Ally’s Wish to Hold Boots 
& Blessings Gala

Ally’s Wish will host the Boots & Blessings Gala beginning at 6 p.m. on April 21 at Austin Ranch at Hilton DFW Lakes, 2009 Anderson Gibson Road in Grapevine. The gala evening will include a cocktail hour, a seated dinner buffet and live country-western entertainment. Proceeds benefit Ally’s Wish to grant wishes to mothers battling terminal illnesses so they may create lasting memories with their children and loved ones. For tickets and sponsorship information, visit AllysWish.org.

McAuliffe Elementary named 
2018 Texas School of Character by Character.org

Character.org, a national advocate and leader for character in collaboration with Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association, named Christa McAuliffe Elementary a 2018 Texas School of Character. The program recognized Christa McAuliffe Elementary as a school that has demonstrated its use of character development to drive a positive impact on academics, student behavior and the school’s climate.

McAuliffe Elementary is located in Highland Village and serves 545 students grades pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Jennifer Mattingly has led the school for 14 years as principal. The school’s current character education curriculum was developed 13 years ago and continues to be a driving force in educating the whole child.

The Schools of Character application process is an opportunity for schools and districts to receive thoughtful feedback for growth and excellence in the area of character development. It is also a method of recognizing exemplary schools and districts in the nation.

Since its inception, Character.org has recognized more than 565 schools with the distinction of State School of Character. Criteria for the designation are based on Character.org’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education, which includes providing students with opportunities for moral action, fostering shared leadership and engaging families and communities as partners in character-building efforts.

Pelphrey to Represent Texas on NSFA Industry Leadership Council

Connie Pelphrey, executive director of the Lewisville ISD Education Foundation, has been selected for the National School Foundation Association’s Industry Leadership Council. Individuals selected for the council are considered thought leaders in the industry and understand the value of NSFA’s collective national efforts in raising the knowledge base, profile and impact of the education foundation industry. Pelphrey will be one of two representatives of Texas.

The purpose of the Industry Leadership Council is to gain the benefit of their voice in guiding the growth of the industry and better engage industry leaders as ambassadors on behalf of NSFA. Across the country, education foundations and their leaders are creating life-changing opportunities for their students. The council is a way to bring some of those strongest voices together and collectively raise the industry’s effectiveness and impact.

The mission of the Lewisville ISD Education Foundation is to provide financial support for innovative and interactive teacher grants and scholarships to assist graduating seniors.

Under Pelphrey’s leadership of nearly 15 years, LEF has grown at an exponential rate. In 2018, the foundation will award more than 300 scholarships totaling more than $200,000 to Lewisville ISD seniors. To start the 2017-18 school year, LEF supported the district’s teachers with more than 50 classroom grants totaling nearly $100,000.

Liberty Christian Seniors Ready to Play their Sport at the College Level

On National Signing Day, Liberty Christian School celebrated four seniors who will play the sport they love at universities across the nation: Sarah Albert, soccer, Oklahoma Christian University; Sadler Engel, football, Abilene Christian University; Savannah Holmes, soccer, Liberty University in Virginia; and Grant Sawyer, football, University of Tulsa.

At the signing ceremony on February 7, friends and families gathered to honor these seniors with balloons, cake and festivity. Coaches honored the signees and spoke to the audience about the leadership, dedication and Christlike character these seniors have displayed over the years on and off the field.

Sarah, whose older sisters have also played college soccer, is a captain for the Lady Warriors soccer team and was chosen as the 2016–17 defensive player of the year. She has played four years of varsity soccer, two years of varsity softball and two years of varsity cross-country. She serves as a mentor to middle school girls through the school’s Impact program. She has also participated in two Liberty mission trips, one to the Dominican Republic and the other to Thailand.

Sadler was a senior captain for the football team this year, and last year, he received the 2017 Comeback Player of the Year Award and the 2017 Warrior Perseverance Award. He has also been a member of the Key Club and Spanish Club, as well as an Impact leader. In every year of Upper School, he has traveled with Liberty on the spring break mission trip. He plans to pursue a pre-med degree and hopes to become an orthopedic surgeon.

