School board sets tax rate for 2017-2018, prompts election for November

During its regular meeting August 15, the Lake Travis school board adopted a total tax rate of $1.4275 per $100 of assessed property valuation to fund the district’s 2017-2018 budget, triggering an election to be held November 7.

The tax rate is comprised of two funds, Maintenance and Operations (M&O) and Interest and Sinking (I&S). For 2016-2017, the district’s M&O tax rate was $1.04 and its I&S tax rate was 0.3675, resulting in a total tax rate of $1.4075.  State law dictates that a school district must hold a Tax Ratification Election—or TRE—when asking voters to consider raising the tax rate.  However, Lake Travis ISD will ask voters to consider increasing the M&O tax rate while simultaneously decreasing the I&S tax rate by the same amount.

“This particular election is also referred to as a ‘Penny Exchange,’” said Johnny Hill, Lake Travis ISD Assistant Superintendent for Business, Financial and Auxiliary Services.  “Through a voter-approved TRE or penny exchange, we can move two pennies to the M&O tax rate by taking those same two pennies from the I&S tax rate, netting a total tax rate of $1.4075.  Although the total tax rate assessed to local homeowners would not increase as a result of the penny exchange, Lake Travis ISD could see an additional $2.1 million annually in state aid.  Additionally, these funds are not subject to recapture."  

According to Mr. Hill, should voters reject the proposal, the M&O tax rate would 'roll back' to the previous rate of $1.04.

"Our total tax rate would remain the same as it has for the past six years at $1.4075, whether or not voters approve the election," added Mr. Hill.  "Either way, the result of this penny exchange election will have no impact on our tax rate in comparison to our 2016 total tax rate.”

In June, trustees approved an order calling a $253 million bond election also to be decided by district voters on November 7.  The major components of the bond program include Middle School #3; Elementary School #7; upgrades, renovations, and repairs to existing facilities; school buses, including installation of seat belts; technology; and land for future facilities and utilities.

“Although our local school district tax rate will not change as a result of these two elections, an increase in property value will inevitably result in an increase in a homeowner’s tax bill, regardless of a flat tax rate,” said Dr. Brad Lancaster, Lake Travis ISD Superintendent of Schools.  “The good news for our local taxpayers is that we can present the bond election and TRE without increasing the tax rate.  That is a rare occurrence in school elections and a highly-significant position for our taxpayers.”

Early voting begins October 23.

District names head coaches for three programs

Kevin Bussinger, Billy Coleman, and M. Dean Lackey have been named head coaches for women’s basketball, softball, and swimming and diving, respectively, at Lake Travis High School, announced Hank Carter, Lake Travis ISD Director of Athletics.

Kevin Bussinger

Kevin Bussinger

Bussinger earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics Education from Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska.  He began his career in teaching and coaching in the spring of 1997 at Stuart Public School in Stuart, Nebraska.  Later that year, Bussinger moved to Texas where he served as girls track and field head coach/girls basketball assistant coach, followed by girls basketball head coach/girls coordinator at Bastrop High School.  In 2012, he joined Hays High School where he served as varsity basketball assistant coach/varsity softball assistant coach.  Most recently, Bussinger served as varsity basketball assistant coach/girls track assistant coach.  He replaces Patrick Hinson who earlier this summer accepted a position as assistant principal at Lake Travis High School.

Coleman earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Oklahoma and a Master of Arts degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University-Irvine.  He began his career in public education and coaching in 2005 at Celina High School in Celina, Texas teaching physical education and health and serving as softball head coach.  In 2008, Coleman also assumed the duties and responsibilities as the school’s Girls Athletic Coordinator.  In 2011, Coleman’s team won the University Interscholastic League 3A softball state championship.  Most recently, he served as softball head coach/freshmen football head coach at Canyon Randall High School in Amarillo, a position he held since 2015.  During his coaching tenure, Coleman has garnered numerous Coach of the Year honors.

