Jacqui Nickell
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Erin Entrada Kelly’s 2018 Newberry Medal winner Hello, Universe tells the story from the prospective of four middle school students as one of them becomes trapped in a well. These four unique teenagers are not friends, that is, until a prank turns disastrous. The epic quest begins and friendships blossom. The story ends with a cliffhanger, allowing readers to decide what happens next.
Mrs. Murgen’s 6th grade class read the story last fall. After they finished the story, she tasked her students with writing one final chapter. This open-ended assignment could be completed as a 300 word minimum written chapter, a video, or even as a piece of art.
Shelby Shook wrote an original piece that ended up being over 1800 words. Dalia Ranen wrote over 1200 words, updating all the characters as they got older. Rygel Farr wrote an especially sweet story. Adrian Chytil creatively composed one of the strangest nightmares ever. Alexa Biedler beautifully painted the three main characters while Connor Byrd and Sawyer Scarborough completed original drawings. Gracie Rabon and Hayden Walker made animations.
Mrs. Murgen enjoyed the next chapters from her students so much, that she decided she would contact Erin Entrada Kelly and share the amazing work. Within a week, the author had responded and was thrilled by the work of the Lakehill students. The creativity and passion within young minds is inspiring Erin Entrada Kelly to this day.
Jacqui Nickell
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The Lakehill Warrior football team completed an undefeated season by defeating Allen Academy 42-34 in the TAPPS Six-Man Division II State Championship game Friday afternoon at Midway ISD Panther Stadium in Hewitt, Texas.

The Warriors jumped out to a strong start with senior runningback Ryan Henry scoring the first touchdown of the game. After a couple receiving touchdowns between senior quarterback Nathan Lewis and junior receiver Mitchell Crow, the Warriors were up 20-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Rams of Allen Academy fought back in the second quarter but the Warriors managed to hang on to a 26-21 lead going into halftime.

The Rams took the lead in the second half 34-26, but the Warriors were not backing down. With two more rushing touchdowns from Henry and one receiving touchdown from Lewis to senior Matthew McCall, the Warrior defense was ready take the field to hold the lead in the fourth quarter. With a minute left in regulation, the Warrior defense stopped the Rams for a turnover on downs to seal the victory.

“We were here last year and I knew these resilient kids would show up ready to play today,” said Head Coach Jairus Mitchell. “We as a community have been through so much this school year and I am so proud of these kids for capitalizing on this big moment.” 

Lakehill has six seniors this season; Ryan Henry, Nathan Lewis, Matthew McCall, William Leake, Tristan Leach, and Keegan Clendenin. “These seniors have played a huge role in this football program over the last few years,” said Athletic Director Bob Yttrehdahl. “The bond these guys share with all of their teammates is special. This season was not guaranteed and we did not know what each week would bring. We are grateful for the opportunity to get to play and ending the season this way is a feeling I can’t describe for these kids and this community.”

Lakehill finishes the season 7-0 and recorded the first TAPPS Six-Man Football State Championship in the history of Lakehill Preparatory School.


Lakehill is located in the heart of the Lakewood neighborhood in East Dallas. The six-acre Main Campus houses classrooms students in Kindergarten through Grade 12, as well as a gymnasium, a cafeteria, two libraries, numerous science and computer labs, and the Charles J. Wyly, Jr. Auditorium.

Jacqui Nickell
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The Lakehill Varsity Football team made school history in 2019 finishing as the TAPPS Six-Man Division I State Runner-Up. With a successful 2020 season and 74-28 State Semi-Final victory over Coram Deo on December 11, the Warriors are returning to the State Championship game and are one win away from a TAPPS Six-Man Division II State Title. 

The Lakehill Warriors will take on the Rams of Allen Academy on December 18, at 2:00 p.m. at Midway ISD’s Panther Stadium in Hewitt, Texas. 

Lakehill defeated Rockwall Heritage on November 19, in the first round of the State Playoffs. The dominating 53-8 victory was the start of a special evening. The senior cheerleaders and football players were honored for their dedication to the Warrior athletic programs.

The Warriors followed by claiming the Area Championship with a 67-22 victory over Amarillo San Jacinto on November 28. Next up was the quarterfinal round against a tough Waco Live Oak on Friday, December 4. The hard fought 60-44 victory was led by Junior Mitchell Crow. Crow had the game deciding strip and recovery late in the fourth quarter to seal the win and advance the Warriors.

The stage was set for Friday, December 11 vs Plano Coram Deo for the State Semi-Final matchup. Led by seniors Ryan Henry, Nathan Lewis, Matthew McCall, William Leake, Tristan Leach, and Keegan Clendenin, the Warrior offense came out strong scoring on the first play of the game. The 74-28 win secured the spot in the State Championship game this Friday.

