VHS swimmers place at state meet


The boys Vandegrift 200m freestyle relay team earned 2nd place at the state swim competition Feb. 17 – 18. Team members accept their medal on the stand: Kevin Hammer, Andrew Pickard, Daniel Sarman and John Winkler.

John Winkler earned 5th place in the 50m freestyle race at the state meet.

Boys 200m free
relay places 2nd

By LYNETTE HAALAND
Four Points News

The Vandegrift swim teams earned several top placements at the highly competitive University Interscholastic League Swimming & Diving State Meet on Feb. 17 -18 at the University of Texas Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.

“We had some awesome swims at state to finish out an amazing season,” said Genevieve Walsh, head VHS swimming coach.

These students qualified for and competed in finals (1st-8th place): John Winkler earned 5th place in the 50m freestyle; Kevin Hammer, Andrew Pickard, Daniel Sarman, Winkler earned 2nd place in the boys 200 freestyle relay; and Hammer, Simone Feroce, Sarman, Winkler earned 8th place in the boys 400 freestyle relay; and Julianna Birlin, Julia Roberto, Sydney Srncik and Jasmine Bui earned 8th place in the girls 200m freestyle relay.

Swimming in console finals (9th-16th place), Birlin earned 11th place in the 100m freestyle race. She posted a new school record in the 100m freestyle, finishing 52.07, Walsh said.

“It has been an exciting championship season competing in fast 6A district, region and state meets,” Walsh said. “The Vandegrift swimmers have shown that they are ready for this new level of competition and have really excelled this year.​”

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Ziaris live, work, volunteer in Four Points

Sean and Alison Ziari have three daughters: Audrey, a sophomore at Texas State University, Emma, a junior at Vandegrift High School, and Laila, a fourth grader at River Place Elementary.

Sean, a U.S. refugee, appreciates opportunities

By CASSIE MCKEE
Four Points News

About a decade ago, Sean and Alison Ziari chose to move their family to Four Points, a place they live, work and volunteer.

Sean, 50, was recently appointed as the new chairman of the board for the West Austin Chamber of Commerce. He is also the president of the board for the Leander ISD Educational Excellence Foundation.

Alison is a pediatrician with Austin Regional Clinic and serves as Chief of the Department of Pediatrics. She also serves on the Executive Board of the Texas Pediatric Society.

Sean says he is grateful for the opportunities he’s been given. At the age of 13, he came to the United States as a refugee from Iran. It was 1980 and his family was escaping religious persecution. They settled in Round Rock.

“I believe America is still one of the greatest countries in the world and a destination for people around the world who are looking to escape tyranny and persecution,” he said.

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New LTFR chipper helps reduce wildfire risk

The Lake Travis Fire and Rescue fuels reduction crew feeds brush into its new chipper, which keep areas safer from wildfire risks. It’s the only remote-controlled, self-propelled chipper in Texas.

By KIM ESTES
Four Points News

A state-of-art remote-controlled chipper cuts down on both brush and time for crews working to minimize natural wildfire fuel in local woodlands, said William Boettner, Lake Travis Fire and Rescue wildfire mitigation specialist.

The heavy equipment, which LTFR has had for nearly six months, is the only one of its kind in Texas.

“There’s one in Oklahoma and one here. It cost about $100,000,” Boettner said.

The expenditure may be balanced by at least a 50 percent increase in the fuels reduction crew productivity.

“A job that used to take us five days now takes two or three. We can finish much more rapidly, which means we can do more work and create more safe zones,” said Boettner.

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LISD State of the District

* Projected growth based on 2016 demographic report. Source: Leander ISD

Getting ready for enrollment,
Keeping academic scores high

By KIM ESTES
Four Points News

Superintendent Dan Troxell said Leander ISD needs 10 schools in 10 years to accommodate projected growth, which demographers say will include 12,000 more students by 2026.

Troxell was speaking to a crowd of 220 gathered on Friday at Hill Country Bible Church, Lakeline, for the annual LISD “State of the District” meeting sponsored by Leander ISD Educational Excellence Foundation.

In addition to discussing growth, Troxell gave a synopsis of the most recently available facts and figures on the district, including a breakdown of student population data, academic performance rates and the budget.
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