LTHS Cheer earns third at state competition

Congratulations to the Lake Travis High School Cheer program who placed third at the National Cheerleaders Association State of Texas Championship held Dec. 4 at the Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco.  Annie Clay is the coach of the LTHS Cheer program. 

LTHS Senior Makes All-State Jazz Band

Lake Travis High School senior Grace Ward will play 1st Chair Jazz Guitar in the All-State Jazz Band in February 2017.  The All-State Jazz Band will perform at the Texas Music Educators Association Conference in San Antonio.  So far, Grace is the first LTISD student to be selected for an All-State ensemble. LTISD students have an opportunity to audition in January.

LTHS senior Grace Ward

LTHS senior Grace Ward

TMEA sponsors the Texas All-State audition process to promote students' dedication to their musical knowledge and skill and to encourage TMEA member directors to support their students in this development.

All-State is the highest honor a Texas music student can receive.  Over 1,700 students are selected through a process that begins with over 64,000 students from around the state vying for the honor to perform in one of 15 ensembles (bands, orchestras, and choirs).

This competitive process begins throughout the state in auditions hosted by 33 TMEA regions. Individual musicians perform selected music for a panel of judges who rank each instrument or voice part.

The highest-ranking musicians judged at the TMEA jazz band state competition qualify to perform with the TMEA All-State Jazz Band.

These All-State students participate in three days of rehearsals directed by nationally-recognized conductors during the annual state TMEA Clinic/Convention.  Their performances before thousands of attendees bring this extraordinary event to a close.

LTHS duo nets awards for DECA Virtual Business Challenge

Lake Travis High School students Jason Liu and Jerzy Ramos Chen competed in the online DECA Hotel Challenge.

Jason Liu and Jerzy Ramos Chen

Jason Liu and Jerzy Ramos Chen

DECA high school members participated in six tracks of the event (Virtual Business Challenge Accounting, DECA Hotel Challenge, Virtual Business Challenge Personal Finance, Virtual Business Challenge Restaurant, Virtual Business Challenge Retailing and Virtual Business Challenge Sports).  Each track encourages DECA members to test their skills within its particular Virtual Business environment – individually or as a team of up to 3 members. 

Jason and Jerzy were awarded:

•    1st place team in Texas
•    2nd place in the southern region of the US
•    7th place overall in national rankings 

They are now eligible to compete at the DECA International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, CA on April 26-29, 2017.

Professionals inspire Lake Travis ISD students on Career Day

Professionals from a variety of industries spent valuable time with LTISD students December 2. Students learned through presentations, asking questions and hands-on lessons. Many schools across the district hosted Career Day on their respective campuses. Below are photos taken during Career Day at Hudson Bend Middle School and Lake Travis Middle School.

Hudson Bend Middle School Career Day 2016

Lake Travis Middle School Career Day 2016

LTHS STUDENT-ATHLETES SIGN LETTERS OF INTENT

Lake Travis High School student-athletes in tennis signed letters of intent to colleges and universities this week. Congratulations to these student athletes.

LTHS Tennis Student-Athletes (left to right) Adi Ford – Wofford College, South Carolina Brendan Brown – St. Mary’s University, San Antonio Emily Bian – Middlebury College, Vermont

LTHS Tennis Student-Athletes (left to right)

Adi Ford – Wofford College, South Carolina

Brendan Brown – St. Mary’s University, San Antonio

Emily Bian – Middlebury College, Vermont

13 LTHS Students attend ChickTech: High School Kick-Off

ChickTech: High School is a yearlong program that introduces high school girls to different aspects of careers in technology and to inspire them to pursue a career in the technology and computer science fields.

PHOTOGRAPHED: Jordan Brooks, Izzy Fontaine, Jamie Gallagher, Roshini George, Julia Hathaway, Emily Padilla, Hefiz-Ba’ Ramirez, Sameera Raza, Alejandra Zaldivar ADDITIONAL PARTICIPANTS (not photographed): Lindsay Edwards, Annie Reckar, Caroline Reckart, Kaitlyn Russo

PHOTOGRAPHED: Jordan Brooks, Izzy Fontaine, Jamie Gallagher, Roshini George, Julia Hathaway, Emily Padilla, Hefiz-Ba’ Ramirez, Sameera Raza, Alejandra Zaldivar

ADDITIONAL PARTICIPANTS (not photographed): Lindsay Edwards, Annie Reckar, Caroline Reckart, Kaitlyn Russo

13 LTHS girls attended the kick-off of the Austin Chapter of ChickTech inaugural program November 12 and 13 held at Google. 

Participants attended one of the following hands-on technology workshops: 

·       Build Your Own Computer with Orange Pi - Computers and Hardware

·       Developing for the Modern Web – Web Development

·       Let’s Build a WiFi Robot - Robotics

·       Level Design with Portal 2 – Video Game Design

·       Designing Plushie Tech with Arduino Lilypad – Soft Circuits

·       Digital Filmmaking – Digital Media

Our goal is to reach the girls who would make great engineers, but because of stereotypes and a lack of opportunity, may not realize it until they are already doing something else, if at all.
— chicktech.org

ChickTech received 339 nominations from 55 teachers in 37 Austin Metro area schools for the November kickoff event. 100 girls in Austin were chosen to participate in yearlong technology workshops through the program. The program is provided at no cost to the participants.