“The boys have been working hard and overcoming so many challenges all year,” said Head Coach Jairus Mitchell. “We’ve been here before and understand the importance of this moment and finishing strong.” The Warriors take the field for the final time in 2020 on Friday, December 18 at 2:00 pm vs the Rams of Allen Academy.

Jacqui Nickell
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The National Center for Women and Information Technology(NCWIT) is an organization for women in technology and every year they hold an award contest called Aspirations. The purpose is to inspire women to pursue careers in technology fields, increase the visibility of women in technology, and create networking opportunities for those women.
Lakehill senior Sarah Smith has applied the last three years receiving an Honorable Mention Award for the Dallas/Fort Worth Affiliate each year. In order to receive the award, she submitted an essay about her current involvement with computing and her future goals in the field.
Sarah wrote about the plethora of Computer Science courses she has taken here at Lakehill, including a self-study course in Artificial Intelligence. She also wrote about her leadership on the Lakehill Bionicles Robotics team. In addition, she laid out her future goals of double majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics. She also hopes to go on and specialize in artificial intelligence technologies. Sarah is drawn to the freedom and independence of a Computer Science career. She hopes that with the ability to work on a computer from anywhere she can be free to travel the world or even work from her own small farm.
Jacqui Nickell
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Board of Directors Chair Colleen McCall announced on December 7, 2020 the appointment of Art Hall as Lakehill Preparatory School’s 6th Head of School. Mr. Hall’s tenure will begin on July 1, 2021, the 50th year of the School. He will succeed current Head of School Roger Perry, who has served in that capacity for 38 years.

“After an extensive nationwide search process and multi-day interviews on campus with faculty, students, parents, alumni, administrators and the Directors, the Search Committee presented Art Hall as its nominee to serve as the next Head of School for Lakehill,” said Colleen McCall, Lakehill Board of Directors Chair. “The Board of Directors unanimously accepted the Committee's recommendation, recognizing that Art brings an enthusiasm for education, a love of community, a passion for progress and a respect for tradition that makes him uniquely suited to lead our school into its next 50 years.  Art's impressive resume, his personal warmth and approachability, his commitment to inclusiveness and his vision for identifying Lakehill's historic strengths and utilizing those to find promising opportunities for growth make him an ideal choice to follow Roger Perry in shepherding our community in the coming years."

A dedicated leader and educator with experience at four excellent independent schools, Mr. Art Hall has had a broad and meaningful engagement in independent school life. He brings a deep understanding of the local culture, having spent 15 years in Dallas during his distinguished career. He will join Lakehill from his role as Assistant Head of School and Head of Middle School at Tower Hill, a PreK-12 college prep school located in Wilmington, Delaware since 2017. His professional journey began as a computer specialist at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, California. He moved to Dallas in 1999 and served in various roles of increased responsibility at Greenhill School, including teaching computer science and history classes, coaching girls’ varsity basketball, as Upper School Dean and Director of Student Activities, and concluding with his role as Director of Equity and Inclusion and Global Programs. In 2014, Art departed Greenhill for Friends’ Central School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he served as Upper School Principal.

“The role of the Search Committee was to recommend a Head of School who could lead Lakehill with a vision for the future while maintaining a firm grasp on our history, traditions, and culture,” said Search Committee Chair James Perry. "After meeting with a diverse group of highly qualified candidates, we are enthusiastic about Art’s ability to lead Lakehill in today’s dynamic educational environment and to prepare our students for the collegiate and career opportunities of tomorrow. We are excited that Art and his family will be joining us.”

Mr. Hall holds two B.A. degrees in political science and history from UCLA and earned a Master’s in Education from Southern Methodist University. He has a passion for working with students and has a strong history of enhancing the educational and life experience of students of color. Mr. Hall has strong communication and collaboration skills. He is a founding member of the Straight A’s Podcast, which examines independent school life from the lens of prospective families, students, and teachers.

“I am excited and so grateful to be returning to Dallas to lead and collaborate with the esteemed faculty, leadership team, and Board of Directors of Lakehill. Additionally, I am honored to lead the Lakehill family into the next 50 years of outstanding educational excellence and to build upon the timeless and enduring values that define the School. I am energized to further Lakehill's profile as a premier independent school for the city of Dallas.”


“During our interview time, Paula and I were so impressed with each group we spent time meeting. The students, faculty, staff, and parents all greeted us with the Dallas warmth we remember so fondly. As our time on campus went by, we were more and more convinced that the Lakehill family and culture proved to be an exceptional match for Paula, Kennedy, Mara, and me.”