Savannah has maintained a 4.0 GPA and volunteers with Special Olympics and other organizations. She also participated in Liberty’s mission trip to Jamaica in March. Her interests of study in college include international relations, foreign language, philosophy, apologetics, cellular biology and graphic design.

Grant, a captain of the football team, was awarded first team all-state, first team all-district, first team all-area and team MVP.

Two FMHS Athletes Qualify 
for Water Polo Olympic 
Development Team

Flower Mound High School Water Polo athletes Rylan Lantz and Max Wade have been selected to the USA Water Polo Olympic Development Team.

The Olympic Development Program (ODP) serves as a forum to identify and train athletes from all over the country to represent USA Water Polo through domestic and international competition. ODP involves 13 different geographic zones throughout the country, and the top 14 athletes chosen from each zone compete and learn at the ODP zone championship in February.

The high school water polo season began in February, and two athletes are competing for Flower Mound High School this year. Although water polo is not yet a UIL sport, it is expected to be ratified in the coming years. For the past three years, the Flower Mound teams have advanced to the Texas State Championship tournament with the boys winning second place in 2017 and third place in 2016 and 2015. The girls finished in ninth place in 2017 and fifth place in 2016.

Flower Mound High School also has several former athletes currently playing water polo in colleges around the country, all of whom participated in the ODP process. Head coach Troy Goddard is enthusiastic about the sport at Flower Mound High School and has seen the development of the sport in this area firsthand. He is passionate about seeking out new tournaments for the athletes to participate in around the country. Goddard is also actively building the program for younger athletes to get involved and learn the fundamentals to be competitive at the high school level.

Liberty Freshman Class 
Packs Thousands of Meals 
for Hungry Children

What began as a yearning in 2009 to fulfill Matthew 25:40 that says, “…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me,” grew into an organization that has provided more than 1.6 million meals to children in need.

Through a backpack program for kids and pregame meal project for athletes, Food for the Soul aims to feed hungry children in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Liberty Christian Bible teacher and coach Katie Gober learned of an opportunity to help this group, and, on February 2, she took more than 100 Liberty students—the entire freshman class—to help in any way they could.  

CBS covered Food for the Soul last March when the organization desperately needed warehouse space to continue. Now the group is looking again, needing another warehouse by May.

Gober met one of the members of Food for the Soul at a women’s conference last May. Several months later, she learned that several students at Liberty enjoyed volunteering at a nonprofit in the area but didn’t realize until later that it was the same place she had learned about at the women’s conference. It was then that she knew she had to take a group from Liberty to Food for the Soul.

Gober learned that Food for the Soul’s greatest need included feeding 166 students from an Arlington school who spent each weekend hungry. She reached out to the parents of her students, and they generously provided.

When students arrived at Food for the Soul in Flower Mound, they prepared and packed 50,000 meals and snacks, just in time for delivery.

Liberty Middle School Wrestling Continues Success from Last Year

Middle school wrestlers made Liberty Christian history last year when they won the school’s first middle school wrestling state championship.

Going into this year’s season, Coach Zak Bowles knew he had talent on the squad, but his state placers from last year—who were now competing in high school—were going to be hard to replace.

This year’s state match at Southlake Carroll saw current eighth-grade wrestlers take the lead for the younger boys just like last year. Wrestlers that placed were Cole Carter, first; Peyton Smith, second; Cameron Jeffers, fifth; and Jax Ernest, sixth. Seventh-grade student Gabe Moore was named a state champion. Mark Hayden, a top placer at every tournament this year, also contributed to the team’s success throughout the season.

Bowles said his team officially took second this year, defeating teams like Rockwell, Allen, Southlake, St. Mark’s and many others. Thirty teams competed at state, and officially, the Warriors lost the championship to St John’s from Houston by just eight points (183-191).

Sixth-graders Davis Swayden won state at the 80-pound class, and Brady Janusek took home second at the 98-pound class.

At state, nine Liberty wrestlers were state placers out of the 14 weight classes, a new team best.