HOPPER MS STUDENTS SWEEP TRASH BASH T-SHIRT ART CONTEST
Students from Hopper Middle School swept the top three honors in the 2016 River, Lakes, Bays ‘N Bayous Trash Bash T-shirt Art Contest, founded by the Houston-Galveston Area Council (HGAC) and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
The contest, held for the past three years, allows students in grades 1-8 to submit a design illustrating the effects of litter on area waterways. The first place winner’s design is featured on the front of the t-shirts given to thousands of volunteers participating in the largest, single-day waterway cleanup in Texas each spring.
The following Hopper eighth-grade students placed in the contest: Khalia Gillette used Sharpies and watercolors to create her first-place bayou cleanup scene; Alessandra Garcia used colored pencils to create her second-place lake cleanup scene; and Zachary Roshong used colored pencils to create his third-place river cleanup scene.
The Hopper students will receive cash prizes, framed artwork and a certificate. All winning students were honored at the White Oak Bayou Upper Trash Bash site, Bang Elementary School (8900 Rio Grande Dr.) on April 2.
“I am extremely honored to be the teacher of three art students who are proudly representing Hopper Middle School in the 2016 River, Lakes, Bays ‘N Bayous Trash Bash T-shirt Art Contest,” said Dawn LaGrou, Hopper art teacher. “All three of the artists have been a part of the art program at Hopper for three years. They are currently in our Art 1 program and continue to amaze me with their skills and dedication to their talents. Khaila, Alessandra and Zachary are definitely three reasons I enjoy work each and every day.”
Founded in 1994 by the HGAC and TCEQ with seven sites and 3,000 volunteers, Trash Bash has grown to 15 sites across the Galveston Bay Watershed with an average of 4,500 volunteers annually. Since 1994, more than 98,000 volunteers have collected nearly 2,100 tons of trash and more than 9,600 tires while cleaning more than 1,100 miles of shoreline.
In 2015, 4,384 volunteers, half under the age of 18, cleaned 162 miles of shoreline, collected 37.4 tons of trash and recycled 1.3 tons of collected materials at the 15 cleanup sites.
For more information, visit TrashBash.org.
CY-FAIR NEWSPAPER WINS SILVER CROWN AWARD AT CSPA CONVENTION
Cy-Fair High School journalism students won two awards for their student- produced publications, one of which was recognized at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Spring Scholastic Convention, held March 16-18 at Columbia University in New York City.
Cy-Fair’s 2014-2015 student newspaper, The Reporter, won the Silver Crown award, which current editors and returning members accepted at the recognition ceremony. Presented to only 20 percent of entrants, the Crown Awards are the highest recognition given by the CSPA to a student print or digital medium for overall excellence. The Reporter was one of 14 schools nationwide to receive the Silver News Print Crown.
“It was such an honor for my students to be among the 20 percent who receive this prestigious award nationwide,” said Lillian Harris, Cy-Fair publications adviser. “Attending the awards ceremony at Columbia University and hearing the Cy-Fair High School student newspaper, The Reporter, announced in New York City for the Silver Crown was absolutely incredible.”
Prior to the CSPA convention, the 2014-2015 Cy-Fair yearbook, The Bobcat, won the Gold Medalist Certificate. Medalist critiques contain standards developed by CSPA to offer specific instruction on how to improve student work, and The Bobcat earned the top distinction.
Cy-Fair students also won individual CSPA Gold Circle awards for their work on the 2014-2015 Reporter: Graduate Natalie Berry won second place in the Single News or Feature Package, Double-truck or Special Section Design category; the Reporter staff won third place in the Typography: Overall look of the entire paper category; and junior Wafa Kazmi won a considerable mention award in the Entertainment reviews category for “Mosquitoland.”
COOK HONORED AS AN OUTSTANDING SENIOR AT UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA
The University of Alabama National Alumni Association honored Houston resident Elizabeth Cook as a 2016 Outstanding Senior during an April 16 alumni luncheon held on the University campus. She is one of 11 out of approximately 4,400 graduating seniors to receive the honor.
The award recognizes students in the senior class who have excelled in academics and extracurricular activities, shown strength of character and maturity and demonstrated exceptional hospitality towards guests and friends of the University. Nominations are accepted from student organizations, deans, department heads, University administrators, alumni, faculty and friends. Honorees are chosen by a selection committee of the National Alumni Association.
Cook is a 2012 honor graduate of Cypress Creek High School in Cy-Fair ISD. She will graduate from The University of Alabama in May with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. She has already accepted a position with ExxonMobil in The Woodlands.
In college, Cook has been active in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, where she led a successful bid to host a regional student chapter conference, and the Society of Women Engineers. She also conducted undergraduate research, assisting in the formation of spherical magnetic nanoparticles and developing a contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging. In addition, Cook has served as a mentor, tutor and volunteer for both campus and community organizations.
