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Lake Travis students returned to class on Monday after experiencing a lockdown on Friday. Dec. 9 Lake Travis ISD issued a lockdown for several hours at Lake Travis High School and Middle School after there were reports of a gunman on campus. A custodian at the middle school said she saw the man in one of the bathrooms and that he might have been carrying a weapon. Neighboring Leander ISD did not lockdown any campuses on Friday but took precautions. “We just kept students and staff indoors on the recommendation of authorities as a precaution. This decision was made because of the proximity of these schools to Lake Travis, again and only as a precaution because student safety is always our top
priority. Our schools were not under an immediate threat,” said Jennifer Bailey, LISD Communication Specialist. The local schools affected were Bush, Steiner, River Ridge, Grandview and River Place elementary schools; Canyon Ridge and Four Points middle schools and Vandegrift High School. At Lake Travis on Dec. 9 no gunman was found and the search still continues for a suspect. Travis County sheriff 's deputies are leading the investigation, searching through school surveillance video to see if they can figure out who the man is. During the lockdown, deputies guarded the campuses and searched for the man. The description of the trespasser is not very specific. Officials say he was seen wearing jeans, a white T-shirt, and a
multi-colored jacket and is either white or Hispanic. If identified he could face charges ranging from criminal trespass to a felony offense for binging a weapon on school grounds. Leander ISD has had to lock down or evacuate students for various reasons over the years. LISD has put into place a sophisticated telephone announcement system to deal with these emergencies. When a threat is reported the district considers its options carefully because lockdowns and especially evacuations cost the district considerable sums of money to implement. Costs include overtime pay for bus drivers and other district employees, and increased administration and documentation costs.
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Local survey being conducted for Quinlan Crossing By LYNETTE HAALAND
An online survey has been launched to find out what area residents want to see come into Quinlan Crossing, the new
development under construction at the entrance of Steiner Ranch. “We're off to a great start with almost 300 results toward our goal of a couple thousand residents,” said Paul O’Brien on
Monday afternoon. O’Brien is Co-Founder of Austin based startup GroupCharger and author of the Steiner Ranch Post. He is also spearheading this survey with local volunteer JuQUINLIN, 8
Education Foundation gives $24,000 in Impact Grants The Hill Country Education Foundation surprised eleven teachers with over $24,000 in program funding during its inaugural grant patrol on Dec. 9. and 12. Dr. Bret Champion, Superintendent of Leander ISD, joined several HCEF board members, HCEF campus representatives and grant committee members in awarding the grant recipients. Three teachers from Vandegrift High School were awarded grants. Rad Allen received $2,272 to purchase a class set of Finch Robots for his Computer Science I Pre-AP course. Jamie Bauerle received $1,700 to hold a FCCLA-sponsored Leadership Conference at VHS. Jody Hormann received $1,499 to obtain a 5-year license to StrataLogica for her World History course to provide interactive digital maps. Four Points Middle School had three grant recipients. Band director, Christopher Yee received
$2,500 to implement a 6th grade leadership program for band. Alicia Stansell received $2,044 to purchase 30 portable microscopes with fine resolution adjustments along with two digital microscopes and two class sets of biology slides to transform 7th grade biology courses. Brandi Bergeron, sponsor of the C-Squared club at FPMS, received $2,500 in support of culture improvement programming. Five elementary schools were awarded funds. Laura Lebsack from Grandview Hills Elementary, received $2,320 to purchase student profiles for Quest students in grades 3rd through 5th for the Renzulli eLearning System, which allows all students in these grades to have access to the research resources that the software provides. Colleen Welliver, a kindergarten teacher at Steiner Ranch Elementary received $2,000 to expand the HandHCEF, 4
Grandview Hills Elementary’s Ying Li BonfilsRasmussen does an Asian dance at Holidays Around the World last week. See more photos and read the story on page 8.
Local kid band En Fuego performing in Four Points Four Four Points Middle School students and one River Place Elementary student put their talents together some time ago to form En Fuego. They performed last Saturday at Headhunters Club in downtown Austin at a showcase of bands event from the Austin School of Music. En Fuego consists of Caroline McKenzie is the lead singer, Kyle Legg plays bass guitar, Max Hunter plays guitar and sings back up, Eric Legg plays guitar and Tyler Lambeth plays drums. Most of the group has been together since 5th grade. They perform at local venues for a fee and at charity events. The band has a Facebook page with upcoming events. This weekend they will play at a private party on the lake, and
School......................................3 Opinion...................................4 Classifieds...............................5 Sports.................................. 6-7 Find us on Facebook We wish you a warm holiday season with family and friends.
