(Atlanta, GA, March 16, 2011) Teacher Henry Veselka of Rapoport Academy’s Meyer High School in Waco, TX, was recently selected as a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction by the National Society of High School Scholars. A role model for pupils, Henry was nominated by student Michael D. Acton for outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in the classroom.
Roman Games Project
Throughout history, everybody has needed to have fun in order to relieve the stress of daily life. The Romans were no exception. They developed games, some of which are the foundation of modern games, that children and adults enjoyed for stress relief.
The project for this quarter was to research an ancient Roman game and present it to the class. Choose from the following games:
Digitis Micare (fingers)
Habilis Talis (knucklebones)
Fortunatus Talis (knucklebones)
Mora (board game)
Latrunculus (board game)
Trigon (ball game)
Harpastum (ball game)
Expulsim Ludere (ball game)
Students were responsible for completing the following requirements:
A brief (one-page) description of the game and its rules (30 points)
A comparison of the game to modern games (15 points)
A diagram of the playing surface or board (if applicable) (10 or 0 points)
A model of the playing pieces (10 or 20 points)
A short demonstration to the class (35 points)
Home School MacBeth performance
Shakespeare comes alive! Waco Home Schoolers and Rapoport Academy High School students collaborate while studying MacBeth. Home Schoolers performed the play to the great delight of the Academy audience.
An estimated 2 million employees will be needed in the field of nanotechnology by the year 2015. TSTC, our higher ed partner in our Early College High School program, currently offers an associate degree in this field. To insure our students have full exposure to the opportunities available to them, we invited John Pedrotti , chair of TSTC’s nanotechnology department, out to speak with students.
Josh Davis and Hollie Listach were honored by the Downtown Rotary Club as “Star Students” at their January meeting, 2011.
On MLK Day, January 17, 2011, 51 volunteers (ages 3 to 67) gave 2 to 5 hours of their day off to help beautify Quinn Campus. The Downs family donated 8 yards of mulch, Homestead Farms donated 100+ starter veggies, World Hunger Relief Farm brought 50 lbs. of dry fertilizer and 20 lbs. of potatoes and 200+onion bulbs. Bonnie’s Greenhouse supplied 35 veggies, 30 dianthus flowers and 4 herb plants. Waco Arts Alliance supplied 2 volunteers and craft supplies for 25 people. Sarah Downs and Rick Allen contributed tools for 51 people. Baylor Campus Kitchen donated 50 lunches. Rapoport Academy/Meyer High supplied restrooms, the meeting place to eat lunch, 13 high school, 2 middle school and 2 staff volunteers to assist. Linda Lewis and her “posse” supplied a reflection time after lunch. Two Meyer High journalism students recorded and took quotes and photos for a permanent record. UGC offered logistics support and organizational skills to coordinate all the activities. Sarah Downs and Barbara Bridgewater were team leaders and worked their teams of 10-15 for 2 hours. Altogether, over 120 hours were donated.
The payoff for the day was not just teaching the 30+ young people that anyone can talk about service to a larger community, but that it takes time and effort to do so. The net food result, based on last year’s harvest, is enough food to feed 15 people for one month. We also met and befriended CIS staff and students from J. H. Hines Elementary who are excited about working with Rapoport Academy.
Because of these kinds of efforts, Meyer High will receive a $500 check this spring from the Urban Gardening Coalition to improve and beautify the garden.
Waco Mayor Jim Bush speaks to the High School Leadership class
Larry Groth speaks to the High School Leadership Classes
Education Alliance Summit
Waco Education Alliance Summit: Chorale Fusion (1st-12th grade) was outstanding at the luncheon. The Meyer High Robotics team demonstrated their “Best” and “First” robots at the Fall, 2010, Waco Education Summit.
High School students visited the Wetlands in Fall 2010
High School German Club watching World Cup.
Senior Thesis presentations
Fall of 2010-2011 Senior thesis presentations! High School Seniors complete either an 80 hour internship in the community (with a reflection paper) or an 8-10 page Capstone thesis project. These Seniors are presenting their final papers to the High School community.
