ACE Awards Announced

The Exchange Club of Lake Highlands announced its ACE awards at Lake Highlands High School at its meeting on May 5.  ACE stands for “Accepting the Challenge of Excellence” and is a National Exchange Club program designed to recognize high school students who have overcome adversity.  Recipients  are selected by school teachers and staff.  The winners for 2017 are–

Blen Hussain.  who emigrated from Êthiopia .  She has learned English and has become  a good student.  She has received the Exchange Club Character Counts award . She has been a dedicated student in the AVID program.  Blen  plans to attend Texas Wesleyan University to major in political science.  Her long term goal is to become an attorney.

Jakyron Joseph is originally from Louisiana. although  he has faced  some personal adversity, he has earned the respect of his teachers and fellow students. His teachers consider him to be an outstanding roll model. He is also an Exchange Club Character Counts recipient. He plans to attend Texas Wesleyan  to major in finance. He hopes to own his own business.

Both received plaques and a $1,000 college scholarship.

ACE awards

Picture–Dr Jeanie Stone, RISD Superintendent, Blen Hussain, Jakyron Joseph, and

Frank Miller, Principal of Lake Highlands High school.

Teacher of the Year Awards

The Exchange Club of Lake Highlands presented awards to six RISD teachers at its meeting on May 5.  Each year, the club selects 6 schools on a rotating basis . The teachers are selected by fellow teachers at heir respective school.  Each teacher received a plaque and a check for $500.  The awards were presented by

Dr. Jeanie Stone, Superintendent of RISD.  The 2017 recipients are–

teacher awards

Bottom–L to R–Claudine Figueroa, Second Grade, Thurgood Marshall Elementary;

         Kelly Moss, Choir Director, Lake Highlands Junior High; Cathleen Barnette,

         2nd Grade, Merriman Park Elementary; Amanda Goldberg, 1st grade, Lake

         Highlands Elementary;


Top– L to R–Karen,Scoggins, Developmental Special Education, Skyview Elementary;

Dr Jeanie Stone, superintendent, RISD; Brittany Suits, Algebra 1, Forest

          Meadow Junior High

ACE Breakfast, Teacher Recognition and Youth of the Year

ACE and Youth of the Year

A.C.E. Awardees and Youth of the Year | Left to Right-Rebuma Kedir – A.C.E. Awards, Karla Ruiz – A.C.E Awards, Peyton Cabaniss – Youth of the Year, Mark Gaarwood – Youth of the Year

The ECLH gives 8 Youth-of-the-Month awards during our calendar year, and the Youth-of-the-Year (YOY) is chosen from among those to represent our club at the local, state and national level of Exchange.

YOY—An award designed to recognize industrious high school students who have high levels of academic achievement while also demonstrating leadership/involvement/participation and a willing desire to serve others in their school, community and beyond.

A.C.E. – “Accepting the Challenge of Excellence”: These awards are given to students who have overcome adversity and have achieved positive outcomes during their HS careers. It is a national Exchange Club program and a national winner is selected.

Teachers of the Year

teachers of the year

Teachers of the Year Left to Right: Cecilia Whitham – Northlake Elementary, James Bradanese – Stults Road Elementary, Alexandra Hines – Forest Lane Academy, Lilana Castillo – Audelia Creek Elementary, Erin Chesal – Lake Highlands Freshman Center, Cecilia Whitham – Northlake Elementary, Lisa Steward – Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet, Lauren Janco – Forest Lane Academy

RISD Bond Presentation

The Exchange Club meeting on April 15, 2016 featured representatives from the Richardson Independent School District who presented back ground information on the upcoming bond election which will take place on May 7th. RISD now has some 38,700 students at 55 campuses.  The proposed bond will be for $437.1 million dollars.  It will provide funds for maintenance of existing facilities and equipment, construction and renovation of new facilities and additions such as libraries, technology updates, career and technical education and multi purpose buildings at high schools.  The message was that this is a much needed bond for Lake Highlands residents due to the continued addition of new students in area schools, and the need for an additional elementary school.  Talks were made by two  of our RISD trustees, Justin Bono and Jean Bono.

A presentation was also made by Tony Hakleroad,  Deputy Superintendent, who also answered questions.

A very informative video was also shown.  If you were not present, of if you would like to see the video again, you can see it at which has complete information on the proposed bond.

Early Voting will be from April 23 to May 3.

Picture--Tony Hakleroad, Deputy Superintendent for Finance and Operations; Jean Bono, Trustee; Justin Bono; Trustee; Karah Altman, Director for communications and public affairs

Picture–Tony Hakleroad, Deputy Superintendent for Finance and Operations; Jean Bono, Trustee; Justin Bono; Trustee; Karah Altman, Director for communications and public affairs

Principals’ Presentation

Picture--l to r-- Steve White; Mechelle Smith-Asst Principal -Akin Elementary; Bob Johnston; Kim Sullivan- Lake Highlands Elementary; Lariza Liner-Forest Lane Academy; Ingrid Dodd-Skyview Elementary; Allison Kane - Akin Elementary; Michael Thomas-Asst Principal- Akin Elementary; Greg Duval Not present--Lee Walker- White Rock Elementary

Picture–l to r– Steve White; Mechelle Smith-Asst Principal -Akin Elementary; Bob Johnston; Kim Sullivan- Lake Highlands Elementary; Lariza Liner-Forest Lane Academy; Ingrid Dodd-Skyview Elementary; Allison Kane – Akin Elementary; Michael Thomas-Asst Principal- Akin Elementary; Greg Duval Not present–Lee Walker- White Rock Elementary

The Exchange Club meeting on March 18 featured presentations by the principals of five Lake Highlands area elementary schools. In past years, the club has assisted area elementary schools with cash contributions, school supplies, playground equipment, clothing, etc. Last year, the club created a new position–Director of School Relations. Sherman Burns currently fills that position and it’s purpose is to provide a liaison between the club and Lake Highands schools. This will enable the club to have a better idea of how we can be of assistance. Steve White introduced the attending principals and each gave a short talk about their schools, school needs and how we can help. The speakers were–Kim Sullivan, Lake Highlands Elementary; Lariza Liner, Forest Lane Academy; Ingrid Dodd, Skyview Elementary; Allison Kane, Akin Elementary; and Lee Walker, White Rock Elementary.


