Fort Bend & Sugar Land Schools, Sports, and Students
GEORGE RANCH HS STUDENT IS
“PERFECTO” ON AP EXAM
Advanced Placement (AP) courses are designed to give high school students credit for doing college-level work. A score of 5 on an AP exam is equivalent to an A in college.
In May 2014, at the end of his junior year, George Ranch High School’s Josuee Gonzalez earned a 5 in AP Spanish Language and Culture. Josuee, now a George Ranch senior, not only received the top score, but was one of only 91 students in the world to earn every point possible on the AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam, answering every multiple-choice question correctly and earning full points on the free-response section of the exam.
Maria Kennett is the AP Spanish Language and Culture teacher at George Ranch High.
TEN FORT BEND ISD STUDENTS QUALIFY FOR USA PHYSICS OLYMPIAD EXAM
Ten Fort Bend ISD students, representing Clements and Dulles High Schools, have qualified to take the USA Physics Olympiad Exam. They are among approximately 400 students to advance to the competition after scoring high on the “F=ma” exam in January.
Advancing to the USA Physics Olympiad Exam Competition are: Clements High School – Hans Li, Wilbur Li, Jeffrey Zhang and Fan Zhou (Teacher: Mark Kinsey).
Dulles High School Math and Science Academy – Shreyas Balaji, Brian Bell, Siddarth Guha, Rahul Kilambi, Rishiprotim Nag and Rahul Nagvekar (Teacher: Judy Matney).
Sponsored by the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Institute of Physics, the USA Physics Olympiad Exam is offered each year to high school students interested in representing the U.S. at the International Physics Olympiad Competition. The exam is the basis for selection of the 20 members who will form the U.S. Physics Olympiad Team.
Students selected for the team will travel to the University of Maryland-College Park in May for the annual U.S. Physics Team Training Camp, which offers 10 days of intense studying, testing and problem solving. At the conclusion of the training camp, five students will be selected for the “Traveling Team.” Those students will return for three additional days of intense laboratory work before competing in the International Event, a nine-day competition that welcomes pre-university students from more than 60 nations. This year’s international competition will be held in Mumbai, India from July 5-12.
Throughout the history of the program, the U.S. team has performed extremely well in the International event. From 1986 to 2014, the U.S. Teams have brought home 52 gold medals, 37 silver medals, 29 bronze medals and 11 honorable mention awards.
The Apex Senior Gold cheerleaders celebrate a national championship in Dallas.
APEX SENIOR GOLD TAKES NCA CHAMPIONSHIP
The Fort Bend students in Apex Senior Gold brought home the National Cheerleaders Association All Star National Championship Trophy during the competition Feb. 27-March 1 in Dallas.
The Apex Coaches are Jesse Guajardo, Anita Smith, Hugh Pierce, and Eric Howze. The athletes are Jade Weston, Audrey Hermes, Lara Dixon, Jasmine Banks, Elli Gallegos, Erica Hray, Caitlin Cashiola, Payton Mills, Lauren Pierson, Claire Mullings,Morgan Morel, Rickelle Henderson, Addie Schulte, Sofia Giordano, Paige Heitkamp, Brynne Jacobs, Peyton Hanna, Elena de la Mora, Allison Evans, Taylan Eisemann, Marlie Armatta, and Renee Noce.
NCA All-Stars Nationals is one of the largest and most prestigious competitions in the country. Winning a national title at NCA is highly regarded in the cheerleading community. Apex Senior Gold will go on to compete with the very best teams at The Summit-All Star Cheerleading Championships May 1-3 in Orlando, Fla..
DISABILITY NOT AN ISSUE FOR ELKINS HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR FABIAN ROMO
Fabian Romo is an inspiration to people of all ages. Although he must use a wheelchair as the result of a congenital defect that led to the amputation of his left leg, he is enjoying life to the fullest and pursuing his lifelong dream of playing college basketball. The Elkins High School senior recently signed a Letter of Intent to play collegiate level basketball for the University of Texas-Arlington’s Movin’ Mavs wheelchair basketball team.
“This is something I’ve been dreaming about for a long time,” said Romo. “I can’t wait to see what this opportunity brings me.”
“We are excited to welcome Fabian to the UT family,” said Doug Garner, University of Texas-Arlington Basketball Coach. “It takes courage to reach his level. We are proud to have him represent us on and off the court.”
Romo discovered wheelchair basketball three years ago as a member of the TIRR Memorial Hermann Junior Hotwheels team. His athletic skills helped the team win a National Championship his sophomore year and also earned him recognition as the “1st Team All-Tournament Male.”
“I would not have found out about the basketball team had it not been for TIRR Memorial Hermann and Shriners Hospital,” Romo admitted. “They made my basketball experience a happy one, and I thank them for bringing me into the program.”
