2005 Graduations A publication of the Spring Branch Schools Volume XVIII, No. 3, 2005
May 26, Westchester Academy, 7:30 p.m.
May 27, School of Choice, 10:15 a.m.
May 28, Northbrook High School, 10 a.m.
2005-2006 School Calendar
May 28, Memorial High School, 1 p.m. July August September October
May 28, Spring Woods High School, 4 p.m.
May 28, Stratford High School, 7 p.m. M T W T F M T W T F M T W T F M T W T F
1 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
4 5 6 7 8 8 9 10 [11 12 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
School Starts 11 12 13 14 15 15 16 17 18 19 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
August 11, 2005 18 19 20 21 22 22 23 24 25 26 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
School Ends 25 26 27 28 29 29 30 31 26 27 28 29 30 31
May 25, 2006
District Holidays November December January February
September 5 (Labor Day) M T W T F M T W T F M T W T F M T W T F
October 10 (Columbus Day)
Nov. 21-25 (Thanksgiving) 1 2 3 4 1 2 2[ 3 4 5 6 1 2 3
Dec. 19-30 (Winter Break) 7 8 9 10 11 5 6 7 8 9 9 10 11 12 13 6 7 8 9 10
January 16 (MLK Jr. Day) 14 15 16 17 18 12 13 14 15 ✔]
✔ 16✔ 16 17 18 19 20 13 14 15 16 17
February 10 (Holiday) 21 22 23 24 25 19 20 21 22 23 23 24 25 26 27 20 21 22 23 24
March 6-10 (Spring Break) 28 29 30 26 27 28 29 30 30 31 27 28
April 14 (Holiday)
May 29 (Memorial Day)
March April May June
Teacher Work Days
(No Students) M T W T F M T W T F M T W T F M T W T F
August 4 & 10 1 2 3 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 1 2
May 26-27 6 7 8 9 10 10 11 12 13 14 ✔
8 9 10 11 12 5 6 7 8 9
Inservice/Staff Development 13 14 15 16 17 17 18 19 20 21 15 16 17 18 19 12 13 14 15 16
(No Students) 20 21 22 23 24 24 25 26 27 28 22 23 ✔ ✔] 26 27 19 20 21 22 23
August 5, 8-9
October 7 27 28 29 30 31 29 30 31 26 27 28 29 30
January 2 (Flex)
February 13 (Bad Weather Day) Early Dismissal Days: ✔ Elementary ✔ Secondary Grading Cycle: [ Begins ] Ends
New Teacher Orientation
August 1-3 On the cover: Four Stratford High School students competed April 1 in the Houston World Affairs
Council’s annual Academic WorldQuest test in Washington, D.C. They finished third nationally. Team
Download a copy at: www.springbranchisd.com members include (left to right) junior Aditya Kunjapur, seniors Alex Artushin and Sam Keyhani, and
junior Eric Sung. Jan Tyson is adviser.
The Spring Branch ISD Current
is published three times a year CAR-RT-SORT
to keep the constituents of the Non-Profit Org.
Spring Branch Independent School US Postage
District informed about activities, PAID
achievements, problems, people Permit No. 8077
and programs in their schools. Houston, Texas
Board of Trustees
Wayne Schaper Sr., President
David Converse, Vice President 955 Campbell Road
Theresa Kosmoski, Secretary Houston, TX 77024
Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Duncan F. Klussmann
Spring Branch ISD is an equal
Visit our Web site at http://www.springbranchisd.com
Si a usted le gustaría recibir una copia de esta publicación en español, por favor llame al Departamento de Comunicaciones, al 713-464-1511, extensión 2272.
Inside: Gold Performance Dropping Debt Breathing Easy
tion by duly elected school boards who
oversee the management of their school
districts and preserving local control to
choose either May or November for
The SBISD Board of Trustees supports to 60 percent while maintaining local control trustee elections.
these Legislative Priorities: over the allocation of funds. The repeal of Section 130.073 of the
A school finance system that provides A temporary increase of the equalized Texas Education Code which permits
access for all students and is equalized, or wealth level from $305,000 to $400,000 the Houston Community College
“wealth neutral.” The Board supports ade- pending final resolution of school finance System (HCCS) to annex SBISD in an
quacy in funding so that all school dis- legislation. election conducted in the boundaries of
tricts have financial resources that will The development and use of a biennially the entire area served by HCCS.
provide an excellent education to all stu- updated index that captures all school dis- SBISD opposes private-school vouchers
dents. It also supports increasing the state trict costs. and tuition tax credits funded with public
share of the Foundation School Program Preserving local control of public educa- tax dollars.
