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Central’s Bao Places 5th at World Brain Bee

Karina Bao, 2016 USA Brain Bee Champion poses with Central High Principal Nancy RussoJuly 15, 2016—Little Rock Central High’s Karina Bao, 2016 USA Brain Bee Champion, recently placed fifth at the World Brain Bee Championship in Cophenhagen, Denmark. Bao competed against national champions from 26 countries.

The International Brain Bee was found 17 years ago by Dr. Norbert Myslinski, and has now expanded to 160 chapters in 40 regions in 6 continents. Its purpose is “to motivate young men and women to learn about the brain, and inspire them to consider careers in basic and clinical neurosciences.” He says “We build better brains to fight brain disorders.”

Rising LRCH Sophomore Earns the Silver Medal at International Competition

                Picture of Rock Cenral High sophomore Meghana Bollimpali
Congratulations to Silver Medal winner and Little Rock Cenral High sophomore Meghana Bollimpali, who represented Arkansas at the GENIUS Olympiad in New York this month.
 

23 Dunbar Spanish Students Shine on National Spanish Exams

Picture of 23 world language students in front of Dunbar Middle SchoolCongratulations to the 23 world language students from Dunbar Middle School who attained national recognition for excellent performance on the 2016 National Spanish Examinations.

Athletes from 2 Schools Recognized as Athletes of the Month for May

Picture of Parkview Track Star Jada BaylarkMay 8, 2016— Parkview Track Star Jada Baylark and the Hall High Boys Soccer team were all named Athletes of the Month for May. Jada was named after winning first place in six events at the 5A State Track Tournament qualifying her to compete at the Meet of Champs; she won the 4x1, long jump,  triple jump, the 100 and 200 meter dash, 100 meter hurdle events and also received high points recognition.

30+ LRSD Middle Schoolers Were Recognized at Duke TIP

On Thursday, May 5 more than 30 students from five LRSD middle schools were recognized for participating in the Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) by taking the ACT college readiness test. Close to 60% of participants or 19 students received special recognition for outstanding performance on the ACT exam.

Three middle school students, Lorelai Daniel, Forest Heights STEM Academy; Kathleen Jackson, Pulaski Heights Middle School; and Jane Landrum, Mann Magnet Middle School, received Grand Recognition at a national level, as well as State Recognition for outstanding performance on the ACT. To receive Grand Recognition students must have a composite score greater than or equal to 28 or meet at least one of the following criteria:  ACT English ≥ 29; ACT Math ≥ 28; ACT Reading ≥ 30;
and/or ACT Science ≥ 27.

19 middle school students received State Recognition:
• Dunbar Magnet Middle School: Adain Luckadue and Jorden Moody
• Forest Heights STEM Academy: Lorelai Daniel, Justin Anderson, Carter Collins and Hartley Meyer
• Mann Magnet Middle School: Jane Landrum, Elyse Smith and Sarah Stuckey
• Pulaski Heights Middle School: Kathleen Jackson, Isabel Crawford, Madeleine Gess, Ryan Klapmeyer, Samual Lu, Ian Morris, Kya Novack-Willliams, Howard O’Neil, Mary Ruth Taylor and Anna Cay Vernon.

LRCH's Williams & Woods Finish Second, Make History

Picture of Central senior debaters Darrin Williams and Payton Woods After unprecedented success since September, Little Rock Central senior debaters Darrin Williams and Payton Woods have again made history. Williams and Woods placed second to Highland Park (MN) Bannister and Dill at the 2016 Tournament of Champions (TOC). Payton Woods snagged the coveted Top Speaker award in a field of 160 individual speakers. Williams placed 17th in this highly competitive field.

They are the first African American team to compete in the final round of the TOC in the tournament's 45-year history. Woods is only the third African American to win Top Speaker. They are the first team in Arkansas history to have ever competed in the elimination rounds of the TOC, and only the third Arkansas team to ever compete at the tournament.

Williams and Woods descended on Lexington, KY this weekend with one goal: to make it to the final round. The Tournament of Champions (TOC) has for many decades been the most prestigious national championship in the country for high school debate. Long considered the Kentucky Derby of policy debate, the TOC draws the most elite competition from around the country, where competitors must first survive the rigors of qualifying to the tournament throughout the season. Williams and Woods finished with a 5-2 record in prelims, securing themselves a spot in the Octafinal Round (top 16 teams), defeating Hendrickson WW on a 3-0 decision. Their Quarterfinal matchup was Rowland Hall GL, the second seed in the tournament and a favorite to win the TOC. After a hard-fought debate, Williams and Woods emerged victorious to face Peninsula TW in the Semifinal Round. After an hour of deliberation, Williams and Woods were announced as the team advancing to the Final Round of the TOC.

