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FISD Looks Back at 2006-2007 (June, 2007)


FISD began a great school year with the opening of six new schools – Corbell elementary, named after late principal and coach Weldon Corbell; Portia Ross Taylor Elementary named in honor of a beloved African-American teacher, now deceased, who taught at the old Hamilton School prior to integration; Sem Elementary, named after former school board member and still-active community volunteer Isabel Sem; and Ogle Elementary, named after Dr. J.M. Ogle, one of the area’s first physicians and an early member of the school board. Wakeland High School named for former Superintendent Justin Wakeland was also opened this year. Liberty High School opened in Fowler Middle School’s future home. It will move to its permanent home in 2007-2008.

Wakeland was the site of the annual new teacher breakfast hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. More than 500 new teachers were honored.

FISD Tax office opened a new office in the FISD Administration Annex, which also houses technology and finance.

The design for the Career and Technology Education Center was unveiled. It will open in 2008.


Betty King, principal of Borchardt Elementary, was voted Principal of the Year by TEPSA a state organization of principals and supervisors.

Tricia Ann Boswell of Pioneer Heritage Middle School was named Region 10 Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year.

Patti Kubanet, coordinator of Hope Rising, received the Spirit of Mercy Award from the private academy she attended as a young girl in Buffalo, New York.

Smith and Curtsinger Elementary Schools both sent contingents to Washington to receive national Blue Ribbon Awards as part of the No Child Left Behind program. Celebrations are held at each school to celebrate this wonderful accomplishment. Principals Matt Kimball of Smith, J’Lynn Anderson of Curtsinger and recently retired Curtsinger principal, Debbie Carroll-Boyce led the teams.

Shannon Keller and Kimberly Weber were honored by the Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas with the Outstanding Educator of the Year award for their work at Bright Elementary during the 2005-2006 year.

Debbie Jarzombek, Director of Elementary Instruction, was elected to the Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Board.

The American Forest Foundation and National Project Learning Tree committee selected Frisco educator Melanie Cornelius as one of five PLT National Outstanding Educators in 2007. Cornelius is also the Outstanding Educator for Texas and Frisco ISD is one of three outstanding school districts in Texas honored for work with environmental education.

Laura Boatright, tax assessor for Frisco Independent School District, was recently installed as president of the Texas School Assessors Association (TSAA) at the annual TSAA Conference in Austin. The TSAA was created to encourage the professionalism of assessment personnel; to promote a closer relationship between school administrators, appraisal districts, and tax professionals; to be involved in the legislation of tax issues; and to keep members informed and educated.

Lena Wilson, director of Child Nutrition, has been elected vice-president of the Texas Association for School Nutrition. Wilson will serve one year as vice president and then assume the position of president the following year. Wilson has been with the district since 1998.

Buddy Minett, president of the FISD Board of Trustees, was named Citizen of the Year by the Frisco Chamber of Commerce in January.

School Board Trustee Renee Ehmke was given the National PTA Lifetime Achievement Award in May.

Joanna Cone of Wakeland High School was selected by the American Board of Certification of Teacher Excellence to serve on a committee with teachers from across the country to created a national World History certification exam.
Anne Sheridan, librarian at Taylor Elementary School, was selected to serve on the programming committee for the Texas Library Association conference.

The annual Gary Burns Fun Run was a hit and Centennial Track Coach Jodi Hawkins is first over the finish line. Fisher Elementary won the Spirit Award at the event.

The FEF Prize Posse surprised 22 FISD teachers with grant money for their Grants for Great Ideas entries.

The Bright Elementary administrators accepted a $1,000 donation for the Bright Ideas Homework Club and the Bright Library Book Club from the Assistance League of Greater Collin County.

FISD and the City of Frisco were honored by the Keep Texas Beautiful for the work they do with educating Frisco about the environment with the Sadie Ray Graff Education Leadership Award in May. Christie Elementary won City of Frisco Battery Recycling Contest.