HCEF’s Grant Patrol surprises SRE Kindergarten Teacher Colleen Welliver and her students with money needed to expand the Handwriting Without Tears program.
Caroline McKenzie (lead singer), Kyle Legg (bass guitar)), Max Hunter (guitar, back up vocals), Eric Legg (guitar)and Tyler Lambeth (drums).
then at the Austin Christian Fellowship hayride at Sun Tree Park
on Dec. 20 at 5 p.m.
Brandi Bergeron and her students enjoy the surprise when HCEF awards her with $2,500 to support culture improvement programming through the C-Squared club.
Local Fion owner celebrates first year By LYNETTE HAALAND
Steiner Ranch father of four and former IBM techie Jeffrey Grier marks his first year as owner of Fion Wine Pub & Bistro. “It has been a wild ride,” said Grier,
who took over on Dec. 15, 2010 after purchasing the bistro, wine bar and retail store from Josh McKay who started it in 2007. Grier had his sights set on buying a business after he finished his MBA at University of Texas in 2009. “Although I’ve been a food and wine
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fanatic for all of my adult life, I had never really considered the restaurant business,” he said. One of the reasons why is that running a restaurant has a well-deserved reputation for not being kind to newcomers who do not have the necessary experience.
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Page 2 • Four Points News, Thursday, December 15, 2011
Flores expects February open at The Trails at 620 By LYNETTE HAALAND
Flores Mexican Restaurant plans to open its new Four Points site at the Trails at 620 in
early February. “We’re building our own free standing building that is almost two and a half times bigger,” said Jose Flores, who helped his family build their four-chain restaurant over the last two decades to include some 200 employees today. Flores has out grown its space after nearly six years located in a small shopping center near the Four Points Home Depot. The restaurant will be one of the first to open at the new Trails at 620 located across RR
620 from Concordia University Texas and near the Grandview Hills neighborhood. “We’ll have the homemade flour tortillas being made up front, customers like that. We’ll have a nice playscape for the kids,” said Flores, who has three young daughters of his own. The Flores family moved to Austin from their hometown near Mexico City, Mexico when Joes was 10. In 1993 they opened their original Flores restaurant with 10 tables in Oak Hill. “My dad was a cook for over
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40 years and when I was growing up he would take me where he worked. I learned a lot about the business and so did my brother and sister. We worked every aspect of the business, from cook, waiter, bartender to assistant manager,” Flores said. Other family members have come to work in the business too. It is a tough business and it takes a lot of work and sometimes working seven days a week, Flores said. But their hard work is paying off and as they grew, they kept putting what they made back into the business. These days, almost every day the senior Flores, 65, makes his rounds to the four restaurants to check on the quality of food. In addition to Four Points and Oak Hill, they have restaurants in Lakeway and Dripping Springs. The Flores siblings trade off overseeing the various locations.
They create authentic Mexican dishes with family recipes handed down through the years. “We emphasize taking care of our neighborhoods. We have so many local customers, some come every day. They become kind of your family,” Flores said. Opening in February will be one year after The Trails development broke ground. Rodney Speaks and Leslie Sloan are developing the project which will also feature an 11 auditorium Galaxy Theatre, Whataburger, Freddy’s Frozen Custard, Schlotzsky’s and Mattress Firm. Whataburger is expected to open about the same time as Flores or just before. This is the second free standing restaurant Flores has built. Its first was in Dripping Springs. “I think everyone is going to be real pleased,” Flores said.
