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Bale GT Specialist Named STEM Champion

Creativity and energy that’s what  Little Rock School District Gifted and Talented Specialist Jennifer Thomas brings to the classroom when inspiring her students at Bale Elementary to appreciate STEM education; and for her efforts she was recently recognized as the recipient of the 2014 ISEA STEM Champion Award.
 
This award honors public and private elementary, middle, high school teachers who have served as champions for integrated science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in their school and/or community. The STEM-Champion Award serves as a standard of excellence for individuals who promote integrating STEM with other core subject areas. Each year, the International STEM Education Association seeks out individuals who have implemented STEM programs, provided professional development, encouraged others, and have been instrumental in supporting integrated STEM education.
 
Thomas, who serves students grades K-5, worked to convert a classroom at her school into a STEM lab where she taught STEM lessons. She has also collaborated with other educational professionals to secure grants to help fund STEM-focused curriculum at Bale. In addition, she created lessons for Bale’s afterschool program and delivered professional development about STEM to her colleagues.
 
To be named a STEM-Champion Award recipient is to join an elite group of educational innovators. All recipients of this award share an important quality - they have taken direct action to champion STEM education that impacts all students in the classroom.
 

Dedicated Long-time Parkview Employee Honored By Former Student

Story contributed by Judith Murray, Parkview

He is considered a “Parkview treasure,” and can be seen in the school halls every day, always smiling, always greeting students and staff. He has worked for the district for 47 years – 42 of them for Parkview Arts/Science Magnet High School.

And the Winners Are...

Congratulations to all of our National School Lunch Week Coloring Contest winners!

1st place (70 votes): Bhavana Sridharen, Williams Magnet Elementary

2nd place (33 votes): Savannah Jenkins, Williams Magnet Elementary

3rd place (29 votes): Siddharath Sridharen, Williams Magnet Elementary

Dunbar Students Attend AETN's U.S. Senate Race Debate

Students from Dunbar Magnet Middle School’s Broadcast Journalism classes attended the taping of the 2014 AETN sponsored Debate for United States Senate at UCA in Conway, AR on Monday, October 13. Since the 2013-2014 school year, Dunbar has participated as a PBS Student Reporting Lab, affiliated with the Jim Lehrer News Hour. The students in Mr. Jason Raymond’s class were attending the event as official press, and participated in the post-debate press room Q&A with candidates following the ninety minute debate. Participating students included: James Wilson, Arianna Hansberry, Jada Flint, Bryant Romero, Treyvon Weathers, and Kylar Williams.

18 LR Central Students Named National Merit Semifinalists

Once again, Little Rock Central dominated the state with the most National Merit® Semi-finalists. Congratulations to Little Rock Central’s 18 National Merit Semifinalists:

 

Trisha Bhattacharyya

Will Bolster

Chen-Bo Fang

Sherry T. Ago

Sarthak Garg

David W. Gilson

Audrey A. Glover

Jolli Khoo

Ian U. Kim

Jacob O. Maris

Hannah R. Oldham

Matthew G. Ponder

Chandler J. Smith

Gee-Yong Sung

Chuang Z. Tang

Manasa Veluvolu

Jeong-Min Wui

Edward H. Zhao

 

Central’s 18 National Merit Semi-finalists are part of an elite group of approximately 16,000 academically talented highs school seniors who have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earing the Merit Scholar® title.

 

About 1.4 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test  (PSAT/NMSQ®),  which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

 

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

 

 

J.A. Fair Graduate Named Student Conservationist of the Year


The Arkansas Wildlife Federation at the Governor’s 2014 Conservation Achievement Awards Banquet recently named Austin Klais, J.A. Fair 2011Valedictorian, Student Conservationist of the Year.

 

Austin Klais is the current president of the Arkansas Tech University Fisheries and Wildlife Society (ATUFWS). He has also served in the public relations office for the society. During his time as president, Klais has increased the activity of the society both on and off campus.