From the desk of
Superin tendent of School
h Resident: ndent of
Pardon Our Progress
D ear Spring Branc coming Superinte
pport you have shown me since be staff anywhere – in a Bond-funded renovation and new construc- pleted, including a new bus and car drop-
for the generous su ith the best educators and support
I want to thank you ork w tion continues at several SBISD secondary off drive. New construction there includes a
r. I am proud to w
hools in Decembe lues quality education.
community th at truly va
onths, I would lik
e to see the
mplish five main
school district acco stem
Early schools. All these improvements are part of a
$250 million bond issue approved by district
competition gym, facilities for the fine arts
addition, and a cafeteria addition. Locker
Over the next 18 m zed” school district in the Texas Acc
■ become a “rec
■ develop and
■ develop and
implement a five-
implement a long
year educational pl
-range faci lities plan
voting voters six years ago.
At Spring Forest Middle School, a new
competition gym and separate music building
rooms for both sexes will be renovated
and a new public foyer will greet parents
utilize a financ ial plan for the fu process are being built. Interior renovation will Project deadlines and on-schedule calen-
■ develop and e decision-making the school dis- Early voting for Position 1 and Position
lvement in th es that will carry expand science laboratories, and include dars vary, but most middle school projects
■ increase co mmunity invo es tablish core practic cellence in teach- 2 of the seven-member SBISD Board of
of these goals will cus to promote ex renovation or remodeling of special educa- should be completed by January 2006.
I believe th e accomplishment ucational plan will create a clear fo lities are maintained and Trustees begins April 20. Election-day
. A five-year ed that district faci tion classes, computer labs, industrial arts In high school news, The SBISD Board
trict into the future ng-range facilities plan will ensure rams and
voting will be held May 7 at neighbor-
and central offices. Upgrades involve fire of Trustees has approved spending about
A lo reduce district prog til
ing and learning. 20 years. realities that will
hood elementary schools.
safety, lighting and physical access areas. $43,000 to protect and preserve mature oak
next ial D un
enhanced over the ar, we face some challenging financ continue to negatively impact SBIS Running unopposed for Position 1 is
Work is also under way on a new competi- trees valued at more than $150,000 near the
Once again this ye Hood” school funding formula will nally acceptable. current Board of Trustees President
es. Texas’ “Robin lly and constitutio l tax dollars. tion gym and music building at Spring Oaks new front entrance at Stratford High School.
servic approve a plan that is lega $15 million in loca Wayne F. Schaper. In Position 2, consul-
state lawmakers and the Governor en required to se nd away more than se an additional $20 million Middle School, as well as other renovations. Stratford High is being re-bricked due to
years, we have be t changed in Austin, SBISD will lo zed central admin
istra- tant Mary Grace Landrum faces write-in Covered walkways with clearly defined deterioration and safety concerns. The re-
Over the past two e system is no nounced a reorgani illion, and a savings candidates John P. Anderson, a retired
ol financ ntly an entrances to help guide visitors to main bricking and original renovation project
If the current scho ese challenging budget needs, I rece roughly $1.7 m teacher, and Deborah Morrison Hennagir,
next year. To meet th central office positions and save offices will be built at both campuses. remain on schedule, with a goal of return-
inate more than 75 s. allow us to meet cu
rrent a librarian. Ongoing work at Memorial Middle School ing students and staff to the high school
tion that will elim m external fund school district and easing enrollment. SBISD Board members serve three-
n fro ill best serve the
of about $1 millio l administration w s personnel, except in cases of decr ssible for all children
includes a new gym, drama and health-fit- by early August.
