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

Award recipient Gabrielle Le (left) with Elkins Principal Deidra Lyons-Lewis.

Award recipient Gabrielle Le (left) with Elkins Principal Deidra Lyons-Lewis.


Each year, the Vietnamese Culture and Science Association honors outstanding high school students during its Youth Excellence Recognition Luncheon. The honorees are Houston-area, Vietnamese-American high school graduates who were either valedictorians or salutatorians of their respective schools. Among this year’s honorees was Elkins High School’s 2017 Salutatorian, Gabrielle Le.

Le is a 2017 National Merit Scholarship Finalist, a National AP Scholar and a four-time Academic Excellence award winner (2014-2017). She was also named Sugar Land Exchange Club’s Youth of the Month and received awards in the 2017 Academic Decathlon (Medalist in Essay, Interview, Language/Literature and Art) and 2017 UIL Academics (1st place in Spelling and 4th place in Literary Criticism). Her career goal is to become a medical doctor.

Elkins High School Principal Deidra Lyons-Lewis and AP Physics teacher, Dr. Anthony Lau, accompanied Le to the awards luncheon on Aug. 6.



Fort Bend ISD plans to re-open Willowridge High School when students return from Winter Break in January. Mold remediation efforts that began this summer only encountered minor delays due to Hurricane Harvey, but crews have now determined that additional HVAC work is also needed, changing the original scope of work.

Earlier in September, crews completed the mold-remediation process and work is now underway to replace the flooring, ceiling tiles and drywall. Following the remediation work, a contractor conducted an inspection on the HVAC system to determine what may have contributed to the increased humidity over the summer when the mold growth began. During this inspection, they found that the chillers were not functioning at full capacity, and at least three need to be replaced. Given the extent of the work that is needed, and the slight delay during Hurricane Harvey, the completion timeframe also changed.

“I am disappointed that the reopening of Willowridge will be delayed, but I am excited about the improvements our students and staff will enjoy when they return,” said Dr. Charles Dupre, Fort Bend ISD Superintendent of Schools. “The exterior of the building and its floor plan will remain the same, but after all the work is complete and the school re-opens, the campus will have new flooring, paint, furniture and an HVAC system. I truly value the community’s support during this process, and believe that the end result will be worth the wait.”

To celebrate the re-opening of the school and to say “thank you” to the community for their ongoing support, District and school administrators will plan a community ribbon-cutting ceremony that will feature the Mighty Eagle Band, cheerleaders, dance team and more.



Fort Bend ISD is proud to announce that 63 seniors are Semifinalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholar­ship Program, sponsored by the National Merit Scho­larship Corporation (NMSC). The FBISD students are among approximately 16,000 Semifinalists named in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program, based on their junior year performance on the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualify­ing Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which is an initial screen 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.

FBISD’s 2018 National Merit Scholarship Semifin­alists include: Kadriye Almus (Dulles), Sara Armen­dariz (Dulles), Nishant Aranke (Clements), Ryan Bethke (Austin), Nikitha Bhavani (Dulles), Angela Chang (Clements), Anthony Chang (Clem­ents), Muskaan Chaturvedi (Clements), Eric Chen (Clements), Matthew Chen (Clements), Elsbeth Chow (Dulles), Isha Dhawan (Clements), Palak Diwanji (Dulles), Ruchika Dongre (Clements), Swetha Gangu (Clements), Nikhil Gattu (Dulles), Mahija Ginjupalli (Clements), Indhusri Gunda (Clements), Alicia Guo (Clements), Stephanie Guo (Clements), Brenner Hohl (Clements), Alice Hu (Dulles), Jason Huang (Clements), Christina Ji, (Austin), Amsal Kassam (Dulles), Victor Li (Austin), Drake Liang (Clements), Candice Ma (Dulles), Jaanita Mehrani (Dulles), Kenneth Mitra (Dul­les), Zamann Momin (Travis), Swara Mukkamala (Dulles), Brittany Nguyen (Dulles), Star Ni (Dul­les), Lakshmi Paluri (Austin), Amy Patel (Austin), Keshav Ram (Clements), Elizabeth Roberts (Clem­ents), Abigail Sackett (Dulles), Suravi Sarkar (Hightower), Sahil Shah (Elkins), Ashish Singh (Elkins), Daniel Tan (Austin), Shreya Thipi­reddy (Dulles), Andy Sang Trinh (Austin), Tejas Tuppera (Dulles), Brandon Wang (Clements), Faye Wang (Clements), Nicole Wang (Clements), Warren Wang (Clements), Andrew Xu (Clements), Rena Yan (Clements), Sally Yan (Clements), Renee Yu (Hightower), Henry Zhang (Elkins), Jeffrey Zhang (Dulles), Jenny Zhang (Clements), Michael Zhang (Clements), Stephen Zheng (Clements), Erika Zhou (Clements), Joy Zhu (Clements), Mich­elle Zhu (Clements) and Alisha Zute (Elkins).

Approximately 90 percent of the Semifinalists will advance as Finalists to compete for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million to be offered next spring. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. Finalists will learn of their designation in February.

Learn more at nationalmerit.org.



Taylor Bannister


After helping lead the Louisiana State University volleyball offense over the weekend of Sept. 9, outside hitter/middle blocker Taylor Bannister was named the SEC Freshman of the Week by the conference office on Sept. 11.

“Taylor had an outstanding weekend and we are certainly proud of her,” said head coach Fran Flory. “Ultimately, the team created this. A lot of credit needs to go Anna Zwiebel with how she created for her. She certainly overcame a game plan in all matches of trying to stop her and she was still able to be successful. This is a little glimpse of what is to come for her.”

Bannister, one of the top players out of Fort Bend Christian Academy and Texas Premier Volleyball club, becomes the first LSU Tiger to earn Freshman of the Week honors since 2014 and the first weekly league honor since the 2015 season. For the Tigers, this is the first weekly SEC honor of the season.

The 6’5” freshman put together strong numbers over the weekend, with a team-high hitting percentage of .534. She committed just seven errors on 94 total attempts and registered a total of 58 kills in the three matches. She finished with 10-plus kills in all three matches, including a season-high of 26 in 3-2 win over High Point. In that match, she committed just three errors and had a .605 hitting percentage.

Against LIU Brooklyn on Saturday, Bannister put together a match-high 14 kills to lead the Tigers to a 3-0 sweep of the Blackbirds. She did not have an attacking error which led to a match-high .667 hitting mark. Against a tough UNC squad on Sunday, Bannister finished with a team-high 18 kills and a .400 hitting mark. She finished with a total of nine blocks on the weekend

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