 

Klais has led the ATUFWS in participating in the Bearcat Hollow restoration efforts. He has also organized clean-up efforts along the society’s adoptive mile stretch in Pottsville as well as organizing a group of student to pick up trash along a stretch of highway for the national clean-up day. 

 

Klasi helped organize the Arkansas Tech University (ATU) Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation bringing a new conservation focus to the ATU campus. He also worked to make the society’s 2nd Annual Beast Feast fundraiser a success feeding over 160 people different types of wild game. He introduced prospective students and their parents to the society and other fisheries and wildlife topics taking place in the State. Klais also helped the Friends of Holla Bend educate the public on topics related to birds and helped install birdhouses at the Holla Benda National Wildlife Refuge.

 

Carver’s Young Astronaut Specialist Selected by NASA

 

Charlotte Cook from Carver Magnet Elementary was one of 25 teachers selected for NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. Cook competed with teachers from around the globe to be chosen for NASA’s Master Teacher Program. This elite group of educators will develop educational resources based on GPM's data – with a focus on the water cycle and related applications – to share with their students and school communities.

 

"Our goal is to make teachers aware of the wealth of resources offered through NASA education and outreach. We also will receive feedback on how their students received the material," said Dorian Janney, education specialist and manager for GPM's Master Teachers Program at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

 

Rookey Scores Again!!!

Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School's Deborah J. Rookey is among sixteen members of the Arkansas high school Class of 2014 graduates named this week as recipients of National Merit Scholarships that are financed by colleges and universities.

The recipients will join about 2,500 other college-sponsored award winners announced in May. The awards provide between $500 and $2,000 a year for up to four years of undergraduate study. Rookey plans to purse a legal career after completing her studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

You'll recall, Rookey was one of two LRSD students to score a 36 on the ACT during the 2013-2014 school year.

“Spectrum” by Parkview High School Debuts on YouTube

The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus made a stop at Parkview Arts/Science Magnet High School, Tuesday, May 6, 2014, and spent the day on campus with students, providing them an interactive experience in writing, recording, and editing their own video on the mobile audio/video recording facility. The result is a soulful, uplifting song that captures “the beauty of life.” Click here to view the video on YouTube.
    
ABOUT THE JOHN LENNON EDUCATIONAL TOUR BUS
The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is a non-profit, state-of-the-art mobile Pro Audio and HD video recording facility that provides hands-on experiences for students of all ages. In its 17th year of touring, the Lennon Bus features the latest audio and video technology, gear and products. The concept began as an offshoot of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, which is dedicated to providing opportunities for both professional and amateur songwriters around the world. The Bus travels across the U.S. and Canada year-round, providing free tours and workshops at schools, retailers, festivals, on tours with headlining artists, and at major industry conferences. Lennon Bus Europe began providing these same opportunities to the young people of Europe when it launched in Liverpool, UK in May 2013. For more information please visit www.lennonbus.org.

16 LRSD Students Earn Qualifying Scores in the Duke TIP

Two LRSD students, Katherine Taylor (Pulaski Heights Middle) and Anna Rumpz (Mann Magnet Middle), were singled out for the highest level of the Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP), a program in which 7th graders are selected based on qualifying test scores test scores on the SAT or ACT college readiness exams. Taylor and Rumpz received Grand Recognition, State Recognition and were invited to attend the Center for Summer Studies. Two other students from Mann Magnet Middle School, Sally Kashala and Eric Williams, also qualified for the Center for Summer Studies and received State Recognition. Students who qualify for the Center for Summer Studies represent the highest-scoring students in Duke TIP’s 7th Grade Talent Search across all 16 states that participate in the program. The courses offered at the Center for Summer Studies are some of the most challenging and rigorous available to academically gifted students in the country.  

Another 12 students received State Recognition and/or invitations to attend the Academy for Summer Studies, which offers exceptional academic and social experience for those students who are among the top 5 percent of the academically talented students in their grade level.