High School summer camp 2010 air cannon shots
Engineering was the focus of the 2010 Summer Camp for students new to Meyer High for the Fall semester 2010-2011.Teacher Beau Sallee guided groups of female students and then male students as they designed and shot air cannons—and worked on calibrating the path of the “cannonballs”, combining physics, calculus, aviation and engineering! Rapoport Academy----here we come!
Mr. Wade's High School BusinessEconomics Presentations
In Mr. Wade’s High School Economics class, teams of students designed, built and marketed a retail product. Presentations of their product included a business plan and a prototype.
Students are enjoying the collaboration with CURVES! Physical fitness and research help students understand how their muscles and organs work and how exercise affects their attitudes, grades and overall well-being.
Chinese and Art Classes Collaborate
The Chinese and Art classes shared a fascinating look at Chinese Art--studying the ancient technique of paper cutting--designing and cutting intricate pictures and shapes.
One Book, One Waco Fall 2010
We are so proud of our High School students! The Fall “One Book, One Waco” essay competition had over 200 entries and 3 of our students placed!
Joshua Sigala (Junior)- First Place, Essay Topic 3: How has letter writing diminished in today’s time, and what is the reason for this change? Have we lost something that is irreplaceable or have we gained more valuable means of communication through advancing technology?
His Essay was titled “The Long Forgotten Letter”
Emily Garner (Soph.)- Honorable Mention for Essay Topic 3, her essay was “Letter Writing: Living, Connecting, and Learning”
Sabrah Mendoza (Soph.)- Honorable Mention for Essay Topic 1: 1. Books were the “equalizer” between Dawsey and Christian. The Guernsey Literary Society brought together people from different walks of life and helped them become friends. Why is reading so important for society? How do books and reading within a community bring people together? Describe the impact that reading has had on your life and in your community. If possible, cite specific examples of situations in which reading has had a significant influence for you.
Her essay was titled “The Wonders of Reading”.
In the last picture, Sabrah is on the left, Josh-middle, and Emily is on the right.
The Art of Cutting Paper-Chinese Style
Chinese language students and art students collaborated to blend the two subjects together in a fabulous creative activity.
Meet the Ravens Night
Parents, students, and Rapoport Academy faculty and staff enjoyed a wonderful meal prepared by faculty and desserts furnished by parents and faculty. Mr. Cash Teague, art and music teacher, treated the audience to a fascinating live painting exhibition. The highlight of the evening was the introduction of high school and middle school sports teams. After many door prizes and silent auction purchases, several items were auctioned,under the masterful leadership of Coach Beckham---the rivalry was intense for several pieces--and Mr. Teague's painting of Martin Luther King,Jr. was the last to be auctioned off --with fierce competition-- and a very nice price paid by the Kegerreis family! All proceeds will be gratefully accepted by the Athletics Department!
Meet the teams--
High School Boys Basketball:
L to R--Top Row : Coach Jared Gould, Patrick Listach, Josh Davis, Michael Daniliuc, Alvin Daniliuc, Bryan Daniliuc, Coach Gil Beckham. Bottom Row: R.J. Napier, Cade Kegerreis, Exavier Jackson, Justin Honea
High School Girls Basketball: Destiny Wilson, Cassie Jackson, Helena Herrera, Elexia Jackson, Makayla Baker, Anna Schattschneider, Coach Alicia Murphy Bottom Row L to R: Hollie LIstach, Cierra Castro, Veronica Rios, Selena Riggins, Rene Salazar, Gina Ivy, Aleah Rojas
High School Varsity Volleyball: L to R: Chianne Castro, Cierra Castro, Hollie Listach, Anna Schattschneider, Elexia Jackson, D'Aaryn Luke, Mariah Cooper, Gina Ivy
High School J.V. Volleyball: L to R : Top Row--Destiny Bleidt, Makayla Baker, Rene Salazar, Aleah Rojas, Phalan Bukowski, Bottom Row: Hannah Bridgewater, Cassie Jackson, Veronica Rios
High School Swim Team: Aaron Kenniger, Alan Turbeville
High School and Middle School Cross Country: Top Row L to R: Anna Schneider, Coach Kim McNamara, Patrick Listach, Jacob Sloan, Alan Turbeville, Blaine Listach, Aiden Whelan, Gaven Whela:n Bottom Row: Sarah Colson, Chelsea Kenniger,Campbell Kegerreis, Kimberly Green, Cade Kegerreis, Paul Schattschneider
Ve Vant Your Blood!
