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Cy-Fair Schools, Sports, Students May 2017

| May 1, 2017

(L-R): Allie Nutt, Reese Winn, Gurleen Kaur, Halle Chesnutt and Katie Vestal.

(L-R): Allie Nutt, Reese Winn, Gurleen Kaur, Halle Chesnutt and Katie Vestal.

CYPRESS WOODS GIRLS CLINCH 17-6A GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP

The Cypress Woods High School girls’ golf team clinched the team championship with a two-round score of 682 (341-341) at the District 17-6A Golf Tournament, held April 5-6 at Cypress Lakes Golf Club.

The Wildcats qualified for the Region III-6A Golf Tournament, set for April 24-25 at Eagle Pointe Golf Club (12450 Eagle Point Drive) in Mont Belvieu. The golfers who comprised the total were Gurleen Kaur (67-71—138), Allie Nutt (92-83—175), Reese Winn (88-88—176), Halle Chesnutt (94-99—193) and Katie Vestal (118-110—228).

“The girls have worked extremely hard this year and I am proud of that 212 effort,” said Ashley Ahlfinger, Cypress Woods head girls’ golf coach. “The girls played great under some pretty harsh conditions on day one. Day two was beautiful and I was very proud of the girls for lowering their team score to hold off some great CFISD competition.”

Cy-Fair High School was the runner-up with a two-round score of 708 (360-348) to also qualify for the regional tournament. Bobcat golfers were Grace Ni (71-71—142), Neha Dewan (91-87—178), Maddie Krieger (96-95—191), Ashley Herrmann (102-95—197) and Shubhi Dhanuka (112-109—221).

The two individual medalists who also qualified for regionals are:

  • Sora Kim, Langham Creek High School (78-75—142); and
  • Nikita Patel, Cypress Ridge High School (93-83—176).

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(L-R): Robin Reagler, Writers in the Schools (WITS) executive director; Emanuelee Bean, Meta-Four Houston coordinator; Ashlyn S; Jackson N.; Donald V.; Adam M.; Sebastian K.; Jordan Riddle, Cypress Lakes student; and Monica Davidson, WITS future corps fellow.

(L-R): Robin Reagler, Writers in the Schools (WITS) executive director; Emanuelee Bean, Meta-Four Houston coordinator; Ashlyn S; Jackson N.; Donald V.; Adam M.; Sebastian K.; Jordan Riddle, Cypress Lakes student; and Monica Davidson, WITS future corps fellow.

CY LAKES PERFORMANCE POET MAKES TOP TEAM AT SPACE CITY GRAND SLAM

Cypress Lakes High School junior Jordan Riddle is one of six Houston-area young performance poets selected for the Meta-Four Houston team after the Space City Grand Slam, the largest youth slam in Texas, held April 2 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Riddle was selected out of nearly 100 talented contestants for the Meta-Four, the ace of the youth poetry slam scene and a component of the organization Writers in the Schools (WITS).

Riddle, who goes by the stage name SUNNY DA PO’ET, and the Meta-Four will represent Houston at the international youth slam, Brave New Voices, in San Francisco in July.

Riddle joined Cypress Lakes’ poetry club, The Red Poet Society, as a sophomore with limited experience and expectations. He recited two of his strongest pieces, “The Unwanted Letter” and “(Un)social Media,” at the event, using his characteristic heavy rhyme schemes and wordplay to keep the audience engaged. Riddle has already begun preparing for Brave New Voices — a program that has previously been televised on HBO — by following coach Emanuelee Bean’s (“The Outspoken Bean”) instruction to pen new material every day.

“I’m looking forward to it. My coach is going to prepare me to the best of his abilities, and I’m going to take this just as seriously as he is,” Riddle said. “I want to represent the team, my city, my family name, Red Poet and my school. There are a lot of people counting on me, and I want to go as far as I can.”

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Langham Creek sophomore Alec Martinez won a national Gold Key in the Digital Art category of the Scholastic Art & Writing competition.