Join us in congratulating the following students for their outstanding performance on the ACT or SAT college readiness exams as 7th graders!

Mabelvale Middle School Choir Headed to Carnegie Hall

The Mabelvale Middle School Choir, led by Choir Director Matthew Farr, has been selected to perform at historic Carnegie Hall in New York City. The trip is set to take place March 28-31, 2015, with the performance scheduled for March 30, 2015. In order to make this dream a reality, the students are seeking donations and/or sponsors to fund the trip. Donations may be made at http://www.gofundme.com/983zjw. All proceeds directly impact the Mabelvale Choir Program. 

"This trip will be a fun and exciting educational experience for our choir students that supersedes all others, "said Farr. "The students will work with professional conductors and singers as well as attend master classes that will enhance their individual vocal abilities," he added. 

From Arkansas to Africa - Western Hills Students Create "Circle of Change"  

From pickles to pencils to popsicles...whatever it took to raise the money, determined students at Western Hills Elementary sold it on campus and in front of a local skating rink to benefit students in Tanzania. Now the work of these serious young pitchmen and women is paying off. They managed to collect mostly coins, and some foldable money in the amount of $5,000 dollars as part of their "Mbegu" service project to purchase school supplies for students in Tanzania. The name for the service project is derived from the Swahili word for "seed."  

 

"We wanted to plant the seed of change in our students' minds so it would grow and make them more aware of the needs of others," said Western Hills teacher Kristy Taylor.  

Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Washington University of St. Louis and the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville Among Top College Choices for LRSD Graduates at 2014 Academic Signing Day     

Ninety-five students from the Little Rock School District's Class of 2014 were honored at the tenth annual Academic Signing Day on Monday, May 19

 

