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DeSoto ISD Read Now Summer Reading Program Launches

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DeSoto ISD is striving to increase every student’s reading comprehension level and vocabulary – both strong indicators of academic success. This summer the district continues the DeSoto ISD READ NOW! campaign encouraging students to read for 40 minutes every day!

Students and parents are invited to the summer challenge kickoff on Thursday, June 9 from 9-11 a.m. at Woodridge Elementary, 1001 Woodridge Blvd. Stop by Woodridge for fun, games, prizes and sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge for your grade.

Weekly Prizes For The Top Reader In Accelerated Reader and Achieve 3000

The top reader each week – June 13 through July 29 (7 weeks) in each grade group – Gr. K-2, Gr. 3-5, Gr. 6-8, Gr. 9-12 will win awesome prizes – ear buds, movie passes, restaurant gift cards, Beats by Dre, iPad minis,and iPhones are some of the prizes. Some winners will win the use of a digital device for the whole year!

High school students are challenged to “Give Me 40” minutes of reading every day through Achieve 3000 online.

Middle school and elementary students can earn points through Accelerated Reader (AR).

Families are encouraged to read together and discuss the books in depth, exploring why a character acted the way they did, or how something came about. DeSoto ISD offers reading lists by grades so that students are reading at the appropriate level.

Reading just 20 minutes per day can increase a student’s vocabulary to 1.8M words per year and result in standardized tests scores in the 90th percentile for reading.

After reading books, K-8th Grade students will log in to Accelerated Reader Program and take tests to earn points to make their way on the Summer Leader Board, while 9th-12th Grade students will log in to the Achieve 3000 program to complete reading assignments with at least 75% accuracy.

Each week on the DeSoto ISD website, students and parents can click on the Summer Reading Challenge link, to see the top 10 ranking readers in grades K-2nd, 3rd-5th, 6th-8th, and 9th-12th on the leader board.

Families needing computer access can visit the following schools during the days and times listed below, or visit the DeSoto Library.

The Meadows Elementary School, Woodridge Elementary School, Moates Elementary School, Cockrell Hill Elementary School, West Middle School, DHS (Secondary students must bring their school ID)

Monday-Thursday, June 13-July 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m

Musical Marks “Beautiful” Rise To Stardom

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BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL opens Tuesday, June 7 at 8 p.m. at the Winspear Opera House. The show runs through June 19 at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Dallas Arts District.

BEAUTIFUL is an inspiring true story of a young woman’s rise to stardom. Born in Brooklyn, Carol Klein’s passion led her to crack the male-dominated recording business as a teenager. She was then half of a hit songwriting team with husband Gerry Goffin. When her marriage broke up, she teamed up with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann.

Finally King became a successful solo act, making more than beautiful music. Carole King wrote the soundtrack to a generation. Featuring a stunning array of beloved songs written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil, including “I Feel The Earth Move,” “One Fine Day,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “You’ve Got A Friend” and the title song, BEAUTIFUL has a book by Tony® Award-nominee and Academy® Award-nominated writer Douglas McGrath.

The musical also features direction by Marc Bruni and choreography by Josh Prince.

Taking home two 2014 Tony® Awards and the 2015 Grammy® for Best Musical Theater Album, BEAUTIFUL still plays to sold out crowds at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on Broadway.

But for a short time, we can see it here! For tickets or show information, visit www.attpac.org.

“Dreamgirls” To Dazzle Dallas Theater Center Audiences June 10-July 24

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Dreamgirls Dallas Theater Center

 

Dreamgirls Dallas Theater Center

June 10-July24

Dallas Theater Center is bringing a real treat to town with the opening of award-winning hit musical “Dreamgirls” June 10-July 24. Directed by Joel Ferrell, the musical opens with a Pay-What-You-Can performance Friday, June 10. Tickets to “Dreamgirls” are on sale now at www.DallasTheaterCenter.org or by phone at (214) 880-0202.

“Throughout this season at Dallas Theater Center, we have seen important pieces of American history, both social and political, come together on our stage,” said Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty. “There is no way you can talk about the history of America without talking about American popular music; including R&B, gospel and soul. Motown in the 20th century was transformative, not just in how we understood music but in how we understood our American society and the African American experience. I’m so excited to see ‘Dreamgirls’ come to life under the direction of our associate artistic director, Joel Ferrell, and the choreography of our valued collaborator, Rickey Tripp.”

With book and lyrics by Tom Eyer, music by Henry Krieger and choreography by Rickey Tripp, “Dreamgirls” has a story as glitzy as the sequins onstage. It’s the 1960’s music scene when young women sang their way to musical prominence in a man’s world. Set in the Motown era that brought us Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross—and ultimately Destiny’s Child and Beyoncé—“Dreamgirls” dazzles with timeless appeal.