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Cypress Ranch senior Bryce Williams won a national Gold Key award in the Drawing & Illustration category of the Scholastic Art & Writing competition.

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Williams’ Drawing & Illustration entry, Fish, won a national Gold Key award in the Scholastic Art & Writing competition

(From top letf) Langham Creek sophomore Alec Martinez won a national Gold Key in the Digital Art category of the Scholastic Art & Writing competition. v Cypress Ranch senior Bryce Williams won a national Gold Key award in the Drawing & Illustration category of the Scholastic Art & Writing competition. v Williams’ Drawing & Illustration entry, Fish, won a national Gold Key award in the Scholastic Art & Writing competition. v Martinez’s Digital Art piece, Existence of a Black Man in a White Society, won a national Gold Key award and Best in Grade award in the Scholastic Art & Writing competition.

Martinez’s Digital Art piece, Existence of a Black Man in a White Society, won a national Gold Key award and Best in Grade award in the Scholastic Art & Writing competition.

STUDENT ARTISTS CLAIM NATIONAL SCHOLASTIC ART & WRITING AWARDS

Five CFISD student artists claimed six of the 59 national Scholastic Art & Writing medals earned by Harris County students, the New York nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers announced on March 14.

The students advanced from a regional competition sponsored by the Harris County Department of Education, and their work is exhibited at art exhibits and celebrations in Houston.

Area teens competed among a record-breaking 330,000 works of art and writing submitted for judging throughout the nation across 29 different categories. Gold Key medalists, Gold Portfolio awardees and Silver Medal with Distinction students are invited to a ceremony in New York City’s Carnegie Hall on June 8 with surprise appearances from notable celebrities and creative leaders. Work from more than 1,000 students will be exhibited from June 2-12 at several prominent New York galleries.

Langham Creek High School sophomore Alec Martinez was one of two CFISD Gold Key winners for his Digital Art submission, Existence of a Black Man in a White Society. Martinez, who is taught by Elizabeth Martinez, also earned the Best in Grade award for his piece.

“Receiving this award is honestly so surreal to me,” Martinez said. “I would have never thought this would happen to me. I feel like the subject was important to photograph because I wanted people to talk about issues that aren’t being talked about enough.”

Cypress Ranch High School senior Bryce Williams won the other Gold Key award for his Drawing & Illustration submission, Fish.

“At first I didn’t really know how I felt, but the more I think about it, ‘validated’ is the best way to describe my feelings about winning,” Williams said.

Three other CFISD student artists claimed four national Silver Medals in the competition:

  • Christopher Griffith, a Cy-Fair junior taught by Earl Emery, won for two separate Digital Art pieces: Playing Army Man and Toying With Space;
  • Ashley Vazquez, a Langham Creek senior taught by Joshua Smith, won for her Photography entry,Cerros; and
  • Taylor Jerding, a Cypress Ranch senior taught by Madeline Weaver, won for her Photography entry,Wharf.

Visit the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards website at artandwriting for more information.

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Cypress Ranch sophomore Gianna Ligotino’s painting, “Looking Toward the Future,” won an award to be disclosed in the Wells Fargo Student Art Contest.

Cypress Ranch sophomore Gianna Ligotino’s painting, “Looking Toward the Future,” won an award to be disclosed in the Wells Fargo Student Art Contest.

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Spillane eighth-grade student Emma Louc won a first-place award in Division C of the Wells Fargo Student Art Contest.

 

 

CFISD AWARD WINNERS IN WELLS FARGO STUDENT ART CONTEST

The Society for the Performing Arts (SPA) announced that CFISD
student artists have been named winners in the 19th Annual Wells Fargo Student Art Contest.

Five CFISD students’ artwork was chosen from more than 641 entries across six divisions, and judges deliberated for nearly four hours to select the winning artwork.

Spillane Middle School eighth-grade student Emma Louc won first place in Division C.

