CY-FAIR, CYPRESS RANCH STUDENTS WIN AWARDS AT TAFE CONFERENCE
Students from Cy-Fair and Cypress Ranch High Schools brought home several state awards from the Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE) Teach Tomorrow Summit, held Jan. 30-Feb. 1 at the University of Houston.
The 2016 summit, with the theme “Find the Treasure in Teaching,” was held over four days and included breakout sessions, national guest speakers, competitive events and testing.
Cy-Fair sent 23 students to the competition who won 10 state placements. Some students earned multiple state awards in categories including Teacher Created Materials, Professional Portfolios, Project Visualize and the Education Learning and Fundamentals (ELF) exam.
“All students in attendance gained valuable experience and represented CFISD very well,” said Sue Silhanek, Cy-Fair education and training department instructor.
Cypress Ranch’s 13 students in attendance competed in nine events. Two students earned silver medals for their ELF tests, and Cypress Ranch was nominated as the Region 4 Vice President school.
Student Zoe Miller won a blue ribbon in Teacher Created Materials and Araceli De Los Reyes, Taylor Seibel, Kayleigh Buckley and Sam Badeaux won blue ribbons for Chapter Scrapbook.
BLACK ES STUDENTS COMMEMORATE FUNDRAISING MILESTONE WITH BANNER
Black Elementary School students and staff celebrated a successful Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) fundraising campaign by hanging a banner in the school gymnasium recognizing more than $26,000 donated to the cause in 2015.
The students generated $26,200 in donations from the school’s JDRF Walk to a Cure on April 24 to fund promising, life-changing Type 1 Diabetes research. Students presented the check to JDRF representatives on May 14, and capped the 2014-2015 school year with a May 22 celebration for multiple-year fundraising efforts. Students at Black Elementary have generated more than $80,000 in funds for the JDRF in five years of participation. Black Elementary’s 2016 JDRF activities will kick off with the JDRF Walk to a Cure on April 8.
LANGHAM CREEK STUDENT WINS PRESIDENT’S VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD
Langham Creek High School sophomore Cristian Garay has been honored for his exemplary volunteer service with a President’s Volunteer Service Award.
The award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country, was granted by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of President Barack Obama. Langham Creek High School nominated Cristian for national honors this fall in recognition of his volunteer service.
Garay has volunteered for many school and community organizations including the Houston Food Bank and the Houston Livestock and Rodeo.
“When I give to the community, I feel a sense of accomplishment. In this relation, I’m not only giving to the community, I’m also giving to myself,” Garay said.
Langham Creek Principal David Hughes credited Garay for always having a smile on his face.
“Cristian is a fine young man. He naturally wants to help others and make other people feel good. Helping others brings him great satisfaction,” he said.
DISTRICT WRESTLERS IMPRESS IN FIRST STATE TOURNAMENT AT BERRY CENTER
Two girls’ wrestling teams placed among the top five and one wrestler clinched a state championship in the UIL Wrestling State Tournament, held for the first time at CFISD’s Berry Center, Feb. 19-20.
The Langham Creek High School girls placed third overall with 69 points behind winner Cinco Ranch (87) and runner-up Amarillo Tascosa (71). The Lobos were led by senior Kristyn Granat’s second-place finish in the 185 division, senior Rachel Doolittle’s third-place finish in the 215 division and senior Alexa Garcia’s fourth-place finish in the 102 division.
“Going into state, we weren’t even really focused on team scores,” said Jason Trahan, Langham Creek head wrestling coach. “We just wanted each girl to wrestle as best as they could. For the team score not to be the focus and to come out with a third-place finish in state, obviously that’s very special. Having two teams from this district in the top four in state shows that we definitely have one of best districts in the state.”
The Cypress Falls High School girls placed fourth with 58 points. The Eagles had a fifth-place finish from junior Kayla Concepción in the 119 division, a third-place finish from sophomore Augustina Ijoma in the 165 division and a state championship from senior Allissa Maldonado in the 102 division.