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Promoting digital citizenship in LISD Recognizing that technology is an ever-evolving and critical element of our world, Leander ISD is committed to ensuring that technology is an integrated, attainable and functional part of our instructional curriculum. We know that students today are unlike students of 30, 20 and even 10 years ago. While some of us can remember when computers occupied entire rooms, our students have grown up in a world where even our cell phones have technological capabilities we wouldn’t have believed a few years ago. Indeed, we find that students are often naturally so comfortable with technology that we call them “digital natives.” Students of today will be required to use technology in their jobs and careers in ways we can’t begin to imagine. To that end, LISD is exploring new ways to blend technology
with our classroom instruction to promote “digital citizenship skills,” or the appropriate use of technology, both among our teachers and students. I’m going to highlight a few of the ways we are integrating technology into classrooms to support student learning. One tool we are piloting allows students to collaborate in a safe online environment through connected learning communities (CLCs). CLCs are forums where students and teachers can work together to deepen their educational experience. CLCs are monitored by teachers, thereby restricting inappropriate subject matter. As a learning tool, CLCs directly support several of the district’s Seven Student Learning Behaviors. Using CLCs, students produce evidence of their learn-
ing to set goals and track their ery teacher.) progress on an ongoing basis. Switching gears a little, in the CLCs invite all students to engage digital age, many teachers are in their learning and give students finding new ways to use a variety an equal voice in a classroom. of media for instruction, includIn an English ing video. Simclass, CLCs ple animated vimay be used to gnettes can help discuss a theme students underin a short story stand complex or in history math operations class, to examor understand ine a significant the functions political event. BRET CHAMPION of the branches CLCs can even of the governbe used to help teach students ment. Some teachers are even ushow to properly use online sourc- ing videos to introduce the lesson es for research projects. In some objective before a student attends classes, students are submitting class. Videos can also promote papers through CLCs, allow- learner engagement and evidence ing the teacher to grade projects of learning, two of the Seven Stuonline. Their uses are practically dent Learning Behaviors. More limitless. (As LISD is currently in and more, LISD students are phase two of the pilot program, getting behind the camera and CLCs are not yet available to ev- shooting and editing their own
New program makes life a little Kiwanis Club names a Viper easier for Vandegrift seniors “Sophomore of the Year” By LESLEE BASSMAN LBassman@austin.rr.com
Last week, Vandegrift High School counselor Carolyn Brooks presented local parents with a new tool in their teenagers’ search for the right college match. LISD recently added the Naviance program to its Family Connection choices, allowing students to more easily access information concerning the statistics of most American colleges and universities. Once a student has secured a password and completed the system’s registration requirements to log in, he or she is invited to create a profile and take a survey to narrow down their career ideas. The student can post a resume listing all accolades, interests and volunteer involvement. Then, teens can access a higher education database to match potential school choices with their grades, test scores, interests and majors. Eventually, information will be collected from graduating classes at Vandegrift to determine what trends exist with regard to the direction Four Points’ graduates are taking in college (i.e. Are western colleges most popular with Vandegrift graduates? Which schools have the highest acceptance rates of Vandegrift students?).
Parents are able to access the system and their child’s profile upon receipt of their own unique passcode from a Vandegrift counselor. “You’ll be able to line up colleges sideby-side to compare the cost per semester and things like diversity rates,” said Brooks during the evening program. “You can compare five or six colleges at once.” The online tool will help to provide information as to which other schools students applied to in addition to the particular school a Vandegrift student is looking at. Students at Vandegrift High School were introduced to the program last month. “At Vandegrift, I can already see that students are very engaged in the program,” Brooks said. “Our ninth grade students in ACE and AVID are spending a lot of time on Naviance doing college research, building resumes and taking the personality inventory. I have spent time with several of my seniors looking at Naviance and helping them research colleges. Students can now access their rank and GPA any time they want. Ultimately, it will be the “go to” place for 4-year plans and course selection in addition to being a conduit to colleges and communicating with colleges.”
It is with deep pleasure that the Cedar Park Kiwanis Club announces the winners of the “SOPHOMORE OF THE YEAR AWARD” for each of the five Leander ISD high schools. Jacob Schmidt is the sophomore selected from Vandegrift High School. One of the five individual LISD winners will be recommended for further awards at the Kiwanis Division and District levels. A Kiwanis club is authorized to submit only one Sophomore of the Year application to the higher Kiwanis organizations for consideration of a $600 scholarship. Each high school winner will receive a $100 cash award for their achievement. CP Kiwanis Club will conduct the Annual Sophomore of the Year presentations on January 25, 2012.
videos for class projects. Instead of the dry, typed book reports we may have done when we were in school, imagine producing a three-minute video summary! LISD’s iPad and iPod Touch pilot programs allow teachers to test and explore new teaching ideas and methods with these common user-friendly devices. At some schools, iPads are used to help students grasp subjects like geometry or chemistry in a whole new way. Other campuses use iPads to help English-language learners practice their listening, speaking, writing and reading skills. Some of our schools use iPods to support another of the Seven Student Learning Behaviors - differentiation - and are
recording test questions for students who would benefit from hearing instead of reading exams. The use of technology throughout LISD is varied and many of our teachers are learning as they go, attempting to discern what methods work best for their classrooms. As I said at the beginning, our students are largely “digital natives” — this is the world that they know and are most comfortable with. It is we who are the “digital immigrants”— the relative newcomers to this exciting land of technology. I look forward to revisiting this topic in the future, as LISD continues to integrate technology, promote digital citizenship and focus on student learning.