Meyer High’s students, faculty and staff reached out an arm and saved lives in September, 2010. We were able to collect 22 units of whole blood and had 2 double red cell donations at Meyer’s blood drive. (26 life saving units). Channel 10 covered the event. Great Job! We’ll try to beat those numbers in the Spring!
Physics Project-Based Learning
Physics students at the high school often work in an “outdoor lab”. This particular class developed and recorded procedures for testing two walkers’ speeds. Then the class adjourned to the street and sidewalk outside the Math and Science building. The sidewalk was marked every 5 meters for a total distance of 35 meters and timing in splits. Some of the problems included:
If one walker is a different gender than the other, will this result in a difference in their speed?
If one walker has longer legs than another will this result in a difference in speed?
Will a student’s BMI affect their rate of speed?, etc.
The exercise was designed so that students could practice writing and performing a lab procedure, calculating average speed, differentiating between instantaneous and average speed, as well as using the data to graph speed and look for patterns.
This project was only one exploration activity in an entire “project-based” learning unit. The culminating activity will be a student-compiled report outlining a diet and training plan (including methods for monitoring the runner’s speed, velocity, acceleration and tracking progress over 2 years) for an Olympic-hopeful sprinter for the 2012 Olympics.
Graduation - May 2010
Twenty four Seniors graduated in May, 2010. 100% of those Seniors were accepted to colleges or Universities and 100% enrolled in Fall of 2010! Those 24 Seniors racked up 588 hours of college credit! Way to go, Class of 2010!
High School's Spring Senior Prom was held at Nelson's--Anne and Nelson Rue graciously rebated a significant portion of the expense --We thank the Rue's for their generosity. The venue was beautifully decorated and a great time was had by all!
Cinco de Mayo Celebration May 2010
In the Spring of 2010, Bernard Rapoport generously donated $50,000 to Rapoport Academy for a scholarship fund. Five seniors in the first graduating class will benefit from this gift and others will apply in following years.
FIRST Robotics Competition
Last year, the Meyer High Robotics team placed 36th out of 57. This year, we finished 24th out of 52. Each year, the team learns additional lessons that will be useful for the next year’s competition. We will continue to use our Core Values (Respect, Responsibility, Curiosity, Creativity, Integrity and Hard Work) to rise to the top! We thank FIRST Robotics, TSTC and Time Warner Cable sponsors and the Baylor, TSTC and L3 mentors who worked endless hours with our fearless team—afternoons, evenings and weekends to develop a competition level robot!
Rapoport Problem Solvers
Rapoport Academy’s Meyer High had TWO freshmen teams qualify (out of 5) for the Future Problem Solvers State Bowl championship in Austin, Texas.
Picture L to R. top row Jesse Kane, Mackinzie Gonzales, Patrick Listach, Kevin McMahan(teacher), Alvin Daniliuc
Front row Anna Shattschneider, Emily Garner, ChiAnne Castro, Elexia Jackson (missing—Dabney Sorrow, Dezman Majors)
Future Problem Solving is an academic, interdisciplinary program that can be incorporated into any content area, elective course or extra-curricular activity. The mission of the Program is To develop the ability of young people globally to design and promote positive futures using critical, creative thinking. http://www.fpspi.org
The competition begins with an imagined future scene based on current trends centered on a given topic. After researching the topic and analyzing the future scene, students employ the six-step FPS model and complete a written booklet, which is later submitted for competitive scoring. Under the guidance of teacher/coaches, teams of four students in grades 4-12 (our teams are Freshmen only) explore challenges and propose action plans to complex societal problems while using creativity and Language Arts learning objectives. Global Issues teams and individuals complete two practice problems and one qualifying problem throughout the school year at their local campus. Trained evaluators score the students’ work and return it with feedback including suggestions for improvement. The top scoring teams on the qualifying problem are invited to the Texas Affiliate FPS Bowl held each April in Austin. The winners of that Bowl advance to the International Conference in June.
