April 22, 2014

  • Young Shutterbug Cleans Up in Photo Contest

    Abby Law, a seventh-grader at Highland Park Middle School, won six awards from the city of Dallas for her photography.

    Abby Law, a seventh-grader at Highland Park Middle School, was awarded by the city of Dallas for her photography.

    We media types are supposed to have an eye for good photography, so we can appreciate a young talent who knows how to skillfully operate a camera.

    Abby Law, a seventh-grader at Highland Park Middle School, was honored by the Dallas City Council during its April 16 meeting for winning six awards in four categories in the recent Trinity River Corridor Project Photo Contest.

    Abby won first place in the river and wildlife categories, and second in wildlife and architecture. She took third place and honorable mention in the forest category. Some of her winning pictures can be found here.

    By Todd Jorgenson Apr. 22, 2014 | 10:29 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • HPHS Ranked 98th in Nation

    Every year U.S. News & World Report comes out with a ranking of the best schools in the nation and in each state. Consistently Highland Park High School ranks as one of the top, if you take into account just how many schools there are in this country and that the rankings include data on more than 19,400 schools from the 2011-12 school year.

    This year’s ranking of 98th in the nation is a few spots down from its 92nd spot in 2012. It’s also dropped in the Texas rankings from 10th to 14th.

    The report is not without its flaws. As previously blogged in 2012, the report lists there being two high schools in the district. I know the school board is considering lots of options because of overcrowding, but I didn’t realize a virtual/invisible/make-believe school was already in existence.

    By Elizabeth Ygartua Apr. 22, 2014 | 6:18 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Trustees Agree: HPISD Needs More Space

    Highland Park ISD is bursting at the seams, and the board of trustees is struggling to find one more notch on the belt.

    On Monday, had their latest facilities workshop with SHW Group Inc., a Plano-based architectural firm hired by HPISD to figure out how to accommodate a growing student population in a landlocked district.

    Priorities and potential solutions have been thrown around for months, but in some ways became a little bit clearer on Monday.

    Of course, the path to creating a master plan for the future starts with a bond election, which could happen as soon as May 2015. But how much the bond issue will cost voters, and what will be included, is still very much up for debate.

    We’ll go into some more detailed scenarios later, including cost and construction estimates, but I’ll do my best to summarize a few key points after the jump.

    Read More…

    By Todd Jorgenson Apr. 22, 2014 | 5:35 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • April 19, 2014

  • Carlisle Visits Kids, Dads at Hyer


    Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle was a guest of the Dads Club at Hyer Elementary on Tuesday.

    He probably had more pressing things on his mind — such as how in the world the Mavericks can beat the San Antonio Spurs in a first-round playoff series that begins Sunday — but Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle took time out from his busy week to visit the Hyer Dads Club on Tuesday.

    During the breakfast, Carlisle (a University Park resident, by the way) gave students a motivational speech and answered their questions. The Dads Club showed its appreciation by donating $500 to Carlisle’s charity of choice, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

    By Todd Jorgenson Apr. 19, 2014 | 2:40 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • April 18, 2014

  • Trustees Expecting a Crowd Monday?

    The Highland Park ISD Board of Trustees has scheduled another workshop regarding the district’s master facilities plan, i.e. “where the heck are we gonna put all these kids?” Usually, such meetings happen in the board room at the Administration Building, which comfortably holds the trustees and only a few other people. But this one, which is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. on Monday, will happen in the 5/6 Assembly Room at McCulloch Intermediate School.

    By Dan Koller Apr. 18, 2014 | 8:36 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • April 17, 2014

  • Destination Imagination Team Bound For Globals

    Back row: Max Law, Jack Perdue, and Mark Van Kirk; front row: Sarah Ho, Maddy Helton, and Allison Brown

    Back row: Max Law, Jack Perdue, and Mark Van Kirk; front row: Sarah Ho, Maddy Helton, and Allison Brown

    “Creativity to the Power of 6,” a Destination Imagination comprised of five fifth-graders from McCulloch Intermediate School and a sixth from Cistercian, competed at the state tournament last week in Austin, and they did well enough to advance to the Destination Imagination Global Finals. In late May, the team will travel to Knoxville, Tenn., where more than 1,300 teams from 45 states, seven Canadian provinces, and 13 other countries will gather to showcase their creative solutions.