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Four Points of View
Publisher’s Point of View
Our gingerbread tradition expands this year
Who is your favorite celebrity and why?
Last weekend we saw something we’ve monk Gregory of Nicopolis. Gregory never seen before - a life sized Ginger- lived in France and taught the Gingerbread cottage made out of real ginger- bread cooking to French priests and bread cookies. Christians. This amazing piece of art in During the 13th cencluded more than 50,000 cantury, it was brought to Sweden dies, 1,000 candy canes, 100 by German immigrants. Early pounds of chocolate and nearly references from the Vadstena 2,000 pounds of gingerbread Abbey show how the Swedish - all made on site at the Great nuns were baking gingerbread Wolf Lodge in Grapevine. to ease indigestion in 1444, ac Up to six people can dine cording to Wikipedia. in the house too really adding The first documented LYNETTE trade of gingerbread biscuits to the holiday experience. (We didn’t actually eat in the cottage HAALAND dates to the 16th century, where but were tempted to take a bite they were sold in monasteries, out of the cottage it looked so pharmacies and town square delicious.) farmers’ markets. Days prior to seeing that sight, we Gingerbread became widely available in made our own gingerbread house for the the 18th century. season. One daughter decorated one side The harder German-style Gingerbread and the other decorated the other side. I is often used to build gingerbread houses worked on the front door and the back. similar to the witch’s cottage encountered Even though we used the same ingre- by Hansel and Gretel in the story pubdients - white frosting, red bead candies, lished in 1812. licorice, sprinkles and candy cane bits Since then these houses, covered with a - each side has its own style. We ended variety of candies and icing, have become up putting this festive holiday cottage on popular Christmas decorations. a Lazy Susan in the center of the kitchen The people of Bergen, Norway, have table so we could enjoy it to the max. built a city of gingerbread houses each Gingerbread is one of our Christmas year before Christmas for the past detraditions. We love making houses and cade. Named Pepperkakebyen, which cookies and it also goes along with our is Norwegian for gingerbread city, it is own family history (which stretches to claimed to be the world’s largest such city. Germany and Norway). One day it would be awesome to see A peak into the past reveals Ginger- that but for now we’ll be content admirbread’s history dates back to 992 when it ing our own gingerbread centerpiece. was brought to Europe by the Armenian
Letters to the Editor:
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Caleb Monticone River Place
Timothy Tersigni Long Canyon
Jared Bouloy Steiner Ranch
Josh Collmann Steiner Ranch
Colt McCoy. I like the Longhorns and he was a good quarterback.
LaDainian Tomlinson, running back of the New York Jets.
Matt Damon because of his roles in ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ and ‘Ocean’s Twelve’.
Brooklyn Decker because she is a good actor and nice looking.
Four Points News Your Community Newspaper
Editor & Publisher...........................................................................LYNETTE HAALAND Advertising Sales Representative....................................................HOLLIE KENNEY Circulation....................................................................................................FRED FRANCO Reporter.................................................................................................LESLEE BASSMAN Creative Services..............................................................................JENNIFER ROBERTS Contributer...................................................................BRET CHAMPION, RICH KEITH
Published weekly in Four Points, Texas by Four Points News LLC. For subscription information, email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Four Points News welcomes all Letters to the Editor. All letters must be signed and include phone number for verification. Deadline is Friday before publication. Four Points News reserves the right to edit letters for clarity, length and for libelous or objectionable statements. Letters containing more than 400 words will be edited for length. Four Points News • 3129 Rippling Creek Ct. Austin, Texas 78732 Email: email@example.com
Correction: The Dec. 8 redistricting article on available board spots in Precinct #2 incorrectly referred to an open seat on the Board of Commissioners. It should have announced open seats on the Travis County Emergency Services District Boards for ESD #2, ESD #4 and ESD #6. ESD Boards: #2 the Wells Branch portion, #4 the Long Canyon/ Westminster Glen portion, and ESD #6 the Steiner Ranch/Comanche Trail portion.
