Neighborhood candidates join race for Sandy Kress’ school board seat

Three candidates – including two from Lakewood – have lined up for the District 2 school board race to replace board President Sandy Kress, who is not seeking re-election.

Lakewood residents Roxan Staff and Deborah Bonar are facing Pam Meyercord, who lives near Preston and Forest. The election is May 4.

District 2 includes Lakewood and portions of East and North Dallas.

Staff, 45, and husband Randy own American Bank. She is a former elementary school teacher and had worked in the Dallas, Garland and Boyd school districts. She has served on several PTA boards and school-centered education councils.

Staff says she is running for the school board to support current school reforms and to address neglected issues. Dallas public schools need to offer a more challenging curriculum to keep parents from turning to private schools. Staff says. The district also needs more programs for children who have difficulty learning, she says.

A Dallas resident for 24 years and Lakewood resident for 17, Staff has a daughter, Sydney, who is a freshman at Woodrow Wilson High School. Sydney graduated from Lakewood Elementary and J.L. Long Middle School.

Staff also has an 11-year-old son, Simms, who has a learning disability. Simms attends Oak Hill Academy, a neighborhood school for children with special needs.

This is Staff’s first run for elected office, but she isn’t new to campaigning.

She was co-chairwoman of Mary Poss’ successful race for City Council. She and her husband also were co-treasurers for Steve Bartlett when he was a state congressman.

Bonar, 33, owns Naturally Pure, a company that makes environmental products for homes and businesses. She’s also a Democratic precinct chairwoman.

Bonar has lived in Dallas for six years and Lakewood for three. She has no children.

Bonar is running because she says the school board needs new blood and new ideas.

“I’ve been watching the things that have been happening lately on the school board,” Bonar says. “I think it’s time we take the politics out of the school board. Dallas children are suffering because nothing is getting done.”

Bonar wants the business community to be more active in education, she says. She’s especially interested in soliciting computer companies to work with schools, she says.

Meyercord, 46, is former president if the Dallas City Council of PTAs. She has grown up in Dallas and is a graduate of Dallas public schools.

Meyercord has been involved in the school district as a volunteer for two decades. She has served on numerous PTA boards and administrative committees, which have addressed such issues as grading policy, accountability, school-centered education, textbook selection and safety.

“I care a lot about Dallas public schools,” Meyercord says. “It’s very important that our school board return its attention to our children.”

Meyercord says she is running to support current school reforms and to start the ball rolling on reforms that have yet to be implemented. The district needs to offer more “meaningful training” to teachers to keep up with today’s educational needs and foster site-based decision-making on every school campus, she says.

She also says the school board must ensure the interests of Dallas schools are represented on the state level and monitor the local effects on state legislation, especially on funding.

Meyercord’s two oldest daughters have graduated from Hillcrest High School, and her third daughter is a sophomore at Hillcrest.

Some of the organizations Meyercord belong to include the Junior League of Dallas, Young Audiences of Dallas, the Coalition for North Texas Children, the Women’s Council of Dallas County and Highland Park Presbyterian Church.

Lakewood Elementary’s Spring Carnival Set April 20

Lakewood Elementary, 3000 Hillbrook, is oiling up the popcorn machine in preparation for the school’s annual spring carnival, scheduled April 20 from noon-4 p.m.

This year’s theme is “Fun at the Midway”.

The carnival will include continuous musical entertainment, a fun house, dunking booth, space walk and gyro ball. Versions of David Letterman’s “Stupid Human Tricks” and Ripley’s “Believe It or Not” will be presented throughout the afternoon. Prizes will be awarded in all age categories.

Food will include grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue and pizza.

The public is invited, and a “special welcome” has been extended to new students and families who will enroll in Lakewood once school boundary changes take effect, says Lakewood parents Donna Gainey, publicity volunteer for the carnival.

For information or directions, call the school at 841-5250 or Cathy Furst at 327-6188.

East Dallas Chamber Presents Education Awards

The East Dallas Chamber of Commerce recognized contributions to our schools last month when it presented its Community Service Awards for Education. Awards were given in three categories: group/organization, individual and business.

The Claremont Addition Neighborhood Association won the group/organization category. Other nominees included AmeriCorps, Bishop Lynch High School, Zero Tolerance for Violence’s Power Breakfast program, and the Central YWCA.

Timothy Newsome won the individual category for work with the Business Magnet High Schools. Among the other nominees was Constable Wendell Collins for Alex Sanger Elementary.