Billy Coleman

Billy Coleman

M. Dean Lackey

M. Dean Lackey

Lackey earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Lamar University in Beaumont.  He began his professional career in 1991 as a substitute teacher in Beaumont.  A year later Lackey taught math at Vidor High School in Vidor, Texas.  Between 1994 and 2010, he served as president and managing general agent at Dean Lackey Insurance Agency in Austin.  In 2010, Lackey served as age group coach and national team college prep coach for Nitro Swimming in Bee Cave and Cedar Park.  In 2012, he returned to public schools, serving as math instructor at Reagan Early College High School and also as swim head coach at Bowie High School in Austin.  Most recently, Lackey served as swimming and diving head coach at Cedar Park High School.  While at Cedar Park, he also sponsored the school’s first water polo club.  Lackey, a multiple Coach of the Year honoree, currently serves as swim head coach of the Shady Hollow Stingrays and Cedar Park Typhoons neighborhood swim leagues. 

“These coaches have been successful everywhere they’re been—we’re happy to have them join the Lake Travis family,” Carter said.  “Ultimately, I’m excited for the student-athletes in these programs, for their parents, and for the exciting opportunities these coaches will create.”

District names assistant director of transportation

Daniel Lee has been named Assistant Director of Transportation for the Lake Travis school district, Director of Transportation Rhonda Davis announced.

Mr. Lee began his career in 2000 as a lead driver with Durham School Services in the Pflugerville school district.  He is also an experienced technician, drafter, operator and instructor in Computer-aided design, or CAD.  Since 2008, Mr. Lee has served as CEO/Senior Draft of his own company, Daniel Lee & Associates CAD Drafting and Designs.  In 2012, he joined Lake Travis ISD as a bus driver.  Most recently, Mr. Lee served as Special Needs/Safety Coordinator for the district.

“Dan is an exceptional member of our team,” Ms. Davis said.  “He possesses the right balance of leadership skills, technical proficiency, and customer service expertise that I know will serve the department well as we continue to expand our student ridership and grow our department.  We are lucky to have him and look forward to his contributions at the administrative level.”

Mr. Lee was named the 2015-2016 Supervisor of the Year by the Texas Association for Pupil Transportation.

During the 2016-2017 school year, Lake Travis bus drivers traveled 1.2 million miles collectively, transporting approximately 4,500 students throughout 68 routes each day.  For 2017-2018, district officials project a 10% increase in student ridership.
 

Nederveld named Serene Hills Elementary interim principal

Lake Travis ISD superintendent Dr. Brad Lancaster is pleased to announce the selection of Julie Nederveld as interim principal of Serene Hills Elementary School.  Mrs. Nederveld, who currently serves as the school’s assistant principal, will begin her tenure as interim principal on Tuesday, July 18.  Dr. Lancaster and senior staff will re-evaluate the position next spring and expect to name a permanent principal at that time.

"I made the decision to select Mrs. Nederveld as interim principal due to the positive feedback senior staff and I recently received from the Serene Hills teachers, staff and PTO board," said Dr. Lancaster.  "It is obvious to me that Mrs. Nederveld is highly regarded for her friendly demeanor, support for teachers and staff, and passion for student success."

Mrs. Nederveld earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Florida and a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership from the University of North Texas.  Throughout her 25-year professional career, she has served in numerous roles in public education including teacher, instructional coach, Response to Intervention Specialist, and campus administrator in Florida, North Carolina and Texas.  Mrs. Nederveld joined Serene Hills Elementary in 2016.  She and her husband, Terry, have three children: Jordan—who will attend the University of Texas at Dallas beginning this fall; Hunter—who will be a junior, and Grace—who will be a sophomore in high school in Round Rock.

"I am confident Mrs. Nederveld will provide a smooth transition in campus leadership as we continue to prepare for the fast-approaching new school year," continued Dr. Lancaster.  "Mrs. Nederveld will work on naming an interim assistant principal when she begins her tenure next week."

School board calls $253M bond election for Nov. 7

In a unanimous vote June 20, the Lake Travis school board approved an order calling a $253 million bond election for November 7, 2017.

