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Cy-Fair Schools, Sports, Students October 2016

| October 1, 2016

The Cypress Woods High School volleyball team achieved the AVCA Team Academic Award.

The Cypress Woods High School volleyball team achieved the AVCA Team Academic Award.

CY WOODS VOLLEYBALL TEAM EARNS 10TH STRAIGHT ACADEMIC AWARD

The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) recognized the Cypress Woods High School volleyball with the 2015-2016 AVCA Team Academic Award on July 25.

The award honors teams that have matched their dedication to the sport of volleyball with excellence in the classroom. Cypress Woods has earned the AVCA Team Academic Award 10 consecutive seasons – every year since the school opened in 2006.

“It is a tradition the girls have worked very hard to keep,” said Ashley Ahlfinger, head volleyball coach. “Our athletes understand how important academics are to our program. They know that we are striving to get the best not only on the court, but off the court as well. We have a great relationship with the teachers and other staff members, and it is truly a school-wide effort to make sure that all of our athletes are doing well in the classroom.”

Beginning with the first progress report at three weeks, coaches evaluate all the athletes’ grades to keep them accountable.

“Our academic philosophy is that all athletes are successful in the classroom,” Ahlfinger said. “Every volleyball player throughout the entire program strives for all A’s or B’s.”

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Mark McShaffry, Cy-Fair Educational Foundation board member, congratulates Cypress Falls High School graduate Viet Nguyen and his parents on his CFEF scholarship during the scholarship reception.

Mark McShaffry, Cy-Fair Educational Foundation board member, congratulates Cypress Falls High School graduate Viet Nguyen and his parents on his CFEF scholarship during the scholarship reception.

CLASS OF 2016 GRADUATES CLAIM MORE THAN 100 CFEF SCHOLARSHIPS

More than 100 Cypress-Fairbanks ISD graduates celebrated earning scholarships valued at $353,000 at the Cy-Fair Educational Foundation (CFEF) 2016 Scholarship Reception on Aug. 2 at the Berry Center.

The CFEF, which has awarded more than $6 million in scholarships to 1,300 CFISD graduates since its 1970 inception, welcomed families of the 107 winners to the annual event.

The Class of 2016 CFEF scholarships were comprised of 47 Schroeder Scholarships for future Lone Star College – CyFair students and 60 endowed scholarships.

“We are very proud of the group of recipients that were chosen this year. With almost 1,300 applicants, it was very competitive,” said Marie Holmes, CFEF executive director. “The foundation is trying to raise more money in endowments so that we can award more scholarships to these deserving applicants.”

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Audrey Gray, Cy-Fair High School senior, accepts a second-place award in the Single-Page Newspaper Layout category from contest director Elizabeth Granger at the National Federation of Press Women High School Journalism Awards ceremony on Sept. 10 in Wichita, Kan.

Audrey Gray, Cy-Fair High School senior, accepts a second-place award in the Single-Page Newspaper Layout category from contest director Elizabeth Granger at the National Federation of Press Women High School Journalism Awards ceremony on Sept. 10 in Wichita, Kan.

BOBCATS EARN NATIONAL JOURNALISM ACCOLADES

Three current and former Cy-Fair High School student journalists were recognized with National Federation of Press Women (NFPW) High School Journalism Awards ceremony, held during the 2016 NFPW National Conference on Sept. 10 in Wichita, Kansas.

Several CFISD students who placed among the top two in their respective categories in the Press Women of Texas Edith Fox King 2016 High School Journalism Contest advanced to the national competition over the summer.

CFISD’s national winners from Cy-Fair High School are John Sanchez and Alex Slaid (2016 graduates), first place – Yearbook Copywriting; and Audrey Gray (senior) second place – Single-Page Newspaper Layout.

Honoring excellence in student journalism, the communications contest is endorsed by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Dow Jones announces first-place winners and promotes the competition in its publication distributed to journalism advisers across the nation, giving students and their teachers/advisers local and nationwide recognition.

“Newspaper and journalism have given me so many opportunities and insight into what I want to do with my life,” said Gray. “To be able to win and accept this award made me feel so fortunate to be a part of a program like [my school newspaper] The Reporter, full of dedicated advisers and staff members who have helped me get to this point.”

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Cypress Creek alum Chris Brooks, center, joins the Cypress Creek drumline and Silverados drill team at his welcome-home celebration on Aug. 24.

Cypress Creek alum Chris Brooks, center, joins the Cypress Creek drumline and Silverados drill team at his welcome-home celebration on Aug. 24.

CY CREEK FINE ARTS GROUPS WELCOME BACK OLYMPIAN CHRIS BROOKS

The Cypress Creek High School drumline and Silverados drill team provided a raucous welcome home for two Olympians including Cypress Creek alum Chris Brooks during an early-morning celebration at George Bush Intercontinental Airport on Aug. 24.

Brooks and weightlifter Sarah Robles arrived at the airport from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to a terminal full of percussion and choreography courtesy of dozens of Cypress Creek student musicians and performers.

Brooks, a 2005 Cypress Creek graduate, was a member of the men’s gymnastics team in the Rio Olympics that concluded on Aug. 21.

“Although it was early for the Olympians and the students of Cypress Creek, the pride and excitement in the terminal was heartwarming,” said Christy Groschke, Silverados drill team director. “It was an honor to be a part of their homecoming. Cypress Creek is so proud of our Cougar alumnus, Chris Brooks. Ahh CC!”