In the business category, nominees included the American Automobile Association, Alcatel, Bank One, Fidelity Investments, TCI Cablevision of Dallas Inc. and MEPC Properties, which is Sanger’s partner in education. The Clarion Hotel in Richardson won this category.

An award for long-term service to education was presented to Don Wilson of TU Electric.

News & Notes:

CALLING ALL LIONS: William B. Lipscomb Elementary is looking for alums who want to help plan the school’s 75th anniversary celebration this August. Organizers are seeking Lipscomb history, trivia, memorabilia and student information. To participate, call Tammy Plank in Lipscomb’s office at 841-5150.

LIPSCOMB’S SCHOOL CARNIVAL: Lipscomb Elementary, 5801 Worth, holds its annual school carnival April 13 from noon to 4 p.m. Call the school at 841-5150 for information.

VOLLEYBALL TEAM GOES UNDEFEATED: The girls volleyball team at Lipscomb Elementary finished its season undefeated and placed first in the Samuel Gran Recreation Center tournament. Team members include Gaby Arias, Arnessa Hardin, Bernadette Hernandez, Olga Jimenez, Yadira Lopez, Jessica Martinez, Eva Morin, Daisy Munoz, Yuliana Ortiz, Esmerelda Sanchez, Sonia Sanchez and Lorene Yellowfish. Coaches are Shelly Vaughan and Minerva Manriquez.

MINYARD’S HELPS STONEWALL: Minyard Food Stores is helping Stonewall Jackson Elementary collect labels from Campbell Soup Co. products to exchange for school materials, such as globes or sporting equipment. Stonewall has been participating in Campbell’s Labels for Education Program since September. Last month, Russell Plunk, Minyard’s store manager at the 2118 Gaston location, presented Stonewall with certificates equal to 200,000 product labels. Stonewall won a Minyard’s sweeptakes for the labels. The school was entered in the sweepstakes by nine-year-old Stonewall student Blaine Scott.

ODYSSEY OF THE MIND STATE QUALIFIERS: Teams from Stonewall Jackson Elementary, J.L. Long Middle School and Woodrow Wilson High School will advance to the state Odyssey of the Mind competition April 13 in Plano. The Odyssey competition poses a dilemma to students that require them to exercise their creative problem-solving skills. Long had two teams advance to the state level.

BINGO BENEFITS ST. THOMAS PRESCHOOL: The St. Thomas Aquinas Mothers’ Association hosts a bingo night April 13 from 6-10 p.m. Cash prizes will be awarded to winners, and there will be several raffle drawings, as well as food and entertainment. Proceeds benefit the Mother’s Association and St. Thomas preschool. Call 828-2016 for information.

AWARD-WINNING ARTIST: Neighborhood students Lauren Wood, who attends the Arts Magnet at Booker T. Washington High School, won top awards at the 1996 annual high school art competition at the Trammel Crow Center, which drew more than 1,200 participants. Wood, a 1993 graduate of St. John’s Episcopal School, received the Liz Bradshaw Memorial Award for her oil and pastel print “Kafka’s Children Get One More Chance” and an honorable mention for her prismacolor drawing”…if nothing else can set me free”. She won a scholarship from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.

ST. JOHN’S HONOR STUDENTS: St. John’s Episcopal School, 848 Harter, recently admitted 13 students into the National Junior Honor Society, which requires a grade point average of 90 or better and a record of community service. New members are Jennifer Cary, David Ford, David Glanzrock, Susan Graham, Kathryn Kennedy, Brian Kinsella, Jeffrey Mayo, Melissa Morgan, Jeramy Ouart, Zach Perez, Isis Pochciol, Ross Redmond and Seth Waits.

Ben Black, a 1995 graduate of St. John’s, made first honor roll at Jesuit College Preparatory School, earning the highest first quarter average in the freshman class.

SPELLING BEE WINNERS: Representatives from William Lipscomb and Ignacio Zaragoza elementaries displayed their spelling talent at the Cluster 2 Spell Down held recently at Woodrow Wilson High School. Lipscomb sixth grader LaMirica London won her school spelling bee and placed fourth at Woodrow. Zaragoza sixth grader Chandara Chea also won her school spelling bee and was third runner-up at Woodrow. At Zaragoza, Ricardo Gonzalez was first runner-up to Chea, and Graciela Cervantes was second runner-up.