LRSD Boasts Two of Three 2016 Dell Scholars Named in Arkansas

A proverb says that good luck doesn’t come in pairs, but don't tell that to two lucky LRSD Dell Scholars, named this year. 

LRSD Boasts Two of Three 2016 Dell Scholars Named in Arkansas

A proverb says that good luck doesn’t come in pairs, but don't tell that to two lucky LRSD Dell Scholars, named this year. 

Picture of Erica Braswell and Natalie AmosSenior Erica Braswell is Hall High AVID’s first Dell Scholarship recipient!  Natalie Amos, McClellan High School, is the district’s second recipient. Amazingly, these young ladies are two of only three 2016 Dell recipients in the entire state.

As Dell Scholars, they will each receive a scholarship of $5,000 per year for four years, a Dell laptop, and a Dell mentor.  Braswell will be attending Baylor University in the fall, while Amos plans to attend the University of Central Arkansas. 

Ladies, your LRSD family is extremely proud of you!

Parkview's Youngest Graduate Tapped as One of Two LRSD Gates Millennium Scholars for 2016

Contributed by Judith Murray, Parkview Arts/Sciences Journalism Instructor

 

Picture of Isha HortonIsha Horton, 16, daughter of Isha Jones and Frank Horton, of North Little Rock, found out in April that she hit the scholarship jackpot.

Chosen from a pool of 53,000 applicants, Horton beat the odds and was chosen as a Gates Millennium Scholarship recipient. The scholarship is not a specific amount, instead, it pays tuition, books and living expenses from her bachelor’s degree all the way through doctoral studies. Horton plans to attend the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, then move to another college for her post graduate work.

Horton said she was accepted to Harvard, but her parents want her to stay closer to home so she can “grow more” before she goes out into the world.

Horton is Parkview’s youngest graduate, because she skipped both second and 11th grades in school.

” I was ecstatic when I found out that out of 53,000 applicants, I was chosen as a scholar. This scholarship is a life-changing blessing, because I will never have to worry about funding my education. I believe in lifelong learning, and after I complete my doctorate in Computer Science, I will likely venture into another field. I am truly appreciative of all of the adults that helped me get to this point and I will continue to value education and work to improve my community,” Horton said.

Six LRSD DI Teams Advance to Global Finals

After stellar performances at the Destination Imagination (DI) State Tournament, six teams representing five LRSD schools qualified for the Global Finals. Teams from two elementary schools, Carver Magnet and Booker Arts Magnet, will represent LRSD at Global Finals May 25-28 in Knoxville, TN. Teams from three LRSD middle schools, Dunbar Magnet, Pulaski Heights and Horace Mann Magnet, also qualified for the Global Finals.

Two Carver Magnet Elementary School DI teams qualified for the international tournament. The Carver Engineers placed first in Category A: Pace of Change, a technical challenge in which students designed and built a vehicle capable of carrying at least one student across the presentation site multiple times. The challenge also included changing the vehicle propulsion system and movement during the presentation and creating and presenting a story about change. Although Carver Music Squad placed second in the Structural Challenge E: Musical Mashup, in which students design and build a structure that both supports weight and also serves as a musical instrument, the team secured a wild card entry to the Global Finals by winning the Instant Challenge.

Carver Engineers:  Mallory Wilson, Pedro Najera, Madisyn Staton, Ya’mir Campbell, Johsajandi Basilio, Sergio Vasquez, and Pujitha Kaza. Team Managers: Karen and Scott Banks.

Carver Music Squad: Jacob Patton, Dami Jackson, Alexandro Vazquez, Keviyanna Cooper, Taveon Johnson, Lark Dupins and Lucy Triplett. Team Managers: Karen and Scott Banks.

Booker Arts Magnet advanced to the Global Finals by placing second but winning the Instant Challenge in the Scientific Challenge B: In Plain Sight. This challenge included researching and showcasing the many ways in which organisms use camouflage in nature, and creating a story with a plot twist caused by the use of camouflage.