SMITH MS STUDENT’S ART WINS SECOND PLACE IN CITYWIDE COMPETITION
Smith Middle School seventh-grade student Christen Lee won second place in the Bayou City Art Festival (BCAF) Art in the Middle Middle School Art Competition. Lee’s artwork, The Hideout, was chosen by 30 finalists by a panel of judges as the runner-up in the contest, which received more than 300 total submissions from 15 school districts.
All 30 finalists’ artwork will be displayed at the BCAF in Memorial Park, April 29-May 1. Lee will be recognized during an awards ceremony at the festival on May 1 at 1 p.m.
“Christen is such a talented artist,” said Smith art teacher Savannah Hyams. “I was more than ecstatic when she was chosen as a finalist and won second place in the contest.”
For more information and to see Lee’s artwork, visit artcolonyassociation.org/middle-school-art-competition-1/.
STUDENTS BEAUTIFY CFISD CAMPUSES OVER SPRING BREAK
The Cypress campus of Second Baptist Church continued its support for CFISD schools by conducting campus beautification projects at CFISD schools throughout spring break.
The church, which reached out to five CFISD campuses in 2015, partnered with local Home Depot and Lowe’s stores to give back to four elementary schools from March 14-17. More than 20 students from the Second Baptist Church (SBC)–Cypress youth group kicked off the effort at Duryea Elementary, then continued each day at Sheridan, Horne and Hemmenway elementary schools, respectively.
The students trimmed trees and hedges, weeded and mulched beds, planted shrubs and flowers and powerwashed sidewalks during the service project. At Hemmenway, they also replaced nets on soccer goals and donated outdoor trash cans.
“We had a lot of students last year who wanted to be a part of it and got their hands dirty. We had tons of teachers and administrators tell us how appreciative they were of the way the schools looked,” said Drew Clayton, SBC-Cypress junior high pastor. “When we were looking around this year, we spotted several schools that we thought we could improve. CFISD has treated us excellently over the years and we wanted to keep the relationship going.”
Several of the workers were CFISD students who experienced a reward from giving back to fellow students in the district. “It’s pretty cool because one of the schools we [worked at] is Horne, and that’s a school that most of my friends went to,” said Aaron Xu, Cypress Falls HS sophomore. “This work can benefit future people that might be taking my place. It’s my community, so I can see the actual result.”
Local businesses lent support to the project. The Lowe’s Katy store on I-10 donated two pallets of mulch, while the Home Depot stores in Katy, Copperfield and Cypress donated three pallets of mulch (one from each store). “We are grateful for community partners like Lowe’s, Home Depot and of course Second Baptist Church–Cypress, whose hard work and contributions will ensure that thousands of students and staff have beautiful campuses to return to,” said Leslie Francis, director of marketing and business relations.
Aragon Middle School eighth-grader Tate Grant said the satisfaction comes from helping other students. “I hope these kids that go to these schools come back and see that their schools look better than when they left,” Grant said. “It’s not for me; it’s for them.”
CY-FAIR GIRLS CAPTURE 17-6A GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP
– The Cy-Fair High School girls’ golf team completed a Bobcat sweep of district titles with a two-round score of 648 (335-313) at the District 17-6A Golf Tournament, held April 4-5 at Cypress Lakes Golf Club.
The Bobcats qualified for the Region III-6A Golf Tournament, set for April 11-12 at Eagle Pointe Golf Club (12450 Eagle Point Drive) in Mont Belvieu. The golfers who comprised the total were Grace Ni (78-75—153), Sarah Carlat (84-76—160), Laura Palmer (85-77—162), Kathryn Palmer (88-85—173) and Esha Dewan (91-86—177).
“I was so impressed with the team’s successful scores. We had three golfers produce their best scores during the district tournament,” said Donna Benotti, Cy-Fair head golf coach. “They were under great pressure at district to produce the best scores; what more could a coach ask for? This is a great group of girls, and as always we have had an absolute blast this season. This team has captured my heart and worked really hard to accomplish our team goals. I am super proud of them.”
Cypress Woods High School was the runner-up with a two-round score of 669 (340-329) to also qualify for the regional tournament. Wildcat golfers were Gurleen Kaur (69-73—142), Allie Nutt (91-86—177), Kaley Martin (83-86—163), Reese Winn (97-87—184) and Jordyn Hudson (104-94—198). Kaur’s score was the best individual score of the tournament by an 11-stroke margin. The two individual medalists who also qualified for regionals are Nikita Patel, Cypress Ridge High School (93-81—174); and Kelly Swanson, Cypress Creek High School (91-86—177).
CY LAKES’ FIRST-PLACE AWARD HIGHLIGHTS TFA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
CFISD students had a strong showing at the Texas Forensic Association State Championship for speech and debate, including a first-place finish by Cypress Lakes High School.
About 220 Texas private and public schools of all sizes, from 1A to 6A, were represented at the tournament, held in Austin March 10-12. Students participated in preliminary rounds of competition in a variety of speech and debate events in front of judges who evaluated their performances for both content and style. Those with the most successful results moved forward to elimination, advancing to be among the best of the best in Texas.