HCEF, FROM 1 Bonnie Martin joins a first grade class at RPE’s outdoor learning center as she accepts a grant award on behalf of the PTA. Money will be used to expand the successful Titan Gardens program. First grade students are pictured with their teacher Jessica Phillips (left), Bonnie Martin and RPE Principal Niki Prindle.
writing Without Tears program that is taught in all kindergarten classes to the 1st and 2nd grades. Cynthia Evans received $2,495 to purchase five iPads for her 3rd grade classroom at Laura Welch Bush Elementary. Amy Soliz received $2,500 to purchase mathematics manipulatives for all 3rd grade classes at River Ridge Elementary. The parent volunteer spearheading the successful Titan Gardens program at River Place Elementary, Bonnie Martin, received $2,500 to expand
the program which provides interdisciplinary curriculum to grades K-6 by integrating science, mathematics, and writing. The Hill Country Education Foundation’s Impact Grant Committee consists of HCEF board members, curriculum experts from Leander ISD, members from the higher education community, and business leaders. Grant applications were evaluated based on adherence to the HCEF mission of promoting leadership, entrepreneurship,
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science, technology, engineering and math. Funding for the Impact Grants comes directly from Hill Country Education Foundation’s fundraising efforts; corporate partners, the Giddy Up Gala and membership drive. The Foundation will transition the annual Impact Grant to the Spring to align with teacher’s needs for a fall semester implementation. All teachers and community organizations in the Four Points area are encourage
to submit an Impact Grant application, which can be obtained on the HCEF website in January 2012. A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the Hill Country Education Foundation enhances the educational experience of students living in the Four Points community. HCEF achieves this through the development and financing of innovative, quality programs and projects for students attending or preparing to attend Vandegrift High School, specifically in the areas of leadership, entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). HCEF endeavors to empower tomorrow’s leaders while strengthening the community as a whole, now and into the future. More information about HCEF can be found at www. HillCountryEdFoundation.org
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FION, FROM 1 When he came across an ad for an “upscale wine pub,” he requested more information almost as a lark. “When I saw that it was Fion, and right around the corner from my home in Steiner Ranch, I knew I had to look into it further. One thing led to another, and here we are,” Grier said. Prior to Fion, Grier worked at a local translation company and played in various bands around Austin before working at IBM. He held various roles in technical support at IBM during his near 15 year career there. “Most people are surprised at the sharp turn in my career,” Grier said. But he is finding similarities. Tech support is mostly customer service, so that aspect of the restaurant business he already knew. He has changed little at Fion because feedback from customers it that one of the things they love most is the friendly neighborhood atmosphere. “That hasn’t changed and won’t change,” he said. But veteran restauranteur General Manager Melissa Hale did see some opportunities to tweak. So Fion started training sessions to improve the staff ’s wine and beer knowledge and
brush-up their service skills. One of their goals is that the customer experience should be constantly improving. Fion also started having special events such as wine dinners on a more regular basis. Executive Chef Albert Hollis and his team enjoy the challenge of creating of the perfect menu to highlight certain special wines, Grier said. Fion’s founding chef Paul Petruzzi moved on at the time of the sale and his sous chef Hollis took over as Executive Chef. Fion’s big annual events include the New Year’s Eve celebration, St. Patrick’s Day party, Crawfish Boil in May and Oktoberfest. For these events, the parking lot is usually blocks off for more space outdoors. There are challenges to running a business: “sometimes it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of details involved in keeping two restaurants running,” he said. But Grier is grateful for the encouragement from his wife and four sons, who attend Laura Bush Elementary and Steiner Stars swimmers in the summer. “They have all been so helpful and supportive through the ups and downs of the year and I can’t thank them enough,” he said.