Booker Dancing Dragons: Rebekah Jackson, Emily Ayres, Lily Hagen, Jordyn Jones, Chandler Dean, Phoenix McEntarffer, and Audrey Lowe. Team Managers: Susan Jackson and Laura Reynalds.

Dunbar Magnet Middle School advanced to the Global Finals by placing first in the Scientific Challenge B: In Plain Sight. The team also won the Instant Challenge.

Dunbar “Error 404: Team Name Not Found:” Sam Triplett, John Swaim, Gabe Huggins, Becket O'Brien, and Andrew Helms. Team Managers: Jennifer Triplett and Stacy O’Brien.

Pulaski Heights Middle School (PHMS) qualified for the Global Finals with a first place win in the Improvisational Challenge D: Close Encounters. To prepare the team researched various confined spaces and then created and performed a four-minute improvisational presentation within the researched confined space. The final news flash presentation integrated a mysterious stranger and a team-created prop. The PHMS team also won the Instant Challenge.

PHMS Hogwarts Hedgehogs: Emma Jackson, Emily Childers, Kyndall Jackson, Joanne Liu, and Jack Bryant. Team Managers: Susan Jackson and Lisa Lewis.

Horace Mann Magnet Middle School advanced to the Global Finals by placing first in Project Outreach: The Meme Event. For the service-learning project, students identified, designed, planned and implemented a project that addresses a real community need. The students were required to plan and implement at least one community event, then create a live presentation to highlight the project and its impact on the community. The team also won the Instant Challenge.

Mann’s Best Friend: Josie Eanes, Leah Kline, Olga Lyzogubova, Skylar Nelson and Annaleah Witsell. Team Managers: Lauren Parker, Chris Kline and Kellie Smith.

Congratulations to LRCH's Karina Bao - 2016 National Brain Bee Champion

March 21, 2016 - After three days of intense competition, the 2016 USA Brain Bee Champion is Little Rock Central High junior Karina Bao.

The Brain Bee is a neuroscience competition for teenagers.  A record fifty-six Chapter winners from 35 states around the country competed at the University of Maryland in Baltimore on March 18th, 19th and 20th.

Bao, who also represents the Arkansas Brain Bee Chapter, will receive a summer internship at a neuroscience lab, trophies for her school and herself, and the right to represent the United States at the Seventeenth World Brain Bee Championship in Copenhagen, Denmark in July.

The Brain Bee tests a student’s knowledge of the human brain, including such topics as intelligence, emotions, memory, sleep, vision, hearing, sensations, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, autism, schizophrenia, addictions, brain research and many others. The USA Championship competition involves a neuroanatomy laboratory practical exam with real human brains, patient diagnosis involving face-to-face interactions with patient actors, MRI brain imaging analysis, brain histology, and a final question and answer component.

Bao will now advance to the World Championship hosted this year by the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies, where she will compete against about 25 other champions from such countries as Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, and others.

McClellan's Raymond Ivory is the March Athlete of the Month

March 21, 2016--  High School State Wrestling Champion Raymond Ivory is the LRSD's Athlete of the Month for March. Ivory recently won the Wrestling State Championship in the 220 class. Previously he placed 5th during his sophomore and junior years. He is a three-year Letterman in Football and Wrestling and was named to All-State this year in Football. In addition to excellence on the field and the mat, Ivory boasts a 3.0 GPA , which reflects his commitment to academic excellence. He wants to play Football in college and is currently considering UAPB, Grambling State, SAU and Henderson State.

Central Boys & Girls Swim Teams—District Champs

Both the boys and girls swim teams at Little Rock Central High School won the Central District Championship on February 12. The girls led the way from the beginning overcoming 2nd place Conway 510 to 350! The win for the boys came down to the last event. The victorious Central boys team had only 13 swimmers compared to 14 for second place Conway and 18 for 3rd place Catholic.  The following eleven Central swimmers made All-District: Karina Bao, Brianna Hanley, Greer Johnson, Allie Rogers, Arianna Shojaee, Jordan Sweet, McKenzie Tucker, Thomas Heye, Logan Jennings, Levi Lewis, and Carson Traylor. To qualify for All-District swimmers must finish in the top three. Congratulations to BOTH District Champion swim teams!

