PHS students place at state science, engineering, math competition
Three Pflugerville High School students placed at the 2014 Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) State Competition. Jennifer Han took first place in Biology AP and Donaji Medina took third place in biology AP. Faria Kazi took fourth place in physics, first place in statistics and earned a special award in the engineering design challenge.
Participants must be a part of an afterschool STEM program and qualify at a divisional competition in order to take part in the state competition. The qualifier for this region, the Capital Area Math and Science Competition was held at Welch Hall, UT Austin on Feb. 1 2014. About 150 students competed at the Capital Area Math and Science Competition and 33 advanced to the state level. Similar events were held across Texas and 300 students, all top-place finishers were invited to attend the State Competition in Fort Worth, at the Lockheed Martin campus. The events are offered free of cost to participants, with TAME covering the cost of transportation, housing, food and event registration.
Schools raise funds for local animal shelters
Third grade students were assigned a district social studies project to become entrepreneurs and create a small business to sell a project for a cause that they all could agree upon. This was also a writing project (with a concentration on persuasive writing) in which students wrote and delivered school-wide announcements, as well as visual advertising in the form of a take-home flyer for the community.
The Third Grader Entrepreneurs at Copperfield Elementary ran a lemonade stand on field day, at the fifth grade dance, and on May 30. The result was, after expenses, (another concept our students had to come to understand), students raised $900 for the cause of their choice. As a grade level, the students voted to donate their earnings to three no-kill animal shelters: Pflugerville Animal Shelter, Austin Animal Shelter and the Williamson County Animal Shelter.
Third grade representatives at Riojas presented a check for $1,551.63 to the Pflugerville Animal Shelter. The money was raised from third grade market day at Riojas Elementary School, which required students to make items to sell in their “stores” and donate the profits to a charity. All third graders came up with a business plan, made the items they would sell, priced the items, figured out the profits after selling the items, marketed the items, made signs for their stores, and sold their items to the entire school on May 21.
Rowe Lane ES
During Rowe Lane ES Economic Fair, third graders collected $1,270.21, which was donated to the Pflugerville Animal Shelter.
Brookhollow CPR trainingAt the end of the school year, Brookhollow Elementary took part in a nationwide activity to train fifth grade students in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The campus was the only one in PfISD which took part in the program.
Student journalist recognized internationally for in-depth article
PHS senior Emily Munoz, editor-in-chief of the Panther Prowler Newspaper, has been awarded the Frank Keegan “Take No Prisoners” Award by Youth Journalism International (YJI). This is the highest honor a student can receive in the YJI News category. YJI recognized Emily for the in-depth story she wrote about academic dishonesty in the December issue of the Panther Prowler.
“Emily’s in-depth and hard-hitting story about rampant cheating in her Texas high school pulled no punches,” YJI judges said. “She snagged interviews not only with teachers who had a range of views on academic dishonesty, but with students, including one who admitted to cheating. She didn’t stop at the high school door, but pursued university officials and college students at two Texas universities. Going that extra distance served her high school readers. Her story educated them about how differently cheating is viewed and handled at the college level compared to what they see in their high school. Emily’s story represents the kind of tough journalism espoused by Frank Keegan, for whom this award is named.”
Emily and senior Alyssa Newman also placed 1st in the YJI Features Category for Team Reporting. Junior Kennedy Huff earned Honorable Mention in Column Writing.
PHS student film takes second in Young Filmmakers Festival
PHS advanced film students produced a short narrative this year called “For the Sake of Sanity.” The film, which was written and directed by PHS junior Erin Devany, has garnered several awards. It was named a state semifinalist in the inaugural UIL Young Filmmakers Festival. The film was also selected to the Austin Youth Film Festival and was shown at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz Theater where it took second place, and Devany received $500.
PHS Newspaper students take honors at state competitionPflugerville HS newspaper and broadcast students brought home many awards from the 2014 ILPC state journalism awards. The newspaper staff, the Panther Prowler, won a Bronze Star Award, which is the top honor a high school publication can receive in the state of Texas. The student broadcast, PTV, was one of eight high school broadcasts in the state to receive a Distinguished Merit rating.
Newspaper and broadcast students also won several Individual Achievement Awards. Most significantly, senior Emily Munoz won a Tops in Texas Award; her story was voted the best in the state in the category of In-Depth News/Feature Story.