The girls also have the opportunity to continue attending workshops once a month at different technology and engineering companies throughout Austin.

December 10:   User Experience @ Capital Factory

January 16:        Design for Software @ IBM Design (This is where IBM’s Watson is designed!)

February 11:       Data Visualization @ TBD

March 4:             Deploying a Web App with Cloud 9 and GitHub @ TBD

April 22:             Agile in a Day @ CDK Global

May 26:              Topic TBD @ WPEngine (Word Press)

 

For more information about ChickTech: High School click here.

 

 

LT Choir to host holiday concert

The award-winning Lake Travis High School Choir will be sure to put you and your family in the holiday spirit during its annual winter concert scheduled for 7:00 pm, Friday December 2 at the Lake Travis Performing Arts Center.  This event is free and open to the public. 

“I would like to congratulate our 2016-2017 All Region Choir students,” Lake Travis High School Choir director Kelan Latimer added.  “These students practiced for months prior to their audition and made the select regional choir through blind auditions.”

Lake Travis High School Choir All-Region Members

Lake Travis High School Choir All-Region Members

Hudson Bend MS ‘gives back’ on Day of Service

Students at Hudson Bend Middle School visited more than 40 locations throughout Lake Travis and Greater Austin on Nov. 18, beautifying local parks, mentoring younger students, and working with the elderly during its second annual Day of Service.

In 2014, Hudson Bend MS was selected as a Texas Schools to Watch®, a recognition program which highlights middle schools for academic excellence, responsiveness to the needs and interests of young adolescents, and its commitment to helping all students achieve at high levels. 

“Being selected as a 2014 Texas Schools to Watch, students and teachers at Hudson Bend Middle School have always done great things in the classroom,” Hudson Bend Middle School principal Mark Robinson said.  “We also know the success of our school would not be possible without the support of parents, families, and the great people of the Lake Travis community.  Receiving all of this support, HBMS wanted to find a way to give back to the community and instill a nature of caring in our students.  The Day of Service is our way of giving back to this great community that supports all we do here in Lake Travis ISD.”

YouTube video courtesy, Tanya Henslee - HBMS Yearbook/Digital Graphics teacher

District Celebrates Thanksgiving with students, families

Employees from the Lake Travis Independent School District's Food and Nutrition Services department, Executive Leadership Team (ELT), and other members of the LTISD family served more than 8,000 plates of in-house, roasted turkey and all the trimmings during the 2016 Thanksgiving Feast held November 16-17.  In all, more than 2,400 lbs. of sliced turkey, 900 lbs. of fresh, local green beans, and 8,500 cookies baked in-house were served district wide, including Thanksgiving-themed meals sold at the secondary schools.  Traci Miller is the Director of Food and Nutrition Services.

Wednesday, November 16 - Lakeway, Lake Travis, and Lake Pointe elementary schools

Thursday, November 17 - Bee Cave, West Cypress Hills, and Serene Hills elementary schools

Veterans Honored Across Lake Travis ISD

Students and staff held a variety of celebrations across the district in observance of Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11.

LTISD seeks ‘District of Innovation’ designation

In September, the Lake Travis school board adopted a resolution that allowed district officials to explore the process for becoming a District of Innovation.  Passed by the 84th Legislative Session in House Bill 1842, the District of Innovation concept provides school districts much of the flexibility currently available to open-enrollment charter schools in Texas.  In general, it gives school districts more local control and increases their ability to decide what best suits their needs and the needs of their students and staff.  

Upon approval of the resolution, trustees then appointed central office and campus administrators, teachers and staff from each school, and community members to serve on a Innovation Plan Committee for the purpose of developing an Innovation Plan.  The committee met in September, October, and November to draft, review, and prepare a proposed Innovation Plan.  The plan will be posted on the District’s website for 30 days.  The committee will hold a public meeting on December 13 to consider and vote on the final version of the proposed plan.  If the proposed Innovation Plan is approved by a majority of the Innovation Plan Committee, the school board will vote on whether to adopt the final proposed plan during its December 13 regular meeting.  If two-thirds of the membership of the board vote to adopt the plan, Lake Travis ISD will be designated as a District of Innovation.  Although approval is not required by the Texas Education Agency, the plan must be submitted to the Commissioner of Education.

According to the district’s proposed Innovation Plan, LTISD seeks exemption from the following provisions of the Texas Education Code:

  •         First Day of Instruction
  •         Class Size in Grades K-4
  •         Teacher Appraisal System
  •        Teacher Certification
  •         Probationary Teacher Contracts

“I am excited about the possibilities the District of Innovation designation can create for our district,” LTISD Superintendent Dr. Brad Lancaster stated.  “I believe the opportunity for flexibility and increased  local control will allow us to make decisions that will best serve our students, staff, and community.”