“Fabian was one of the hardest-working students on our team,” said Trice Ham, TIRR Head Coach. “In the three years that I have coached him, he has never once made excuses for himself.”
Prior to his disorder, Romo was an active child who loved sports. After his amputation, he found it difficult to keep up with other children because of his prosthetic, but didn’t let that stop him. He found ways to play the sports he loved from his wheelchair.
“Every day is a challenge for Fabian,” shared his mom, Silvia Romo. “We have worked hard to keep him mentally and physically strong, and he has made our whole family stronger by helping us see life through his eyes.”
Romo encourages others with disabilities to pursue their goals and dreams as well. “Don’t let yourself down,” he said. “Tell yourself that you can and will achieve whatever you set out to do.” While enrolled at the University of Texas-Arlington, Romo will study Bio-Medical Engineering.
FORT BEND ISD ANNOUNCES ITS 2015 TEACHERS OF THE YEAR
Fort Bend ISD congratulates the outstanding educators who were named 2015 FBISD Teacher of the Year Finalists for Elementary and Secondary Teacher of the Year. The Elementary and Secondary Teacher of the Year Judging Committees met to review all campus entries and select 10 District finalists. The finalists and the Campus Teachers of the Year, represent the best in teaching.
Following are the 2015 FBISD Teacher of the Year Finalists and their campuses.
Secondary Finalists: Dr. Pampa Dutta – Ridge Point High School; Deborah Hansen – Sartartia Middle School; Jennifer Harper – Hightower High School; Rontreall Jedkins – Progressive High School; Stacy Vinson – Baines Middle School.
Elementary Finalists: Melissa Alderfer – Mission Bend; Sarah Erschabek – Austin Parkway; Kimberly Harrington – Schiff; Melanie Hines – Oyster Creek; Margaret Murphy – Cornerstone.
Additionally, Fort Bend ISD’s Elementary and Secondary Teacher of the Year Judging Committees select six District Rookie Teachers of the Year. The honorees are first-year teachers who are making a positive difference in the classroom.
FBISD’s 2015 District Rookie Teachers of the Year are:
Elementary – Bianca De La Vega – Holley Elementary; Evelyn Shyu – Schiff Elementary; Kimlien Vo – Townewest Elementary.
Secondary – Bradley Benefield – Travis High School; Vicky Carty – Sartartia Middle School; Juan-Francisco Diaz – Austin High School.
The District Rookies of the Year will be honored, along with the Teacher of the Year Finalists and Campus Teachers of the Year, at the annual awards banquet on April 23.
SENATOR RODNEY ELLIS CONGRATULATES RIDGE POINT HS STUDENT ON MERIT BADGE
Keith Baker II, an Eagle Scout with Houston Troop 212 and a junior at Ridge Point High School, recently completed his final merit badge in cycling. He was required to cycle 50 miles in eight hours. He admits it was a grueling task, but well worth the effort. He credits his school football and track coaches for preparing him for the event by keeping him in good physical condition on the football field and track.
In honor of his accomplishment, Texas Senator Rodney Ellis congratulated Keith and invited him to visit his Houston office. Keith was honored to spend time with the senator and see a legislator in action.
ARIC BOSTICK ENCOURAGES FORT BEND ISD EIGHTH GRADERS TO BE A “HERO ON DUTY”
Fort Bend ISD’s PAL (Peer Assistance and Leadership) sponsors welcomed approximately 300 eighth-grade students to the District’s annual Middle School PAL Conference, led by motivational speaker and success trainer Aric Bostick. With assistance from high school PAL students and members of the District Student Advisory Committee, Bostick delivered his high-energy leadership seminar with the purpose of teaching each participant how to become a “HERO on Duty.”
Bostick engaged the students in various group discussions and activities to help unlock their leadership potential while promoting team building. “Today is about walking the talk,” said Bostick. “If you’re a leader and no one is following you, then you’re just a dude taking a walk.”
During one activity, the students were asked to partner with someone who was opposite in appearance (boy/girl, short/tall, black/white) and share details about themselves to reveal commonalities and appreciate their differences.
During another activity, the students formed a circle and stepped forward whenever they could relate to a question Bostick presented, such as “How many of you know someone who has been bullied or witnessed someone being bullied and did nothing to prevent it?” and “Who knows someone who has considered suicide?” The activity helped the students realize that they are not unique to any situation.
“As PAL leaders, you’re in a position to do something, protect someone or to stop an incident from happening,” said Bostick.
