October 20, 2014

  • HPMS Takes On Shrek: The Musical

    Fairy-tale characters put their best foot forward at dress rehearsal.

    Fairy-tale characters put their best foot forward at dress rehearsal.

    Some Highland Park Middle School students have been hard at work rehearsing for their upcoming performance of “Shrek: The Musical” on Oct. 23-26.

    The cast of 43 seventh- and eighth-grade students are in a Playbill class taught by Susan McCormick, the HPMS drama director. Megan Kelly Bates of the Preston Center Dance Conservatory has contributed to the show as well.

    The show features Stephen Bates as Shrek, Claire DeJean as Fiona, and Jack Smith as Donkey, accompanied by the whole slew of fairy-tale characters. The musical is based on the 2001 film and William Steig’s book. It hit Broadway in 2008 and was nominated for eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

    Admission is a mere $5 and tickets are available from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 23-24, and 30 minutes prior to the show.

    By Allyssa Schoonover Oct. 20, 2014 | 1:35 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • October 17, 2014

  • HPISD to Deep-Clean Campuses This Weekend

    Highland Park ISD just released a memo on behalf of superintendent Dawson Orr saying that the school district will commence a deep-cleaning of each campus this weekend and into next week. Custodial staff will also “step up” daily cleaning measures.

    “We have checked the CDC guidelines for recommended cleaning products and the commercial grade anti-viral disinfectants currently in use on every campus exceed those recommendations,” Orr said in the memo.

    In the spirit of rumor control, the district wished to emphasize that no member of the Bradfield Elementary community was on the Frontier Airlines flight with Ebola patient Amber Vinson — a parent and student did fly from Cleveland to Dallas on Oct. 13, but on a different plane.

    Read More…

    By Sarah Bennett Oct. 17, 2014 | 12:27 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Hyer Carnival Will Be All Fun and Games

    From left, Arden Cryer, Jenna Bowen, and Madison McBee  Middle (l to r):  Lennox Byrd, Principal Jeremy Gilbert, Jack Bowen, Jacob Steele, and Tyler Gravlee   Seated Front (l to r):  Elise Pankratz and Lydia Pankratz

    From left, back row: Arden Cryer, Jenna Bowen, and Madison McBee. Middle row: Lennox Byrd, Hyer principal Jeremy Gilbert, Jack Bowen, Jacob Steele, and Tyler Gravlee. Front row: Elise Pankratz and Lydia Pankratz

    With events that include names such as “water wars,” “cake walk,” and “can smash,” how can this weekend’s annual carnival at Hyer Elementary School not be fun for all ages?

    The carnival has a “Stay Cool” theme this year, and will feature plenty of activities in addition to those listed above. There also will be plenty of rides and refreshments between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., and of course, the community is invited.

    By Todd Jorgenson Oct. 17, 2014 | 10:27 am | 1 Comment | Comments RSS
  • October 16, 2014

  • Eat BBQ and Donate to Highlander Band

    Members of the Highlander Band join Mike Shannon, managing partner of Peggy Sue BBQ, to promote Friday's fundraiser. (Photo: Greg Sommers)

    Members of the Highlander Band join Mike Shannon, managing partner of Peggy Sue BBQ, to promote Friday’s fundraiser, which includes dinner and a silent auction. (Photo: Greg Sommers)

    Before you watch them march and hear them play during Friday’s football game, you can support the Highlander Band at its annual BBQ With the Band fundraiser from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday in the HPHS cafeteria.

    The dinner and auction will feature catering by Peggy Sue BBQ, and it will even include a take-out option from 4:30 to 6:30 in the teacher parking lot off Douglas Avenue. There will be live entertainment by the Dixie Scots and various silent auction items (including six raffle baskets valued at $1,000 or more).

    The goal, of course, is to raise money for the band’s operating costs, instrument purchases and repairs, equipment and uniforms, and transportation. You can preview some of the auction items here.

    By Todd Jorgenson Oct. 16, 2014 | 10:31 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • October 15, 2014

  • Books Debate Continues With School Board

    Parents and neighbors stood out in the hallway to hear at the HPISD school-board meeting. (Staff photo: Sarah Bennett)

    Parents and neighbors stood in the hallway to hear at the HPISD school-board meeting. (Staff photo: Sarah Bennett)

    The HPISD Board of Trustees clearly expected a crowd at the Oct. 14 meeting, as it was held at the Armstrong Elementary auditorium instead of the usual McCulloch Intermediate School location.

    (Update: HPISD had long scheduled the meeting to be held at Armstrong in honor of the Centennial celebrations.) But even Armstrong’s auditorium didn’t provide enough seats. Prior to the meeting’s start, parents and neighbors were gathered outside the auditorium, spilling into the hallway and lobby, straining for a chance to hear.