Review the complete LTISD Plan of Innovation here.

Assistant Superintendent for HR Services announced

Evalene Murphy, LTISD Asst. Supt. for HR

Evalene Murphy, LTISD Asst. Supt. for HR

Lake Travis ISD Superintendent Dr. Brad Lancaster is pleased to announce the selection of Evalene Murphy as the district’s new Assistant Superintendent for Human Resource Services, effective December 5, 2016.

“We received approximately 90 applications for this position,” Dr. Lancaster stated.  “Following two rounds of interviews and an extensive reference-checking process, Evalene emerged as the clear choice to me to lead our HR department.  I am confident she will do great things for our district and the Lake Travis community.”

Ms. Murphy possesses more than 25 years of experience in public education.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and possesses numerous credentials from California State University.  Ms. Murphy began her career as a special education aide at the Ventura County School District.  She then began her professional teaching career at the Santa Paula Elementary School District in Santa Paula, California.  After nine years in the classroom, Ms. Murphy was then promoted to her first administrative role as the district’s special education program specialist.  She then joined the Fillmore Unified School District in Ventura County, California, serving as Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Student Support/Special Education.  Most recently, Ms. Murphy served as Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources at the Pleasant Valley School District in Camarillo, California, a position she has held since 2009.  During her tenure at Pleasant Valley, Ms. Murphy was named the 2016 Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators.

“This leadership position in our district is a very important one for us," Dr. Lancaster added.  "I want to thank the members of the interview committee for their outstanding work through this process.”

The committee was comprised of Mary Patin, Deputy Superintendent; Johnny Hill, Assistant Superintendent for Business, Financial and Auxiliary Services; Holly Morris-Kuentz, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative and Community Services; Gordon Butler, Lake Travis High School Principal; Amber King, General Counsel; and Liz Sims, Director of Learning and Teaching.

As Assistant Superintendent for Human Resource Services, Ms. Murphy will lead all aspects of district-wide human resource functions including the strategic planning, development and implementation of programs to support professional and auxiliary staffing and retention; wage and salary administration; leave administration; performance appraisal; employee relations; benefits; and employee communication.

LTHS STUDENT-Athletes Sign Letters of Intent

Lake Travis High School student-athletes in swimming, softball and golf signed letters of intent to colleges and universities this week. Congratulations to these student athletes.

Twenty-four Lake Travis HS students earn recognition by the National Merit Scholarship Program

Lake Travis High School principal Gordon Butler is pleased to announce that 24 seniors have been recognized by the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program.

These students entered the program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) as high school juniors in 2016.  They were chosen from more than 1.5 million program entrants and represent less than one percent of each state’s high school seniors.  According to the National Merit Scholarship Program, these students are the top scorers from each state and show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.  Additionally, the National Hispanic Recognition Program identifies nearly 5,000 outstanding Hispanic/Latino students each year, while the National Achievement Scholarship Program provides recognition for outstanding Black American high school students.

“These students and their families should be very proud of their remarkable achievement,” Mr. Butler said.  “I applaud the many teachers and counselors who have positively influenced these students throughout their young academic careers.  These students are obviously well prepared for the challenges that lie ahead of them.”

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LTISD Celebrates National School Bus Safety Week

To create awareness of bus transportation and its impact on public education, Lake Travis ISD joined the National Association for Pupil Transportation in observing Oct. 17-21, 2016 as National School Bus Safety Week.  From early morning to early evening, the LTISD Transportation Department staff drive more than 1.3 million miles annually, transporting approximately 4,500 students in 80 buses throughout 68 routes.  School bus drivers and monitors are often the first and last district employees our students interact with each day.  As a small gesture of appreciation for the men and women who serve our students each day, Longhorn Bus Sales sponsored a fish fry luncheon Friday, October 21 at the LTISD Transportation Department. 

ELEMENTARY STUDENTS VOTE FOR FAVORITE LUNCH CANDIDATE

Lake Travis Elementary Schools Celebrate National School Lunch Week

October 10-14 is National School Lunch Week. This program is designed to recognize the nation’s efforts to make nutrition a priority in schools. The Texas Department of Agriculture is also celebrating this week with the theme of “Vote for a Winning Lunch!”

Different local produce is featured each day during National School Lunch Week.  Students at each Lake Travis ISD elementary participated by voting for their favorite lunch and providing feedback.

Nutrition plays a key role in student learning.  At Lake Travis ISD:

·       80% of students participate in the school meal program

·       Last year, schools served an average of 7,325 meals per day, roughly 146,500 meals per month

·       Local farmers provide farm-fresh produce to all LTISD schools

For more information, visit the LTISD interactive menu at laketravis.nutrislice.com.

SLIDE SHOW: Students at Lake Travis Elementary enjoy their nutritious food choices and vote for their favorites.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Lake Travis ISD elementary schools will host their annual Thanksgiving Feast November 16-17.  For more information, visit ltisdschools.org/thanksgiving.