Jessica Patti, an eighth-grade student at Alex Spence Middle School, 4001 Capitol, has been appointed by Gov. Ann Richards to serve on the Advisory Committee for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

The committee reviews and makes recommendations to the Texas Education Commission and the State Board of Education concerning use of Chapter 2 funds (federal grant money).

Patti is the only student selected for the 19-member committee, and she is only the second student ever to serve on such a committee.

The commission met for two days recently to review grant proposals from throughout the state and make recommendations to allot $4.8 million.

“At first, it was a little intimidating when I discovered I would be meeting with 18 people I had never met before, knowing that I would be the only student,” Patti says.

“But everyone was very supportive and wanted to know my viewpoint. I learned a lot in those two days.”

Patti hopes to serve on the board again next year.

Stonewall Secretary Receives Award

Positive Parents of Dallas awarded its April Apple of the Month award to Joan Hall, school secretary for Stonewall Jackson Elementary, 5828 E. Mockingbird.

During her 18-year tenure at Stonewall, Hall learned sign language so she could communicate with the school’s hearing-impaired staff and students. More recently, she learned Spanish to communicate with English-as-a-second-language students.

Hall also has been instrumental in reactivating the school’s pre-school PTA.

Positive Parents of Dallas recognizes outstanding DISD teachers each month. The group’s April awards honored outstanding secretaries and clerks.

Lakehill Juniors Test SAT of the Future

The Junior Class of Lakehill Preparatory School recently participated in “field trials” designed to revise the SAT and other standardized college board tests.

The sample tests were taken by 2,400 students nationwide. Field trials are used to evaluate the tests’ usefulness and fairness. The tests are a critical factor in the college admissions process.

In other Lakehill news, sophomore Christian Edvardsen was elected statewide student director of the Pan American Student Forum during the group’s recent annual convention in San Antonio.

The student forum provides cultural and educational activities for students studying Spanish. Lakehill’s Flecha Dorado chapter received second place in the group’s scrapbook competition.

Lakewood Team Places 3rd in State Contest

The Lakewood Elementary School Odyssey of the Mind Team placed third in a statewide competition held recently in El Paso.

The Odyssey of the Mind program is offered worldwide to students in grades 3-12 to develop problem-solving skills in school children.

The Lakewood team, which includes seven fifth graders, created a balsa-wood structure that could weigh no more than 14 grams (the weight of approximately two pencils). The team was judged on how much weight the structure could hold and the originality of a skit that was required as part of the group’s demonstration.

Their structure held more than 600 pounds and remained standing throughout their presentation. The students competed against 19 other teams.

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