    The first item of note was an “Ebola update” from Dr. LeeAnn Kridelbaugh, who is a member of the medical-education staff at Cook’s Children’s Medical Center. She briefed the board on Ebola health concerns, and then met in the library with school nurses and a handful of parents with additional questions. Sources have reported that absences at Armstrong have gone up since county judge Clay Jenkins (an Armstrong parent) has been at the front of the Ebola fight — though school nurses have confirmed that there is no reason to panic. Read More…

    By Sarah Bennett Oct. 15, 2014 | 5:16 pm | 10 Comments | Comments RSS
  • ESD Sophomore is Comfortable Behind Camera

    ESD sophomore Cal Etcheverry will attend the All-American High School Film Festival in October in New York. (Courtesy photo)

    ESD sophomore Cal Etcheverry will attend the All-American High School Film Festival in October in New York.

    Cal Etcheverry made nine short films, formed his own studio, and won a grand prize at a festival for a French-language project.

    Then he became a sophomore in high school.

    Etcheverry’s passion for filmmaking has led to a diverse and polished resume of student films, three of which were accepted into the All-American High School Film Festival in late October in New York City. Read More…

    By Todd Jorgenson Oct. 15, 2014 | 10:00 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • HPISD Helps to Get Parents Organized

    Lorraine Brock

    Lorraine Brock

    The Highland Park ISD Parent Education Committee will host a program about various ways to organize your hectic life on Thursday morning at Bradfield Elementary School.

    Professional organizer Lorraine Brock will offer tips about time management, meal planning, and other tidbits to help you navigate your daily routine. The event begins at 9 a.m., and you can find more information here.

    By Todd Jorgenson Oct. 15, 2014 | 5:45 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • October 8, 2014

  • PCHPS Donation Expands Scholarship Efforts

    From left, PCHPS board members Bruce Harbour and Kendall Jennings; HP Education Foundation executive director Jan Peterson; and PCHPS president Joan Clark; treasurer Cindy Brewer; and chairman Al McClendon.

    From left, PCHPS board members Bruce Harbour and Kendall Jennings; HP Education Foundation executive director Jan Peterson; and PCHPS president Joan Clark; treasurer Cindy Brewer; and chairman Al McClendon

    The Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society recently donated $50,000 to the Highland Park Education Foundation to complete an endowment it began last year. The endowment will be used to fund annual scholarships for HPISD students.

    PCHPS raised the money for the endowment through its annual Historic Home Tour each spring and a Distinguished Speaker luncheon series that began in 2012.

    The scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior at Highland Park High School who plans to study architecture, history, or another field related to historical preservation in line with the mission of PCHPS.

    By Todd Jorgenson Oct. 8, 2014 | 5:33 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • October 7, 2014

  • HPISD Reconsiders Curtis Park Natatorium

    The Holmes Aquatic Center at Curtis Park could soon have some company. (File photo)

    Holmes Aquatic Center will likely stand alone at Curtis Park. (File photo)

    UPDATE: University Park and HPISD revised their joint statement late Tuesday to emphasize that Curtis Park is still among the sites being considered. Read on for more information.

    There probably will be no joint-use natatorium in Curtis Park, after all, much to the relief of dozens of University Park residents who have been vocal in their opposition to the project.

    Highland Park ISD and the UP city officials jointly announced on Tuesday that they would evaluate and study alternative sites “following substantial community input.” That no doubt included a highly charged Sept. 24 public forum that packed UP city hall with concerns about traffic, safety, costs, and the environment.

    “HPISD will evaluate the merits of other potential locations and partnerships, in addition to continuing discussions with the City of UP,” the statement reads. “In conjunction with this evaluation process, the City of UP will continue its feasibility study to help determine the financial viability of operating a joint natatorium facility with HPISD. Community input will continue to be an important part of the site selection process.”

    The joint proposal is being considered as part of an expected HPISD bond election next spring, as the district looks to replace its existing natatorium at Highland Park High School with more classroom space.

    By Todd Jorgenson Oct. 7, 2014 | 4:27 pm | 7 Comments | Comments RSS
  • Suspect Arrested After Camera Theft at HPHS

    University Park police have apprehended a teenager who stole more than $12,199 worth of photography equipment from Highland Park High School last weekend.

    The equipment, which consisted of various cameras, lenses, and accessories, was taken from an unlocked room between 6 p.m. on Sept. 26 and 8 a.m. on Sept. 29. A teacher reported the theft to UPPD that morning.

    Surveillance cameras caught a glimpse of the miscreant, and when he returned to the campus around 6 p.m. on Sept. 30, an officer confronted him. Nicholas Eric Villegas, 18, of North Richland Hills was arrested on a burglary charge. Most of the stolen items have been recovered and returned.

    By Todd Jorgenson Oct. 7, 2014 | 1:22 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
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