Last month, a citizens’ advisory committee presented its proposal to the board, calling for district-wide capital improvements to accommodate the district’s continued increase in student enrollment.  According to demographer Population and Survey Analysts (PASA), student enrollment at Lake Travis ISD has increased by approximately 76% since 2007.  Considering a moderate growth rate scenario, projections indicate a continued increase of more than 60% during the next 10 years, resulting in a district-wide enrollment of nearly 16,000 students.
  
The major components of the district’s 2017 bond program include the following:

  • Middle School #3
  • Elementary School #7
  • Upgrades, renovations, and repairs to existing facilities
  • School buses, including installation of seat belts
  • Technology
  • Land for future facilities and utilities

With the recent passage of Senate Bill 693, school districts are required to install seat belts on any school buses purchased after September 2017.  As a result, the district has allocated $1.3 million to the November bond package to cover the cost of equipping its existing fleet of buses and any new bus purchases with seat belts.

“We are obligated to meet the requirements of this new law,” said Dr. Brad Lancaster, Lake Travis ISD Superintendent of Schools.  “We are lucky enough to have the advantage of an upcoming bond election to address this issue.”  

In 2011, the district’s most-recent bond election, voters approved a $158.5 million referendum for the construction of two new schools as well as the expansion of two existing campuses, among other district-wide upgrades and improvements.  As a result, the district’s tax rate increased by $0.0916 to a total tax rate of $1.4075 per $100 of assessed property valuation.

“The exciting news is, the entire 2017 package can be done without an increase to our current tax rate,” continued Dr. Lancaster.  “That is a rare occurrence in school bond elections and a highly significant position for the district and our taxpayers.  The zero impact to our current tax rate comes as a result of our district paying down our current debt early.  In fact, over the past five years, LTISD has saved its taxpayers more than $27 million in interest through aggressive debt management, resulting in increased capacity for future bond programs.”

Additional information on the bond program, including an itemized list of projects, will be available on the Lake Travis ISD website beginning June 26. Community presentations regarding the 2017 bond program will begin in the fall.

Lake Travis High School AP Drinkwater named Assistant Director of Athletics

Lake Travis Independent School District Director of Athletics/Lake Travis High School Head Football Coach Hank Carter is pleased to announce that Michael Drinkwater will assume the duties and responsibilities as the district’s Assistant Director of Athletics, effective July 3.  Mr. Drinkwater replaces Brandy Belk who last month accepted a position with the University Interscholastic League at the University of Texas at Austin.

Mr. Drinkwater earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications/Journalism and a Master of Arts degree in Education, both from Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado.  He holds a teaching certificate in Secondary English from Adams State College and a principal’s certificate from Lamar University in Beaumont.

A native of Riverside, California, Mr. Drinkwater began his career in education in 2005 as a secondary coach and out-of-state recruiting coordinator at Adams State College.  In 2008, he served as an English teacher and defensive coordinator for Santaluces Community High School in Lantana, Florida, as well as the women’s track and flag football head coach.  Mr. Drinkwater joined Lake Travis High School in 2012, serving as an English teacher, freshmen football head coach, and softball and varsity football assistant coach. Presently, Mr. Drinkwater serves as one of three assistant principals at Lake Travis High School, a position he’s held since 2015.

As Assistant Director of Athletics, Mr. Drinkwater will work with Coach Carter to meet the needs of the district’s robust offering of extracurricular programs.

“Michael’s experience as a classroom teacher and coach will strike the right balance and set the appropriate tone for the continued growth of our athletic programs,” Coach Carter said. “Brandy will be a hard act to follow, but I truly believe Michael is the best fit for this important role.”

Mr. Drinkwater and his wife Michaela have two children, Michael and Mason.

District Bond Advisory Committee recommends $251.7M bond package to school board

According to demographer Population and Survey Analysts (PASA), student enrollment at Lake Travis ISD has increased by approximately 76% since 2007.  Considering a moderate growth rate scenario, projections indicate a continued uptick of more than 60% during the next 10 years, resulting in a district-wide enrollment of nearly 16,000 students.  In order to accommodate expected growth, a citizens’ bond advisory committee was formed earlier this spring and recently proposed that the Lake Travis school board call for a bond election in November 2017.     