National Latin Exam
Meyer High had 12 students participate in the National Latin Exam sponsored by the American Classical League through the University of Mary Washington in Virginia. In Latin II, Josh Sigala (Soph.) won a Gold Medal (summa cum laude) and Moriah Cooper (Soph.) earned magna cum laude. In Latin I, Lenore Wright (Fresh.) was cum laude. Congratulations!
Serious about Science
In the Spring, Meyer High students submitted science experiments for an in-house Science Fair. Students worked hard to conduct meaningful experiments and collect accurate data. Volunteers from as far as Houston joined the students on campus to tour the exhibits and judge the contest.
As the weather began to show signs of spring, Mr. Storm’s art classes took part in creating an outdoor sculpture exhibition. Inspired by contemporary artist Mark Jenkins, they created life-size human forms out of packaging tape. These forms were created in various poses to show aspects of everyday life. Not only was creativity needed but also students learned about engineering sculptural forms and how to make them balance and support themselves. Students were amazed to see a simple material like tape create such a unique and life-like sculpture, the experience was definitely surreal.
The purpose of this project was to understand the responsibilities and expectations common in the business world when presenting a new idea for production. It entailed design, production, marketing, advertising, and budgeting aspects. The final product was presented to a panel in class as a simulation of the business decision-making process.
Randomly drawn groups of three or four designed a new toy or board game that would appeal to children or teens. Teams assumed that they had been presented the opportunity to work with a Waco-based company that would begin production and sale of one new product to the Central Texas market. After hearing the competing teams, the panel (representing the board of this company) decided which product to put into production first.
Economics Class- Nathan Wade, teacher
Seniors Recognized in the Community
Brian and Hutch, Rapoport Academy’s top academic seniors, were invited to join the Founder Lion’s Club to congratulate them on their academic success.
Marlena and Hutch, two of Rapoport Academy’s top senior students, were invited to the Downtown Rotary Club meeting and asked to speak about their experience at Rapoport Academy and their plans for the future as they head off to college.
Rapoport Academy’s Meyer High students participated in the "Balloon Builder" activity in Coach Gould’s Speech Communications classes on St. Patrick's Day. The mission: using only balloons and one roll of scotch tape build the tallest free-standing structure possible in 8 minutes. The focus of the activity was for students to use a nontraditional assignment to determine how speech communications depends on many diverse elements including: team work, planning, organization, verbal communication, trial and error, and commitment to working together.
The 2009-2010 season has proven to be an exciting one for the 1A-District 20 Champions. They finished the regular season undefeated and qualified for the playoffs for the first time in school history! Congratulations, Ravens basketball!
Meyer High School students got the adrenaline pumping at an afternoon pep rally on the Friday of the playoff game, and then Raven supporters followed the team to Corsicana to cheer them on!
Pictured below the District Champions celebrate after the last game of the regular season (from left to right):
Coach Gil Beckham
Coach Jared Gould
The daughter of Meyer High’s Mrs. Bukowski, Paige Bukowski, has a passion for encouraging people to give blood and save lives. In February Paige arranged to have a Carter Blood Drive bus brought to Meyer High’s parking lot so that our students could have the opportunity to give back to the community. Several Rapoport students and community members participated in the drive. A big thank you to Paige and to everyone that donated!
FIRST Robotics Competition
After attending the 2010 Robotics Kickoff and learning this year’s challenge, the Ravens Robotics team has been hard at work preparing for the annual FIRST Robotics Competition coming up in March.
Cultural Arts Fest - 2010
At this year's Cultural Arts Fest, Rapoport Academy had a "lot goin' on"! Chorale Fusion, the multi-grade choir, performed beautifully with Eric Dozier, nationally renowned music director and choreographer. Several students volunteered in various booths and activities under the direction of R.A.'s German teacher, Mrs. Schottschneider, who was the volunteer coordinator for the Arts Fest. Way to go, R.A. students and faculty.