I believe a lean centra mpu s po year terms. Current Position 2 Trustee ness classrooms, as well as auditorium area "I feel very confident that barring any
ithout reducing ca g the best educational opportunitie
budg etary challenges w ovid in Barbara Larson is not seeking re-election. additions. The library, weight room and some unforeseen event or extended bad weather,
ht of our goal of pr classrooms
We will not lose sig dents every day in
The SBISD PTA Council will hold two classrooms will be upgraded, too. the contractor will complete the project as
r teachers and stu d community
we serve. achievements of ou ard of Trustees an candidate forums. The first was held April About a third of the planned work at scheduled," says Richard Skalski, district
You can be proud of the many ard to working together with the Bo 13 and the second forum will be held 7-9 Spring Branch Middle School has been com- Interim Construction Department Manager.
ict. I look forw fectiveness.
throughout the distr e our educational efficiency and ef p.m. April 20 in the Valley Oaks Elemen-
to continue to enha tary cafeteria, 8930 Westview Drive.
Early voting will be conducted in
Room 133 of SBISD’s Administration
Duncan F. Klussm Building, 955 Campbell Road, from
Superintendent of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays April 20
through May 3 and from 8 a.m. until noon
on two Saturdays, April 23 and April 30.
Voting takes place at district elemen-
tary schools from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on
Election Day, May 7. For assistance, call
713-464-1511, ext. 2217.
Spring Oaks Middle School
Summer Fine Arts Camp
Gold Performance Awards
Enrollment for a 3-week Summer
Fine Arts Camp for students who will The Texas Education Agency has rec- Attendance - Bunker Hill, Thornwood, Treasure Forest,
Bond refinancing be in seventh grade or higher will be
extended through May 6.
ognized 21 SBISD campuses with one or
more Gold Performance Acknowledg-
ments, also known as GPAs. They include
Frostwood, Memorial Drive, Shadow
Oaks and Wilchester elementary
schools; Memorial Middle and Spring
Wilchester and Woodview elementary
schools; and Memorial Middle.
Significant Savings This fine arts camp, led by artists and
performers, meets at Northbrook Middle
School. Topics include band, music
14 elementary schools and seven sec-
The Texas Legislature enacted the Gold
Oaks and Cornerstone Academy.
Commended Reading - Bunker Hill,
Commended Science - Bunker Hill,
Frostwood, Hunters Creek, Meadow
Wood, Memorial Drive, Notttingham
technology, dance, orchestra, theater and Frostwood, Housman, Hunters Creek, and Rummel Creek elementary
A bond debt-refinancing plan last SBISD bond issue in 1999. Performance Acknowledgment system in
vocal music. A musical production will Memorial Drive, Rummel Creek, schools.
approved by the Board of Trustees earli- Based on the Board of Trustees’ priori- 2001 to recognize campuses for high per-
be produced. Cost is $300; scholarships Spring Branch, Woodview and
er this year will save SBISD taxpayers ty to keep the overall tax rate flat, the formance in certain areas in addition to Commended Social Studies -
and bus transportation are available. Wilchester elementary schools;
millions. bond refinancing avoids a reduction to those that affect accountability ratings. Memorial and Spring Oaks middle
Apply at district middle or high schools Memorial Middle and Cornerstone
In February, the district took advan- the General Fund tax rate. A portion of Four campuses received GPA Special schools; and Memorial and Stratford
or download an application through the Academy.
tage of low interest rates in the bond the overall budget cuts needed to balance Recognition for receiving all possible high schools.
SBISD Web site. Details: Call 713-329-
market and refinanced $90.6 million in the district budget was reduced by this Acknowledgments: Memorial Middle Commended Math - Bunker Hill,
6510, ext. 3102.
school bonds to save about $6 million timely bond market move, too. School and Bunker Hill, Frostwood and Frostwood, Housman, Meadow Wood, Advanced Placement - Memorial High.
over the course of a 20-year bond The district refinanced $90,675,000 in Memorial Drive elementary schools. Memorial Drive, Rummel Creek,
2005 Running for the Arts
repayment period. bonds Feb. 28. First Southwest Company To earn the GPA for academic perfor- Spring Branch and Wilchester ele- Recommended High School
The 2005 Running for the Arts 5K
In addition, the Board-approved plan estimates that the district saved $500,000 mance, a campus must have at least 20 mentary schools; Memorial Middle Program - Memorial and Northbrook
Fun Run, Walk and Kids 1K will begin
will generate savings to the debt service or more by underwriting bonds as early percent of its students and each student and Cornerstone Academy. high schools and Westchester
promptly at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 30 at
tax rate of 1/2 cent this year and 1.8 as possible that morning. group score at or above the TAKS com- Academy.