Presented by 2017 Bond Advisory Committee chair Jeremy Self to district trustees during the regular board meeting on May 16, the $251.7 million package would include the following items:

  • Middle School #3
  • Elementary School #7
  • Upgrades, renovations, and repairs to existing facilities
  • School buses
  • Technology

Every two years, PASA provides district officials with a demographic update of Lake Travis ISD. The comprehensive report highlights housing projections, economic trends, ratios of students per household, student enrollment projections, and long range planning.   

“Last fall, we hired third-party firms to conduct a condition assessment of all district-owned facilities and property, as well as assessments of our technology, furniture, and food service assets,” said LTISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brad Lancaster.  “Using the demographic report and the findings from these assessments as our baseline, we formed a bond advisory committee to start the planning for a potential bond issue in the fall.”

2017 Bond Advisory Committee chair Jeremy Self addresses the LTISD school board regarding a potential bond issue.

2017 Bond Advisory Committee chair Jeremy Self addresses the LTISD school board regarding a potential bond issue.

Comprised of 28 members representing each campus and the greater Lake Travis community, the committee met over the course of seven meetings between January and May.  Members received a list of district requests totaling approximately $392 million.  Upon separating those requests into three categories based on priority, the committee was tasked with the creation a bond issue that would keep the district’s tax rate at the current level and address the district’s highest needs.

“The exciting news is, the entire package can done without an increase to our current tax rate,” added Dr. Lancaster.  “That is a rare occurrence in school bond elections and highly significant position for the district and our taxpayers.  The zero impact to our current tax rate comes as a result of our district paying down our current debt early.  In fact, over the past five years, LTISD has saved its taxpayers more than $27 million in interest through aggressive debt management, resulting in increased capacity for future bond programs.”

The board is expected to vote on the potential bond issue during its next regular meeting on June 20.

'Thrills for Skills' Project Yields Big Thrills in San Antonio

Lake Travis High School PALs 'Thrills For Skills,' a student-led community service project, partnered with local businesses to sponsor a trip for LTHS Life Skills and 18+ Program students. The group traveled to San Antonio to visit Morgan’s Wonderland, an amusement park aimed at Special Needs children and adults.

Peer Assistance and Leadershipis—better known as PALs—is a junior/senior level class for Lake Travis High School students.  PALs visit elementary and middle schools as well as retirement homes in the Lake Travis ISD community.  PALs students develop leadership skills, communication skills, group dynamics, confidentiality; and conflict resolution/peer mediation.

Travis Rendon is the PALs program sponsor.  For more information, visit the LTHS PALs website.

LPE Student Council Raises $2,200 for Collin's Hope

The Lake Pointe Elementary School Student Council raised $2,268.54 for Colin's Hope by hosting the 5th Annual Hope Floats Craft Fair in April.

Colin’s Hope was formed in 2008 after four-year-old Colin Holst tragically drowned in a public pool. The organization's mission is to raise water safety awareness to prevent children from drowning.

Drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for children under 5 and a leading cause for ages 1-14. While no one is ‘drown proof,’ drowning is preventable.
— Colin's Hope
Lake Pointe Elementary School Student Council

Lake Pointe Elementary School Student Council

LT Special Olympians star in area track meets

Fourteen Lake Travis Special Olympic athletes participated in the Area 13 track meet held in Leander on May 6. They received the following awards:

  • Relay: Team 1 - William Haley; Andrew Murphy; Austin Speight and Scott Tully, 2nd place
  • Relay: Team 2 - Carter Anderson; Jenee Berry; Emelia Holmertz and Reagan Lowman, 2nd place
  • Javelin - Reagan Lowman, 2nd Place; Marco Valdes, 4th Place
  • Shot Put - Andrew Murphy, 1st Place; Tiffany Mayer-Spivey, 2nd Place
  • Softball Throw - William Haley, 1st Place; Emelia Holmertz, 1st Place; Mark Theodore, 1st Place; Scott Tully, 1st Place; Andrew Jones, 2nd Place; Christopher Whitty, 3rd Place
  • 100m Dash - Emelia Holmertz, 1st Place; Andrew Jones, 2nd Place; Christopher Whitty, 2nd Place; Reagan Lowman, 4th Place; Marco Valdes, 4th Place; Mark Theodore, 6th Place; Carter Anderson, 7th Place
  • 200m Dash - Scott Tully, 1st Place; Andrew Murphy, 2nd Place; Tiffany Mayer-Spivey, 3rd Place; Austin Speight, 3rd Place; Jenee Berry, 4th Place
  • 400m Run - William Haley, 2nd Place; Connor Mayerik, 3rd Place

Additionally, four athletes participated took part in a local track meet held in Georgetown on April 29 and received the following awards:

  • Relay - Carter AndersonAndrew Jones; Austin Speight and Ryan Taylor2nd place
  • Javelin - Carter Anderson, 1st place
    Softball Throw - Andrew Jones, 1st place; Austin Speight, 1st place; Ryan Taylor, 2nd place
  • 100m Dash - Carter Anderson, 1st place; Andrew Jones, 1st place
  • 200m Dash - Austin Speight, 4th place; Ryan Taylor, 5th place

LTEF Big Check Day nets $315,000 for LTISD Schools

DRAFT STARTED

The Lake Travis Education Foundation, with help from sponsor Capitol Chevy Austin, delivered a total $315,000 in teacher grants for Lake Travis ISD schools during the foundation's Big Check Day held May 5.  

Campus specific amounts are as follows:

  • Bee Cave Elementary School - $20,870.85
  • Lake Pointe Elementary School - $22,282.26
  • Lake Travis Elementary School - $37,297.27
  • Lakeway Elementary School - $21,591.57
  • Serene Hills Elementary School - $24,924.90
  • West Cypress Hills Elementary School - $21,081.06
  • Hudson Bend Middle School - $35,585.55
  • Lake Travis Middle School - $48,258.22
  • Lake Travis High School - $83,093.01

Grants are awarded based on student enrollment at each campus as well as proceeds from the foundation's annual gala.  Presented by Lexus of Lakeway, this year's gala themed 'Illuminations' was held March 4 at the Hilton Austin Hotel. Other annual events hosted by the foundation include the Butterfly Brunch and the Fore the Kids golf tournament.

Founded by a group of Lake Travis residents in 1985, the Lake Travis Education Foundation has provided over $3.75 million in funding to help make programs and projects at Lake Travis Independent School District possible.  For more information, visit the LTEF website.

LTHS Ultimate Wins Spring League for 2nd Year

Congratulations to the Lake Travis High School Ultimate club for earning second place at the Ultimate Players League of Austin state tournament held May 13-14 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.  Additionally, Lake Travis Ultimate won the area Ultimate Spring League championship for the second year in a row. Alongside Lake Travis, teams who played UPLA Spring League 2017 include Anderson, Austin, Belton, Bowie, Griffin, Hays, Hutto, Hyde Park, LASA, McCallum, Round Rock, Rouse, Veritas, Vista Ridge, and Westlake.  For more information, visit the Austin Ultimate website.

LTHS TEEN IMPACT Draws Donors for Spring Blood Drive

Lake Travis High School Teen Impact, together with We Are Blood (formerly the Blood Center of Central Texas), hosted its annual Spring Blood Drive at Lake Travis High School April 13.  The drive collected 130 donations. The group's fall blood drive in October 2016 yielded 125 donations.

LTHS became the largest single donation collection in the history of We Are Blood with 85 donations in October 2011.  Since then, because of the increase in donations each year, the goal for LTHS has been raised numerous times .  

LTHS Teen Impact students operate the blood drives under the supervision of Susan Seglem, Spanish teacher and Teen Impact sponsor.  The program is an academic leadership class for junior and senior students that provides them with the opportunity to study, practice, and develop group/individual leadership and organizational skills.  Stephen Covey's book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, is the program's main text.  The class performs acts of service for the school, local community, and greater Austin.

