The New Territory Torpedoes Swim Team awarded tuition scholarships to New Territory residents Azeem Abdullah, James Bernard, Paul Bernard, Brian Lisco and Lucas Poliak, continuing the team’s tradition of awarding a college tuition scholarship to swimmers who are active team members throughout high school.

The goal of the Torpedoes Scholarship program is to encourage older swimmers to continue with the team throughout high school, providing younger team members with positive role models and the encouragement to continue swimming competitively after entering high school.

Gulledge Insurance and St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital underwrote the Torpedoes scholarship program this year. “Keeping our older swimmers around to mentor and coach our younger swimmers is a huge benefit, and we are glad to reward their dedication by supporting their journey into higher education,” said Loren Gulledge, owner of Gulledge Insurance.


Andrew and Brandon Walquist earn the Eagle Scout rank.

WALQUIST TWINS HONORED AT EAGLE SCOUT COURT OF HONOR – Twin brothers Andrew and Brandon Walquist with Boy Scout Troop 1656 were honored in a special Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony. Chase Adams was the master of ceremonies. The court opened with a welcome and prayer by Al Williams. Russell Harrison led the presentation and retirement of colors. The Color Guard consisted of Bradley Cox, Clayton Coyle, Robert Garza and Taran Garza. Richard Harrison, former Scoutmaster, led the Scout Law Candle Lighting Ceremony with the help of Christopher Byrd. Asst. Scoutmaster Roland Garza followed with “The Trail to Eagle” assisted by Reid Williams. Darrin Hammons presented congratulation letters from numerous dignitaries. Gus Evans then spoke of her memories of Andrew and Brandon over the years. Chris Adams, current Scoutmaster, read “I Am the Eagle” and Curt Johnson, former Scoutmaster, presented the “Eagle Challenge and Charge.” The Benediction was given by Al Williams and was followed by a reception.

Brandon’s Eagle Scout project consisted of coordinating and managing the planting of a unique variety of trees at Joy Lutheran Church and installing an irrigation system. Andrew enhanced the current landscaping and beautified an area for the Administration Building at First United Methodist Church in Rosenberg.

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