Posts by Dan Koller
Louisa Meyer, W.T. White High School’s No. 1 cheerleader, dropped me a note to point out that a recent issue of Spirit, the magazine of the Texas A&M Foundation, featured two W.T. White valedictorians — Chandon Adger (2013) and Kelly Albright (2010) — in a single spread.
The Mooyah burger joint on Northwest Highway will donate a portion of its proceeds on Thursday evening to the Interact Club at Hillcrest High School, so two of the club’s members can participate in a Rotary service trip to Nicaragua during spring break. The portion will be 15 to 25 percent, depending on how many people show up to down some burgers. This promotion applies to sales between 5 and 9 p.m.
We’ve just learned that Zach Guillot lost his battle with acute myeloid leukemia on Feb. 7. The former student at the Temple Emanu-El Early Childhood Education Center, the da Vinci School, and Parish Episcopal School has been mentioned on this blog multiple times, most notably because of the phone call he received from his hero, Batman (aka Christian Bale).
To honor Zach’s life and legacy, Parish Episcopal School and Delete Blood Cancer DKMS will register bone-marrow donors from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Midway Campus. The goal will be to register 1,460 people — one for each day that Zach battled leukemia.
Parish’s Midway Campus will be also be the site of a Carter Blood Care blood drive from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 4. That will be followed by a prayer service at 6:30 p.m. in Godwin Chapel.
Morgan Meyer is one of three Republicans who want to represent Texas House District 108. The treasurer of his campaign is Jeff Staubach.
One of Meyer’s competitors is Chart Westcott. The list of supporters on his website includes Staubach’s parents, Roger and Marianne Staubach. (The honorary chair of Westcott’s campaign is the Cowboys’ other legendary quarterback, Troy Aikman.)
I thought it was odd that Roger would support one candidate, while his son worked on behalf of another. I called Roger’s office to ask about this. After his assistant and I played a prolonged game of phone tag, she passed on this response: “I have given money to both campaigns.”
Well, the finance reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission show that Marianne donated $2,000 to Meyer on Dec. 5, but I could find no donations to Meyer in Roger’s name. But Captain America did give $2,000 to Westcott on May 17 — more than five months before Westcott officially announced his bid for the seat, and a month and a half before Jeff was appointed treasurer of Meyer’s campaign.
I know, I know — a man’s money is his wife’s money, which is her husband’s money. But City Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates, one of Roger and Marianne’s four daughters, told me she’s staying out of this campaign, even though her husband, John, donated $1,000 to Meyer on Dec. 16.
John appears on Meyer’s list of endorsements — as do Marianne and, of course, Jeff, who donated $2,500 to the campaign on Aug. 29. Also listed there is another one of Jeff’s sisters, Stephanie Phillips, and her husband, Todd — who gave $2,500 to Meyer on Aug. 8 as well as $1,671.98 worth of in-kind donations on Nov. 21.
What does all this mean? I can’t say for sure. But I do know one thing — no member of the Staubach clan is supporting the third Republican in the race, Court Alley.
I must have missed the news that Polly Peterson has announced her resignation as head of the Winston School. But she apparently shared that development last October, according to a statement I just received from Winston. Said statement reveals that Rebbie Evans has been appointed the Pamela K. Murfin Head of School, because Peterson is moving on to the Chase Collegiate School this summer.
Evans has been at Winston since 1981. She started out as a teacher, and her current position is assistant head of school.
“Ms. Evans is in a unique position to understand the past, know the present and to direct the future of the Winston School,” board chair Melissa Stewart said. “We are particularly thrilled that the outcome of the efforts of the Transition Committee is that ‘one of our own,’ a treasured member of the Winston School community for 33 years, is the best candidate for this position.”
Congratulations to the eighth-grade soccer team at St. Mark’s, which recently completed its season with a 14-0 record. The Lions’ coach, Preston Hollow resident Brad Namdar, says they scored 78 goals while giving up only 16. He also reports that 12 players put the ball in the net and 15 of them recorded assists. Pretty impressive stuff, for sure.
George and Jennifer Hanson were opposed to a plan to build 18 homes on land behind their house. And when the Preston Hollow couple went to City Hall to make their case, they felt like they were prepared. They showed up several minutes before the City Plan Commission was scheduled to begin its public hearings on the afternoon of Jan. 9, and they brought some neighbors with them as a show of force.
What the Hansons didn’t know is that the commission had been briefed on the proposal that morning, in a meeting that was open to the public but not especially publicized. They also didn’t know that a consultant representing the developer was working with a city employee on modifying the proposal between the briefing and the hearing. And the Hansons certainly didn’t know that speaking to the commission first would preclude them from rebutting any statements made by the consultant.
“The process is greatly stacked in favor of developers,” George Hanson said.
Lakewood resident Mike Morath is almost finished with his first term representing District 2 on the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees. That’s the district that completely surrounds Highland Park ISD, encompassing much of Preston Hollow, as well as Bluffview, Devonshire, and Greenway Parks. Morath will be up for re-election on May 10. If anyone reading this would like to challenge him, you have until 5 p.m. on Feb. 28 to get your paperwork turned in. Candidates can pick up filing packets at the district’s Office of Board Services at 3700 Ross Ave.
Four Ursuline seniors signed letters of intent today to play soccer at the collegiate level. Amanda Boe signed with Trinity University. Samantha Chaiken is bound for Rice University. Emma McCrady will play for the United States Military Academy (West Point). And Katie King is headed for St. Edward’s University.
I’ve never seen Avenue Q, the Broadway musical that’s been described as “Sesame Street for adults,” but I’ve heard a lot about it. I know it features songs such as “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” and “I’m Not Wearing Underwear Today,” so you can imagine my surprise when I saw that the show was going to be performed this week by Greenhill students.
Michael Manes, head of fine arts at Greenhill, said the school version of the show does not include some of the original’s songs. Other songs’ lyrics have been modified for teenage performers and audiences.
“It still addresses a lot of issues,” Manes said. “But it just handles them in a different way.”
When Synthia Rogers, the director of upper-school theater, brought the script to him, Manes read it cover to cover before signing off on the production.
“They did a good job of modifying things to make it PG-13,” he said.But Manes said Greenhill has a history of staging “edgy” shows, including The Laramie Project.
“We have a diverse population; we embrace diversity,” he said. “And this musical ticks a lot of those boxes.”
Rogers, who has taught theater at Greenhill for 21 years, said this is the first time she’s directed a puppet-based show there. She brought in Michael Robinson, artistic director of the Dallas Puppet Theater, as a consultant. He created the puppets for Theatre Three’s production of Avenue Q, and those very puppets are the ones being used at Greenhill.
“We just try to keep the kids current, as this is a college-preparatory school,” Rogers said. “Many of them had seen the show, either here or in New York, and they were very excited about it. Of course, we had to explain to them that we wouldn’t be doing the same show they saw.”
If you would like to see the show they’re doing, you have four opportunities. Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, as well as 2 p.m. on Saturday.