Maldonado, who placed third in the state as a junior, went undefeated in her senior season and pinned every opponent at state on the way to the title.
“This is a pretty big deal,” Maldonado said. “My whole goal throughout the tournament was to just keep scoring and have my offense on. My plan wasn’t to pin them, but I took advantage of those situations when they came. [Being at the Berry Center] I felt like I had the ‘H’ on my back and I was representing Houston. I felt proud.”
Cypress Falls Head Coach James Miller said he was proud of Maldonado and the entire girls’ team.
“Allissa has put in the time and the hard work and she really deserves it,” he said. “We brought three girls to state and all three placed. They wrestled great. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
The following girls’ wrestlers placed among the top six in the state: Allissa Maldonado, Cypress Falls – first place, 102 pounds; Kristyn Granat, Langham Creek – second place, 185 pounds; Jennifer Landaverde, Jersey Village – third place, 138 pounds; Augustina Ijoma, Cypress Falls – third place, 165 pounds; Rachel Doolittle, Langham Creek – third place, 215 pounds; Alexa Garcia, Langham Creek – fourth place, 102 pounds; Kaitlyn Banas, Cypress Ranch – fifth place, 95 pounds; Kayla Concepción, Cypress Falls – fifth place, 119 pounds; Esthela Trevino, Cypress Ridge – sixth place, 95 pounds; and Cecilia Ramos, Cypress Ranch – sixth place, 110 pounds.
YMPA/YLPA/HOLA LEADERS DONATE WATER TO FLINT AT ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Approximately 550 CFISD student members of the Young Men for Positive Action (YMPA), Young Ladies for Positive Action (YLPA) and Hispanic Organization for Leaders of America (HOLA) used their Annual Leadership Conference on Feb. 13 as an opportunity to give back. Amid a day of engaging educational sessions at the Berry Center, the session “#FlintMatters” was a collaborative community service project in which members of all three groups donated water bottles for residents in Flint, Mich. The city’s water supply has faced a lead contamination crisis that began in April 2014.
The donated water filled a 17-foot truck and was delivered to the Houston Food Bank, which will transport the water to Flint. According to Houston Food Bank volunteer production lead Kimberli Wright, the total donations amounted to 6,065 pounds of water.
DISTRICT RECOGNIZES CY-FAIR’S ROUBIQUE FOR 600 CAREER VICTORIES
Cy-Fair High School head girls’ basketball coach Ann Roubique was honored for achieving the 600-career-win milestone prior to the Lady Bobcat’s District 17-6A matchup against Langham Creek High School on Jan. 29 at Cy-Fair High School.
Roubique earned career victory No. 600 on Jan. 8 as the Lady Bobcats defeated Cypress Lakes High School, 64-44. She was recognized on Jan. 29 as CFISD director of athletics Ed Warken and associate athletic director Sharon Farrah presented Roubique with a commemorative 600-win plaque.
“I’ve been around many young ladies who have put their uniform on every single day and dedicated themselves to me, the school and the Bobcat program. It’s meant everything to me,” Roubique said after her team completed a 69-56 win over Langham Creek. “The coaching staff I’ve been surrounded by all these years has everything to do with it. This is one of those ‘we’ awards, those ‘us’ awards.”
Roubique has clinched two state championships, made four state tournament appearances and 10 regional tournament appearances. She has led the Lady Bobcats to nine district championships and has been named Coach of the Year by both the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches and Texas Girls Coaches Association. Most recently Roubique and Cypress Woods Head Coach Virginia Flores were named Co-Coaches of the Year for District 17-6A.
Roubique has coached 15 NCAA Division I players and three future WNBA No. 1 draft picks. She was a two-sport standout in basketball and softball at McNeese State University, where she was inducted into the McNeese Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001.
“She’s a legend,” said Cypress Woods High School girls’ basketball coach Virginia Flores, who served as Roubique’s assistant from 1999-2002. “She would never say that because she’s a humble person. The 600 wins are a testament to her tenacity and her spirit. She’s put Cy-Fair ISD on the map for girls’ basketball.”
