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a grade A+ Blue Ribbon school


A monthly newsletter brought to you by PFTSTA Publications.

Upcoming Dates: May 7-11 Teacher Appreciation Week AP Exam/s Week: (APES, APUSH, APLit, APCalc) May 7 Awards Ceremony (Middle) 8am – PFTSTA café May 8 Awards Ceremony (High) 8am – PFTSTA café May 9, 10, 11, 14 High School SGA Elections/Speeches May 10 Graduation Practice 1pm, Alario Center May 11 EOC: English III May 12 Class of 2012 – GRADUATION 5pm, Alario Center May 14—18 AP Exam/s Week: (APGov/Poli, APLang, APStat) May 14—18 EOC: English II, Algebra, Geometry, Biology, American History May 14 Junior Ring Ceremony May 16 WWII Museum Fieldtrip 6th + 7th grade

May 2012

From the Principal’s Pen…Mrs. Jaime Zapico: I can’t believe the school year is almost over! Today, May 5, is the last day for the seniors! I’m going to miss them so much. They have given me so many memories that I will always cherish. I can still remember the days when I was very fortunate to teach many of them. I had a great time at the Senior Awards Night last night and I hope all of you did too. It was wonderful to celebrate all of your accomplishments. Congratulations Class of 2012! This has been a dynamic and a remarkable year! I look forward to graduation next weekend. I am also looking forward to the middle school and high school award ceremonies next week. We will celebrate the middle school student accomplishments on Monday, May 7 and the high school student accomplishments on Tuesday, May 8. Both of the ceremonies will start at 8:00 am. They should be very exciting and eventful! Students – we just have three weeks left of school. Please be cognizant of the fact that this is the fourth nine weeks and if you fail a course, you fail the course for the semester. Also, we have exams this nine weeks on May 23 and May 24. Remember, exams count for 25% of your final grade. End of course tests (EOC) are also just around the corner. Your teachers have been preparing you for these tests all year. I am confident you have all of the knowledge you need to be successful on these assessments. Please be prepared and study for these major assessments. Next week we will be celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week! Taylor would not be the school that is without the dedication and determination of all of the teachers here at Taylor. It amazes me how much they all give to improve our school each and every year. I am asking that the students please take the time to thank each of their teachers next week. They are what make Taylor so special! I hope they enjoy all of the gifts and events we have planned for them. Last, but not least, I look forward to seeing all of juniors and seniors at the prom tonight! We will dance the night away at the Crystal Plantation from 8:30—11:30. We will include pictures from tonight’s event in the next newsletter. Graduation Reminders Seniors: You must be at the Alario Center by 4:00pm on May 12. The doors to the Alario Center will close at 4:55 and no one will be allowed in the arena until after the procession. Please make sure all of your family members are aware of this policy. I do not want any of them to miss your entrance!! We will have practice at the Alario Center on Thursday, May 10 at 1:00 pm. Please be prompt!

May 18 8th grade – picnic

Spring 2012 – Final Exam Schedule:

May 23, 24 EXAMS

Contact Us: 2012 Jefferson Highway Jefferson, LA 70121 504 838 2249 – phone 504 838 7029 – fax

Principal – Jaime Zapico Questions – Barbara Harney ------PFTSTA Web-site PFTSTA Twitter!/pftsta Jefferson Parish Public School System Web-site

Thursday, May 23

Friday, May 24

7:20 – 7:30


7:20 – 7:30


7:35 – 9:20

1st period exam

7:35 – 9:20

3rd period exam

9:25 – 11:10

2nd period exam

9:25 – 11:10

4th period exam





Taylor Tigers School-Wide Expectations: Be Respectful Be Responsible Be Safe

Thoughtfulness of others Independence Global thinking Engagement in learning Responsibility Seriousness in using technology

Lines from the Librarian…Mrs. Elizabeth Kahn: The end of the year has sneaked in and grabbed me by the horns. I can’t believe May is here already. Unfortunately, no more materials can be checked out from the library. All items are due May 7th. All fines are due at that time also. Students have received notices letting them know that they owe a debt to the library. Notices will be issued again next week for any student who still has not cleared. It has been a great year in the library. Bookmarked, the high school library book group, was selected to review books for School Library Journal’s online newsletter, SLJ Teen. This newsletter is published twice a month. Be on the look-out for the group’s introduction in the May 18th or June 2nd edition of the newsletter, and in all editions over the next year, you will find several book reviews by PFTSTA students. You can find an archive of the newsletter here: I also received some very exciting news. I have been selected as the 2012 Information Technology Pathfinder for High School by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). I will be attending the ALA conference in Anaheim in June and will receive the honor during a special awards luncheon. Besides receiving $1,000 towards travel for the conference, the PFTSTA library will be awarded a $500 check, too. You can read more about it here: I know that students have required reading for the summer, but there are wonderful new books out there that students might love to read. You can find the best of the best on awards lists from ALA. The YALSA Quick Picks’ list has books with high appeal for students ages 12-18. The list includes both fiction and non-fiction. Check out the list here: The YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults list includes works of fiction with both literary merit and teen appeal. Again the books are geared for the 12-18 year old. Check out the BFYA list here: These book lists are created yearly, so you can find more books of quality on the previous years’ lists. All of these books can be found at a public library, bookstore or for download on your favorite reader. Have a great summer and KEEP READING!