Chelsea Drescher and Steven Zhu of Frisco High School were finalist in the National Merit Scholarship program. Norm Qi and Mark Fan of Centennial High School were named semifinalists.

Steven Zhu was named to the TASSP All-State Academic Excellence Team. He was nominated by FHS principal Rick Burnett. He was the first FISD student to receive this honor.

Four students were named National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholars. They are Karise Carrillo, Antonio Figueroa, Bryan Girbaldo, and David Ramirez.

Staley Middle School hosted the district’s first TMSCA Math and Science competition. Griffin Middle School sent two students to the state math and science competition.

All four Frisco high schools had teams go to state finals for Academic Decathlon and place in the top 10. FHS was 2nd in medium schools and CHS was 5th in state for medium schools. LHS was 2nd in small schools and WHS was third in small schools. FHS placed 1st at 4A regionals and LHS placed first at 3A Regionals.

This year, all four high schools fielded Octathlon teams, which are the ninth and tenth grade students. In this subvarsity competition, Frisco’s Liberty High School Red team took sixth place in the state with Frisco High School’s Team A and Centennial High School’s team 1, taking ninth and tenth place, respectively. Wakeland High School ranked 32nd in the state, Liberty’s Black team ranked 43rd , Centennial’s Team 2 ranked 53rd and Frisco High Schools Team B, ranked 58th . There were 63 teams competing in the Octathlon state event.

Pentathlon is the middle school competition level. Staley’s seventh grade team placed 14th in the competition, with Griffin placing 25th, Pioneer Heritage placing 30th, Clark placing 33rd and Wester 34th . The eighth grade team results were Wester 17th, Staley 20th, Griffin 34th, and Pioneer Heritage 43rd. Forty-six teams competed. Clark did not field an eighth grade team.

The Lone Star competition, which is the elementary level for academic decathlon, was a real win for Frisco’s elementary schools with five of the district’s elementary teams placing in the top 10. The schools making the top 10 were Borchardt, Place 2, Fisher, Place 5, Gunstream, Place 6, Riddle, Place 7 and Smith, Place 10. The other FISD elementary schools participating were: Ashley, Place 11, Curtsinger, Place 14, Sparks 21st, Sem, 22nd, and Christie, 31st. A total of 43 schools competed.

Daphne Wu of FHS became the first student from FISD to be accepted into the University of Southern California Film School.
Amy Taylor and Danielle Frenden, students at Roach Middle School, received 3rd and 5th place in the national Josten’s Photo Contest. They were selected from 5,000 entries . The girls’ photographs can be seen at the website.

Keith Kibby of Wester Middle School was selected to attend the National Youth Storytelling Showcase in Tennessee.

Grace Gulley of Frisco High School was selected to study participate in a primate study in Costa Rica over Spring Break.

FHS Debaters Bob Barber and Kayla Bramble qualified for the Texas Forensics Association State tournament in the Student Congress event. They were the only FISD debate students to qualify for this tournament.

Kelsey Jarzombek of Centennial High School placed fourth at state UIL journalism competition for news writing.

Wakeland High School journalism student Greg Hoppe advanced to state in editorial writing.

Titan TV brought home a national title from the National Journalism Convention in Nashville.

FHS’ RACC-TV team was recognized by the Foundation of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences as regional winners of the National Student Television Award for Excellence, recognizing outstanding television journalism by high school students.

Centennial High School German team members excelled under the direction of sponsor Carolyn Kilpatrick (Frau K), advancing to the state contest, and bringing home the 3rd place sweepstakes trophy for schools 4A and under, along with a small cash award. Liberty High Students advanced to state in the state German contest as well.

Centennial High School UIL Academics team excelled under the direction of coach Ben Ewald, advancing to the state competition in Current Events, finishing 3rd place as a Team.

Sean Michael of CHS Business Professionals of America placed 2nd in Java programming in state competition and Jared Couch placed 1st in Cisco Networking. At the BPA national level Michael placed 11th and Jared placed 8th.