Roubique is also an effective leader off the court. She was named the Spotlight Teacher for Cy-Fair High School in 2012.
“Out of 240 staff members we put her up on the pedestal and said this is how we want all our teachers to act and treat kids and honor the profession,” said Michael Smith, Cy-Fair principal. “She works in our adaptive PE program with LIFE Skills students and is very positive. She has high expectations but a kind heart that helps people reach those expectations. Her athletes work hard to please her. We’ve had great athletes but they come and go. Programs maintain consistency, and she’s been that consistent factor.”
ABC 13 ANCHOR, CFISD GRAD GIVES TIPS TO STUDENT MEDIA MEMBERS
ABC Channel 13 anchor and reporter Natasha Barrett, a 1996 graduate of Cypress Falls High School, returned to her alma mater on Jan. 20 to speak to student journalists from throughout the district during the high school press conference.
Barrett reminisced on her teenage years while sharing experiences from her career as a journalist. Joking about racing the tardy bell each morning and explaining how her high school drill team prepared her for life, Barrett gave advice and insight to the aspiring journalists as they asked questions regarding her upbringing, schooling and everyday life as a successful reporter.
Barrett, who stepped foot on campus for the first time since graduating 20 years ago, shared that she was an officer on the Sky Dancers drill team. She still views her first drill team instructor, retired Wilson Elementary School principal Pam Link, as one of the most influential people in her life. Barrett said the drill team taught her to be held to a standard of discipline, which then prepared for her career.
“That really changed me moving forward,” she said. “You had to know what was going on at all times and to be responsible. Even though they weren’t journalism-based, even to this day I will tell a story and it comes back to that.”
Contributed by Kamryn Kobal, Cypress Ranch HS.
SWIMMERS COMPLETE SEASON AT STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
CFISD swimmers captured one medal and several top-10 finishes at the UIL Swimming and Diving State Meet, held Feb. 19-20 at the Texas Swim Center in Austin.
Cypress Woods High School’s 200 freestyle relay team of sophomore Faith Kitzman, freshman Sydney Stanford, senior Katelyn Klewitz and freshman Mikayla Schnibben won CFISD’s lone medal with a third-place time of 1:37.58.
“[Winning bronze] is very hard to do as the state meet is very fast,” said Chris Pease, Cypress Woods head coach. “Getting on the podium for us was great, not only for our program, but for CFISD. Adjusting our relays paid off for us.”
The Wildcats’ 400 freestyle relay team of Faith Kitzman, Sydney Stanford, sophomore Claire Smith and Mikayla Schnibben placed fourth with a time of 3:30.08, narrowly missing the podium by 0.42 seconds.
The Cypress Woods girls placed ninth overall in the state with 93 points, one position better than 2015. It marked the Wildcats’ third top-10 finish in four years.
Cypress Woods’ other state-qualifying girls finished as follows: Sydney Stanford – ninth place, 100 freestyle (52.09) and13th place, 200 freestyle (1:53.91); Claire Smith – 10th place, 100 butterfly (56.67) and 12th place, 100 backstroke (57.58); and Isabelle Decker – 11th place, 1-meter diving (334.35).
The Cypress Ranch High School girls’ swim team placed 13th overall at the state meet with 56 points. State-qualifying Mustang girls’ swimmers placed as follows: Madison Kinsey – eighth place, 100 butterfly (56.00); Beth McNeese – 12th place, 500 freestyle (5:06.18); 400 freestyle relay team (Madison Kinsey, Lauren Wall, Beth McNeese and Abigail Jones) – eighth place, 3:35.37; and 200 freestyle relay team (Madison Kinsey, Beth McNeese, Ivani Kamidoi and Abigail Jones) – ninth place, 1:38.82.
In the boys’ tournament, Cypress Ranch placed 10th overall with 66 points. The Mustang boys were led by their 400 freestyle relay team, which placed fifth with a time of 3:07.98. Team members are juniors John Sowell, Dylan Neumann, Sean Morey and Luke Bowman.
