Category: Education

Momentous Institute Honors UP Couple for Leadership in Mental Health

Jan Trevor, Rees Jones, Bill McClung, and Guy Kerr at Dinner. (Photo: Lara Bierner Photography) 0
Jan Trevor, Rees Jones, Bill McClung, and Guy Kerr at Dinner. (Photo: Lara Bierner Photography)

Momentous Institute’s 5th annual Changing the Odds Conference kicked off this year with the Changing the Odds Dinner at Sixty Five Hundred on Oct. 5, where University Park residents Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones were honored with the first-ever Changing the Odds Leadership Award in recognition of their significant contributions to the health and wellbeing of children in the community.

Trevor Rees-Jones, a UP native and graduate of Highland Park High School, founded the Rees-Jones Foundation with his wife Jan in 2006 to work with nonprofits across North Texas to defend children who have suffered abuse or neglect or face mental health challenges. The foundation’s work with Momentous, a lab school in Oak Cliff run by the Salesmanship Club of Dallas that focuses on students’ social emotional health, has included $350,000 of funds raised for mental health services and training to provide for children and families. 

Shelton Kicks Off Stampede Auction

Lea Fisher and JD Miller at the kick off event for the Stampede auction. (Photo: James Edward) 0
Lea Fisher and JD Miller at the kick off event for the Stampede auction. (Photo: James Edward)

Shelton School Parents’ Association hosted a kick-off party at Samuel Lynne Galleries Oct. 13 to announce plans for the school’s annual Stampede benefit auction, which will take place April 8 at the Bomb Factory.

Stampede co-chairs and Shelton parents Stephanie Hardeman and Leti Lackey revealed the 2017 theme as “Epic Journeys Begin at Shelton”. They also announced that the event will feature the music of Journey in a concert performance by Voyage, the world’s number one Journey tribute band.

Proceeds from the benefit auction will support various Shelton enrichment programs. Founded in 1976, Shelton is the largest independent school worldwide for intelligent students with learning differences.

SMU Annual Report Shows Sharp Increase in Assaults

Crime statistics released in
accordance with the Clery Act and Title
IX show that there were eight aggravated
assaults at SMU last year. (Photo by Imani Lytle) 0
Crime statistics released in accordance with the Clery Act and Title IX show that there were eight aggravated assaults at SMU last year. (Photo by Imani Lytle)

SMU reported more aggravated assaults in 2015 than TCU, UT-Arlington, and the University of North Texas combined, according to statistics released Oct. 1. Campus police reported two on-campus incidents last year, while Dallas police reported six others near campus, bringing the total number to eight.

SMU only reported three aggravated assaults in both 2014 and 2013.

The six assaults reported by Dallas police occurred between 5200 and 5600 block of SMU Boulevard near SMU’s east campus, which is across Central Expressway from the main campus. None of the assaults involved students.

“The increase from no cases in that area to six cases is statistically significant, but overall numbers remain low,” SMU Police Chief Richard Shafer said. “We know that the number of incidents reported in different crime categories varies from year to year on campus and in other police jurisdictions, but we typically don’t have evidence that tells us why.”

Raising Good Citizens, On and Offline


Students at Hyer Elementary School saw a new face when they returned to school in August. Posters of “Norma Jean,” an animated girl who helps students learn how to be good citizens online, now adorn most classrooms.

“It’s a tangible way to teach digital citizenship,” Principal Jeremy Gilbert said. “We felt we needed to be a little more intentional.”

The posters highlight the five tenets of using electronic devices responsibly: how to protect private information, respect yourself and others, stay safe online, stand up to cyber bullying, and balance your time. Classes receive a badge to put on their poster when they master each of these five lessons.

HPISD’s Tim Turner Resigns


turner_timAccording to HPISD, Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Tim Turner has resigned from his position, effective Jan. 24, for personal reasons.

“I have truly enjoyed my experience with the district and I wish my colleagues and this incredible school community all the best in the future,” Turner said in a press release. “This has been a difficult decision for me but one that I believe is in the best interest of my family at this time.”

Turner, who almost has three decades of experience in public school finance, has worked with HPISD for the past five years overseeing the district’s finances, maintenance operations, and food service. 

Pregame for Football with HPHS Choir

choir-fiesta-dinner-2016-publicity-photo 0

Friday night football starts early on Oct. 28 with a Fiesta Dinner and Fundraiser hosted by the Highland Park High School choir and catered by Blue Mesa Grill.

Dinner will be served from 5-7 in the HPHS cafeteria with music to enjoy and raffle prizes up for grabs. Everyone can head to the game after and hear the Lads and Lassies sing the national anthem before kickoff.

Choir members will also hand-deliver take-out orders to your car from 4:30-6 p.m. in the school parking lot south of the stadium on Douglas Ave.

Alumni Artists Come Home to ESD

Photo by Joshua Baethge 0
Photo by Joshua Baethge

A large crowd converged on the Episcopal School of Dallas Sept. 6 for a celebration of the arts when the school’s first Alumni Art Show featuring works from about 70 former students opened to the public.

“We have this rep of being an athletics school, but we are just as much an art school,” said head of school Meredyth Cole. “I’m very proud of this.”

The show, which runs through Dec. 3, features both amateur and professional artists’ work in a range of different media. It was the brainchild of middle school studio art teacher Vikki Martin, who thought the school’s Susan M. Frank Center for Arts and Humanities would be the perfect setting to showcase alumni work in a professional manner. Martin suggested the idea to the alumni association 18 months ago.

Cranston to Speak at SMU


screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-12-02-47-pmEmmy and Tony Award winning actor Brian Cranston will discuss his new book My Life in Parts Oct. 19 at SMU’s Hughes-Trigg Student Center. The book focuses on his journey to stardom and revisits many of his most popular roles.

Cranston will talk with Dallas Morning News culture critic Chris Vognar and read an excerpt from the book.

The event is sponsored by Friends of the SMU Libraries. Tickets are $25, and include a signed copy of the book.

For more information, visit

St Mark’s Senior Takes National Stage

Photo courtesy Rally Media 0
Photo courtesy Rally Media

St. Mark’s senior Gopal Raman took center stage Sept. 8 in a place normally reserved for heads of state and honored dignitaries. He and four other high schoolers were recognized in the White House state dining room as this year’s National Student Poets.

Raman read his poem “Aug. 23, 2005,” to First Lady Michelle Obama. The work was inspired by Hurricane Katrina, and begins with a quote from a newspaper’s reporting of the storm’s arrival.

“I never seriously thought I could win,” Raman said. “It was so affirming.”