By SARAH DOOLITTLE
Four Points News
Vandegrift High School is increasing efforts to address the emotional needs of students in the wake of five Leander ISD student suicides since the beginning of the current school year.
LISD Superintendent Dan Troxell emailed families on March 31 in response to student suicides. His message to parents: no one can do it alone. “We know that early identification and intervention of mental health concerns cannot be achieved without support and engagement from the community,” wrote Troxell. “We can help our students by working collaboratively to address mental health concerns, as we know these issues extend beyond the boundaries of our schools and affect those we care about so deeply.”
At Vandegrift, changes are taking place to help address these concerns.
In addition to existing counseling services and staff, two additional counselors will be hired for the next school year, “which will allow us to expand our support and outreach,” said current VHS counselor Amy Rodriguez.
The school also administered the Stanford Survey for Adolescent School Experiences last week May 16-19, thanks to funding from the VHS Parent Teacher Student Association. The survey is part of a nationally-recognized program, created at Stanford University, that allows schools to get a fuller picture of their students’ lives.
“Keep Smiling” David
By LYNETTE HAALAND
Four Points News
David Griggs III has been working at the University of Texas Golf Club gatehouse for more than a year and he has made a huge difference to many with his smile, his encouraging words “keep smiling” and his poster that also says “Keep Smiling”. He was off duty for approximately a week.
“As many of you know, David, our beloved guard at the UT Golf Club was let go last Friday (May 5),” according to the GoFundMe page creator Allison Hawkins.
Fans of Griggs created a GoFundMe page and made several posts and updates on the Steiner Ranch Moms & Tots group page.
River Place Dads in the Hood was enjoyed by many this year on April 29 – 30.
“It is a unique opportunity to gather with neighborhood friends and family because it is an overnight campout in addition to a daytime event,” said Paula Callas, who co-organized Dads in the Hood with Cathy Conway.
“We had over 450 people, around 150 families attend,” Callas said.
There were many activities at Sun Tree Park including a big baller wipeout course, meltdown X obstacle course, bungee trampoline, rock climbing wall, bounce houses and a petting zoo.
By ZACH SMITH
Four Points News
Vandegrift’s Kyla Peeples used her experience from competing in the UIL State Track & Field meet last year to leap onto the medal stand this season.
The sophomore finished with a silver medal in the girls’ Class 6A high jump Friday afternoon, clearing a height of 5 feet, 6 inches. Northwest Nelson’s Sanaa Barnes finished at the same height but won the gold based on fewer misses.
“I’m so excited, I have no words,” Peeples said. “I didn’t know what to expect coming out here. My goal was to jump 5 feet, 8 inches and anything more would be great.”
She matched her winning height from both the area and regional meets, which is also her personal record.
“Both her event coach, Brady Ruiz, and I are very happy with the result and her season as a whole,” Vandegrift head coach Colin Sully said. “After winning the area and region competitions, Kyla came into the state meet with confidence and jumped like a seasoned veteran.”