Parkview's Ryan Pippins Named February Athlete of the Month

February 17, 2016 —Parkview Arts & Science Magnet stand-out boys basketball player, Ryan Pippins, was named the Athlete of the Month for February at the Superintendent's Citation Program on Thursday, February 11. His outstanding performance on the court has helped the team accumulate an impressive 8-1 record in conference and 19-3 record overall. Through 21 games, Ryan "Pip" Pippins has a points per game average of 10.3, 3 assists/game, 3.7 rebounds/game. This season, he has scored over 20 points in three games.  Congratulations, Pip!"

Mabelvale Middle Sweeps Fall Stock Market Game

Mabelvale Middle School took First and Second Place at the regional Fall Stock Market Game. The two teams were honored at a luncheon hosted by Economics of Arkansas at Verizon Arena January 13th. The two winning teams, comprised of Environmental Investigations students and supervised by teacher Graham Goodloe, swept the regional competition, which is no small feat with more than 200 teams competing. The first place team was awarded a trophy and $100 cash prize, while the second place team was given a certificate and $50 cash prize. The Stock Market Game exposes students to “real time” trading on the stock exchange. Teams are given a mock $100,000 to invest in open trading and the top two teams that make the most money within 10 weeks of trading are honored once the game concludes.  Mabelvale Middle School will be playing in the upcoming Spring Stock Market Game and hope to sweep the awards again.

Hall High Robotics Team Has Impressive Showing at First Ever Competition Appearance

The Hall High School Robotics team placed first at the UAM STEM Center Robotics Challenge Competition with team members Kyarha Meadows-Russell and Ti'shun Advance. Hall also placed second with team members Joshua Estrada and Raphael del Carmen. More importantly, the entire team won Best Sportsmenship for working together with others while solving problems. This was Hall's first competition ever!

Three FHSA VEX IQ Robotics Teams Land on Top

Three VEX IQ Robotics Teams from Forest Heights STEM Academy (FHSA) won awards on February 6th at the University of Arkansas at Monticello VEX Robotics Tournament. This year’s 2015-2016 Vex IQ Challenge is the Bankshot Competition.  Students compete in three areas: teamwork, robot skills and autonomous movement (programming). 

"The Team"  tied for 1st place with  Star City.  Team members include:  Jalen Cole, Jacob Collier-Tenison, Cooper Fisken, Aiden Jones, and Xavier Parker.

"R2D-Dudes" tied for 2nd place with "iCode Pro," both from FHSA.  R2D-Dudes team members include:  Evan Ayres, Brian Jones, Fardeen Kawsar, Dimitri Kittrell, and Xander Parker.  iCode Pro (an all girls robotic team) includes Charlotte Boehme, Surabhee Eswaran, Sanskriti Garg, Savannah Gordon, Deanna Kamanga, and Niya Norfolk.

Central's Ace Debaters, Williams & Woods, Still #1 in the Nation

Another historic weekend for Central's #1 debating team in the nation! DJ Williams and Payton Woods were one of eight teams to compete at the University of Oklahoma (OU) Round Robin in Norman this past weekend. The Round Robin is an elite competition that precedes the high school Tournament of Champions (TOC) Qualifying Tournament at Heritage Hall in Oklahoma City. DJ and Payton are the first team in the history of the OU event to finish with a perfect 8-0 record, winning the Round Robin and earning 1st Speaker (Payton) and 2nd Speaker (DJ)!

After a grueling two days and 16 hours of debating at OU, DJ and Payton headed into the TOC qualifier very confident. They earned their historic NINTH bid to the Tournament of Champions--and (again), are the only team in the country with this many bids to the TOC. After 22 hours of debating at the TOC qualifier, DJ and Payton emerged victorious, placing 1st and snagging 1st and 2nd Speaker again!

Central's Kiara Williams Named January Athlete of the Month AGAIN!

Once again, Central High's Lady Tiger basketball star Kiara Williams has been named the Athlete of the Month for January. As a junior, Kiara was named the January 2015 Athlete of the Month and she continues to be a stand-out star and team leader. Earlier this year, Kiara signed to play college ball for the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville next fall. She has a 3.0 GPA and averages 13 points a game— proving that outstanding athletes have the discipline and dedication required to be successful in the classroom. Already her team is off to a 13-0 start and is ranked number one in the state. Significantly, Maxpreps has ranked the Lady Tigers #20 in the nation and USA Today has ranked the team as #25 in the nation. We have every expectation that Kiara and her team will have the right stuff to take home the 7A State Championship this year.

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