In addition to facilitating two annual blood drives, Teen Impact:

  • conducts numerous charity drives throughout the year including Toys for Tots, donations for Dell Children’s Hospital, tabs for The Ronald McDonald House, food and clothing drives, collections for the homeless, and helps the Travis County Sheriff’s Office collect cell phones for victims of abuse and candy for their shelters
  • organizes and conduct Shark Camp (orientation for 8th graders) and New Student Orientation in August
  • helps with Lake Travis High School Round-Up (back-to-school event)
  • conducts many school tours for prospective students and assist other clubs in their school-wide projects (such as Teacher Appreciation posters)
  • serves on committees that impact student policies such as the Student Health Advisory Council, the Principal’s Council, and Safe Place Training, as well as making presentations to the superintendent and school board.
TEEN IMPACT

TEEN IMPACT

Students are selected for the class through an application and interview process. The interviews are almost solely conducted by current Teen Impact students, with Ms. Seglem making the final selection.  

"Students are selected based on their willingness to challenge themselves to be the best they can be for the purpose of serving others, for their desire to reach out to students who need a mentor, and who can be honest about their weaknesses and put in the effort to covert those to strengths," said Ms. Seglem.

SUPERINTENDENT ANNOUNCES SELECTION OF BEE CAVE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL

Jennifer Andjelic will serve as Principal of Bee Cave Elementary School effective July 18, Lake Travis ISD Superintendent Dr. Brad Lancaster announced.  Ms. Andjelic will replace Deanna McParland.

“Jennifer is no stranger to Lake Travis ISD,” Dr. Lancaster said.  “Between 2009 and 2013, she was a member of our Curriculum and Instruction department where she served as Director of Elementary Academic Services.  We are excited to welcome her and her family back to The Destination District.”

Ms. Andjelic began her career in public education in 1995 as a fourth grade teacher at Dove Elementary School in the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District northwest of Dallas.  After serving in the same capacity at Bush Elementary School in the Conroe school district near Houston, Ms. Andjelic joined the Spring Independent School District where she served in various classroom and administrative roles including Reading Intervention Specialist and Principal of the district’s Summer Academies program, Elementary Academic Intervention Coordinator with the district’s Curriculum and Instruction department, and Principal of Meyer Elementary School. Following her tenure at Lake Travis, Ms. Andjelic served as Principal of Grandview Hills Elementary School, and most recently, as Executive Director of Instruction and Professional Learning in the Leander school district.

Ms. Andjelic earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of North Texas and a Master of Education degree in Administration from the University of St. Thomas.  She and her family reside in Lakeway, and her children attend Lake Travis High School.

“Selecting the right person to serve as school principal is a critical and oftentimes difficult decision,” Dr. Lancaster continued.  “I want to thank the members of the interview committee for their outstanding help throughout this process.  Committee members included BCE teachers Rachel Hughes and Josie Phan, PTO officer/parent representative Melissa Williamson, West Cypress Hills Elementary School Principal Amanda Prehn, Director of Special Services Dr. Laura Abbott, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resource Services Evalene Murphy, and Deputy Superintendent Mary Patin.

A total of 67 applications were received for the position, and eight candidates were interviewed. 

“The committee recommended Ms. Andjelic and two other finalists to me,” Dr. Lancaster added.  “These finalists were interviewed a second time by Ms. Patin, Ms. Murphy, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative and Community Services Holly Morris-Kuentz, and me.  This interview with Ms. Andjelic, coupled with her references and wide ranging experience, only confirmed the committee’s very strong endorsement.”

Senior staff will arrange a meet-and-greet between Ms. Andjelic and the Bee Cave school community in the near future.

LTHS Hosted 2nd Annual Lake Travis Code Jam 2017

More than 30 third through eighth graders participated in LT Code Jam 2017, an event intended to spark interest and inspire students to pursue a career in computer science and programming. 

The activities ranged from block-based coding used to create games and stories, HTML to create a website, text-based languages Python and Java, and a robotics demonstration with a stairbot. 