Newspaper Individual Achievement Awards
- Emily Munoz—Tops in Texas and 1st Place in In-Depth News/Feature Story
- Emily Munoz—1st place in Feature Writing
- Staff—1st Place in Headlines
- Tim and Emily Fahey—2nd place in Feature Writing
- Antonija Antunovic and Paton LaBelle—2nd place in News Feature
- Jaclyn LaBelle—2nd place in Homepage Design
- Emily Munoz—3rd place in News Writing
- Emily Munoz—3rd place in Entertainment Feature
- Kennedy Huff—3rd place in Personal Opinion Column
- Lauren Amaro, Stephanie Nguyen-Okwu, Paton LaBelle—3rd place in News Feature
- Nguyet-Hang Truong—Honorable Mention in Computer Art
- Ed Herrera—Honorable Mention in General News Photo
- Eli Berke—Honorable Mention in Sports Action Photo
- Ed Herrera—Honorable Mention in Portrait
Broadcast Individual Achievement Awards
- Kennedy Huff, Aleksa Yandrisovitz, Audra Fletcher—1st place in General News/Feature/Sports Report Writing
- Eli Berke, Andrew Sharp, Tung Duong, Brad Guzman, Christian Campbell—1st place in Promotion/Commercial
- Lauren Hendricks, Priscilla Odreman, Gio Estrada—2nd place in Feature Story
- Kennedy Huff, Aleksa Yandrisovitz, Audra Fletcher—3rd place in General News Story
- Tung Duong, Katrina Bara, Christian Campbell—3rd place in Editing
- Tung Duong, Katrina Bara, Brandy Garcia—3rd place in Photography
Students take part in the national business leadership conference
Top students from Hendrickson and Connally High Schools attended the Business Professionals of America (BPA) 2014 National Leadership Conference, “Accelerate Your Future,” in Indianapolis, IN, April 30- May 4, 2014. Alexander Cramer and Hannah Meadows from Hendrickson High School and Edgar Saucedo from Connally High School joined over 5,000 other conference delegates from across the nation to participate in national level business skills competitions, workshops, general sessions, and the national officer candidate campaigns and elections.
Besides having the opportunity to excel, they experienced the city of Indianapolis, IN. “The conference is the culmination of a school year’s worth of business education and training which these students have received,” said Hendrickson High School chapter advisor, Abby Williford, who teaches Audio/Video Production. Alexander Cramer from HHS placed 5th in Computer Modeling. Edgar Saucedo from CHS placed 11th in PC Servicing & Troubleshooting and earned Microsoft Office Specialist: Access 2010, MTA: Security Fundamentals, and MTA: Windows OS Fundamentals certifications. Hannah Meadows from HHS competed in Digital Media Production. ”We are so proud of all of their accomplishments,” said Connally High School chapter advisor, Amanda Simpson.
Business Professionals of America is a national organization for high school, college, and middle school students preparing for careers in business and information technology. The organization’s activities and programs complement classroom instruction by giving students practical experience through application of the skills learned at school. Business Professionals of America acts as a cohesive agent in the nationwide networking of education and business and industry. BPA is contributing to the preparation of a world-class workforce through the advancement of leadership, citizenship, academic, and technological skills.
The Hendrickson High School Science Olympiad team competed in the state tournament at Texas A&M University. The team placed 9th out of 31 teams in the competition. The following individuals medaled in their events.
- 1st place Scrambler - Colton D’Ambra and Albert Felan
- 1st place Forensics - Mandi Palencia and Aeslyn Kail
- 2nd Place We Got Your Number - Colton D’Ambra and Dung Nguyen
- 4th place Water Quality - Vivian Huynh and Jaydin Ngo
Hendrickson student attends state journalism conference
Nyssa Kruse has been selected to represent the state of Texas at the 2014 Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference taking place at the Newseum. She will be receiving a $1,000 college scholarship and will attend the conference in Washington, D.C., in June.
Students attend Tomorrow’s Leaders luncheon with former First Daughter
Members of the PfISD speech & debate leader team had the privilege to hear former First Daughter Luci Baines Johnson during an Austin Community College luncheon about her father’s legacy during the civil rights and voting rights movements. Johnson, the younger daughter of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, was the keynote speaker at ACC’s sixth annual Building Tomorrow’s Leaders luncheon. Johnson used the occasion to compliment efforts within ACC’s Center for Public Policy and Political Studies, the only such center of its kind nationally at a community college.
(Front Row) Dr. Alex Torrez; Christina Bui; Kirsten Nash, HHS Forensic Director; Josh Villarreal; and Rob Reyes, PISD Board Member
(Back Row) Marcus Ayala; Nico Williams; Samin Agha, HHS Assistant Forensic Director; Zach Falkenbury; Jordan Rojas; and Danielle Williams