    The team members, who have been together since third grade at University Park Elementary, have been working on their challenge solution for most of the school year. They chose the scientific challenge — “Going to Extremes” — in which teams were asked to create an extreme environment and present a story about characters attempting to adapt to conditions in order to survive there. They were also asked to design and create a prototype of “extreme gear” and to explain the technical methods, research, and science they used to create it. In addition, the team also had to solve an unknown challenge on the spot.

    Competitors are required to do all aspects of the challenges by themselves with a tight budget and without interference from adults and non-team members.

    By Dan Koller Apr. 17, 2014 | 8:32 am | 1 Comment | Comments RSS
  • McCulloch Sixth-Grader Earns Twirling Trophies

    Heather Skidmore and her hardware

    Heather Skidmore and her hardware

    The May edition of Park Cities People, which should be landing in your mailbox any day now, includes a story about sisters Mela and Mallory McMinn, who began twirling batons for the Highlander Band last year because, really, no one else was ready to step into the role after Amber Appel graduated.

    Well, we now know of another twirler who’s waiting in the wings.

    Heather Skidmore, a sixth-grader at McCulloch Intermediate School, recently competed at the NBTA Southwest Regional Baton Twirling Championships in Canyon, Texas. She brought home honors as the Solo and Fancy X-Strut winner in the 10-12 Advanced Division. Heather, who twirls under the direction of Dory O’Neal, is also the 10-12 Beginner 3-Baton champion.

    By Dan Koller Apr. 17, 2014 | 7:30 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • April 16, 2014

  • Lit Fest Provides Prizes For Prose

    HPHS alumnus Eddie Coker, shown with HP Lit Fest committee members Andrea Hamilton and Cari Meggyesy, was a workshop presenter at this year's festival.

    Highland Park High School alumnus Eddie Coker, shown with HP Lit Fest committee members Andrea Hamilton and Cari Meggyesy, was a workshop presenter at this year’s festival.

    The Highland Park Literary Festival wrapped up with an awards breakfast on April 10 that honored winners of the festival’s “Write Your World” student writing contest. Top prizes went to:

    • Fiction — Sarah Grace Forbes (first place), Keely Brown (second place), Hannah Kubik (honorable mention)
    • Creative nonfiction — George Abuhamad (first place), Kimberly Sun (second place), Yingfan Du (honorable mention)
    • Poetry — Chloe Sarfatis (first place), Christine Ramjee (second place), Lindsey Elliott (honorable mention)

    The bulk of the festival took place in late February, including an appearance by keynote speaker Mark Salzman and more than 20 other poets, playwrights, journalists, and songwriters. More than 50 HPHS students participated in an “open mic night” by performing poetry and music.

    By Todd Jorgenson Apr. 16, 2014 | 11:26 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • April 11, 2014

  • University Park to Host ‘Urban Campout’

    I sincerely hope I’m not breaking this news to anyone who lives near Curtis Park and University Park Elementary School, but those two civic treasures will host an “urban campout” on Saturday called UP All Night. University Park Preschool Association families are going to set up tents on the school grounds starting at 3 in the afternoon, have all sorts of fun at the park, then sleep under the stars after a bedtime story. The City Council signed off on all this last September.

    By Dan Koller Apr. 11, 2014 | 1:52 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Highland Park ISD Selling Books at Brisk Pace

    Highland Park ISD trustee Cynthia Beecherl reported at Tuesday’s meeting that more than 400 copies of the district’s centennial coffee-table cook have already been sold. If you’d like a copy, you can get one for just 50 bucks, thanks to underwriting from Allie Beth and Pierce Allman.

    Beecherl also revealed a couple of details about October’s centennial celebration. Two food trucks — Ruthie’s and Easy Slider — are on board, and Rhonda Sargent Chambers is advising the district on how to throw an ab-fab event.

    “We’re not making any money,” Beecherl said of the various centennial initiatives. “We’re just trying to cover our costs.”

    By Dan Koller Apr. 11, 2014 | 11:09 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
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