ZARAGOZA’S COMPUTER OLYMPIANS: Ignacio Zaragoza Elementary recently participated in the Dallas public schools Computer Olympiad. David Seng placed fourth for his overall score. School qualifiers for the Olympiad were sixth graders Seng and Alvaro Ibarra and fifth grader Yasmin Pedraza.

ZARAGOZA SCIENCE FAIR WINNERS: Ignacio Zaragoza’s science fair had more than 600 projects entered. First place winners were Brenda Tule for first grade; Rosalinda Estrada for second grade; Cresencio Perez and Cesilia Estrada for third grade; Eddie Trevina for fourth grade; Nataly Leija, Bianca Guerrero and Cassandra Sanchez for fifth grade; Iris Ortega and Maria Torres for sixth grade. Grand prize winners were second grader Zulema Pedraza and sixth graders Sandra Guerrero and Elizabeth Ortega. Sebastian Ibarra received the homecoming award.

MICROSCOPES AWARDED IN SANGER’S SCIENCE FAIR: American Properties awarded Alex Sanger Elementary students Eric Mendershausen and Andrea Hajeck with microscopes for their showing in the school’s science fair. Menderhausen was the grand prize winner for grades four though six, and Hajek was the grand prize winner for kindergarten through third grade. MEPC sponsors Sanger through the Partners in Education Program.

DEALEY SCIENCE FAIR WINNERS: George B. Dealey Montessori Academy recently held a science fair in which several neighborhood students were recognized. David Lyman received the grand prize for first through third grades. Stephen Allen received third place for first grade. Kate Kennard received second place for second grade. Melissa Newell received second place for third grade. For fourth grade, Leng Ngang received first place, Noah Beaudette received second and Sean Tinsley received third. Noah Einstein received first place in fifth grade. Clare Abreu received second place for sixth grade. Erin Bentley, Brooke Montgomery, Kristen Newell, Christie Denison and Jonathan Krimm received honorable mentions. Dealey is a Dallas public school that enrolls students from throughout the district.

LAKEHILL ACQUIRES AFRICAN INSTRUMENTS: Thanks to parent sponsorship, Lakehill Preparatory School, 2720 Hillside, has a new African musical instrument collection. The instruments, which will be used by students in music classes and for special events, include two-armed string guitars, Kobo guitars, Egyptian and other African drums, flutes, flat hand drums, and thumb pianos.

LAKEHILL’S FOREIGN LANGUAGE WEEKEND: Lakehill Preparatory School recently participated in the Foreign Language Weekend at Austin College. Competition was in the areas of drama/skits, listening skills, reading comprehension, prose and poetry memorization and delivery. In French, Adam Suberi and Mandy Krov took first place awards. Christine Walsh, Allison Slomowitz and Joseph Portera took second place awards. Gregory Fanous took first and third place awards. In Spanish, Blake Dolton, Lynette Page and Matt Krov each received first, second and third place awards. Lily Morris, Justin Erenkrantz and Thomas Marshall each received first and second place awards. Amy King received a first place award, and Brian Stanford received a third place award. Val Fox received second and third place awards.

SPANISH BROADCAST FOR PARENTS: Dallas Schools Television Broadcast Services is producing a 30-minute cable television program providing school information in Spanish. “Trabajando Juntos Podemos”, or “Working Together We Can”, airs in TCI Cablevision’s Channel 2B Sundays at 10 a.m., Mondays at 3:30 p.m., Wednesdays at 2 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 6 p.m. The show promotes parental involvement in education and is sponsored by Elrod’s Cost Plus, Dallas Tortilla Factory, Rosita’s Restaurant, Casa de Colores, Gil Grafica, El Sol de Texas and Latin One Shop. A new show is filmed monthly. For information, call producer Carmen Alvarado at 989-8069.

BISHOP LYNCH PRINCIPAL HONORED: Bishop Lynch High School’s Principal, Edward E. Leyden, will receive the National Catholic Educational Association Secondary School Department Award this month at the association’s National Convention in Philadelphia. The award recognizes distinguished service in Catholic education. Leyden became principal at Bishop Lynch in 1982. He added advanced placement classes to the curriculum, created an academic learning center for students with special needs and created an Endowment Fund for scholarship assistance in 1991, Bishop Lynch became the first Catholic High School in the Dallas Diocese to earn the U.S. Department of Education’s Excellence in Education Award.


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