Ludvig Brattberg of Liberty High School took 1st place in web design at the TCEA contest. There were 1400 entries statewide.
Wester Middle School conducted a school wide reading initiative that involved the entire school reading Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick.

Bledsoe fifth-grader Briana Ford traveled to San Antonio in April as one of 10 children in the state to co-host the luncheon honoring the author for the best book written for 3rd through 6th graders as voted on by students through the Texas Library Association’s annual Bluebonnet nominee list. She interviewed the author as well. The Bluebonnet award is presented to the winning author at that year’s celebratory conference luncheon.

Frisco Education Foundation and its community and business partners gave out almost a quarter of a million dollars in scholarships in April.

Frisco ISD Athletic Accomplishments

The HS All-Sports Awards came out in the Dallas Morning News on June 24. Congratulations to Frisco High and Centennial High for making the Top 10. What an accomplishment, especially in a year when two additional schools were opened in Frisco! Frisco ranked #4, behind Highland Park, McKinney North and WF Rider. Centennial ranked #6, behind those four and Richardson Pearce. To accomplish this takes some good athletes, great coaching, and great administrative support.

Frisco High School
Football, Bi-District Champions
Girl’s Cross Country, State Qualifier
Boy’s Swimming & Diving, District & Regional Champions, 3rd at State
Girl’s Swimming & Diving, District & Regional Champions
Girl’s Basketball, State Semi-Finalist
Boy’s Soccer, State Finalist
Girl’s Track, District Champions
Girl’s Golf, Regional Qualifier
Baseball, Play-Offs
Softball, Regional Quarter-Finalist
Tennis, Individual Regional Qualifiers
Wrestling, Individual Regional & State Qualifiers

Centennial High School
Boy’s Cross Country, Regional Qualifier
Volleyball, Regional Finalist
Girl’s Wrestling, District Champions, Regional Runner-Up, State Runner-Up
Boy’s Wrestling, District Champions
Boy’s Soccer, Regional Quarter-Finalist
Boy’s Golf, District Co-Champions & Regional Qualifier
Softball, Play-Offs
Tennis, Individual Regional & State Qualifiers
Swimming, Individual Regional & State Qualifiers
Track, Individual Regional & State Qualifiers

Wakeland High School
Boy’s Cross Country, Regional Qualifier
Girl’s Basketball, Regional Quarter-Finalist
Boy’s Basketball, Bi-District Champions
Boy’s Tennis, District Champions
Girl’s Tennis, District Champions
Boy’s Golf, District Champions
Girl’s Golf, District Champions, Regional Runner-Up, State Qualifier
Girl’s Track, District Runner-Up
Swimming, Individual Regional & State Qualifiers
Wrestling, Individual Regional & State Qualifiers

Liberty High School
Boy’s Golf, District Runner-Up
Girl’s Tennis, District Runner-Up
Boy’s Tennis, Regional Qualifiers
Swimming, Individual Regional Qualifiers
Wrestling, Individual Regional Qualifier
Girl’s Track, Individual Regional Qualifier


Three Frisco High School AP Art Students were winners at the Regional Young American Talent Show. Jesse Waldron, Kelly Kazimierczak and Chris Klabunde were honored at a reception and awards ceremony.

FISD elementary art students from several campuses entered stars in the Great Steak of Texas display sponsored by the Visual Arts Guild of Frisco. The stars have been displayed around several schools and businesses in Frisco.

FHS sent 19 art students to the state VASE Art Competition in April. FHS artists Alex Cox, Travis Case, Kilee Herlin, Sara Martin and Thomas Foster (a Curtsinger Elementary Student) were state capitol show winners. Wakeland High School had two students, Sachi Mistry and Sunny Kim receive VASE gold medals. Liberty High School sent two competitors, Cindy Bai and Brandi Baird, both of whom received highest scores of 4 at Vase competition. Centennial students Kalvin Buenting, Molly Hicks and Caleb Whisler received superior ratings at VASE competition.