“Quite simply, Emma Louc is every art teacher’s dream,” said Lisa Bennett, Spillane art teacher. “She is motivated to create amazing things. She loves to draw and paint and, with everything she makes, she is a perfectionist.”

Spillane eighth-graders Melody Nguyen, Amy Hammett and Carolina Gonzales all earned honorable mention awards in the contest.

Cypress Ranch High School sophomore Gianna Ligotino won an award to be disclosed at an upcoming ceremony in Division D.

“Gianna is one of the best students I have ever taught for a variety of reasons,” said Nancy Hines, Cypress Ranch art teacher. “She has amazing natural talent, but she is truly a teachable person as well. She is practical and inventive at the same time. I’m happy to see the Wells Fargo competition recognize the quality of her work!”

Visit the SPAHouston.org website for more information.

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Tiffany Schmidtendorff, Arnold Middle School science CCIS and 2017 JASON Educator Argonaut, meets Student Argonaut Smitha Bhagavatula at Smith Middle School on April 12.

Tiffany Schmidtendorff, Arnold Middle School science CCIS and 2017 JASON Educator Argonaut, meets Student Argonaut Smitha Bhagavatula at Smith Middle School on April 12.

SMITH STUDENT, ARNOLD TEACHER CHOSEN AS 2017 JASON ARGONAUTS

Smith Middle School eighth-grade student Smitha Bhagavatula and Arnold Middle School science campus content instructional specialist Tiffany Schmidtendorff were notified on April 12 of their selection as Student and Educator Argonauts who will take part in a scientific expedition this summer through JASON Learning.

JASON Learning, the world-renowned science education organization, chose a select group of Argonauts to join the weeklong expedition to the Cape Eleuthera Institute on the island of Eleuthera in The Bahamas July 13-20. Through a sponsorship from Chevron, they will participate in an intensive hands-on research experience with resident and visiting scientists engaged in a diversity of marine science projects.

Twenty-two of the 2017 Argonaut team spots were reserved for students and educators from the Houston region — including one student and teacher from CFISD. District representatives were asked to apply in January, with applications due in February.

Debra Hill, coordinator of secondary science, visited both Smith and Arnold on April 12 with a congratulatory team including Dr. Linda Macias, associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction and accountability; and Tom Jackson, Board of Trustees member.

Bhagavatula, who wants to explore a career in biomedical engineering, said she looks forward to researching sea creatures in The Bahamas.

Schmidtendorff attended the surprise ceremony for Bhagavatula to introduce herself to her future Argonaut colleague.

The JASON Project connects students to real science and exploration to inspire and motivate them to pursue careers in the STEM fields. The curriculum was unveiled in CFISD beginning in 2013-2014, the result of a nearly $250,000 grant from Chevron. For more information, visit jason.org/argonaut-program

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Elizabeth Martins, Anthony eighth-grade student, and Brad Conklin, Anthony art teacher, stand beside Martins’ winning artwork, “Best Friends,” at the Bayou City Art Festival.

Elizabeth Martins, Anthony eighth-grade student, and Brad Conklin, Anthony art teacher, stand beside Martins’ winning artwork, “Best Friends,” at the Bayou City Art Festival.

ANTHONY MS STUDENT WINS FIRST PLACE IN ART CONTEST

Anthony Middle School eighth-grade student Elizabeth Martins won first place in the Bayou City Art Festival Direct Energy Middle School Art Contest, held March 24-26 at Memorial Park.

For her winning piece of artwork, titled “Best Friends,” Martins spent many hours bringing an image from her family heritage to life with pencil, colored pencils and oil pastels.

As the first-place winner, Martins received a Direct Energy gift bag including a scholarship for a one-week art class at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s Glassell Junior School; a $2,000 donation to the Anthony art program; an iPad Pro; stylus; and a $500 gift card to Texas Art Supply.

Anthony art teacher Brad Conklin said he began noticing her interest and dedication in art as a sixth-grade student.