“Dreamgirls brings to life the passion and joy of Motown, and the music that changed the world,” explained Ferrell. “Against a back drop of the racial unrest and political turmoil of the ‘60s and ‘70s, Motown artists were creating the soundtrack of the late 20th century. Behind the scenes there is love and betrayal, hits and flops, laughter and chaos; but onstage nothing but incredible music, brilliant dancing and legendary performances. In this fictional account of the rise of superstars, Michael Bennett and his collaborators delivered us a fast paced thrill-ride of a show. I have loved this musical since seeing it on Broadway in 1982 and know Dallas Theater Center audiences are going to be dancin’ in the streets as they leave the theater.”

Starring as the talented trio is Alexis Sims as Deena Jones, Marisha Wallace as Effie White and Kristen Bond as Lorrell. Also featured are Derrick Davis as Curtis Taylor Jr., Traci Elaine Lee as Michelle, Eric Lajuan Summers as James Thunder Early and Clinton Greenspan as C.C. White.

Brierley Resident Acting Company members Hassan El-Amin will play Marty, and Alex Organ will be in the Male Ensemble.

Fellow actors in the Male Ensemble are Christopher Figaro Jackson, Joshua Keith, Walter Lee, Willie Smith III, Jay Staten, Jeremy Davis, Gabriel Lawson and Micah Ndiba. The Female Ensemble includes Tiana Kaye Johnson, Ebony Marshall-Oliver, Ayanna Edwards and Gabrielle Reyes.

Choreographer Tripp will bring musical numbers to life alongside music director Michael O. Mitchell. Returning to Dallas Theater Center is set designer Bob Lavallee, costume designer Karen Perry, sound designer Aria Music Design, lighting designer Lap Chi Chu and wig designer J. Jared Janas.

Free to ticket holders, DTC’s Come Early sponsored by Wells Fargo will take place one hour before every performance and DTC’s Stay Late presented by Dr Pepper Snapple Group will take place after each performance.

 

2016 WCU Theatre Awards Offer Scholarships To DeSoto Alum

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DeSoto Alum William Carey Honorees

Thirteen William Carey University theatre students were honored at the 2016 Theatre Awards Dinner. This annual event recognizes the contributions and talents of theatre majors and students of other majors who participate in theatre throughout the academic year.

Deshawn Weston of Desoto, Texas, was awarded the Obra L. Quave Scholarship. This fund was established in 2001 on the occasion of “Echoes for Excellence,” a tribute to Quave and his years of service to WCU.

Nadia Trinanes of Hattiesburg was named Most Valuable Player. This is the theatre’s most prestigious award and is voted on by the students. She also received an Acting Achievement Award, a Technical Excellence Award, and the Shannon T. Robert Theatre Scholarship. This scholarship was established in 2007 by WCU alumnus John Clearman in honor of Robert’s exemplary service to WCU and its students as a member of the theatre department faculty.

Additional Acting Achievement Awards were presented to Branden Lindsay of Simpsonville, South Carolina; Liberty Sites of Crestview, Florida; and Damien Williams of Chunchula, Alabama. Acting Awards are voted on by a secret panel of persons outside the theatre who have attended every major production by WCU Theatre throughout the year. Lindsay also received the O. L. Quave Theatre Scholarship. This fund was established in 2001 on the occasion of “Echoes for Excellence,” a tribute to Quave and his years of service to WCU. Williams received the Mark Wilkinson Scholarship. Friends of the late Mark Wilkinson, a theatre graduate of WCU, established this annual scholarship for a theatre major.

Taylor Abbott and Nicoli Hutchison, both of Picayune received the Bob Crumpton Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship was established by Allison Chestnut in memory of a civic and denominational leader of Pensacola, Florida, and is given to a theatre major.

Treya Brown of Hattiesburg received the Obra Quave Legacy of Learning Scholarship. This scholarship honors faculty of Carey for their years of service with a Learning Legacy Dinner. Proceeds from the dinner fund the scholarship.

Johonna Bush of Foxworth was awarded the Norma Sullivan Memorial Scholarship, named in honor of the 1921 Mississippi Women’s College graduate and faithful patron of Carey music and theatre.

Amanda Campbell of Picayune received the Joyce Quave Roberts Memorial Scholarship, which honors the memory of the sister of professor emeritus Obra L. Quave who served as chair of the theatre and communication department for more than 40 years. She also received a Technical Excellence Award.

Devon Griggs of Picayune received the R. E. Cromis Memorial Scholarship which is awarded to a theatre major in memory of the husband of Mrs. Wilda Cromis of Pontiac, Mich.

