Runnels | Independent School, Baton Rouge


Sixth Graders Advance to Junior High


The 54 members of the sixth-grade class celebrated the step up to junior high with a graduation ceremony held in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre May 23.
Guiding the students through the graduation exercises was Head of School Marcia Mackay, Elementary Principal Beth Golden, and Assistant Head of School and Jr./Sr. High Principal Conchetta Foshee. 
Offering the Invocation was longtime school leader and retired Elementary Principal Gladys Runnels. Sixth graders Kate Kelfstrom and Sam Wilson led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Chorus Director Johnice Thoms sang the National Anthem. 
In keeping with tradition, the sixth graders whose parents graduated from Runnels High School were recognized at the ceremony. This year, we have three “second-generation” students, Cooper Coates, Paul Stevenson, and Jossy Stegall. Cooper presented roses to his father, current Runnels Jr. High Athletic Director and coach, Sam Coates, a 1990 graduate. Paul gave a bouquet of flowers to his mother, Blake Rankin Stevenson, our current RPO President, who was a member of the Runnels Class of 1989, and Jossy presented roses to her mother, Jennifer Wege, a 1998 Runnels graduate who helped form the first Lady Raiders soccer team.        
In another highlight of the ceremony, Madeline Golden, Caleb Johnston, and Caroline Pousson were invited to read original poems they had written about their time at Runnels Elementary in Mrs. Allen’s English class. 
Class president Ben Hader, vice president Madeline Golden, and treasurer Malek Badawi stepped forward to present a gift of $440.00 to the school on behalf of the entire sixth grade. To raise the money, the class sponsored Popsicle Fridays and participated in Raider Rally. The class voted that the gift be put toward the purchase of a water bottle filler for a school water fountain. 
The students also paid tribute to longtime elementary librarian Joni Orgeron who is retiring this year after 25 years at Runnels. On behalf of the class, the sixth-grade officers presented her with a signed group photograph and a book of original poems they had written for her.     
Before receiving their diplomas, many graduates were honored with awards in the areas of academics, service and the visual and performing arts.  
Junior Beta sponsor Christine Pousson recognized six club members for exceptional volunteer service this year. Izzy Arey, Allie Bathea, Kate Kelfstrom, Caroline Pousson, and Stuart Roark received awards for contributing 15 hours of volunteer work, and Arthur  Donaldson received the Outstanding Service Award for completing more than 36 hours of service.
The ceremony concluded with the debut of the sixth-grade video, which was presented to each graduate as a memento of this exceptional year in their lives at Runnels Elementary School.
After the ceremony, the graduates and their guests moved to the Catalano Gym to enjoy cake and punch. 
We sincerely thank reception coordinator Laura Roark and hosts Sheri Allen, Dan and Jennifer Cassin, Julie Fink, Gina Golda, Michelle Harper, Rachel Hart, Becky Hillman, Kendall Krebsbach, Brent Lax, Renee’ Miller, Lee Randall, Jill Swetnam, Johnice Thoms, and Gabi Werries.