Memorial City Mall, the event’s spon-
cents next year. The bonds that were “Timing is everything. We looked for mended level. GPAs are also earned by Commended Writing - Bunker Hill,
sor. Event auction and student art pre- SAT/ACT and TAAS/TASP -
refinanced were used for needed school favorable trends in the bond market with schools for reaching attendance or other Frostwood, Hunters Creek, Memorial
view will benefit SBISD students and Westchester Academy.
improvements, renovations and lower interest rates than existing debt,” measurable goals. GPA recognitions: Drive, Nottingham, Rummel Creek,
the district's Arts Partners fine
upgrades to existing facilities. District says SBISD Associate Superintendent for arts program. For details, call Cece
voters overwhelmingly approved the Finance Donnie Wright. Thompson at 713-365-4781.
Dance for Life
About 100 students from Ridgecrest
Elementary, and Northbrook Middle and
Northbrook High schools will perform
SBISD Teachers of the Year at 7 p.m. April 26 in The MetLife Dance Ten student teams from SBISD took
Superintendent of Schools Duncan F. Klussmann will soon announce the 2005 for Life program at Miller Outdoor top honors during the Odyssey of the
Theatre, located in Hermann Park. Mind Regional competition recently,
SBISD Elementary and Secondary Teacher of the Year from among six finalists dur-
ing the annual Service Awards Reception on May 3. and two teams will now advance to
Parenting Program World Finals.
The three SBISD Elementary teaching finalists are Christine Carlisle Cutler of Seven guest speakers ranging from a
Westwood Elementary, Michelle Grant-Arastu of Thornwood Elementary and Tammy For the first time ever, the Texas state
judge to a student will be featured in a tournament was hosted by SBISD groups
Holley of Bunker Hill Elementary. community-wide program to be held
Three Secondary finalists have also been named. They are Claudia Harris of in April and held at Westchester Academy
twice in May.
Landrum Middle School, Edell LaRue of Memorial Middle and Patty Nilsson with for International Studies (WAIS).
The program, titled The Power of
The Guthrie Center. In all, campuses nominated 41 teachers. Rummel Creek Elementary and WAIS
Seven, features Judge Joan Campbell,
Dawn Nunley-Mathis of the Drug teams will compete in Colorado in May.
Other Elementary nominees: Marylou Parker Bland, Nottingham; Lynne Brown,
Buffalo Creek; Nakia Coy, Housman; Cynthia Dionne, Wilchester; Kimberly Fernandez, Enforcement Agency, parent Debbie Odyssey of the Mind is an international
Bendwood; Thurmeliues Dashawn Glover, Sherwood; Karla Gomez, Treasure Forest; Knauss, Pete Hinojosa with the SBISD education program for students of all ages
Becky Hagan, Ridgecrest; Emily Henrick, Valley Oaks; Donna Hoffman, Lion Lane; Community Network, clinical psycholo- that develops and tests creative problem-
Noemi Lopez, Hunters Creek; Jo Ann Meeker, Edgewood; Anna “Susan” Munsterman, gist Dr. Robert Weinberger and special solving skills. During competition, stu-
Pine Shadows; Sandra Ann Parsons, Woodview; Michelle Rincon, Rummel Creek; Oswald guest Kelly Morrison. dent teams are asked to solve problems
Rios, Cedar Brook; Suzie Rudolph, Shadow Oaks; Caroline Bezman Shanahan, Memorial The first program will be held 7 p.m. ranging from construction of unique Rummel Creek Elementary students won the highest Odyssey of the Mind award
Drive; Renee Silliman, Spring Shadows; Denise Smith, Wildcat Way; Reesa Swanson, mechanical devices to personal interpreta- possible for creativity.