Croft Art Gallery in Waco had a show in January, paired with a poetry contest. Mrs. Keirsten Bumgardner, academic mentor at Paul Meyer High School, entered the contest and interpreted a piece entitled, “Time Machine” by Laura Walton. Mrs. Bumgardner enjoys eating copious amounts of sweets, and working with the students at Meyer High. The poem is shown below.
Ekphrastic interpretation of Laura Walton piece
By: Keirsten Bumgardner
Jump in, hold on.
Pull, push, turn, twist, pummel, pound.
Open the door.
At the exquisite and sublime
New space and time.
Do not fear, I am here
To love you, and expose your heart to our new world.
Tantalizing sights and sounds
Refresh us, changing our perceptions.
Replenishing our joy,
Restoring our hope,
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
To celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2010, 90 volunteers from throughout the Waco community joined Rapoport Academy staff, students, and families for an afternoon dedicated to beautifying Quinn Campus. Thank you to all who supported this event!
Voice of Democracy
Sophomore, Lenore Wright, is pictured with VFW Post 2034 Commander Robert Carter as he presents her with a check for her winning entry in the VFW's annual Voice of Democracy essay competition.
"From the Top"
Meyer High School music students were priviledged to attend the "From the Top" concert at Jones Hall.
Time Warner Cable Night
On January 5th Rapoport Academy celebrated Time Warner Cable Night to honor the company for their outstanding contributions to education. The Raven basketball teams played great games against Oglesby and everyone celebrated together as Time Warner Cable presented a generous check to Rapoport Athletics. Another very special event of the evening was the unveiling of the brand new “Home of the Ravens” banner! Thank you Time Warner Cable!
At half-time of the men’s basketball game, Stacy Schmitt, Vice President of Communications for Time Warner Cable, also presented several checks to the Robotics, Rocketry and International Clubs at Meyer High School. These generous checks were awarded to Rapoport as part of CAMM, Time Warner Cable’s new STEM initiative. Please see the home page of the Rapoport website to read more about this wonderful project.
Meeting the Govenor
Several of Rapoport Academy’s Meyer High Students were given a rare opportunity to meet Governor Rick Perry in December. Governor Perry was at TSTC to announce the expansion of high-tech education programs throughout the state. Because R.A. is a STEM school and TSTC is a major ECHS collaborative partner of Rapoport, selected students were invited to attend the press conference. The students, Joshua Sigala, Marlena Douglas, Aaron Kenniger and Moriah Cooper, are pictured with the Governor after a conversation with him about their college expectations and career goals.
December snow at Meyer High School!
JV Basketball Team
One Book, One Waco
November 23, Rapoport Academy faculty members hosted several community leaders at a discussion of Sun, Stone and Shadows, the current One Book, One Waco selection. Honored guests were Alexis Weaver, Director of Community Affairs for the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce and manager of the One Book, One Waco program, Alex Schmidt, Vice Chair of One Book, One Waco, Alice Rodriquez, Waco City Councilwoman and Jo Rodriquez, President of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Mrs. Rodriquez facilitated the discussion of “Chac-Mool” and other stories in the book. Personal experiences, Hispanic traditions, and differing interpretations of specific passages were shared by all participants. Sun, Stone and Shadows was a great catalyst for increased cultural understanding and stimulating conversation!
Downtown Visioning Project
Staff from the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce and Rapoport Academy high school students brainstormed together to create proposal maps for the “Downtown Visioning Project.” The students broke into groups to explore possibilities and discuss important aspects of city planning and promotion. At the end of the discussion each group presented a map of downtown Waco with ideas of how downtown should be revitalized. From walking trails to high rises, students suggested where they should go and how to organize the area.
The students’ maps and ideas will be considered, as well as other suggestion maps from community members all over Waco, as the Chamber finalizes plans for the revitalization of downtown.
Freshmen students in Mr. Sallee’s mathematics class had to construct a load-baring bridge using mathematical concepts and popsicle sticks. Once construction was complete the stability of each bridge was tested by seeing how many text books the bridge could support.