Ben Salters of Ocean Springs received the William Shakespeare Award. This award is given by Dr. Allison Chestnut to a theatre major in recognition of their scholarship in theatre and to honor the English playwright.

Victoria Wetter of Forsyth, Missouri, received the Theatre Service and Appreciation Award. This new award is given to a theatre major who goes above and beyond in service to the theatre program.

2016 Duncanville Top Seniors Want To Change The World

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2016 Duncanville top seniors

Duncanville Top Seniors Share The Same Goal

2016 Duncanville Top Seniors, Kennedy Stidham and Samuel Baucom want to change the world by pursuing careers in health and public service.

Duncanville High School Valedictorian Kennedy Stidham had her educational career mapped out at an early age. “I wanted to be Valedictorian since I learned what that word meant when I was about seven,” Kennedy said.

Stidham has been a Duncanville ISD student since fourth grade, and she says the competition among her classmates motivated her to work hard. Stidham will attend the University of Texas next year. She plans to study biology and become a pediatrician.

“I really love children and I want to do something where I can see a tangible effect on people’s lives,” Kennedy said. “My ultimate goal is to have a private practice, but I’d like to work with Doctors Without Borders so I can give back.”

Duncanville Salutatorian Samuel Baucom

Salutatorian Samuel Baucom was homeschooled until he entered Duncanville High School in ninth grade.


One of the teachers who made the biggest impact on him came to DHS halfway through his junior year. Kristin Glaeske, who teaches English, wrote the recommendation that helped Samuel get accepted at Stanford. She also worked with him on the written materials he submitted to the university.

“She’s one of those teachers you can really have an open dialogue with – have those really honest conversations,” Samuel said. “She was never afraid to pull me aside to tell me if I needed correction. It’s great to have people around you that can celebrate your achievements but can also point out when you’ve done something wrong. She was very instrumental in that.”

Samuel is planning to study Neuroscience and Public Policy as a double major at Stanford. Samuel intends to become a surgeon, but his goals stretch beyond medicine. One day, he said he would like to become Secretary General of the United Nations. Samuel wants to improve global health and assist in ending world hunger.

Ruby Young Elementary Baller Excels At Jr. NBA Skills Challenge

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Angel Appleberry Jr. NBA Skills Challenge

Have you heard about Angel Appleberry? She’s an amazing student at Ruby Young Elementary. On May 14, she competed in the Regional Jr. NBA Skills Challenge where she did well enough to move to the Super Regionals.

There was fierce competition in the Super Regionals but Angel represented Dallas and DeSoto’s Ruby Young Elementary School earning second place overall. Her moves were so impressive that past NBA player T.J. Ford treated her to an underwater seafood restaurant dinner.

The Jr. NBA also agreed to sponsor Angel for the summer basketball camp of her choice, which is Texas Christian University’s Reagan Peably Basketball Camp. TCU is also where Angel has “unofficially” committed to play college basketball (unofficial due to her age and grade).

The Jr. NBA teaches both the fundamental skills of the game and the core values of the game at the grassroots level in an effort to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience.

Lancaster Places 2nd In “It’s Time Texas Community Challenge”

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Its Time Texas Community Challenge Lancaster

Lancaster Recognized In Texas Community Challenge

The results are in for the annual IT’S TIME TEXAS Community Challenge. In its first year ever competing, the City of Lancaster placed 2nd in the small city category! This included citywide effort and participation from residents, local businesses, faith based organizations, and the school district. Lancaster ISD finished first in the mid-size school district category competing against other mid-sized districts across Texas.

The It’s Time Texas Community Challenge displayed the communities’ passion for living healthier and making healthy changes that will last forever. Lancaster’s focus with the Community Challenge is to increase the participation rate of the community yearly. The community knows that a healthy community is more prosperous. By working together, it hopes to make living healthy easier for all Lancaster residents.

This state-wide challenge encourages communities of all sizes, including schools, businesses, organizations and mayors, to get excited about healthy living and ultimately transform the community’s health. More than one million Texans representing over 320 communities participated; 50 Texas mayors were engaged and more than 6,000 combined pounds were lost during the 2016 competition.

A Well Deserved Victory

On May 13, 2016 Lancaster was recognized by It’s Time Texas Community Challenge at a state-wide awards ceremony in Austin, and Lancaster Mayor Marcus E. Knight and other Lancaster staff attended the award ceremony.

“I’m truly impressed at how our community responded to the “It’s Time Texas Challenge” Mayor Knight stated. “Second place was a tremendous showing given our late start in the challenge. Congratulations to Lancaster ISD for achieving 1st Place in the MIDSIZE district category. This victory was well deserved, and the school district’s participation aided our entire community to achieve second place in our respective category” he added.