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Dance Institute brings home top honors at Dallas competition Dance Institute Performance Academy officially kicked off its competitive season with the entire team of 30 plus dancers attending Nuvo Dance Convention in Dallas this past weekend. The Convention consisted of
classes with the likes of Sonya Tayeh, Mia Michaels, Stacey Tookey, Travis Wall, Kim McSwain and special guest Melanie Moore, So You Think You Can Dance winner. Dance Institute top scores went to Austin Meiteen's Solo Skin plac-
ing 3rd Place over all, DIPA Jemis (age 7-10) placing 1st overall with Scream Shout, DIPA Teen Elite placing 3rd overall with Come Home and DIPA Seniors receiving a Studio Pick award for Beautiful Monster and an invitation to perform in the
Nuvo closing show. In addition to placing well in the competition, scholarships were awarded to Antonia Denison, Dannon O'Brien and Kelsey Oliver for Jazz, and Jenna Simons for Ballet.
Right: Austin Meiteen, Skin Left: Studio Pick Beautiful Monster, left to right on the floor, Kelly Goetz, Emma Highland, Tayor Schmuelgen, Elyssa Meiteen, Isabel Fink, Standing, Dannon O'Brien.
Concordia University Texas presented a benefit concert Dec. 5 to support victims of the recent wildfires in Bastrop. Under the direction of Dr. Pasha Sabouri, Dr. Kim Perlak and Dr. Patricia Burnham, the University's string and guitar ensembles performed a program of hymns, classical standards, a sing-a-long Gospel and favorite holiday music. More the $600 was raised and the community is encouraged to continue to give by sending donations to: First Baptist Church in Bastrop 1201 Water St., Bastrop, TX 78602, ATTN: Raymond Edge. 100 percent of proceeds go directly to the families affected by the wildfires.
Toys for Tots Marines at Oasis Holiday on Ice Dec. 13 Camp Mabry-based U.S. Marines along with Hoang-Kim Cung, 2011-12 Miss Collegiate Texas, a junior at University of Texas, will be at the Oasis Texas Holiday on Ice to support the Toys for Tots toy drive on Dec. 13 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oasis Texas at 6550 Comanche Trail is a drop site for new, unwrapped toys for the drive.
Each toy donated receives $1 off a skate ticket. Hoang-Kim is also a member of the Chaparral Ice Girls so will be showing her skills on the rink. This is the final push for Toys for Tots, an annual nationwide toy drive sponsored by the Marine Foundation.The toy drive will end at Oasis on Dec. 16th.
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Stars of the Week
Page 6 • December 15, 2011
B A S K E T B A L L
JT Graham -
Christopher Jensen -
Kelsee Pitman -
Brook Asher -
Megan Steichen -
Favorite part about being involved in Viper Swimming: I love getting a good workout in bright and early, so that I feel better all day. Also, I love Coach Raff, because she motivates me to do my best.
El Señor Mexican Cuisine Open everyday 11am - 9pm, Sat. & Fri. until 10pm
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5A Division: 1st place team – Austin High 2nd place team – Westlake 3rd place team – New Braunfels Individual results: 4A Division: 1st place - William Martinez (Vandegrift) 2nd place – Cory Brown (Cedar Park) 3rd place – Thomas Hoch (Lake Travis)
From left to right: Hunter Huang, Kennedy Grimes, Chase Phillips, Skyler Young, William Martinez
Favorite part about being involved in Viper Wrestling: I like wrestling because it is better than every other sport combined! My goal is to qualify for state this year.
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4A Division: 1st place team – Vandegrift 2nd place team – Cedar Park 3rd place team – Alamo Heights
5A Division: 1st place – Stratton Nolen (Westlake) 2nd place – Matthew Perrine (Westlake) 3rd place – Alex Levy (Austin High)
Parker Moses -
W R E S T L I N G
2011 Marble Falls Fall Classic Dec. 3 Results
Favorite part about being involved in Viper Soccer: My favorite part is that I love all the girls on my team and we have potential to do really well this year.
The Shops at Steiner Ranch 2900 N. Quinlan Park Rd. Suite 260
Favorite part about being involved in Viper Basketball: Playing with the team and shooting the rock!
Favorite part about being involved in Viper Soccer: I like that we have had 3 years together to build a team, and we have a lot of great players that can make this team one of the best in state.
S W I M M i N G
Favorite part about being involved in Viper Basketball: My favorite part about playing basketball at Vandegrift is the team. We are all friends and that means a lot to me. Playing basketball at my last school was a drag because there were fights every day and nobody was a friend to anyone. We are family here.
