Posts by Dan Koller
Jennifer Staubach Gates captured 66 percent of the 6,004 early votes cast in the District 13 campaign.
The polls close in five minutes, and I still don’t know where Ori Raphael and his followers will be monitoring results this evening. And it’s not for a lack of asking. Raphael’s opponent, Lee Kleinman, will be at Mattito’s on Forest Lane.
My family and I don’t live in District 13, but we drive through it often. For whatever reason, I once saw a Leland Burk campaign sign and said the candidate’s name in the stereotypical voice of an old-time news announcer. My 4-year-old son/parrot in the backseat thoroughly enjoyed that, and now he does this for Burk and Jennifer Staubach Gates whenever he sees their signs.
Meanwhile, I once pointed out an Ori Raphael sign to him in District 11, and he said, “Raphael? That’s a ninja turtle.”
I just called the Dallas County Elections Department to find out how many registered voters live in City Council Districts 11 and 13. The answers I got were 40,892 and 49,960, respectively. Now, how many of those people will actually cast a vote in this election?
This is District 11’s first contested council race since 2005. That’s when newcomer Linda Koop won 56.3 percent of the 7,027 votes cast in her battle with Danny Harrison to replace Lois Finkelman. Koop was re-elected without an opponent in 2007, 2009, and 2011, and that’s all she wrote, thanks to term limits. Lee Kleinman and Ori Raphael are battling for her seat.
District 13’s last competitive race was in 2009, when newcomer Ann Margolin captured 57.25 percent of the 14,525 votes cast in her bout with Brint Ryan to replace Mitchell Rasansky. Two years ago, the only challenger Margolin drew was rabble-rouser Richard P. Sheridan. That mismatch attracted 9,985 votes, 89.44 percent of which went to Margolin. She’s leaving the council for personal reasons. Battling to replace her are Leland Burk, Jennifer Staubach Gates, Jacob King, and Sheridan.
PLANO — The Highland Park lacrosse team’s regular season ended April 18 with an 8-4 loss to St. Mark’s. The Scots’ postseason ended Saturday in exactly the same way.
The Lions roared out to a 5-0 lead in the first half of the Texas High School Lacrosse League Division I State Championship semifinals. St. Mark’s was dominant in the first quarter, keeping the Scots on the defensive.
“In the game of lacrosse, it’s all about ground balls,” Highland Park head coach Derek Thomson said. “Ground balls equals time of possession, and they outworked us on the ground.”
St. Mark’s offensive outburst included goals by junior attackman Tommy Addy in the first and final minutes of the first quarter.
“We had a lot of confidence going into the game,” Addy said. “We just came out swinging, and after that, we just kept rolling.”
Highland Park (14-3) got two goals in the third quarter from sophomore midfielder Kevin Ken. Unfortunately for the Scots, St. Mark’s senior midfielder Danny Koudelka also scored twice in that period.
“The first game, we didn’t really come out firing because we had the No. 1 seed locked in for the playoffs,” Ken said. “And in today’s game, they just played better than we did. There’s nothing we could do. We didn’t play to our potential, but they just outplayed us today.”
Ken moved up to the Scots’ Division I team this season after playing on the Highland Park squad that secured the Division II championship in 2012. Highland Park and St. Mark’s met in the Division I title game in 2012, 2010, and 2009, with the Scots coming out on top each time.
St. Mark’s also lost in the 2007 championship game. The Lions (17-3) will try to secure their first Texas High School Lacrosse League title on Sunday against ESD (15-6). The Eagles beat Jesuit (14-4) on Saturday when Richie Loftus broke a 5-5 tie with 11 seconds left.
“St. Mark’s is playing like we did last year,” Thompson said. “They got hot at the right time of year. I don’t know if they were more talented than us, but I certainly know they played more as a team.”
The championship game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at John Clark Stadium.
Two actresses from Preston Hollow schools are among the nominees for the second annual Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theatre Awards, which will be held Tuesday night at the Music Hall at Fair Park.
Hillcrest’s Lilly Stafford, who played Paulette in her school’s production of Legally Blonde, is one of 10 nominees in the Best Supporting Actress category. Hockaday’s Natalie Pasquinelli, who portrayed Mrs. Darbus in the version of High School Musical that her school jointly produced with St. Mark’s, is one of 10 nominees in the Best Featured Performer category.
Three judges visited more than 40 North Texas high schools and judged performers in 15 categories: Best Musical, Best Direction, Best Musical Direction, Best Choreography, Best Orchestra, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting, Best Ensemble, Best Crew, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Featured Performer.
Kevin Grimes, an eighth-grade history and global studies teacher at George Bannerman Dealey Montessori, is one of five finalists for the Dallas Independent School District Teacher of the Year award. The winner will be named May 14 at a reception and dinner sponsored by Central Market.
According to a DISD press release, Grimes is known for encouraging lively, energetic discussions in his classroom allowing students to express themselves. He challenges his students to go beyond the obvious, ask questions, take risks in their thinking, and validate their thoughts with specifics. He is respected by his peers, parents, and students, who often credit him with preparing them to be successful in high school and beyond.
The other finalists are Paula Cushanick, a prekindergarten teacher at Albert Sidney Johnston Elementary School; Joshua Newton, a math teacher at the School of Science and Engineering at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center; Beth Poquette Drews, a music teacher at Harold Wendell Lang Sr. Middle School; and Linda Wood, the librarian at Seagoville Elementary School.
In the May 3 edition of the paper, I have a brief story on how the Northaven Trail has become an issue in the campaign for the District 11 seat on the City Council. Lee Kleinman was a member of the Park and Recreation Board when the trail was established, and he played a key role in forming the Friends of Northaven Trail organization. His opponent, Ori Raphael, keeps bringing up trails funding as something that could be cut to better finance police patrols, libraries, and street repairs.
Coincidentally, as I was finishing up this story, Friends of Northaven Trail president Warren Parham sent me a survey that his group conducted. They posed questions to the District 11 candidates, as well as the leading candidates in District 13, Leland Burk and Jennifer Staubach Gates. (Burk’s and Raphael’s names are misspelled on the first page.)
Nice try, Houston and Austin. This year, the cream of the crop in the Texas High School Lacrosse League lives in Dallas. The Division I semifinals are scheduled for Saturday afternoon in Plano. St. Mark’s will take on Highland Park at 5 p.m., followed by ESD vs. Jesuit at 7:30. The championship game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.
These women attended the Parish 40th Anniversary Gala, the March 9 fundraiser for Parish Episcopal School that featured performances by Darius Rucker and Dana Carvey. I want to publish this picture in the paper, but I need to know their names. Do you know these women? Are you one of these women? Comment away.
UPDATE: Silly me. I assumed this was a picture of some Parish students’ moms. But I just got off the phone with the woman in the center of the photo, Julie Freeman. She runs a modeling agency, and the rest of the women you see here work for her.
They were hired to sell raffle tickets and help organize the silent auctions, and the reasons why are obvious. If I had attended this event and Jalin Wood (third from left) told me with a smile that I should buy some raffle tickets, I’d ask her if there was a limit on how many one man could purchase.