Mayor Knight concluded by sending a friendly message to first place winner, Prosper, Texas. “Congratulations to our friends in Prosper, but get ready, Lancaster is gearing up for next year and look forward to spreading the health even farther next year.”

Dallas Bar Association Annual Fundraiser Bar None Tickets On Sale

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Straight Outta Uptown Dallas Bar Association

DALLAS—The Dallas Bar Association and Dallas Bar Foundation proudly announce that Bar None, the celebrated lawyer variety show, is back in 2016 for its thirty-first season! This year, Bar None XXXI presents, “Straight Outta Uptown: The World’s Most Dangerous Lawyers.”

Performances are June 15-18, 2016 at the Greer Garson Theatre on the SMU Campus. Lawyers, judges, paralegals and those who want to be, make up the cast, crew and band.

Bar None features hilarious skits, songs and dance numbers to keep audiences entertained. Funds raised from the show directly support the Sarah T. Hughes Diversity Scholarships at the Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, UNT Dallas College of Law, and Texas A&M University School of Law. To date, Bar None has raised over $1.7 million for the Scholarship since its inceptions 31 years ago.

Tickets go on sale May 1st and can be purchased at the Bar None website: www.barnoneshow.com

DeSoto ISD Schools Launch Summer Reading Program

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DeSoto ISD Schools Offer Incentives For Summer Reading

DESOTO—DeSoto ISD is striving to increase every student’s reading comprehension level and vocabulary – both strong indicators of academic success. This summer Desoto ISD Schools continue the DeSoto READ NOW! campaign encouraging students to read for 40 minutes every day!

Students and parents are invited to the summer challenge kickoff on Thursday, June 9 from 9-11 a.m. at Woodridge Elementary, 1001 Woodridge Blvd. Join us for fun, games, prizes and sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge for your grade.

WEEKLY PRIZES FOR THE TOP READER IN AR AND ACHIEVE 3000

  • The top reader each week – June 13 through July 29 (7 weeks)
  • In each grade group – Gr. K-2, Gr. 3-5, Gr. 6-8, Gr. 9-12
  • Will win awesome prizes – ear buds, movie passes, restaurant gift cards, Beats by Dre, iPad minis, iPhones
  • Some winners will win the use of a digital device for the whole year!

High school students are challenged to “Give Me 40” minutes of reading every day through Achieve 3000 online. Middle school and elementary students can earn points through Accelerated Reader (AR).

Families are encouraged to read together and discuss the books in depth, exploring why a character acted the way they did, or how something came about. DeSoto ISD offers reading lists by grades so that students are reading at the appropriate level.

Reading just 20 minutes per day can increase a student’s vocabulary to 1.8M words per year and result in standardized tests scores in the 90th percentile for reading.

Families needing computer access can visit the following schools during the days and times listed below, or visit the DeSoto Library.

  • The Meadows ES, Woodridge ES, Moates ES, Cockrell Hill ES, West MS, DHS (Secondary students must bring their school ID)
  • Monday-Thursday, June 13-July 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Ambassador Ron Kirk Bridge Dedication Set For Saturday

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DALLAS—Dedication of the Ambassador Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge will be held Saturday (June 4) from 10-11 a.m. at the center of the Continental Bridge. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and the largest gathering of current and former Dallas City Council members ever assembled are expected to attend.

Ambassador Ron Kirk is the former United States Trade Representative (USTR). He was a member of President Obama’s Cabinet and served as the President’s principal trade advisor, negotiator, and spokesperson on trade issues.

After Ambassador Kirk was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in March 2009, he led USTR in developing trade policies that are proactive, responsible, and more responsive to our interests – recognizing that trade can be a job-creating pillar of economic recovery here and abroad.

Ambassador Ron Kirk directed USTR’s market-opening agenda through negotiations and dialogue with trading partners around the world. These initiatives include working to conclude and advance bilateral free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama, advancing the ambitious regional Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, and sustaining serious U.S. engagement in the Doha round of multilateral negotiations at the World Trade Organization. Ambassador Kirk simultaneously pursued robust enforcement of America’s trade rights in support of U.S. businesses and workers, and he has focused efforts to better assist American small businesses seeking opportunities in international markets.

Ambassador Kirk brought both public service and private sector experience to USTR. He served two terms as the first African-American mayor of Dallas. Prior to becoming mayor, he served as Texas Secretary of State under Governor Ann Richards. In addition, Ambassador Kirk has practiced law as a partner in the international law firm Vinson & Elkins, LLP. He was named one of “The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America” by The National Law Journal in 2008.

Originally from Austin, Texas, Ron Kirk graduated from Austin College and earned his law degree at the University of Texas School of Law. Ambassador Kirk is married to Matrice Ellis-Kirk and they have two daughters.

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