Abhilasha Gokulan

Dartmouth College

Abrar Matin

University of Southern California

Akiko Kyong-McClain

Temple University

Alden Walters

Yale

Alena Higgins

University of California Santa Barbara

Alexander "Alex" Shannon

Centenary College of Louisana

Alexander Parr

Arkansas

Alexander Zhang

Yale

Alexandra Honeycutt

Arkansas

Allison Light

Princeton

Ankita Das

Duke

Anne Schexnayder

Arkansas

Ashley Finney

Arkansas

Astha Mittal

Hendrix

Attrice Meeks

Arkansas

Audrey Bauman

UCA

Avinash Arulmurugu

Boston University

Ayesha Patel

Arkansas

Briana Jones

UALR

Callah Mitchell

UALR

Chloe' Robinson

University of Memphis

Christian Coletti

Oklahoma State University

Christyal Holloway

Arkansas State University

DANYAL AMIN SMANI

Rice University

Claudia Vargas

Pulaski Tech College

Darielle Brown

UCA

Darius Ford

Washington University of St. Louis

Darryonna Armstrong

UALR

Deborah Rookey

Washington University of St. Louis

Destinee Boddie

Rhodes College

Elizabeth Palmer

University of Washington at Seattle

Emily Claire Mackey

Wake Forest University

Emma Gaither

Hendrix

Eric Gasby

UALR

Errick Jackson

Harvey Mudd College

Esther Park

University of Penn

Evan Yi

Davidson College

Evan Young

Arkansas

Farhan Kawsar

Rice University

Gabrielle Miller

UCA

Garrett Bethel

Arkansas

Georgia Gazette

Arkansas

Hannah Bullard

Barnard College

Hannah Tackett

Hendrix

Irish Pelayo

Pulaski Tech College

Jackson Weaver

Arkansas

Jacob Oldham

Arkansas

James Joseph Abraham

Vanderbilt

James Burrow

Arkansas

James Hill

Rice University

Joseph Hwang

Georgetown University

Jourdan Lee

Tulane University

Justin Guyton

Washington University of St. Louis

Kaitlyn Perreault

Boston University

Katherine Knight

Texas Christian University

Kennedy Green

Arkansas

Kiran Chakka

New York University

Kristen Eldridge

Arkansas

Leila Kerr

Baylor University

Lela-Tamara Fluker

Lyon College

LINA AL-AZZAWI

Pulaski Tech College

Lindsey Graefen

Anderson University

Mackenzie Bodie

Arkansas

Manuel Alvarez Romero

Harvard

Melinda Lue

Pomona College

Nasasha Worthy

Arkansas Tech

Natalie Doris

Undecided

Natasha Thompson

University of Southern California

Nathan Harkey

Harding University

Nathanael Ji

Princeton

Rachel Haislip

UCA Honors College

Rong Ding

St. Lous College of Pharmacy

Ross Regan

University of South Carolina

Ryan Wass

U of A at Fayetteville

Sarah Alexander

University of Georgia

Sarah Dodd

Harding University

Sarah Greenbaum

Rhodes College

Sarah Halford

Arkansas

Siddharth Jambhekar

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Sonya Mehta

Case Western Reserve University

Stephanie Menhart

University of California San Diego

Sydney Alman

Northwestern University

Taurean Brown

Pomona College

Tiraneka Broadway

UCA

Tylon Jackson

Arkansas

Victoria Linn Spradley

Hendrix

Walter Bass

University of Virginia at Charlottesville

Will Richardson

Arkansas

William Mitchell

Rhodes College

William Nicholson

Columbia College in Chicago

Wyatt Williams

Arkansas

Xavier Wills

Arkansas

Yulia Batalina

Arkansas

Yuxiu (Katherine) Wang

Hendrix College

 

Sophomore from Central Chosen as Finalist in GENIUS Olympidad

Anirudh Pidugu, a sophomore at Little Rock Central, qualified as a finalist of the GENIUS Olympiad from Arkansas. GENIUS Olympiad is an international high school project competition about environmental issues. It is founded and organized by the Terra Science and Education and hosted by the State University of New York at Oswego. Anirudh submitted his project under the title of “NON PRECIOUS METAL CATALYSTS AS FUEL CATHODES IN OXYGEN REDUCTION REACTIONS.” He received various awards such as first place Energy and Transportation at the Central Arkansas Regional Science and Engineering Fair; fifth place overall at the regional competition and honorable mention at the Arkansas Science Fair. His paper was selected by the Arkansas Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) as one of the top 12 papers in the state. On top of all of this, Anirudh was a speaker at the Arkansas JSHS event. Anirudh has the opportunity of a lifetime to join 328 other students from around the world at the 2014 Genius Olympiad. 

Don Roberts Elementary Teacher Honored as LRSD's Top Educator

The Little Rock School District honored its best and brightest teachers with the annual Crystal Awards Gala Monday night at the Embassy Suites Hotel.  Don Roberts Elementary School Teacher Steven Helmick was named Little Rock School District Teacher of the Year for 2014, earning the coveted Marian G. Lacey Educator Award, the district's highest recognition.  Helmick was also awarded a $1,000 cash prize, a Dell Latitude 3340 laptop and gift bag from Knowledge Tree.

 

Teachers representing every campus in the district were recognized during the gala.  Level winners were also named and included Bernestine Rhodes, Hall - High School Teacher of the Year; Sharon Dallimore, Pulaski Heights  - Middle School Teacher of the Year; and Vanessa Hendrix, King - Elementary School Teacher of the Year.  Level winners took home $500 each in cash prizes, Dell tablets and gift bags from Knowledge Tree. 

 

The task of providing a strong foundation upon which all other learning first falls on the shoulders of an elementary teacher.  From greeting frightened kindergartners on the first day of school to sending confident 5th graders on to middle school, the building blocks of learning are formed in these teachers' classrooms.  Middle school and high school teachers continue to impact students' lives helping to get them ready to successfully navigate college and/or career, ultimately preparing them to be productive, engaged citizens.

 

LRSD proudly salutes all of its teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. 