High school computer science students assisted attendees with their activities.  Funds raised from the event will be used for activities to encourage young women to study computer science and engineering.

The Lake Travis Code Jam 2017 was hosted by the LTHS Women in Computer Science and Engineering Club. LTHS AP Computer Science Teacher Lori Wristers sponsors the Women in Computer Science and Engineering Club.

Ten LTHS DECA Students Recognized at International Level

Ten students from Lake Travis High School placed among the best in the world at the DECA International Career Development Conference April 26-29 in Anaheim, CA. 

In all, 19 LTHS students comprised the more than 19,000 young men and women from around the globe who competed in 53 business and marketing events. 

According to its website, DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs to be college and career ready. Members gain 21st Century skills and become prepared to be effective leaders connected to the real world.

Lake Travis High School Finalist in Anaheim L to R:   Samantha Butler, Faith Putman, Nikita Tiffany, Lisa Stapleton, Cody Harris, Campbell Ingraham, Jerzy Ramos Chen & Jason Liu

Lake Travis High School Finalist in Anaheim
L to R:   Samantha Butler, Faith Putman, Nikita Tiffany, Lisa Stapleton, Cody Harris, Campbell Ingraham, Jerzy Ramos Chen & Jason Liu

"This is, historically, the best performance and representation by LTISD at the DECA International Career Development Conference," said Jill Oates, one of two DECA advisors at Lake Travis High School."

The following Lake Travis High School students were Texas DECA ICDC competition winners:

Hotel Management Online Virtual Business Simulation - Sponsored by Marriott
2nd Place in the World
Participants:  Jason Liu, Jerzy Ramos Chen

Entrepreneurship Promotion Plan
5th Place in the World
(one of two Texas teams to place)
Topic: Lake Travis Link
Participant: Cody Harris, Campbell Ingraham, Lisa Stapleton

School Based Enterprise Food Operations - Sponsored by Otis Spunkmeyer
Top 20 in the World (only Texas team to place)
Topic: CAV Zone School Store @ LTHS
Participants: Samantha Bryant, Faith Putman, Nikita Tiffany

DECA Scholarship from National Society of High School Scholars & Special Voting Delegate/Jordan Grulke
National Society of High School Scholars Scholarship Voting Delegate

DECA Scholarship from PDC Productions, Special Voting Delegate, and National Social Media Digital Correspondent/Julia Wezio

Participants:

DECA is one the largest student organizations on the Lake Travis campus with 121 members. DECA students are advised by LTHS teachers Ms. Oates and Amy Johnson.

LTHS DECA would like to thank the following 2016-2017 program sponsors:

Hill Country Allergy - Dr. Amin Mery    
Smile Generation - Dr. Jeff Butler       
Belcor Properties - Linda Duvalle    
Lakeway Spine Center - Dr. Andrea Salazar
International Studies Abroad - Ivan Lopez                     
dB Drag Racing - Wayne & Celise Harris
Career Creators Consulting - Amber Travis-Ballinas
Little Greek Restaurant - Randy & Cindy Dillon  
LT Eye Care - Dr. Sarah E. Gibson       
Maj.  & Mrs. Allen Tiffany               
Mr. & Mrs. Christopher Bryant               
Mr. & Mrs. Dana Willis

District recognizes teachers of the year, distinguished retirees, and community service award recipients

Lake Travis ISD officials placed the spotlight on its 2016-2017 teachers of the year, distinguished retirees, and the recipients of the district’s Community Service Award at a dinner held May 18 at the Sonesta Bee Cave.

The 2016-2017 Teachers of the Year are Tanya Henslee - Digital Graphics, Hudson Bend Middle School; Jessie Lawson - Teen Leadership, Lake Travis Middle School; Esther Peckover - 1st Grade, Lakeway Elementary School; Jamie Kennedy - 1st Grade, Lake Pointe Elementary School; Brooke Lane - Kindergarten, Lake Travis Elementary; Kassey LeBlanc - 2nd Grade, Bee Cave Elementary School; Becca Wells - Kindergarten, West Cypress Hills Elementary School; Josie Sellers - 4th Grade, Serene Hills Elementary School/District Elementary Teacher of the Year; and Lamar Schrader - English, Lake Travis High School/District Secondary Teacher of the Year.