The Mustangs had two other top-10 finishes: 200 freestyle relay team (John Sowell, Dylan Neumann, Sean Morey and Luke Bowman) – sixth place, 1:26.24; and Sean Morey – seventh place, 50 freestyle (21.08).
The Cypress Creek High School boys placed 29th overall with 21 points. The Cougars had a 10th-place finish in the 100 backstroke from junior Zac Hawes (59.06), an 11th-place finish in the 100 backstroke from junior Jared Wallace (51.64) and a 13th-place finish in the 200 medley relay from team members Jared Wallace, Zac Hawes, Riley O’Hara and Chase Gonzales (1:37.43).
The Cypress Woods and Langham Creek boys tied for 39th place overall with 14 points apiece.
Langham Creek’s 200 freestyle relay team of sophomores Brandon Quinteros and Jacob Swain and seniors Connor Ferguson and Robert Jordan placed 10th overall with a time of 1:26.71. It was the team’s second-fastest time ever, and the Lobos’ first relay to make state in five years.
Cypress Woods senior Danny Silva broke the school record in the 50 freestyle, finishing 12th with a time of 21.31. Junior Grant Norgan placed ninth in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:32.76.
AFJROTC UNITS PLACE AT MILITARY DRILL COMPETITION
CFISD Air Force Junior ROTC units placed among the top three in several Open events at the CFISD Military Drill Competition, held Feb. 6 at the Berry Center.
Langham Creek High School placed third overall out of more than 25 AFJROTC programs and 1,000 cadets from across the state, who were evaluated by military training instructors from Lackland Air Force Base’s 737th Training Group and CFISD staff.
CY RANCH JUNIOR WINS TEXAS THESPIANS MUSICALWORKS COMPETITION
Cypress Ranch High School junior Ryan Simon has been named the winner of the 2016 Texas Thespians Musicalworks competition, which promotes original musical writing by high school students and is open to members of the International Thespian Society.
The MusicalWorks honor is the second consecutive for Cypress Ranch, after graduate Cat Reynolds won in 2014-2015.
“We are ‘over the moon’ happy and proud for Ryan,” said Cheryl Bradford, Cypress Ranch theatre director. “Ryan is a true treasure and turns out he also has a true gift for writing, performing and singing. We are so thrilled for him!”
Ryan’s original musical “Chrysalis,” will be featured in a workshop by theatre professionals and the opening number will be showcased on the main stage at the International Thespian Festival, set for June 20-25 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
CYPRESS LAKES CELLIST WINS SCHOLARSHIP AT CONCERTO COMPETITION
Cypress Lakes High School junior Jesse Serpas won a $1,500 scholarship on Jan. 23 after placing second in the string division of the Virtuosi of Houston Young Artists Chamber Orchestra 17th Annual Immanuel and Helen B. Olshan Foundation Concerto Competition.
After seeing his brother dominate the violin, Serpas decided that he wanted to do the same. When trying out instruments his first year of middle school, Serpas quickly realized that the violin was not for him and his orchestra teacher at that time, Kevin Pierce, led him toward the cello.
“The first year was difficult because you have to learn everything from how to read notes to the parts of your instrument, as well as how to play it,” Serpas said.
With constant practice it became easier for Serpas. No longer was he focused on whether he could or couldn’t perform well, but how he was going to perfect his performance. It was not long before his orchestra teacher, Natalie Purdy, was contacted by Virtuosi of Houston, which was in need of cellists. Purdy then wrote a letter of recommendation for Serpas.
“The members of the group are in the same age range as me, and they have helped me with my growth as a person and a musician,” Serpas said.
The Virtuosi is a group of young musicians who aspire to be better at performing intense chamber music. They meet twice a week at Memorial City Mall for rehearsals with their conductors, Franz Anton Krager and Andrzej Grabiec.
“My hopes weren’t high going into the competition because every person that went before me had a pianist,” Serpas said.