RISD Bond Thank You and Listening Tour

We had a visit from a team of RISD employees to present their “Bond Thank You and Listening Tour.” They presented information on what has been done in the school system since the last bond election in 2011, and they outlined what the upcoming bond proposal will include. The two main speakers were– Tony Harkleroad, Deputy Superintendent of Finance and Dr. Jeannie Stone, Deputy Superintendent of Instruction. Mr. Harkleroad pointed out that the RISD has the highest credit rating of any school district in Texas and has the 5th lowest tax rate of any school district in Dallas or Collin Counties. Among other needs, it is estimated that LHHS will need 24 additional classrooms in the next 5 years. The proposed bond issue will be presented and voted on in May, 2016. The current estimated bond limit will be 235 million dollars without an increase in school taxes. Ms. Stone advised that the main instructional needs are in the area of technology instruction, libraries, career placement education, and multi-purpose buildings.

For additional information on the proposed bond, see the RISD link-

Forest Meadow Junior High

Kerri Jones was a speaker at the Exchange Club’s meeting on September 25. She is the Principal of Forest Meadow Junior High and a club member. She brought two students with her and one of her Assistant Principals.  She outlined some of the current programs at Forest Meadow.  Kerri is a graduate of Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, AR. She was an assistant principal at Forest Meadow for eight years before she became principal at Liberty Junior High.  She returned to Forest Meadow in 2014.


Kerri Jones, Natalie Duval, Maggie Moseley, and Assistant Principal Casey Gray (Natalie and Maggie are the daughters of club members Greg and Janet Duval and Ric and Amy Moseley.)

Skyview’s Texas PTA Award Recipient

On September 4 the ECLH was pleased to recognize Austin Aeschbacher from Skyview Elementary school. During the summer Mr. Aeschbacher was selected by the Texas PTA as elementary “Teacher of the Year.” Mr. Aeschbacher is a music teacher at Skyview and also has been involved in the planning and launch of the Skyview Harmony teaching garden.

With our weekly program being Dr. Waggoner from RISD administration it was great to have Austin visit our club along with Principal Ingrid Dodd. In addition to the public recognition and celebration our club was pleased to present Mr. Aeschbacher with a cash gift so that he might go out and celebrate with a nice dinner and know that our club and the LH community appreciates him and all educators.

Read more about this award here.

teacher of the year

PHOTO: Greg Duval, ECLH Liaison to Skyview, Austin Aeschbacher, “Teacher of the Year”, Ingrid Dodd, Principal, Skyview Elementary

Scholarship Winners

As reported in The Advocate, May 19, 2015:

The Lake Highlands Exchange Club honored 53 Wildcat seniors with college scholarships Friday and hosted them to a breakfast with their parents and/or people in their lives who have supported and raised them. All had long lists of impressive achievements, including academic honors, athletic triumphs, examples of leadership and sacrifices for others. Many of these accomplishments were made despite significant personal hardships, and LHHS counselors and Principal Frank Miller were beaming with pride as their stories were told. Also to be congratulated is the LH Exchange Club, its many donors and the Lake Highlands families who endow the scholarships. You can read about the (sometimes heartbreaking) stories behind the scholarships here.

scholarship winners


Academic Scholarships:  Front: Grace Wedding, Bailey Sward, Elizabeth Burroughs, Elizabeth Reimer, Bethany Vangoethem, Elizabeth Hurt, Alexander Ricker, Emily Hughes, back: Chloe Myers, Ryan Bernard-McClenan, Mason Murray and Reid Curnutt.


Board of Director Awards: Front: Erin Ramsay, Lauren Pendleton, Valeria Escalante, back: Brady Diffee, Matthew Johnson, Jean Doussou.


Luck Family Foundation Scholarships: Front: Mary Arrey, Katie Norris, Hannah Gray, Alli Brown, Diana Monyancha, back: Eric Luck, DeMarkus Taylor, Carter Gardner, Genice Johnson, Claire Parry, Elizabeth Hurt and Cheri Luck.


Data Jo Potts Memorial Scholarships: Front: Carolyn Weber, Adriana Rodriguez, Annelise Wright, back: Layne Clark, Bob Potts and Gabriel Beltran.



Pictured:  Front: Kayla Banks, Semien Hagos, Mary Lea Phillips, Ryan Bernard-McClenan, Derrick Boateng, back: Don & Patsy Lee, Jeanenne Oglesby, Susan Kane and Jim Burris.

Melinda Ann Lee Memorial Scholarship: Kayla Banks.

Jason Oglesby Memorial Scholarship: Semien Hagos.

Jeff Kane Memorial Scholarship: Mary Lea Phillips.

Herb and Frances Walne Memorial Scholarship: Ryan Bernard-McClenan.

Brandon Burris Memorial Scholarship: Derrick Boateng.

NOT PICTURED: Bob Potts Family Working Students Scholarships: Francois Jones, Leona Michael, Scydayah Quest, Adriana Rodriquez.For more information go to

Congratulations to all!