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Cypress Falls High School Volleyball Coach Kathy Stephenson holds up the “600 Wins” t-shirt she was given on Aug. 24, two weeks after she earned her 600th career coaching victory.

Cypress Falls High School Volleyball Coach Kathy Stephenson holds up the “600 Wins” t-shirt she was given on Aug. 24, two weeks after she earned her 600th career coaching victory.

CYPRESS FALLS VOLLEYBALL COACH RECOGNIZED FOR 600 CAREER WINS

Cypress Falls High School Head Volleyball Coach Kathy Stephenson was recognized for her 600th career victory prior to the Golden Eagles’ District 17-6A home opener against Langham Creek on Aug. 24.

Stephenson earned the milestone win on Aug. 11 in the Katy-Cy-Fair Nike Volleyball Classic. Cypress Falls Principal Becky Denton and Athletic Coordinator Kirk Eaton presented her with a “600 Wins” t-shirt and volleyball signed by all her players during the pre-game ceremony.

“I was very surprised and appreciative of the honor,” said Stephenson, who eclipsed 500 wins in 2012. “I was also amazed at how many administrators and peers were there for support.”

Stephenson helped open Cypress Falls during its first varsity season in 1993. The veteran coach, who launched her coaching career in 1980, helped guide the Golden Eagles to a Class 5A state championship in 2000.

“I’m truly blessed to have accomplished the 600 wins at Cy Falls,” Stephen­son said. “I love this school and have had the honor of working with outstanding athletes, coaches, staff and administrators.”

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Jacob Johnson displays several mason jars of his homemade product, Jake’s Atomic Salsa.

Jacob Johnson displays several mason jars of his homemade product, Jake’s Atomic Salsa.

MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT BUILDS HOMEMADE SALSA ENTERPRISE

Salyards Middle School seventh-grade student Jacob Johnson found a unique way to spice up his college savings goals when he launched his own homemade salsa business in 2014 as a fifth-grader at Rennell Elementary School.

“I wanted to make a citrusy salsa without cilantro or big chunks of onion so I worked with my stepdad on the ingredients until we got it just right,” said Johnson, whose family has always been active with cooking and grilling. “After we perfected the recipe, I just wanted to share it with everyone. I thought it was so good so I started taking it to school with me.”

Word began to spread throughout Ren­nell, and the demand became so great that Johnson started selling his signature recipe in mason jars for $5 apiece.

Jake’s Atomic Salsa was born, using what he calls “all-natural, fresh ingredients, grilled peppers blended to dipping perfection.” The salsa comes in four levels of heat that tie into his career aspiration of geology: Molecular (mild), Fore-shock (medium), Aftershock (hot) and Radioactive (atomic).

“I had a request from a teacher to kick the heat up a notch, so I added more habañeros to really bring the heat,” Johnson said. ‘Her husband had to drink milk to cool off, so I guess you can say it’s pretty hot!”

Johnson has continued his business venture into middle school, accruing between 75-80 regular customers. To keep up with the demand, he spends several weekend hours purchasing ingredients, grilling peppers and canning the contents into pint-sized jars with his own custom labels. He has set up his own Facebook page, and hopes to eventually grow his business by setting up a stand at local farmer’s markets.

Proceeds from sales go directly into his college savings fund. Johnson’s goal is to save up enough money to pursue a geology degree at Texas A&M University.

“I want to be a geologist so I know I will be at A&M for a while. I’m ready to get started on that,” he said. “I have my own savings account, and I appreciate all my customers who have contributed to it.”

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Chris Hecker, Cypress Park HS principal, presents Superintendent Dr. Mark Henry a commemorative Cypress Park letter jacket on the first day of school.

Chris Hecker, Cypress Park HS principal, presents Superintendent Dr. Mark Henry a commemorative Cypress Park letter jacket on the first day of school.

CFISD SCHOOLS LAUNCH 2016-2017 SCHOOL YEAR

Cypress-Fairbanks ISD welcomed back students to its 88 campuses on Aug. 22 for the first day of school of 2016-2017.

More than 115,000 students are expected for the third-largest school district in Texas and 22nd-largest in the United States. The district opened its 11th comprehensive high school, Cypress Park High School, to students on Monday.

Designed by PBK Architects and built by Satterield & Pontikes Construction, the 591,000-square-foot building features a three-floor academic wing, 860-seat auditorium and 1,750-seat competition gymnasium. Its many learning pods include 28 science rooms and will allow for collaborative educational opportunities among neighboring classrooms.

“It has been an amazing day at Cypress Park High School as we made history as the 11th comprehensive high school to open its doors for the first time in CFISD,” said Chris Hecker, Cypress Park principal. “Our teachers and staff were so excited to welcome our students and community to the latest technology and 21st Century design. Students were blown away with the access to technology and modern architecture. Mobile and collaborative furniture in the classroom and flex areas were also highlights for our students. It is great to be Cypress Park Tiger!”

Approximately 80,000 students were transported to and from school on the transportation department’s bus fleet, while 120,000 school meals were served by the food service department on the first day of school.

Dr. Mark Henry, superintendent of schools, visited Cypress Park as he kicked off his sixth year as CFISD superintendent.

“Today was another fantastic first day of school in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD as students stepped into new and renovated facilities, used state-of-the-art technology and ate nutritious meals while being taught by the finest educators in Texas,” Henry said. “Every student in every CFISD zip code has access to quality universal public education. Opportunity is truly here in 2016-2017.


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