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1 Graduation/Awards Issue 2015www.runnels.org
(See “Golden Anniversary Graduation,” p. 2.)
While graduation is always an important event in the life of a student, this year’s high school commencement took on a special signifi cance in the life of our school. The ceremony, which cel- ebrated the individual accomplishments of the 60 graduates, also served as the closing event honoring Run- nels’ 50th anniversary. For this golden jubilee graduation, we were honored to welcome Founding Headmaster Dr. L.K. Runnels as our keynote speaker. Presiding over the graduation was Head- master Dr. Greg Bran- dao with the assistance of Junior and Senior High Principal and Guidance Counselor Conchetta Foshee and Assistant Principals Monica Bryan, Dana Schlotterer and Pamela Babcock. In keeping with tradition, graduates who have been at Runnels since 1st grade or before were given bouquets
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Grades K through 12 17255 S. Harrell’s Ferry Road Baton Rouge, LA 70816 225-751-5712
50 Years of Excellence in Education
The oldest independent school in Baton Rouge, Runnels has always been the school for all races, religions and national origins.
Founding Headmaster Dr. L.K. receives a standing ovation as he stands at the podium to offer the com- mencement address.
Golden Anniversary GraduationGolden Anniversary Graduation
Headmaster Dr. Greg Brandao presents a diploma to Class of 2015 Valedictorian Connor Matthews.
of roses to present to their parents or guardians on stage. This year, we had 22 “lifers,” including Sadie Kraft whose mother, Stephanie Hightower (‘87), was the very fi rst Runnels High School
valedictorian. “Lifers” in the Class of 2015 also included Lukas Acosta, Ryan Baird, Hana Derzi, Nabil Essajee, Morgan Evans, Joseph Fairley, Rio Gauthier, Lauren Kahn, Taylor Ken- nedy, Sean LeBleu, Andrew Mackay, Caleb Manning, Con- nor Matthews, Allie Nicholson, Ridge Ory, Kara Peneguy, Katie Pousson, David
Segalla, Brad Sherman, Alex Stansbury and Grant Welch. In his keynote address, Dr. Runnels explained to the graduates that their successes were part of the “fabric” of our school: “A school’s real reason for being is its students, and its resume’
A grand total of 82 students from Runnels qualifi ed to receive the presti- gious Presidential Award for Academic Excellence this year. The honor is pre- sented to students in “exit grades” (at Runnels, that includes 6th, 8th, and 12th grades) who maintain a 3.5 grade point average and score at the 85th percentile on standardized tests. At Runnels, 53 percent of the 6th grade, 47 percent of the 8th grade, and 40 percent of the 12th grade earned the award. Congratulations to our Presidential Scholars. 6th Grade: Fatima Ahmad, Sophie Arceneaux, Evan Beoubay, Ansley Brown, Margaret Campbell, Parker Col- lett, Caroline Collins, Caroline Daigle,
really is the list of students who have been nur- tured there. It is the contribution of these students that collec- tively defi nes the school.” He congratu- lated the gradu- ates on earning the highest ACT score (26.0) in the school’s history and noted that 100 percent of the class scored higher than the state average on the ACT. “These graduates,” Dr. Runnels added, “are also very nice people and good friends of mine. We’re so proud to have them join the ranks of Runnels alumni.” The 2015 Valedictorian, Connor Matthews, a National Merit Finalist, addressed the class, and Salutatorian Olivia Arboneaux stepped forward to be recognized.
82 at Runnels Named Presidential Scholars Sophie Edwards, Savan- nah Fekete, Zane Gillie, Audrey Guess, Nikolas Horton, Joseph Ismail, Thea Knowles, Pres- ton Kyle, Anne Leake, Rachel Middlebrook, Madisan Milam, Zachary Morrison, Kate Oehrle, Marshall Pentes, Con- nor Porthouse, James Power, Garrett Rhine- hart, Maddie Root, Grace Scott, Wesley Stevenson, Ellerie Tregre, Chace Williams, Nina Woodward and Cameron Wright. 8th Grade: Grace Asevedo, Gabe
Bettencourtt, Hannah Bienvenu, Hannah Cas- sano, Lee Curry, Kayla Evans, Kalyee Freiberg- er, Caroline Henning, Eric Huygues, Amelia Jennings, Anna Kadi, Numair Khan, Ryan Lam, Sophie LeBlanc, Daniel Mayeaux, Mason Mayes, Kameron McK- night, Seth Miller, Alex Morgan, Anna Claire Pousson, Micah Roper’,
Alyssa Stevison, Madison Sutton, Emma Tooraen, Sophia Torres, Max Vallaire (See “Presidential Scholars,” p. 3.)
Sixth-grade Presidential Scholars Caro- line Daigle (left) and Maddie Root.