Counselor’s Corner…Ms. Wendy Durant: The school year has flown by, I can’t believe it’s May already and the year is rapidly approaching an end. Hats off to our amazing seniors! Congratulations on a job well done and I wish you the very best with all your future endeavors! Please come back and see us, and if there is anything I can do to assist through the counseling department, just let me know! For our remaining students in grades 8—11 in the coming weeks we will meet again to complete your Individualized Graduation Plans (IGP) using the online program Louisiana Connect. The IGP is a really great resource because it allows you to track courses completed and necessary for graduation, and also allows students to work toward postsecondary goals using career clusters to indentify your interests in certain areas of concentration. Take a minute to log into your Louisiana Connect account to familiarize yourself with the process.

The url is login using your PFTSTA email and password. I look forward to working with you on this soon.

Sports Shorts…Coach Elmo Steinert & Coach Vicki Foster: Congratulations to the girls track team for being winning District Runner-Up! Sophomore Celia Zaeringer was named the outstanding female track athlete at the meet. The following girls and boys track members qualified and participated in the State Regional 3-B meet in Welsh, La. on Wednesday, April 24: Alex Walsh: Long Jump, Triple Jump, 4 x100 Relay and 4 x200 Relay Kiara Horton: 100 Meter Dash , 4 x100 Relay and 4 x 200 Relay Kaylynn Tran: 4 x100 relay and 4 x 200 Relay Darla Nguyen: 4 x100 relay and 4 x200 relay Celia Zaeringer: 1600 Meter run (1st place) and 3200 Meter run (1st place) Evan Michel: 1600 Meter run (2nd place) and 3200 Meter run (4th place) Stephen Torry: 800 Meter run and 3200 Meter run (2nd place) Nick Melara: 1600 Meter run (4th place)

Yearbook Ads + Yearbooks for Sale: Mrs. Johnson’s Publications class is selling ads for the 2011-2012 yearbook. $100 (full page) $25 (1/4 page)

$50 (1/2 page) $12 (1/8 page)

2012—2013 yearbooks can now be pre-ordered – they are $35!

Science Section: Taylor Alums Visit Dr. Simpson’s Science Classroom: Taylor Alumnus Rene Girard (pictured) visited chemistry students on April 20 to demonstrate some exciting chemical reactions for Taylor students. Rene is a freshman at LSU majoring in biological chemistry. The demonstrations are part of a community outreach operated by LSU Department of Chemistry. He demonstrated the Iodine clock reaction, the effect of temperature on chemiluminescence, and the colors of excited electrons in flames. Natalie Jeffery also visited and spoke to the class about the Go Teach program, which places LSU students in classrooms around Baton Rouge. Chemistry Students Learn about the Kinetic Molecular Theory of Gases: Dr. Simpson’s chemistry students learned about the Kinetic Molecular Theory of Gases with visuals illustrating the different properties. Students posted their work and then voted on the best illustrations of the theory. Xavier Student Works with APES Students: Xavier student Brantley Minor works with a group of AP Environmental Science students to win the game of Survival Island by answering questions about sustainable practices. Ms. Minor is observing science classes as part of her training in a Master of Arts in Teaching program at Xavier.

Student Grows Plants for Louisiana Wetlands:

Sophomore chemistry student, Arielle Laurent, grew Spartina alterniflora and Spartina patens as part of her Independent Research Project. Once she finished collecting data, the plants were sent with Ms. Giffin’s 8th grade class on their wetlands restoration field trip. The plants will be planted in sensitive wetlands areas as part of their coastal restoration efforts.

Congratulations to Junior Alexandra Baldassaro for her acceptance into the 2012 Ochsner STAR program. Allie is one of 16 participants selected from 61 applicants.

Junior Ring Ceremony: The Junior Ring Ceremony is scheduled for Monday May 14 at Smilie’s Restaurant in Harahan. Class officers, AJ McGee and Tiffany Lou have been working hard to plan an elegant event to mark this milestone in their high school careers. Parents and immediate family members are invited to the ceremony – it begins at 9am.

PFTSTA Middle Schoolers go to Washington D.C.: Our




D.C. was one we will never forget –







experience and learn about the history of our country with so many of our friends. We most enjoyed the opportunity to visit a plethora




monuments. Being


blossom particularly

D.C. season





also –


sweet smell of these flowers blooming on their trees was something we will never forget! One of the most notable sites we visited was the Arlington Cemetery – there, we learned about the war heroes that lost their lives to fight in our country. We were also able to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial – a very beautiful and inspirational monument. Aside from these two things, we were also able to visit Jamestown, the Holocaust Museum, the capitol building and George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon. Being able to visit Washington D.C. was an experience we will never forget – we are so thankful to our teachers Ms. Valence and Ms. Maher for planning and sponsoring such a memorable opportunity! by: 8th graders Valerie Ruiz & Bill Romero

Star Teachers: Congrats to the following teachers who have been awarded Teacher of the Month during the Spring 2012 semester:




Math and Social Studies teacher ANGELA GIFFIN for being a dedicated Middle School SGA sponsor!