McClellan Student Wins Prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship

McClellan Senior Darryonna Armstrong was recently named one of 1,000 national winners of the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship. Armstrong was chosen because of her strong leadership skills, commitment to community service and overall academic achievement.

The Gates Millennium Scholarship is awarded each year to 1,000 high school seniors who successfully complete the rigorous application process, which includes a series of essays and certain economic stipulations. This year over 52,000 students from across the nation applied for the Gates Millennium Scholarship.

As a Gates Millennium Scholar, Armstrong is able to attend any accredited college or university in the United States. The scholarship is renewable each year based on the stringent Gates Millennium Scholarship program guidelines. Armstrong plans to attend the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in the fall.
 

For the Second Time This School Year— Another LRSD Student Makes Perfect ACT Score


Chandler Smith, son of Horace and Jennifer Smith, a junior at Little Rock Central High School, earned a top composite score of 36 on a recent ACT test. Nationally, while the actual number of students earning a composite score of 36 varies from year to year, on average, less than one-tenth of one percent of students who take the ACT earns the top score. Among test takers in the high school graduating class of 2013, only 1,162 of 1.8 million students earned a composite score of 36.

 

“It is no surprise to us that Chandler Smith made a 36 on the ACT; we know him to be a very driven student. What his perfect score doesn’t reflect is his amiable personality. His teachers describe him as a wonderful person and a joy to have in class,” said Little Rock Central High Principal Nancy Rousseau.

 

Smith began attending LRSD at age 3 as a student in the Rockefeller Early Childhood Education Program. He then attended Dunbar Middle School, where he was captain of the Quiz Bowl Team. When he was a sophomore he scored a 35 on the ACT. He is currently on the Quiz Bowl at Central High.

 

You may recall Parkview's Debra Rookey also scored a 36 on the ACT in the fall semester. 

 

The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale of 1-36, and a student's composite score is the average of the four test scores. Some students also take ACT's optional Writing Test, but the score for that test is reported separately and is not included within the ACT composite score.

 

In a letter recognizing this exceptional achievement, ACT CEO Jon Whitmore said, "While test scores are just one of the many criteria that most colleges consider when making admission decisions, your exceptional ACT composite score should prove helpful as you pursue your education and career goals."

 

All major U.S. colleges accept ACT test scores, and exceptional scores of 36 provide colleges with evidence of student readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.

 

 

Top LRSD Science Teacher Among Four Honored With DuPont Scholarship

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola and DuPont Public Affairs Manager,  Mary Kate Campbell, recognized  Parkview Science Department Chairman Mr. Leslie Williams and three (3)  other Little Rock Science Educators as DuPont Office of Education Scholarship Recipients.  Scholarship recipients received trips to the National Science Teachers Conference in Boston, Massachusetts in April, 2014.

 

Williams is Chairman of the Science Department and a highly regarded science educator from Little Rock Parkview High School.  Williams attended the National Science Teachers Conference in Boston, MA, April 3-6 as an NSTA DuPont Office of Education Sponsorship recipient.

 

Henderson EAST Students Win in Hot Springs

 

Henderson Middle School represented the Little Rock School District at the annual EAST Conference at the Hot Springs Convention Center.  Henderson EAST students won the following competitions:

 

1st place - VersaCAD - Mapping Project of Rock Creek, Kealan Washington

1st place - ArchiCAD - Health Care Center, Kameron May

3rd place - Students for Healthy Communities - Come Dine With Us, Amya Hutchinson, Wesley Suen, Michael Dunn, Kheli Jones

Honorable Mention - Storytelling with Maps - Premature Births, Jung Kim, Amya Hutchinson, Nadia Hernandez

Congratulations LRSD National History Day Winners!

The District 7 National History Day Competition was held at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock on Saturday, March 8, 2014.  LRSD students competed at the elementary, middle and high school levels. High school and middle school winners progress to the state completion on April 19, 2014. Join us in congratulating the following:

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