“I remember seeing her in class reading an Art:21 book she checked out from our school library. From there, her interest in art has expanded further, her skills have become sharper and she has become much taller,” Conklin said. “She has that magical combination of being humble, talented, determined and passionate — a combination of qualities that is sure to make her successful in her future endeavors. She truly is what I call an ‘Art Star!’

“It is difficult to describe how proud I am of Elizabeth to see her so happy to be honored in such a huge way,” Conklin said. “I am very grateful that all of her hard work is being rewarded, and I know that she is more motivated than ever in her love of art, creativity and knowledge. She is ready for high school and beyond!”

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Thirty model math teachers from throughout the district were chosen to assist TAP Camp participants with remedial math instruction.

Thirty model math teachers from throughout the district were chosen to assist TAP Camp participants with remedial math instruction.

 

TAP Camp concluded with a grand finale in the Berry Center theater, featuring skits, a talent show and student testimonials about their experience.

TAP Camp concluded with a grand finale in the Berry Center theater, featuring skits, a talent show and student testimonials about their experience.

 

Bleyl Middle School sixth-grader Steven Spears delivers a pie to the face of Dennis Watkins, Arnold Middle School counselor.

Bleyl Middle School sixth-grader Steven Spears delivers a pie to the face of Dennis Watkins, Arnold Middle School counselor.

STUDENTS BLEND TEAMWORK, AMBITION AND PERSEVERANCE IN TAP CAMP

Approximately 150 CFISD students gathered at the Berry Center March 14-17 for a fun, motivational and educational experience at the annual TAP (Teamwork – Ambition – Perseverance) Camp, held during the week of spring break. Funded by the Texas Support for Homeless Education Program (TEXSHEP) grant, TAP Camp utilizes multiple district departments — curriculum and instruction, community programs, transportation, food service and community engagement — to offer a fun-filled, team-building learning environment for students.

Buses delivered students to the Berry Center each day, which began at 8:45 a.m. with breakfast followed by a pep session in the arena. The students then broke into large groups (third through fifth grades, middle school and high school) and rotated between team-building activities from community programs staff and interactive math instruction from CFISD teachers. Following a lunch provided by the food service department, students went back into rotations before finishing with a large-group session and prize giveaways in the arena prior to 3 p.m. dismissal.

“It’s one of my favorite events of the year because our students are engaged during a week when they might otherwise just be at home,” said Dave Schrandt, director of student services for admissions, attendance and transfers and TAP Camp organizer. “We had 30 awesome math teachers coming to help them. I love seeing these same students at graduation time, when they’re walking across the stage and their success is realized.”

Community programs staff members kept the atmosphere lively throughout the week, leading groups in games, songs and dancing for an energy-fueled camp.

A parent workshop was held on Thursday night, and Friday finished with the grand finale in the afternoon featuring skits and testimonials from the students.

The generosity of 29 CFISD business partners, who donated food, prizes and activities, helped make TAP Camp a success. The total donations throughout the week were valued at more than $18,000. “The support of community business partners and faith-based organizations was phenomenal this year,” Schrandt said. “They all went beyond the call of duty to make this week special for our students.”

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Cy-Fair High School National Merit semifinalists, National Merit Commended and Hispanic Scholars gather following their recognition program at the Berry Center.

Cy-Fair High School National Merit semifinalists, National Merit Commended and Hispanic Scholars gather following their recognition program at the Berry Center.

 

Dr. Mark Henry, superintendent of schools, congratulates Cypress Woods student Zoha Jalali for being a National Merit Commended student.

Dr. Mark Henry, superintendent of schools, congratulates Cypress Woods student Zoha Jalali for being a National Merit Commended student.

 

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Sarah Lindauer of Cypress Creek HS is a National Merit Commended student.

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Cypress Lakes senior Meenakshi Suryanarayanan is a National Merit semifinalist.