The Wakeland High School Symphonic Band took the school’s first Sweepstakes Award at the recent UIL Concert and Sight Reading contest. The band members received 1st Division Ratings in Marching earlier this year, 1st Division Ratings in Concert Performance, and 1st Division Ratings in Sight Reading Performance. All four FISD high school bands earned the sweepstakes recognition this year!

The Wakeland High School Winterguard earned 1st place at the North Texas Colorguard Association Championships, according to Gerry Miller, Director of Bands at WHS. The WHS Winterguard team competed with 16 other schools and took a lead of 8.0 points for the championship. The WHS guard has been under the direction of Chris Kichline, instructor and Meghan Yankee, guard tech.
Five FISD art students were honored as part of the Youth Art Month State Capitol Exhibition on Sunday, March 4th in Austin. Alex Cox*, Travis Case, Kilee Herlin, and Sara Martin of FHS and Curtsinger Elementary student Thomas Foster. Alex’ work was chosen for the Governor’s office. One hundered of the 300 entries submitted statewide were selected by the YAM committee for this special exhibition which is sponsored by the Texas Art Education Association.

FISD All City Choir competed in the DD Festivals Lone Star Showcase competition according to Kim Foster, Fisher Elementary music teacher and All City Director. The choir came home with three top honors. The choir, which is made up of students selected after auditions from all of Frisco’s elementary schools, received a “superior” rating from judges, was awarded the “Best in Class” trophy and were given “Outstanding Choir” award at their performance venue.

The 2006-2007 Frisco High School Stars Drill Team for their performance at the HTE Nationals Competition! The team traveled to Houston, Texas on March 8th to compete in a weekend long dance competition. The girls were awarded as National Champions for the small team division as well as being awarded National Champs in the following divisions: Officer Pom, Team Military, and Team Pom.

All four high school bands – Frisco, Centennial, Liberty and Wakeland, took students to the State Solo and Ensemble competition in Austin on May 26. Centennial students Ryan Kelly and Aaron Brooks took superior ratings, Michael Nootbaar , Brittany Kagawa and Brittany Doherty, were all given excellent ratings.. Twenty-seven Wakeland Band students earned superior ratings on their solos, their ensembles or both. Liberty clarinet ensemble students received a Superior rating, Sam Jin received a Superior for his flute solo, and several other students received Excellent ratings on their ensembles or solos. FHS had a record number of students that earned their way to state solo ensemble. Sixty students qualified for state. Whitney Newman was selected for Outstanding performance honors at the State Solo Ensemble contest. Very few students across the state earn that recognition.

The Centennial High School band has advanced as one of the 4-A bands at the State level in TMEA Honor Band competition! They are one of 14 advancing bands at the state contest in late July in San Antonio. This is a huge honor!

Jung Choi of Pioneer Heritage Middle School took 2nd place at the Junior Winds Division of the Plano Symphony Orchestra’s 2007 Collin County Young Artist Competition.

Pioneer Middle School’s Harmony chorus performed at the Eisemann Symphony Center with the Plano Symphony Orchestra.
FHS band students Whitney Newman and Gun Choi and CHS band students Nicholas Orlofsky and Aaron Montoya were selected for the TMEA All-State Band.

The One-Act Play cast and crew from FHS qualified for state UIL competition.

Centennial choir student Bianca Spencer was named to the All-State Choir.

Griffin Middle School’s one-act play took a superior in UIL Competition this year.

Isbell Elementary student Paris Dupre’ has had her entry in the PTA-sponsored Reflections contest selected for national competition. She is one of only two students from the area encompassing Frisco, Allen, Plano, McKinney, Grayson County and Richardson, to have an entry selected for national competition.The entry entitled “bubble bath” is a photograph of feet in a bubble bath. This year’s topic for competion was “My Favorite Place.”In addition to Paris Dupre’ receiving the Excellence Overall award at the state level, students Robbie Nolden of Taylor Elementary received a merit award, Amy Lim of Isbell received an Excellence award, James Lu of Borchardt received an Excellence award.