Cypress Lakes senior Julie Jeukeng beat out the competition to be named the 2016 Texas state champion in Poetry Interpretation and earned a $500 college scholarship for her accomplishment. Jeukeng performed a selection of poems about the experiences of being an African immigrant. Her speech and debate coach, Miranda McDonald, said the piece had personal significance for Jeukeng, who moved to the U.S. from Cameroon, Africa, when she was 8 years old.
Jeukeng said: “I have a strong connection to it because it is similar to my story. When I first came to America, I dealt with the shock of not only such a different culture but also discrimination. I was able to overcome these struggles.” About her experience at the state tournament, she added, “Meeting new people, creating unforgettable memories, winning a grand prize for the first time and making my team proud are some things I will remember for the rest of my life.”
Cy-Fair senior Cameron McConway also placed third in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, and Jersey Village senior Hannah Wisterman was a finalist in Original Oration, placing sixth. Students in Lincoln-Douglas Debate were asked to discuss whether or not the United States should promote democracy in the Middle East. McConway, who is coached by debate teacher Perry Beard, had to research and prepare both the pro and con sides of the issue. She was the only public school student in Texas to reach the semifinals of this event as the other competitors advancing to this level were all from private schools.
In Original Oration, students presented a memorized 10-minute motivational speech on a topic of their choice. Wisterman’s speech addressed the problem of emotional invalidation, which her debate teacher Regina Jennings explained is when people’s feelings are not accepted for what they are but instead judged, ignored and rejected.
Students earned qualification to this tournament by accumulating points for their successes at local meets from September through February. Due to its rigorous qualification process, the Texas state championship is recognized as one of the most difficult in the country for speech and debate, said Stacy Thomas, CFISD humanities curriculum coach. CFISD had 59 students from eight high schools earn qualification.
SCHOOLS CREATE MUSIC VIDEOS TO MOTIVATE STUDENTS FOR STAAR
– Staff members at three CFISD elementary schools have created humorous music videos to help motivate and encourage their students for the 2016 State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) tests, which began on March 29.
Staff at Ault Elementary School, whose “Let It Go” STAAR parody video from 2014 generated more than 250,000 views, released their third straight video this year, a parody of Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” called “Test Skills.”
“We were brainstorming a possible song to use and I was in the car listening to Kidz Bop radio,” said Meredith Akers, Ault assistant principal. “A commercial came on with ‘Bad Blood,’ and it started, ‘You know we got problems, We know how to solve them,’ and I said, ‘Hey, this could be good.’ ”
A few staffers penned STAAR-themed lyrics, and Akers recorded the vocals the week before spring break. The administrative team recorded the choreography and lip syncing on March 10, and Akers edited the video over spring break.
Rennell Elementary School created its first STAAR video in 2016, a parody of Adele’s hit single “Hello” called “Hello STAAR.”
Teacher Sherry Johnson wrote the lyrics, and music teacher Kristi Shepherd recorded the footage. The vocals were recorded by Shannon Perry, a former counselor at Reed Elementary School and current recording artist. Shepherd’s husband, Paul, edited the video, which featured all Rennell staff.
The fourth-grade team at Pope Elementary School created a STAAR video for the second straight year, blending both “Hello” and Silentó’s “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” in a video called “Watch Me.”
Fourth-grade teachers Ashley Borak, Jennifer Lopez, Brandy Breaux, Ericka Good, Brandi Rios, Marci Glasson, Jennifer Valladares, Courtney Bennett and Stephanie Tippit collaborated on the recording, and music teacher Elaine Waier edited the vocals and video together for the final product.
CY WOODS STUDENT’S PHOTOGRAPH EARNS NATIONAL SCHOLASTIC GOLD KEY – CYPRESS WOODS HIGH School junior Judy Labib is one of 50 Harris County students to win a national Scholastic Art & Writing medal, announced by the New York Nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers on March 14.
Labib’s Photography entry, Tok Tok, earned a Scholastic Gold Key Medal. Gold Key Medalists are invited to a ceremony in New York City’s Carnegie Hall on June 2 with appearances from award-winning filmmaker and commentarian Ken Burns, along with other surprise celebrities.
Labib had advanced from a regional competition sponsored by Harris County Department of Education (HCDE), after which her work was exhibited at art exhibits and celebrations in Houston.
“Being selected for such a high honor means that I am part of a legacy that many young artists have cherished,” Labib said. “Receiving the award has boosted my confidence in my artwork and has revealed to me that with hard work comes merit.”
Area teens including Labib competed among 320,000 art and writing entries across 29 different categories. Through the 2016 Awards, students receive opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication and scholarships. Past winners include Robert Redford, Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, John Lithgow, Joyce Carol Oates and Sylvia Plath. “We’re extremely proud of the hard work and dedication of our teens and their teachers,” said Andrea Segraves, HCDE coordinator for Scholastic and director for the Teaching and Learning Center at HCDE. Work from more than 1,000 students will be exhibited from June 2-12 at several prominent New York galleries. For a complete list of the awards for Harris County teens, visit hcde-texas.org/Scholastic.
Category: Schools, Sports, Students