CFISD NATIONAL MERIT SEMIFINALISTS AND COMMENDED STUDENTS, AND NATIONAL HISPANIC SCHOLARS

Fifteen CFISD students who were confirmed as semifinalists in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program were honored at a National Merit recognition program at the Berry Center in Februrary, along with the school district’s Commended and National Hispanic scholars.

CFISD’s 15 National Merit semifinalists are:

  • Cy-Fair High School: Ahman Ahbab, Nicholas Baldwin and Sophia Tang.
  • Cypress Creek High School: Chantal Thantrong.
  • Cypress Falls High School : Winnie Lu and Sarah Vu.
  • Cypress Lakes High School:Meenakshi Suryanarayanan.
  • Cypress Ranch High School: Joshua Fernandez de la Vega, Paras Gupta and Nathaniel Miller.
  • Cypress Ridge High School: Poonam Agrawal.
  • Cypress Woods High School: Lauren Crandon, Alyson Echols and Suyun Ha.
  • Jersey Village High School: Sarah Neidhardt.

The 15 semifinalists, among the 16,000 throughout the U.S., now have the opportunity to win one of approximately 8,000 Merit Scholarship awards. National Merit Semifinalists placed among the top 1 percent and National Merit Commended Students placed among the top 3 percent of about 1.5 million students who took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) during their junior year.

CFISD’s 75 Commended Students are:

Cy-Fair High School: Michael Bugos, Cade Cloud, John D’Angelo, Jackson Davis, Jake Goins, Dominic Gross, Madeleine Heliste, Marie Lefler, Amanda Liu, Colton Marik, Kenneth McLaren, Priya Nair, Hugo Sacalxot Berrios, Bridget Sanchez, Meghana Thota, Lauryn Walker, Harry Wang and Turner Woody.

Cypress Creek High School: Joan Ball, Matthew Clark, Katie Deakins, Luke Hill, Sarah Lindauer, Jonathan Mathews, Katherine Solgere and Timothy Yang.

Cypress Falls High School: Michael Du, Sriram Hariharan, Jordan Hassell, Ken Kirkley, Vylan Nguyen, Bhavesh Sayal and Karan Shankar.

Cypress Ranch High School: Sarah Chitwood, Lauren Dossett, Jeremy Grayless, Taylor Jerding, Jacob Macy, Noushin Quazi, Asha Raghu, Samiksha Ray, Melinda Rose, Siddarth Sankaran, Arya Shetty, Mackenna Shull, Madeline Ward and Abigail Weeks.

Cypress Ridge High School: Melinda Powers and Thanh Vu.

Cypress Woods High School: Abhinav Ashar, Arshdeep Bala, Erica Dixon, Joshua Goodwin, Walter Han, Erika Hanson, Carson Howard, Zoha Jalali, Iris Kim, Tong Kyu Kim, Jordan Marshall, Jacquelyn McCullough, Blake Moya, Henry Rossiter, Justin Rubey and Matthew Trinh.

Jersey Village High School: Ryan Erwin, Shane Erwin, David Estrada-Arias, Richard Godziela, Luke Goehring and Tiffany Zhang.

Langham Creek High School: Elizabeth Cermak, Sarah Cermak, Tung-Alex Nguyen and Patrick Poe.

THE NATIONAL HISPANIC RECOGNITION PROGRAM

The National Hispanic Recognition Program recognizes the exceptional academic achievements of Hispanic high school seniors and identifies them for postsecondary institutions. A total of 32 Hispanic Scholars have been recognized in CFISD. They are among a select group of 5,000 of the highest-scoring students from more than 250,000 Hispanic/Latino high school juniors who took the PSAT/NMSQT.

CFISD’s 32 Hispanic Scholars are:

Cy-Fair High School: Avery Arroyave, Jackson Davis, Emme Enojado, Candice Ferguson, Jacob Gonzalez, Hugo Sacalxot Berrios, Rene Salinas, Bridget Sanchez, Sophia Tang, Alexandra Van Praag and Turner Woody.

Cypress Falls High School: Jordan Hassell, Sarah Salinas and Alison Yarto.

