July 22, 2014

  • Don’t Freak Out at HPHS Drill Tomorrow

    From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow, a training exercise in an active threat or mass casualty will take place at Highland Park High School. Repeat: this is only a drill. Remain calm.

    But, drivers and residents alike will undoubtedly see police, fire, and emergency vehicles at the scene. Westchester Drive will be closed to traffic from Emerson Avenue to Grassmere Lane for the duration. Yes, there will be traffic barriers and signs.

    The exercise will include the University Park fire and police departments, Highland Park DPS, and SMU police. Stay safe out there, everybody.

    By Sarah Bennett Jul. 22, 2014 | 12:11 pm | 1 Comment | Comments RSS
  • July 15, 2014

  • Bandmates Take on Drum Corps

    Peter Sommers and Caroline Gharis (Courtesy Photo)

    Peter Sommers and Caroline Gharis (Courtesy Photo)

    Two students from the Highlander Band and color guard have earned a spot with Crossmen, a world-class Drum and Bugle Corps with Drum Corps International.

    “This is a huge achievement not only for these two outstanding students, but for the Highlander Band as a whole,” said Highlander band director Reagan Brumley. 

    Caroline Gharis, a senior, is the color-guard captain at HPHS. She also plays the French horn. This is her second year with Crossmen, and she will be part of the flag line. 

    Peter Sommers, a junior euphonium player, will spend his first year in Crossmen as an alternate on the flag line. 

    “They had to audition against some of the most talented young people from across the country,” HPISD Highlander Band and color guard director Danny Martinez said.

    Members of the Corps spent 12 hours a day for three weeks learning the marching show in San Antonio at the Crossmen headquarters.

    After a debut performance on June 13, they loaded the buses to begin their tour. The Crossmen will perform in 20 states, competing against other DCI groups from around the nation. Their tour will end with the DCI World Championships  on August 9 in Indianapolis.

    In the Dallas area, the Crossmen will perform in Southlake on July 16, and at Lake Highlands High School on July 21.

    This story appears in the July issue of Park Cities People, on stands now. 

    By Paige Skinner Jul. 15, 2014 | 10:00 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • July 7, 2014

  • Scots Not Supporting Specialty Plates

    The state might discontinue these if more aren't sold. Will they even be missed?

    The state might discontinue these if more aren’t sold. Will they even be missed?

    As it turns out, the Highland Park ISD specialty plates issued by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles aren’t selling very well.

    The Dallas Morning News has the details on the possible discontinuation of a partnership between the DMV and MyPlates.com that was started in 2010. Poor sales are to blame for the potential elimination of an idea that was meant to boost school pride, something that is never lacking in the Park Cities.

    Why do you think the plates aren’t selling? At any rate, apparently they’re now being offered at a discount, so you might want to get yours now. They might soon become a collectors’ item.

    By Todd Jorgenson Jul. 7, 2014 | 12:23 pm | 16 Comments | Comments RSS
  • June 30, 2014

  • Demographic Study Confirms Rapid Growth

    HPISD Demographic

    Click to expand.

    At the June 10 meeting of the Highland Park ISD school board, trustees heard detailed data from demographers that reiterated one thing: the district is booming.

    That may come as no surprise, as district enrollment has been steadily on the rise for years. But the breakdown was of specific importance to the board.

    “It will confirm why parents are concerned about class size,” superintendent Dawson Orr said of the demographic study results. Read More…

    By Sarah Bennett Jun. 30, 2014 | 9:00 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • June 25, 2014

  • HPHS Reading List Leads to Hot Debate

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    When University Park resident Sarah Jordan saw her daughter reading at the family dining table, she didn’t expect to see her high-achieving student using White-Out on the book.

    “I picked it up and ended up reading the book cover to cover,” Jordan said. “If this was made into a movie, it wouldn’t even be NC-17.”

    Her daughter’s pre-AP, 10th-grade English class was reading The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, which Jordan felt to have pornographic passages regarding an inappropriate relationship between two characters.

    The book is one of many that has caused heated debate among parents of Highland Park High School students. Read More…

    By Sarah Bennett Jun. 25, 2014 | 11:02 am | 29 Comments | Comments RSS
  • June 19, 2014

  • The Ellen Show Honors HP Grad

    Ford Yates, petroleum geology major at the University of Oklahoma, spent a week in March donating bone marrow.

    Ford Yates, petroleum geology major at the University of Oklahoma, spent a week in March donating bone marrow.

    Ford Yates, a 19-year-old HPHS graduate, spent his spring break saving a stranger’s life.

    It all started when Yates attended a bone marrow drive at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church last summer and became a volunteer to donate, then three months later found out that he was a match for a dying man.

    Read More…

    By Claire Kelley Jun. 19, 2014 | 10:01 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Pink Ribbons Honor Deceased Student

    Pink ribbons line UP Elementary in Abigail's memory. (Staff photo: Sarah Bennett)

    Pink ribbons line UP Elementary in Abigail’s memory. (Staff photo: Sarah Bennett)

    Pink ribbons have appeared all across the grounds of University Park Elementary, down Hillcrest Avenue, Lovers Lane, and many of the residential streets tucked behind the school. The ribbons are in memory of Abigail Barnes, a first grader at the school who passed away on June 12. She was 8 years old.

    Abigail is survived by her parents, Marci and Matt, and her brother, Bailey, who will be a sixth-grader at MIS this fall.

    A service was held Tuesday at Highland Park United Methodist Church. Attendees were asked to wear pink in honor of Abigail’s favorite color.

    In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that memorials be made to help support Dr. David Weinstein’s research of glycogen-storage disease. Details here.

    By Sarah Bennett Jun. 19, 2014 | 1:10 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • HPISD Trustees Approve 2-Percent Pay Raise

    As of the 2014-2015 school year, employees of Highland Park ISD will receive a 2-percent pay raise, per a meeting of the school-board  trustees earlier today.

    The Board recognizes how hard our faculty and staff work, and we are pleased to approve a pay increase for them,” HPISD Board of Trustees president Leslie Melson said in a statement. “The pay increase will allow the district to maintain a competitive salary for its faculty and staff, and it will help attract and retain talented employees who are committed to educational excellence.”

    This is the third year in a row the district has approved an increase.

    By Sarah Bennett Jun. 19, 2014 | 10:45 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • June 10, 2014

  • Life of Reilly: 50 Years of Teaching

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    As St. Monica Catholic School teacher Sally Reilly sits in her classroom, images and drawings of Mickey and Minnie Mouse surround her. She wears a hair bow on top of her head, glasses with red rims, and homemade bows on her tennis shoes.

    A student pops in to say hi. “She’s in the third grade,” the fifth-grade teacher said. “They’re funny.”

    At a school with about 850 students, everyone seems to know Reilly — partly because she’s been there more than 50 years. Read More…

    By Curtis Thornton Jun. 10, 2014 | 3:00 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • June 4, 2014

  • Hyer Fourth Graders Honored with Clap Out

    Hyer students high-five their way to a summer vacation.

    Hyer students high-five their way to a summer vacation.

    Hyer Elementary School celebrated its annual Clap Out last week, a tradition honoring fourth-graders who are “graduating” from elementary school.

    The outgoing students parade through the halls of the school, receiving cheers and high-fives from their younger classmates. Fourth-grade families also celebrated the day with a picnic, and the graduating students presented Principal Jeremy Gilbert with an autographed class photo.

    By Claire Kelley Jun. 4, 2014 | 9:47 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
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