2 Graduation/Awards Issue 2015 www.runnels.org
Sixth Graders Jump to Junior High Members of the 6th grade class received their elementary school diplomas at a graduation ceremony held in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre on May 20. Guiding students through the graduation exercises was Elementary Principal and Guidance Counselor Marcia Mack- ay, Assistant Elementary Principal Beth Golden and Headmaster Dr. Greg Brandao. After welcoming students and their guests to the ceremony, Mrs. Mackay recognized four 6th graders whose parents graduated from Runnels. These second-generation Runnels students and parents are: Kate Oerle (Lynn Haase
Oerle, ‘91); Rachel Middle- brook (Michelle Majoue’ Middle- brook, ‘98); Avin Stegall (Jennifer Wege, ‘98); and Cameron Wright, (Aprille Calcote Wright, ‘95, and Byron Wright, ‘95). Represented by class presi- dent Preston Kyle and vice
president Caroline Daigle, the 6th grad- ers presented the money they earned in the “Popsicle Fridays” program to the Booster Club to help fund the installa- tion of permanent, retractable bleachers in our gym. Booster Club secretary Julie Stevenson accepted the donation, saying that it “Puts us over the top!” for the bleacher project.
Sixth grade “Raider Stars of the Year,” (from left) Grace Scott, Zane Gillie and Sophie Edwards.
Before diplomas were presented, many 6th graders were recognized for outstanding achieve- ments in academics, service and the visual and performing arts. Junior Beta Service awards were presented to Zane Gillie, Jenna La- Bonne and Nina Wood- ward. Madisan Milam and Sophie Edwards re-
ceived Excellence in Drama awards, and Spelling Club member Marshall Pentes was honored for winning 3rd place in the Louisiana Children’s Discovery Cen- ter’s State Regional Spelling Bee held at Southeastern in March. Sixth graders honored as “Raider Stars of the Year” were Grace Scott, 6a, Zane Gillie, 6b and Sophie Edwards, 6c. The main event of the ceremony was the presentation of diplomas by Mrs. Mackay, Mrs. Golden and Dr. Brandao. As students stepped forward to receive their diplomas and certifi cate envelopes, Dr. Brandao noted that 13 members of the class have been at Runnels since preschool days, and 15 came on board in kindergarten or 1st grade. The graduation concluded with the singing of the “Alma Mater” and the fi rst public viewing of the “Sixth-Grade Video.” A keepsake copy was presented to each graduate. After processing out of the theatre, graduates and their guests moved to the gym for celebratory cake and punch. We sincerely thank musicians Johnice Thoms, Gladys Runnels, Jill Swetnam, Jennifer Cassin and Dan Cassin for pro- viding music at the event. We also thank awards coordinator Wendy Worsham and reception hosts Debbie Davenport (coordinator), Jennifer
and Dan Cassin, Marsha Curry, Diane Davis, Julie Fink, Lisa Haller, Neena Kelfstrom, Brent Lax, Colleen LeBlanc, Cristin Ponjuan, Lee Randall, Jill Swet- nam, Johnice Thoms and Rhonda Tucker.
Sixth-grader Connor Porthouse pro- cesses into the theater.
Second-generation Runnels student Rachel Middlebrook presents her mom, Michelle Majoue’ Middlebrook, ‘98, with fl owers at the Sixth- Grade Graduation.
Golden Anniversary Graduation, continued from p. 1
Newly minted Runnels alumni Alex Haun and Griffi n Gowdy.
Also honored were the nine graduates earning perfect 4.0 grade-point averages in every high school class taken: Olivia Arboneaux, Anna Arceneaux, Nabil Es- sajee, Morgan Evans, Shannon French, Nicole Gardana, Connor Matthews, Thomas Myers and Kara Peneguy. The highlight of the program arrived when Dr. Brandao turned and addressed the graduates: “On the recommendation
of the faculty of the high school, and by the authority vested in me as Headmaster of Runnels School, I am very pleased to present to each of you the diploma which you have earned.”
As each graduate received a diploma, Mrs. Schlotterer offered information about his or her college plans, scholarships and ambtions for the future. The Senior Class Memories video was screened, and graduates, offi cials and guests sang the “Alma Mater,” led by Cho- rus Direc- tor Johnice Thoms. Music was provided by Gladys Runnels, Dan Cas- sin, Jenni- fer Cassin, and Jill Swetnam. We sincerely thank graduation committee members Pamela Babcock, Monica Bryan, Jennifer Carpenter, Ken- neth Copsey, Debbie Davenport, Lety Ellsworth, Conchetta Foshee, Marcia Gregg, Leah Jordan, Karen Rhinehart and Dana Schlotterer. We also thank the Runnels chapter of the National Honor Society, whose mem- bers served as ushers at the ceremony and assisted at the reception.