Cypress Ranch High School: Erick Batres, Hannah Broad, Lauren Dossett, Joshua Fernandez de la Vega, Ricardo Martinez, Daniel Varon and Jonathan Ward.

Cypress Woods High School: Lucas Clarke, Erica Dixon, Isabelle Elizondo, Erika Hanson and Blake Moya.

Jersey Village High School: David Estrada-Arias and Abigail Gonzalez.

Langham Creek High School: Alicia Benavides, Michelle Schulz and Nicholas Vacek.

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Wilson Elementary School fourth-grader Sydney McGee, aka Sydney Sunshine, became the youngest best-selling author on the African-American Literature Book Club with her first published children’s book, Sydney Sunshine and the Not-So-Magic Mirror.

Wilson Elementary School fourth-grader Sydney McGee, aka Sydney Sunshine, became the youngest best-selling author on the African-American Literature Book Club with her first published children’s book, Sydney Sunshine and the Not-So-Magic Mirror.

WILSON FOURTH-GRADER GETS TOP SPOT ON AABLC BEST-SELLER LIST

Sydney Sunshine is the bubbly positive-thinking main character in the recently released best-selling children’s book Sydney Sunshine and the Not-So-Magic Mirror. But, Sydney Sunshine is not just a character in the book; she is a fourth-grade student at Wilson Elementary School and the author of the book.

Sydney McGee wrote her first book, Sydney Sunshine, when she was 8 years old and had it published in February 2017. Only two weeks after publishing, the book was the No. 1 best-seller on the African American Literature Book Club (AABLC) children’s book list.

“It’s about a girl who wants to spread a message to kids all around the world about self-esteem and self-confidence,” said McGee. “The mirror [in the story] shows that magic isn’t just in the mirror, it’s already inside of you and that you are loved, cared for and you should never doubt yourself.”

McGee’s inspiration comes from the books she enjoys reading from her school’s library and from her mother, Meredith E. Greenwood, who is also a published author.

McGee hopes to write and publish 11 more Sydney Sunshine books, each with a moral or value to teach and help encourage the reader. The next book, Sydney Sunshine and Her Summer at Aunt Janet’s Farm is set to be published by the end of April.

Buy Sydney Sunshine and the Not-So-Magic Mirror on Amazon and visit sydneysunshine.net for more information.

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(L-R): KPRC 2 anchor Jennifer Reyna, Robert Cook, Cypress Creek counselors’ secretary Tricia Summa and Texas Mattress Makers Chief Marketing Officer Rachael Gordon

(L-R): KPRC 2 anchor Jennifer Reyna, Robert Cook, Cypress Creek counselors’ secretary Tricia Summa and Texas Mattress Makers Chief Marketing Officer Rachael Gordon

CYPRESS CREEK SENIOR SURPRISED WITH KPRC SENIOR SCHOLARSHIP

Cypress Creek High School senior Robert Cook was one of the Houston-area high school students selected to receive a KPRC Senior Scholarship, sponsored by Texas Mattress Makers.

Throughout the spring, KPRC representatives are traveling to various high schools to surprise students with $2,500 scholarships to a college of their choice. Morning traffic reporter and midday anchor Jennifer Reyna presented Cook with a scholarship during his statistics class on April 10.

The giveaway aired during the KPRC morning news on April 12. Cook was nominated by the Cy Creek counselor’s secretary, Tricia Summa.

“He’s up there in his class. He’s a good student and he’s worked really, really hard and he deserves this,” Summa said.

Cook is ranked sixth in his class at Cypress Creek and plays for the varsity baseball team. He volunteers his time with underprivileged children, and plans to study business at Texas A&M University. His long-term goal is to become a general manager of a baseball team.

“This was really surprising. I feel very blessed and honored to get a scholarship. It’s going to go a long way,” Cook said. “It really makes my four years, knowing I’ve had an impact on the school, the students and the teachers and made them proud.”


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