Posted by : November 16, 2014| On :
Special to The Monitor
ATHENS–“It’s always winter in Narnia – but never Christmas.”
The beloved C.S. Lewis tale of the magical land of Narnia, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe comes to life at the Henderson County Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m Friday-Saturday, Dec. 5-6, Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 11-13 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7 and Saturday, Dec. 13.
This timeless children’s classic tells the fantastic story of four children who find themselves transported to a land of woodland creatures ruled by the evil White Witch until the rightful king, Aslan the Lion, returns to teach them that courage and bravery will triumph over evil.
The cast of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was named after two nights of auditions and includes cast members Samuel Clarke, Isabelle Wandres, Shiloh Bartee, Gage Hardin, Grace Ferrell, Aiden Kocian, Ethan McGlaun, Olivia Lemmon, Raelin Maieritsch, Gabe Thomason, Ryan Kirksey, Dani Lunceford, Abby Van Cleave, Kyra Dawson, Ryan Carnes, Tristin Catugal, Violet Lemmon, Katelyn Hanson, Hali Davis, Lauren Pickle, Amelea Varos, Owen Grey, Kaylee Holyfield, Rachael Richardson, Nevaeh Salinas, Journey Griffin, Heidi Davis, Caroline Wandres, Katie Erck, William Lemmon, Jack Kirksey, Kayden Maieritsch, Marilee Marholz, Jonas Akin, Ashley Obert, Coralyn Happel, Eden Carnes, Paiton Johnson, Indi Griffis, Eli Carnes, Deacon Bartee, Ro Marholz, Rylann Loper, Emma Kirksey and Evan Loper.
For more information, call (903) 675-3908.
Henderson County Performing Arts Center is located at 400 Gibson Rd. in Athens.
Posted by : November 13, 2014| On :
School superintendent absent from meeting and school next day
By David Webb
KEMP–The Kemp Independent School District Board of Trustees discussed the “employment and contract” of Supt. Sam Swierc along with a “quarterly formative evaluation” of him in closed session Monday.
The trustees took no action in open session, but they scheduled a special meeting for Saturday at 8 a.m. to revisit the issue, and they added “personnel” to the agenda.
Swierc missed the meeting Monday, and he did not report to work the following day. KISD Director of Special Programs Phil Edwards filled in for Swierc, including attending the board in closed session. He attributed Swierc’s absence to “health reasons.”
Swierc could not be reached for comment.
The trustees reorganized the board due to Board President Melinda Polk vacating her Place 3 seat since last month’s meeting. School officials said Polk moved out of the district to Kaufman.
The board appointed Scott Crow president, Sharron Rankin vice president and Lynda Page secretary. Polk’s former seat will remain vacant until the next election in May 2015.
In other action, the trustees:
• heard a complaint from the parent of a high school student who told the trustees a male student had threatened the life of his daughter and several of her friends in class. The parent said he wanted criminal charges brought against the student because he allegedly made a similar threat last year. The parent said he would not be satisfied with the student being placed in a disciplinary alternative education program.
• approved a Texas Accountability Intervention System plan for the High School.
• approved district and campus improvement plans for all schools.
• reviewed but took no action on goals for trustees, trustees training and orientation, trustees authority, public participation in trustees meetings and standard operating procedures for trustees.
• learned all campuses would hold anti-bullying and anti-drug seminars Friday.
• recognized November students and employees of the month.
Posted by : November 13, 2014| On :
Boys team claims third place for third consecutive year
By Erik Walsh
Monitor Sports Editor
ROUND ROCK–There’s no time for losing, because they are the champions.
The Eustace girls cross country team proved they are the best 3A team in Texas yet again, outpacing their competition at Round Rock Nov. 8 on their way to claiming the Championship for the second consecutive season.
The Lady Bulldogs ran their best when it mattered most. Just last week the EHS girls failed to win the Regional Meet and finished second to a very good East Bernard team. At the State Meet, Eustace brought everything it had, blowing away the field by 21 points. Their rivals, East Bernard, finished second.
At Regionals EHS did not run their best, says Head Coach Josh Sypert. Social media postings suggested sick players with flu-like symptoms contributed to second place finish. Sypert had a different analysis.
“Bottom line is we didn’t execute,” he said. “We did have a sick runner, but champions don’t make excuses. You can’t expect to be the best if you make excuses for your results. I told them as much afterward and they responded with their best race of the season.”
Sypert said the girls ran “the best race they were capable of” in the State victory. He added that he believes East Bernard underperformed a bit, contributing to the 21-point margin of victory.
In last year’s State Championship, Eustace finished the race with a two-point win over Holiday. This year Holiday finished third.
Skye Burns played her part masterfully as the team’s No. 1 runner. Burns finished 13th overall with a time of 12:31 and earned All-State honors. Molly McAtee placed 29th with a time of 12:48, Chandra Westbrook finished 32nd and ran a 12:51, Chloe Moore placed 38th with a 12:58 and Shelby White finished 46th and ran to a mark of 13:04. The sixth and seventh runners, Cara Henson and Harley Kile finished 99th and 136th with times of 13:48 and 14:41.
“People that don’t know a lot about cross country may be surprised that we beat East Bernard after they defeated us in the Regional,” Sypert said. “In cross country, it’s all about how you run that day. At Regionals, we didn’t run our best. At the State Meet we did. The best teams will be remembered for being their best at the biggest races. I couldn’t be more proud of these girls for what they’ve accomplished.”
Last year when Sypert got the news of the State victory, he was overcome with joy as he told the team the good news. This year he kept the news to himself for a bit and calmly called the girls over for a team meeting.
“Whatever happens today I want to let you all know I am very proud of you,” he said on a video recording posted on social media. “You left it all on the field. I want to let you know you finished…first.”
After the slight pause and word “first” slipped from his lips, the team exploded in joy as they realized they accomplished their goal of winning back-to-back State Championships.
Other video shows the girls singing Queen’s famous song “We are the Champions,” while in arm-in-arm embrace.
Last year the Lady Bulldogs were basically a brand new team, featuring a full cast of freshman and one sophomore (Moore) to its name. They came out of nowhere and surprised everyone except themselves to win on the biggest stage. Now the core have gotten a year older and increased the work and disciple they endure to be the best. The sky is the limit for this team.
It should be noted that this year’s Championship squad has a new runner on the team that joined after last year’s big win. McAtee won a spot on the team and steadily improved over the year, eventually working herself into the No. 2 runner on the Eustace depth chart. While the repeat was a true team effort, they couldn’t have done it without McAtee’s emergence.
The girls team rightfully stole the show at the Cross Country Championships, but let’s not forget that the boys ran a very good race as well. They claimed their third consecutive third place finish at the State Meet.
While pleased with the boys’ effort and dedication, Sypert said they were disappointed in the result.
“They’ve gotten third place the past two years and it was their goal all year to improve upon that,” he said. “Unfortunately they couldn’t do it. While the boys were happy that the girls won again, it stung a little just watching the celebration. We had the talent to do it this year, but it didn’t happen.”
While realistic with their expectations, Sypert doesn’t shortchange the boys’ accomplishments.
“This team is the fastest boys team in all my time coaching at Eustace,” Sypert said.
The boys were lead by senior Mark Zimmerer who placed 19th and ran a 17:10. Next was senior Preston Schwartz (40th , 17:28), Zane Arambula and Ericsen Gudjohnsen (46th and 47th, 17:34 and 17:36); Ayden Reed (70th, 17:54); Brandon Richardson (82nd, 18:02) and Gabe Purselley (106th, 18:32).
Coach Sypert says the teams will take a couple of weeks off practice before beginning light running again to stay in shape.