“The teaching profession is one of the most noble and important vocations in our society, yet it is constantly under the microscope,” said Dr. Lancaster.  “Teachers must meet the strictest of ever-evolving standards.  They must also deal with a wide range of student needs and unique challenges each and every day, and there are no two students alike.  It is fitting that we take a moment to recognize these hard-working, dedicated public school educators who are truly first among equals at Lake Travis ISD.”

Officials also recognized several individuals who elected to retire from the school district this year including Mary Senn - Reading Specialist, Lake Travis Elementary School; Karen Evans - Music Aide, Lake Travis Elementary School; Beth Andrus - Counselor, Lake Travis Elementary School; Gina Dodson - 3rd Grade, Lake Travis Elementary School; Deborah Watson - Art, Hudson Bend Middle School; Cynthia Allen - Physical Education, Lakeway Elementary School; and Carol Taggart - Discovery, Hudson Bend Middle School.  Not in attendance were Margaret Bloomfield - Distribution Center, District Administration; Marilyn Gayle - English, Lake Travis High School; Mary Kosacz - Administrative Assistant, Lakeway Elementary School; Mary Lou Knutson - Registrar, Hudson Bend Middle School; and Norma Laird - Special Education, Hudson Bend Middle School.

Additionally, district officials lauded the work of three community volunteers with the second annual Lake Travis ISD Community Service Awards.  

“The purpose of the Community Service Awards program is to recognize and celebrate volunteers, mentors and business partners who give their time, talents and resources to improve the educational experiences for students of the Lake Travis Independent School District,” said Holly Morris-Kuentz, Lake Travis ISD Assistant Superintendent for Administrative and Community Services.  “The program is intended to increase awareness of the importance of parental and community involvement in LTISD.”

The LOVE (Leader in Outstanding Volunteer Efforts) for LT Award recognizes an individual who has contributed quality time and extraordinary effort towards improving the learning climate at an individual campus.  The 2016-2017 LOVE for LT Award recipient is Dandi Holec, West Cypress Hills Elementary School.  Dandi volunteered more 200 hours throughout the current school year.  Some of her accomplishments include organizing and managing the school's fall book fair, serving as a Destination ImagiNation team leader, and personally servicing the school's die cutter and poster printer.

The Mentor Me LT Award recognizes the mentor for his/her dedication to the spirit of mentoring, including regular visits with his/her student, the quality of time spent, and the concern and enthusiasm with which he/she has approached the mentor-student relationship. The 2016-2017 Mentor Me LT Award recipient is Michelle McCabe, Bee Cave Elementary School.  Michelle visited weekly with two different students throughout the school year.  She played games with the students, helped develop their reading skills and provided much needed companionship.

The Most Valuable Partner (MVP) Award is presented to one civic or business partner.  This award recognizes an exceptional partnership impacting an individual campus or the school district.  The 2016-2017 Most Valuable Partner Award recipient is Lexus of Lakeway.  Lexus of Lakeway is a Founding Level Partner of the District's Video Display Board program and has sponsored numerous events and programs district wide during the current school year.  

The event was sponsored by HEB, Lexus of Lakeway, and Sonesta Bee Cave.

LTHS Student-Athletes in Lacrosse and Track/Field Sign Letters of Intent

Lake Travis High School student-athletes in lacrosse and track and field signed letters of intent to play at the post-secondary level.

These five LTHS lacrosse student-athletes signed letters of intent May 8:

Harrison Essex - Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ
Joey Ceshker – Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO
Zach SwensonJed Hursh and Reed Elliott - Texas A&M University in College Station, TX

 

These five LTHS track and field student-athletes signed letters of intent May 10:

Connor Butterfield – University of Texas at Arlington
Ben Davis – University of North Texas in Denton
Tanner Day - Sam Houston State University in Huntsville
Dylan Day – Concordia University Texas in Austin
Megan Rourke – University of Texas at Austin