Math teacher KAY BUTLER was nominated by Ms. Giffin for giving her some help with a project – great ideas with Excel!

Math teacher LINDA MCEWEN was nominated by Ms. Kahn for helping to organize the first annual Career Day.

April: Athletic director and PE teacher VICKI FOSTER for planning a wonderful Athletic Banquet – it was a wonderful way to celebrate and reward the accomplishments of our academic athletes!

Senior Seniors: The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activities for the seniors. Here is just a sampling of what they have been up to…

Senior Brunch with Mrs. Taylor: On Sunday, April 1, Mrs. Taylor treated the Graduating Class of 2012 to brunch at Mardi Gras World, a wonderfully festive locale overlooking the Mississippi River. After dining and socializing, the seniors and their families hit the dance floor – Mrs. Taylor even joined in on the fun! The annual Senior Brunch is one of the traditions that seniors look forward to the most, and Mrs. Taylor is always impressed by the personalities and accomplishments of the students!

Seniors stop to take a picture during the annual brunch with Mrs. Taylor.

Senior Extravaganza: The Senior Extravaganza took place on Friday, April 20 and was a great way to kick off Spring Break. It featured plenty of exciting booths, music and food. The Dunk-A-Senior and Pie-A-Senior booths made a return this year, but the star of the event was the Sumo Wrestling booth! Weeks of planning culminated with an extremely exciting event enjoyed by all grade levels. Students and teachers played games, participated in activities and socialized with the seniors during one of their last PFTSTA events.

Zarik House is a good sport after falling prey to Dunk-a-Senior

Academic Games Accolades: The following students participated in the National Academic Games Tournament at the Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, West Virginia from April 26—May 2. Junior Division – Kayla Tarr, Carson Chauvin, Derick Pillai, Edward Johnson Middle Division - Alexandra Miserendino, Thanh “Michael” Pham Kayla Tarr’s Junior Division team placed 3rd in Equations, 3rd in Onsets and ended up placing 2nd overall in the country!

Music Musings…Mr. John J. McCloskey It is truly hard to believe, but we have less than one month of school remaining! The band is busily preparing for what tends to be our busiest time of the year. The information below will give you specific information about our final performances of the year. First, I would like to congratulate the band on a job well done at the Superintendent’s Festival that took place on April 4. The band received Superior ratings by all three judges. I am truly proud of everyone in band for their effort and dedication. The many hours of rehearsal were worth it. I would also like to thank Mr. Jay Adkins for his work with the percussion section. His expertise coupled with his willingness to spend so much time working with the percussion students is a vital asset to our school. Once again congratulations band! I have enjoyed this year greatly; it has been an honor working with your children. I look forward to next year with much anticipation, and I hope you enjoy the final performances of the year. Before I get to the details of rehearsals and performances, I would like to share with you a study by Richard A. Baker, PhD that explores music education and high stakes testing in Louisiana.

Dr. Baker examined high-stakes (LEAP) test scores for 37,222 eighth grade students enrolled in music and/or visual arts classes and those students not enrolled in arts classes. He found that students enrolled in music had significantly higher mean scores than those not enrolled in music (Baker Arts Education Policy Review, 2011). Of course, I found his article to be extremely interesting. We now have empirical data connecting music education to increased academic performance. If you would like to read the entire article complete with statistics and analysis, please email me for a copy. Dr. Baker is the Fine Arts Program Coordinator for the Louisiana Department of Education, and has other publications online that explore the effect of arts education. Anyone wanting more information can read his entire study (dissertation) at Have a great month and a wonderful summer! Yours very truly, John J. McCloskey, Band Director Upcoming Events May 2012: 7 – Practice 8 – Practice 9 – Spring Concert 6:30 pm cafeteria, band meet at 5:30 pm (concert dress) 12 – Graduation Alario Center band meet at 4:00 PM (concert dress)

State Rally Results: Congratulations to the following students who placed at State Rally. Students must place 1st or 2nd in their subject areas at the District level in order to be invited. Many of these students were competing with testers who are an entire grade level older! 1st Place:   

Ben Gothard – Advanced Math/Functions & Statistics Allie Baldassaro – Advanced Math/Pre-Calculus Quentin Andrus – Physical Science

2nd Place:    

Abrania Marrero – Algebra II Kayla Tarr – English II Derick Pillai – Geometry Edward Johnson – Spanish III

3rd Place: 

Zachary Hughes – Biology

4th Place:

 

Carson Chauvin – Chemistry Tiffany Lou – English IV

Tidings From Taylor May 2012  

Tidings from Taylor, PFTSTA's monthly newletter