GRHS STUDENTS VISIT NATION’S CAPITAL
Thirteen George Ranch High School students and their teacher visited Washington, D.C. Feb. 1-6, meeting elected officials and learning the responsibilities of being an American. “This is the first of hopefully many great experiences for our students,” said Adalia Davis, a geography and history teacher at the school.
The trip was made through the Close Up Foundation, a group that is dedicated to empowering students to be responsible citizens in a democracy. Students spent the week participating in workshops, simulations, attending sessions in both Houses of Congress and visiting the White House and other monuments in the District of Columbia.
Close Up program students spend a day on Capitol Hill and one of the highlights for the students was attending a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The hearing focused on ending modern slavery/human trafficking.
U.S. Rep. Pete Olsen met with the group between votes, and Davis and her students also participated in a panel discussion with staff members of U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn.
CHRIS YEAGER ACHIEVES OLYMPIC TRIAL TIME
New Territory resident Chris Yeager achieved his first Olympic Trial time at the Austin Grand Prix swm meet held Jan. 14 -17. Chris swam his mile placing 4th overall and lowering his time of 15:58.74 to an Olympic Qualifying time of 15:42.98. Chris is a senior swimmer with the First Colony Swim Team (FCST).
KHOU’S SURPRISE SQUAD VISITS PINK ELEMENTARY TEACHER
When you have been a kindergarten teacher for most of your adult life, you would think not much is left that can surprise you. But the KHOU Surprise Squad definitely did.
KHOU reporter Mia Gradney and meteorologist Chita Johnson surprised Pink Elementary kindergarten teacher Charlotte McClaney in her classroom, letting her know her good works have not gone unnoticed. The media stars not only brought a gift pack from Houston’s Hotel ZaZa for McClaney, but gifts for all of her students.
It is gifts for students that earned the visit to her Richmond classroom. “At Christmas, she found organizations willing to donate bicycles for all of her students,” said Pink Elementary Principal Chandra Woods. “When she didn’t get all of the bikes needed, she purchased the rest.” The students were invited to her home and they enjoyed an awesome party and received their bikes.
“This is just one example of the many ways Ms. McClaney goes above and beyond to serve her students and their families,” Woods said. “When I think of the work that Ms. McClaney is able to accomplish with her students it reminds me of the words, ‘if you have a child’s heart, you have his head.’”
“I had no idea,” McClaney said about the visit. “I was totally shocked.” She said that she can’t think of anything in the world she’d rather do than teach kindergarten. “Looking into those smiling faces makes my day, every day,” she said. “Maybe that’s why I have
FOSTER CULINARY TEAM ADVANCES TO STATE COMPETITION
Foster High School’s Culinary Arts team finished second at the Texas Regional ProStart Invitational, Feb. 20-21. The team of Victoria Castro, Dalilah Garza, Adrianna LaMothe, Baron Scott and Dalia Wehbi competed against 22 other culinary teams, with the top six teams advancing to the State Competition, March 26-28, in Waco. Jocelyn Aventurado is the Culinary Arts teacher at Foster.
STUDENT LEADERSHIP 102 PROGRAM COHORTS HONORED AT AWARDS LUNCHEON
Members of Fort Bend ISD’s Student Leadership 102 Program were honored at an awards luncheon hosted by FBISD’s Board of Trustees in recognition of their efforts in community service and participation in the leadership program. The event gives the students an opportunity to interact with district and school administrators to receive advice on attending college and pursuing careers, and to share their plans for the future.
Once accepted into the Student Leadership 101 Program as juniors, they commit to a year of community service during their senior year of high school. This year, the seniors have spent the year volunteering with Fort Bend Rainbow Room, Fort Bend Cares and other charitable groups.
Cohort members of FBISD’s Student Leadership 102 include: Austin High School – Yuthika Gundamaraju, Chasity Henry, Antony Samuel; Bush High School – Zachary Person, Kymberli Russo, Ciara Thompson; Clements High School – Uddav Marwaha, Shelby Stone, Marina Tan; Dulles High School – Elena Dang, Michelle Huang, Sharon Liu; Elkins High School – Aadithya Srivatsav, Jonathan Winfiele, Kevin Zhang; Hightower High School – Renaja Burns, Tim Chou, Tasneed Shaik; Kempner High School – Nicholas Anderson, Kathrin James, Brian Thorpe; Marshall High School – Breona Autry, Samuel Awolope, Marqua Luckey; Ridge Point High School – Hudson Blom, Joshua Mack, Cherie Vu; Travis High School – Paulina Agyei, Fahad Noormohammed, Sean Saldanha; and Willowridge High School – Brittani Collins, Natalia Francis, Britany King.
Joining the cohorts and Board members at the luncheon were program facilitators, high school principals, and members of the District’s Executive Team. Program Facilitator Lynda Ruther welcomed guests and thanked them for playing an important role in making the leadership program possible.