May 10 at Spring Woods High School,
Hollibrook; and Barbara Yost, Meadow Wood. 2045 Gessner. The second community tions of literary classics.
Secondary nominees are: Brooke Armitstead, School of Choice; Sherridan Briggs, Thousands of teams from across the
program will be held 7 p.m. May 12 at possible. The Ranatra Fusca Creativity SBISD also fielded campus teams this
Stratford High; Kim Buffey, Memorial High; Liz Conner, Spring Forest Middle; Elizabeth
Foye, Spring Oaks Middle; Rod Othold, Northbrook Middle; Kenneth Pelzman, Spring Spring Branch Middle School, 1000 nation and in 25 countries take part in Award is awarded to teams or students year from Bendwood, Bunker Hill,
Branch Middle; Laurie Pickup, Spring Woods Middle; Barbara Stephens, Cornerstone Piney Point. Parents are encouraged to local, state and World-level Odyssey of who show exceptional creativity and Meadow Wood, Memorial Drive,
Academy; Ingrid Ellyn Syam, Spring Woods High; Sharon Tyler, Westchester Academy; attend. For more details, contact Pete the Mind competitions each year. was given to teams from Rummel Sherwood and Terrace elementary
Ann Verner, District Disciplinary Alternative Education Program; and Scott Wieding, Hinojosa at 281-450-3721 or Jan Leger During regional competition, two Creek Elementary and Spring Woods schools, as well as Spring Oaks Middle
Northbrook High. at 713-365-4190, ext. 3404. SBISD teams received the highest award High schools. and Westchester Academy.
Clearing the air
For the second year in a row, a The 10-member campus team selected Studies (WAIS) as a dues-paying mem-
SBISD has just been awarded the 2005 Indoor Air Quality
Tools for Schools Great Start Award for its dedication to healthy
breathing. Through a special grant, School Health Coordinator
Sharon Braiteh with Mothers for Clean Air has visited campus-
es and helped nurses and building managers identify air-related
Stratford High School student team has them for the national contest. ber. The public charter middle and high issues ranging from temperature and humidity to the proper
represented the region nationally on a “It’s hard,” Keyhani said. “They throw school has hosted many Council speak- storage of cleaning products.
competitive test of knowledge about in obscure questions to intimidate you, ers. Its students compete in the regional “It’s really all about education,” Braiteh says. For more infor-
international affairs. but we had great talent on this team.” competition, and the council named mation about improving indoor air quality in schools, please entary
ar Brook Elem en
On April 1, four students traveled to Other team members include WAIS teacher Samuel Kiteka an visit the EPA’s Web site at www.epa.gov/iaq/schools. Or call
Checking the air at Ced ar
Checkin g the air at Ced
Washington, D.C., for the international Esther Luk, Thanasi Skafidos, Luke Educator of the Year finalist recently. Mothers for Clean Air at 713-526-0110.
Academic WorldQuest test, sponsored Patterson, Manny Fassim, Jessica Toy
by Houston’s World Affairs Council. and Jean Kwon.
They finished third out of 48 teams. Alex Artushin, a National Merit
Earlier this year, Stratford High stu-
dents beat out 36 other high schools –
including teams from Katy ISD, Bellaire
Finalist, is interested in politics and will
attend Georgetown University’s School
of Foreign Service this fall.
A moving experience
Stratford High’s unexpected move to the
Westchester Academy campus last
High School and private Duchesne His teammates stayed on top of inter-
Academy – to earn this year’s berth. national affairs while pursuing different summer hasn't slowed student academic, Grades 3-11 SBISD Region State Grades 3-11 Commended SBISD Region State
The Houston council paid all their academic goals: Keyhani may attend club or fine arts success. Examples:
Reading/English/Language Arts 89 86 85 Reading/English/Language Arts 25 20 20
trip expenses. pursue a career in medicine at Stanford Stratford High produced 10 National
Mathematics 85 77 76 Mathematics 27 18 17
Last year, Stratford High’s team University and Aditya Kunjapur is Merit Finalists this year, almost half of
Writing 92 91 91 Writing 27 22 22
tied with Bellaire and formed a com- focused on chemical engineering. all district finalists.