S O C C E R
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Kick Off Classic Basketball Tournament a hit Twenty teams from as far away as Dripping Springs converged on the Vandegrift High School “Viper Pit” for this area’s first competitive basketball tournament for 4th, 5th, and 6th grade boys. 4Points Basketball Association in conjunction with Vandegrift Boys Basketball Booster Club hosted its first Kick Off Classic Basketball Tournament the first weekend in December. There were seven Viper teams participating, one of which captured the Championship for the 6th grade division in the final game against Dripping Springs
Hoops. “We are extremely excited about the success of the tournament. Bringing tournament play to our neighborhood has always been one of our missions since forming our organization a year ago,” said Peter Fernandes, speaking for the 4PBA board. “We are thrilled that we were able to provide so many of our local boys the ability to participate and experience the excitement of tournament basketball,” Fernandes said. Andy Giles, President of the VHS Basketball Boosters, believes that it is a natural fit for
our two organizations to work together to build a strong youth basketball program that will feed highly skilled players into the Viper program. “Our goal is to provide an opportunity to have a youth and high school basketball program that is the envy of the state. We thank the community volunteers, local sponsors, and VHS Head Basketball Coach, Cliff Ellis, for all of their support,” Giles said. For more information go to 4pointsbasketball.org or ViperHoops.com.
Cedar Park beat Vandegrift 47 - 35 in district play Dec 12. VHS is 0-1 in district. Right: Vandegrift post Jasmine Mobley (#13, senior) gets fouled on a layup. Below: Vandegrift guard Sophia Duffield (#3, junior) takes a jump shot over the Cedar Park defense. Bottom Right: Vandegrift guard and team co-captain Paige Lichtenberger (#11, senior) defends against Cedar Park guard Zia Carter.
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Viper Boys Basketball
December 15, 2011 • Page 7
District play starts Dec. 20 against Vista Ridge and continues through February 14. All Varsity games can be heard on KMAC Sports at kmacsports. com.
Left: Viper senior Matt Dang runs the ball down court during the season opener against St. Andrew’s. Leslee Bassman
2011-2012 Vandegrift Vipers Boys Basketball Varsity Roster #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #10 #11 #12 #13 #21 #22 #23 #24 #35
MATT MEYERS JOHN HIRSCHHORN MATT DANG ZACH HARTMAN CODY WITT RYAN BREWSTER RAINE HOFFMAN NICK FLORENCE CAMERON HARRIS DAKOTA PRUKOP CLIVE MUKA TYLER EYRE GUNNER LINHART JT GRAHAM
5’11” 6’2” 5’8” 5’11” 6’0” 6’2 6’1” 6’2” 5’11” 6’2” 6’2” 6’4” 6’0” 6’6”
SR SR SR SO SR SO SR SR SR SR JR JR SO SR
Head Coach: Cliff Ellis Assistant Coaches: Chris Dietzmann, Je’ron Curtis Student asst: Ryan Newell, Keorrest Hooker, Brad Jones Athletic Coordinator: Drew Sanders Athletic Trainer: Stephanie Keiningham, Cody Boling
Steiner Ranch Yoga “Quieting the Monkey Mind”
Q& A with Viper Basketball Coach Cliff Ellis
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1. What has to happen for your team to be successful this season? Being successful and winning this year will be a by-product of doing the little things better than our opponents. We will continue to stand by our three core principles of effort, enthusiasm, and execution both on and off the court. Two of those “little things” that will make a big difference in our success this year will be ball control and rebounding. 2. What is your biggest concern of the season? Rebounding is always our biggest concern, both offensively and defensively. We struggled last year at times securing rebounds and finishing possessions. This year we have worked hard at becoming a better rebounding team and hopefully the hard work we have put forth in rebounding will change the “concern” into one of our greatest strengths. 3. Who is Vandegrift's biggest
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rival or biggest game to prepare for and why? The kids say Rouse. I guess it is because we both opened as new schools and have been in the same district since we started. I would have figured they would say Cedar Park since that is the school most of the players went to as freshmen and still have friends at. From a coaching stand point they are all rivals and deserve to be planned for accordingly when we enter into district. 4. Is there a hidden treasure on your team might be unknown right now, but could have a major impact on your season? I hope so, but we won’t know for sure until the football season comes to an end. We will have to keep the readers waiting. 5. Do you have a story to share about a funny moment at practice, an interesting tid bit or a coaching habit or team habit that most don't know about? Any moment coaching with