Hanging of the Article
We were privileged to have Jane Meyer and Carolyn Meyer hang an article, honoring their father and the namesake of Meyer High School, in the front office. Also present in the photos are junior, Edward Cammon and math teacher, Henry Veselka.
Meet the Ravens Night
The Waco community was invited to join Rapoport Academy for the 2nd Annual Meet the Ravens Night. Dinner was served and all fall athletic participants were recognized. Go Ravens!
Take a Vet to School Day
On November 4th, the middle and high schools had the honor of hosting local Veterans for National Take a Vet to School Day. The day consisted of meals shared together, Question and Answer forums, one-on-one discussions and classroom lectures all conducted by the Veterans. Students and teachers listened eagerly as the Veterans shared the stories and wisdom that have resulted from their experience.
The Veterans that participated were:
*Gary Mittendorf, Captain, US Marine Corps (Ret)
*Bil Mahon, 1st Sgt., US Cavalry (Ret)
*Robert Carter, SSG, US Army (Ret)
*Bill Weber, Brigadier General, US Army (Ret)
*Billy Elkins, SSG, US Army (Ret)
*Frank Curre (Pearl Harbor Survivor)
*Jay Fondren, SSG, US Army (Ret)
*Robin Weber, Lt. Colonel, US Army (Ret)
The 2nd annual Rapoport Academy Greek Festival was the culminating activity for the freshmen literature unit on Mythology and the Odyssey in October. The freshmen dressed up as characters from the Odyssey, sold Cyclopes cupcakes and served complimentary authentic Greek food, including baklava, Greek olives, Greek salad, hummus and pita bread. The guitar class and the choir presented selections from the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou, which parallels the characters and events in the Odyssey.
The high school “Service Project” club is always on the lookout for volunteer opportunities. They found one right on their own campus. One of the flower gardens needed to be weeded, thinned and cleaned—so they jumped at the chance to cheerfully do some manual labor. There were dirty hands, tired faces and great smiles as they brought the garden back to its original condition!
Eleven students from Rapoport Academy’s Meyer High School attended the Environmental Summit at Southwestern University in Georgetown on Oct. 24, 2009, accompanied by teachers Kylie Murry and Stephanie Schattschneider.
Attendees chose 1 of 4 seminars to attend:
“Ecological Research: the student perspective” (Southwestern students)
“The Human Impact on Nature” (Dr. Eric Loomis)
“Organic Gardening” (Natalie Vreeland, Community Garden Program Coordinator)
“The Story of Stuff: Consumption and the Environment” (Dr. Melissa Johnson).
Next, they selected a workshop from a wide variety of options:
Greening your campus*** Green politics***Group analysis***Starting a group***Messaging and framing***Event and campaign planning***Working with the media.
The workshops were led by Southwestern students from the Student Environmental Club. They divided into discussion groups with high school students from other area high schools to brainstorm and share ideas.
Overall, students had positive comments as they shared ideas for the campus. Hopefully, several of them will “bear fruit”.
A+ Hummer Ride
Several high school students met the goals of our A+ card fundraising efforts and earned a ride to a pizza party in a Hummer limousine.
Math students in Mr. Wade’s class were exploring different ways to understand complicated graphs—so they actually “became” the graph!
In Commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Paul & Jane Meyer High School students have been talking about walls---not just the kind of walls that you can touch and feel, but also invisible walls that people build around themselves. The students discovered that, like the Berlin Wall, those invisible walls separate and limit one’s ability to reach out to one another. The students communicated their frustrations with the walls in their lives by writing in colors and freely using artistic expression on a “cardboard block” wall. They understood that this was a freedom that people living behind the Berlin Wall did not have.
Students also gained a deeper understanding of the Berlin Wall and its impact on the world---strengthened by the fact that we had an actual piece of the Berlin Wall displayed under the student’s “wall”.
This activity was paired two special guest speakers who were in Germany as the wall went down. Mr. Schattschneider and Mr. Reekie presented their personal recollections and reflections to a packed room of attentive high school students. To end the session, Chris Rios, guitar instructor, and students played and sang “Winds of Change” by the Scorpions.
German language students put the final touches on the day by offering samples of German treats that students baked the day before.