Science 77 73 72 Science 12 10 9
bined team that went on to win the Several team members are National The campus is home to 29 of 50 district
Social Studies 93 91 91 Social Studies 33 23 21
national trophy. Honor Society members and many were students who placed in the annual
All Tests 77 68 68 All Tests 12 8 8
The national contest requires in-depth involved in the advanced Model U.N. Business Professionals of America
team knowledge of world geography program and school debate teams, too. regional student competition. Stratford
SBISD students in grades three through 11, on average, outperformed the region and state, according to results from the district’s
and history, and includes questions “These students are incredibly smart High had 10 first-place finishers.
2003-04 AEIS, or Academic Excellence Indicator System, report. More district students, on average, were recognized as Commended
about current events, people, places, and focused. They work hard at just Eight Stratford High students were
in grades three through 11, too, compared to students in the region and state.
politics, economics and culture. Student about everything they do. They work at named All-State performers this year in
During a recent AEIS public hearing, district leaders announced that in grades three through 11, gaps in performance between stu-
teams, not individuals, compete for cor- making high grades. They put forth the choir and orchestra, the top possible rank-
dent groups were narrower, while the ranges of performance were higher compared to the previous year.
rect answers. effort to do as well as possible at ing in Texas.
Grade-level performance improved in nearly all grades and subject areas for students testing in English and Spanish. The number of
Stratford High’s team captain Sam WorldQuest,” says adviser Jan Tyson, a The campus theater program and students
SBISD students who were recognized as Commended – marking higher student achievement – increased in every subject area. The
Keyhani competed on the national team longtime Stratford High teacher. earned a dozen nominations from Theatre
district graduation rate has also increased and exceeds the state average.
last year. Other national team members In addition, the Houston World Under the Stars' 2005 Tommy Tune
this year were senior Alex Artushin and Affairs Council is supported by Awards program. Winners will be named
juniors Aditya Kunjapur and Eric Sung. Westchester Academy for International May 2.
Art student Lisa Hollywood's oil painting a finalist scholarship.
Stratford High School's WorldQuest campus team
Stratford High School's WorldQuest campus team
was auctioned for $15,000 at the Livestock
Show & Rodeo's 2005 School Art Auction.
National Merit Finalists National Merit Finalists from Memorial
High School this year are: Soroush
The work won a special merit award, too. Esmail-Khanlou, Lauryn Hoffman, Kevin
Lisa receives a $1,500 scholarship. Twenty-three graduating seniors have Preliminary SAT/National Merit Hwang, Amanda Kieval, Catherine
been named finalists in the competition Scholarship Qualifying Test, also known Lofland, Paul Lumpkins, Brandon Perry,
for about 8,000 prestigious National as the PSAT/NMSQT. Semifinalists rep- Jonathan Shafer, Cameron Shirazi, Alex
Merit Scholarships. resent less than 1 percent of all Wainwright, Daniel Yee, and Cyndy
The nonprofit National Merit American high school seniors. Yossundharakal.
Scholarship Award is generally regarded To be named a National Merit The Finalist from Spring Woods High
as one of the highest honors attainable Finalist, semifinalists must have a School is Kavi Williams.
by U.S. high school students. About $50 record of high academic performance, National Merit Finalists from Stratford
million in competitive scholarships will be recommended by their school prin- High School are: Alex Artushin, Namrata
be awarded nationwide this spring. cipal and then earn SAT scores that Bhattacharya, Dana Helbling, Logan
District seniors from Memorial, confirm their earlier qualifying test Kendrick, Esther Luk, David Mohan,
Spring Woods and Stratford high performance. A personal essay and Elaine Preston, Jessica Toy, David
schools were named semifinalists in the information about the student's Winchell, and Kyle Woodruff.
fall of 2004 by ranking among the high- leadership in school and community Student scholarship awards will be
est scorers in Texas on the 2003 activities are also required to obtain announced later this spring.