my assistant, Chris Dietzmann, around is always funny. The kids and I will just look at one another and crack up at his antics or off the wall comments. 6. What motivates you as a coach and why did you choose the sport you did? Motivation for me as a coach is easy…I truly enjoy the sport of basketball, the competition nature of sports in general, and the ability to make a positive impact in young men’s lives both on and off the court. The last of those being by far the most important to me as a coach. Returning statistical leaders: John Hirschhorn 13.6ppg 4.2rpg; Nick Florence 10.9ppg, Dakota Prukop 7.4ppg 6.8rpg Top newcomers: Clive Muka, Ryan Brewster, Zach Hartman 2010 Vandegrift Record, overall and in district play: 10-23, 1-11
2011-2012 Vandegrift Lady Vipers Basketball Schedule Date Dec 16th Dec 20th Dec 27-28th Jan 3rd Jan 6th Jan 10th Jan 13th Jan 17th Jan 20th Jan 24th Jan 31st Feb 3rd Feb 7th Feb 10th Feb 14th
Opponent San Antonio Reagan Vista Ridge* Kerrville Tivy Tournament Leander Lake Travis* Dripping Springs* Marble Falls* Cedar Park* Rouse* Vista Ridge* Lake Travis * Dripping Springs Marble Falls* Cedar Park* Rouse*
Play-Offs: 2/20-21/2012 Bi-District 2/23-25/2012 Area 2/27-28/2012 Regional Quarterfinals
Location SA Reagan VHS Tivy HS Leander HS Lake Travis HS VHS Marble Falls HS Cedar Park HS VHS Vista Ridge HS VHS Dripping Springs VHS VHS Rouse HS
9th 6:15 11:00 TBA 5:30 5:15 5:15 5:15 5:15 5:15 5:15 5:15 5:15 5:15 5:15 5:15
JV Varsity 5:00 7:30 12:30 2:00 6:00 6:30 6:30 6:30 6:30 6:30 6:30 6:30 6:30 6:30 6:30 6:30
3/2-3/2012 Regional Tournament 3/8-10/2012 State Tournament
7:30 7:45 7:45 7:45 7:45 7:45 7:45 7:45 7:45 7:45 7:45 7:45
Page 8 • Four Points News, Thursday, December 15, 2011
CMYK Grandview Hills Elem. celebrated Annual Holidays around the world Grandview Hills Elementary celebrated its 3rd annual Holidays Around the World with fun for the whole family. “The event showcased the rich diversity of the Grandview Hills campus with booths from all over the world,” said Karin Crump Samman, President, Grandview Hills Elementary PTA. Guests enjoyed presentations, food, music, dancing and games
from Poland, Mexico, Germany, Columbia, China, India, Persia and New Orleans and had the opportunity to learn about Christian, French Catholic, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim holiday traditions, as shared by Grandview Hills families. “It was a beautiful evening that was enjoyed by all,” Crump Samman said.
Alejandro Diaz is surely telling Santa all that he hopes for and likely why he deserves it!
Ruess Rolloff and his mom, Kim explore Holiday traditions from around the world. Right: Erin Houchins shows a crafty candy cane she just made.
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QUINLAN, FROM 1 lie Ballengee who helped write it. Launched on Sunday night, the survey at http://bit.ly/steiner-survey is being conducted by a small group of residents who met with the Quinlan Crossing broker recently. The survey focuses on collecting data about the dining habits of area families among other things. There are 13 questions and the survey will take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete. Survey organizers want Steiner Ranch, River Place, Grandview Hills and other are residents to weigh in. The intro to the survey states that restaurants are hesitant to establish sites in this area, due to a perceived lack of lunchtime business and low volumes for evening dining. The breadth and population of Steiner Ranch and the area makes it difficult to get a real pulse on the community, O’Brien said. “This survey is critical to communicating to restaurants and business owners what Steiner residents will welcome and, frankly, what we'll shun,” he said. O’Brien expects to see a “tremendous demand for Austin's culinary best.” “Why a neighborhood of 15,000 area residents still isn't home to one of our fantastic local breakfast places is astounding but it's the lack of a great cafe for a salad that frustrates a surprising many,” he said. For data accuracy purposes, only one survey may be completed per Internet connection or IP address. All personal information will be kept confidential and only reported in statistical groupings. “This is about making the exciting Quinlan Crossing development really part of our community,” O’Brien said.
Four Points News December 15th 2011 Issue