Serpas performed in his string division, playing Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor for the five judges. The top five performers in each category were rewarded for their performance. Serpas placed second in his division and third in the region.
“This has given me a confidence boost because I now know that I can do any and everything I set my mind to, no matter who I’m up against,” he said.
Contributed by Lauren Axel, Cypress Lakes HS.
CYPRESS SPRINGS TRACK STANDOUT WINS STAR ATHLETE AWARD
Channel 2 sports reporter Simone Eli visited Cypress Springs High School girls’ track and field practice on Jan. 28 to present senior long jumper and sprinter Samiyah Samuels with the KPRC Star Furniture Star Athlete of the Week award.
Samuels won first place at two recent indoor track meets. Her jump of 19 feet, 9 ½ inches at the Texas A&M High School Indoor Classic on Jan. 8 was good for a gold medal. She then jumped 20 feet, ¼ inches at the Carl Lewis Invitational on Jan. 16 to break the prior meet record of 18 feet, 8 ¾ inches.
The University of Houston track signee earned Athlete of the Meet at both meets.
“I feel like all my hard work is paying off with rewards on and off the track,” Samuels said. “I’m really proud and really excited for my future.”
Samuels won a gold medal in the long jump, as well as bronze medals in the 100-meter dash and 400-meter relay events at the 2015 UIL State Track and Field Championships, and is eyeing Olympic qualification and the national long jump record.
Her head coach, Ruqayya Gibson, said the goals are within reach.
“Samiyah is putting in the work, and the results can be hers if she wants them,” Gibson said. “She’s starting off this year so much further than where she started last year, so I’m expecting great things from her.”
THORNTON MS STUDENT WINS TOP AWARD IN HOUSTON RODEO ART CONTEST
Thornton Middle School eighth-grade student Laura Gonzalez was named Junior High Division Champion at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR) Student Art Contest on March 5.
The contest began with more than 21,000 student-produced works of art from more than 90 school districts in Texas. Judges select winners from each participating district and those winning artworks are brought to the rodeo to compete for top prizes.
A total of 718 works received Best of Show, Gold Medals or Special Merit awards from the district shows competing for the top awards at the rodeo. Only two awards are given at the Junior High level –– Champion and Reserve Champion.
“The competition at this level is daunting,” said Jennifer Quintavalle, Thornton art teacher. “Winning the top award is very difficult because every piece in the competition has already been selected as a winner at the district level.”
In addition to receiving the Champion award, Gonzalez was also selected as a recipient of a scholarship to attend a workshop offered by the Glassell Junior School of Art.
Gonzalez’s artwork, titled “Nature’s Beauty,” featured a bird’s nest with eggs that she created using Prismacolor colored pencils. Her work incorporated a level of detail that captured every subtle color change, and shadows and highlights reflecting a range of depth and texture that emphasized the intricate pieces of the bird’s nest as well as the smoothness of the eggs.
“Her finished product shows an extremely high skill level, determination, patience and perseverance, and a true artist’s eye for composition,” Quintavalle said. “Her reference for the drawing was a photo that really didn’t seem interesting enough to develop into a strong piece. Her drawing, however, brought the nest to life, capturing all of the beauty found in nature that is often overlooked.
“As her teacher, I feel very fortunate to have her in my class. While I am amazed by Laura’s talent, I am more impressed by her character. She is an all-around fantastic student that deserves all the accolades.”
For more information, visit rodeohouston.com/Events/SchoolArt.aspx.
FSCU AWARDS PRIZES TO STUDENTS
First Service Credit Union of Houston awarded prizes to its youngest members who earned good grades the first semester of school. Members with a Discovery Youth Account with good grades are entered into a drawing each semester. Tyler, a second-grade student from Katy with an Adventure account, won a $100 Visa gift card. The Voyager account winner was Margaret, a sixth-grade student from Cy-Fair, who won a bike and helmet. And Zach, a ninth-grade student with a Navigator account, won a GoPro and Fitbit.
Category: Schools, Sports, Students