Board President Grayle James recognized guests and commended the students on their efforts. “We are proud of you and the great job you’ve done as members of the leadership program,” said James. “We encourage you to take the tools you’ve received and keep at it as you move to the next chapter of your lives.”
Dr. Charles Dupre, Superintendent of Schools, served as keynote speaker for the event. He reminded guests of the significance of the student leadership program, saying, “The program gives students an opportunity to learn about things they won’t experience in the classroom.”
CLEMENTS SENIOR JONATHAN DREWES ENDS HIGH SCHOOL SWIM CAREER WITH A BANG
Recently at the Texas State Swimming Championship, Clements High School senior Jonathan Drewes finished second in the 50 freestyle with 20:51, met the automatic All-American time standard and went the 18th fastest time in Texas high school history. He also finished second in the 100 freestyle with 45:11, met that automatic All-American time standard and went the 26th fastest time in Texas high school history for the 100. With his 200 free relay consisting of Colin Crow, Alex Nork, Colin Walton, Drewes finished in second place, met the automatic All-American time standard and went the 8th fastest time in Texas high school history. Additionally, Drewes was MVP from the district and regional meet .
JANOFF SIBLINGS EXCEL
Sam Janoff is a senior at Ridge Point High School. He has been a member of Boy Scout Troop 1852 in Missouri City since 2008. His current Scout Master is Jeff Kesler.
Sam attended Palmer Elementary, so for his scout project, he went to Palmer’s principal, Jamie Geis, and asked her if there were any projects she would like to have done. They decided to paint a large mural of the United States on the outdoor hard surface/basketball court. The mural will be enjoyed by the students at Palmer Elementary for a long time to come.
Sam has earned many merit badges during his time in Troop 1852. He has attended several High Adventure Camps, including Sea Base in Florida and Philmont Scouting Ranch. Sam received the Lord Baden-Powell Award for Scouting Excellence and was elected by his troop to the Order of the Arrow. Sam’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor took place Feb. 22.
In addition, Emily Janoff, Sam’s older sister was named to the President’s List at University of North Texas for earning a perfect GPA of 4.0 for the Fall 2014 semester. Emily is a member of the Class of 2013, the first graduating class from Ridge Point High School. She is currently a student at UNT’s College of Visual Arts and Design.
FORT BEND ISD STUDENTS CELEBRATE 100TH DAY OF SCHOOL WITH VARIOUS FUN ACTIVITIES
To mark the 100th Day of School in Fort Bend ISD, elementary school students took part in several fun activities, celebrating the occasion with their schoolmates, parents, and faculty and staff. Students dressed as 100-year-olds, took part in campus parades, decorated t-shirts with 100 items for school fashion shows, created personalized “I am 100 Days Smarter” hats, used 100 cereal pieces to frame math models and more.
Following are photos of 100th Day of School celebrations at Brazos Bend, Highlands, Pecan Grove and Townewest Elementary Schools.
FLEMING ES SHIMMERING STARS LEARN CHARACTER BUILDING
Empowering young girls to live confident, healthy lifestyles is the focus of Fleming Elementary School’s Shimmering Stars Girls Club that has attracted more than 50 fourth and fifth-grade girls this year. The club meets monthly to take part in team-building and sporting activities, speaker presentations, and other motivational events.
During their first meeting, club members met on the school grounds for a friendly game of kickball, where they learned to relate aspects of the game (such as respect, teamwork, and confidence) to other areas of their lives. “We used the game as a teachable moment to show the girls how components of sports can relate to real life as well,” said Danielle Moss, Girls Club Sponsor.
Club sponsors also arranged a Character Boot Camp for the girls that taught the importance of character development as it relates to being successful in life. The students rotated through various interactive stations where they received positive affirmations and advice from influential school leaders, viewed photos of famous female role models and received handouts on goal setting, positive character traits and making healthy choices. Among the various presenters were teachers Christine Keller and Kelli Brug, counselor Surita Scholla and nurse Shumaila Ali.
“The girls club has been an important part of Fleming Elementary School since 2007,” added Moss. “Each year we present events that focus on three traits – philanthropy, appreciation of culture and empowerment.”
During the most recent club meeting, the Shimmering Stars learned how to create a healing place in their homes after hearing from guest speaker Kendall Plank of Dec My Room. Plank shared how her charity organization works to lift the spirits of hospital-bound children by decorating their hospital rooms. To help with their cause, the Girls Club donated $300 to Dec My Room to fund a personalized children’s room at one of the organization’s partnering hospitals, such as Texas Children’s Hospital, M.D. Anderson and others.
Fort Bend & Sugar Land Schools, Sports, and Students