Mr. Hall was raised in Riverside, California, just outside of Los Angeles. His wife, Paula, a native of Pittsburgh, attended Clarion University in Pennsylvania where she earned a B.A. in early childhood/elementary education. She has taught lower school, coached, and led volunteer efforts at various schools throughout their family’s journey. They have three children, an adult son who teaches school in Garland, TX, and two daughters who will enter Lakehill as 8th and 7th graders in the upcoming school year. The Halls look forward to their return to Dallas where they will enthusiastically join the Lakehill community.

Jacqui Nickell
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Four Lakehill singers participated in and recorded auditions for the Texas Private School Music Educators Association (TPSMEA) All-State Choir. They are Sarah Ganson, Sophia Ganson, Keegan Clendenin, and Asher Chamoy. Over 800 students from more than 90 of the top private schools throughout the state of Texas entered the competition by submitting a recording.
Being selected for the TPSMEA All-State Choir is the highest honor a Texas private school vocal music student can receive. There are two rounds of judging, first of which is the All-Region choir.
Sarah, Sophia, Asher, and Keegan were selected to the All-Region Choir. Sophia, Asher, and Keegan advanced to the state judging. From there, Asher and Keegan were selected to the All-State Choir.
There will be no All-State Choir in 2021 due to COVID-19, but the local region is moving forward with plans to host a Region 1 Choir in which all four Lakehill students will participate.
Jacqui Nickell
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3A Boys Champion Cullen McCaleb Lakehill Prep Scho
Cullen McCaleb is the TAPPS AAA State Cross Country Champion. With high hopes coming into the 2020 season, Cullen expressed his passion, grit, and determination to finish in the top five earlier this year. Last season, Cullen finished 7th. At Monday's State Championship meet, he finished 1st out of the 99 runners. He ran a 16:34 and set a personal record at each race this season.
Avery Owen is your TAPPS AAA State Cross Country Runner-Up. Last season, Avery finished in the top 20 and set her goal to finish in the top 3 at the State Meet in the 2020 season. She ran a 12:40 on Monday and finished 2nd place with 66 runners in her division. Avery is a dual-sport athlete this fall. After competing at the State Cross Country meet Monday morning, she made it back to Lakehill's campus in time for volleyball practice that evening. She is competing tonight in the bi-district volleyball playoff game.
Congratulations to Cullen and Avery!
Jacqui Nickell
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Written by:
Sarah Smith, Class of 2021,
Anna Knickell, Class of 2023,
and Millie Castoldi, Class of 2023.
This month, Lakehill senior Sarah Smith was recognized as the robotics STEM hero. What is a STEM hero? The Robotics team creates projects, activities, and educational material to get Lower School students excited about STEM. This past summer, the Lakehill Bionicles robotics team began spotlighting various figures in STEM each week. These influential figures would include doctors, mathematicians, and inventors. Each hero highlighted a different field of work while also showcasing how diverse the people in the STEM world are. 
The idea for STEM heroes originally came from Project Worldwide, an international coalition of over one hundred fifty first robotics teams. Each month, they release a theme to design an outreach project. The theme of September and October was sustainability. While the pieces of the robot often get reused and recycled each year, the materials for the field typically are placed in a storage closet. With sustainability in mind, the robotics team tried figuring out how to dispose of previous years robotics materials. That’s when Sarah went into action! She began turning the Mars Lander from the 2018-2019 Rover Ruckus season into a compost bin. She moved the field piece to her backyard where she disassembled it. Only an hour later, the field piece had been rebuilt into a functional compost bin. It even has handmade air holes. Sarah reaped the benefits of the compost bin almost immediately. Food and paper waste could be tossed into the compost bin instead of the trash. Not only was the robotics team able to recycle the field piece, but it was also remodeled into an environmentally helpful compost bin where it will be enjoyed for years to come.
Congratulations to Lakehill senior Sarah Smith, this week's STEM hero.
Jacqui Nickell
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Normally at this time of year, Lakehill’s halls are bustling with our 150+ university visitors who come from coast to coast and from overseas. This year, due to travel restrictions, universities are not sending their representatives on the road this fall.
So how are universities connecting with students? A bright side to the pandemic is that university admission offices quickly pivoted to an online format. They are offering synchronous and asynchronous tours, information sessions, open houses, class visits, student panels, and workshops on special topics relating to the admissions process such as essay-writing and financial aid. This has opened up a wealth of information to families who otherwise couldn’t take time from school or their jobs to visit every school and it makes seeing each college much more affordable.
Universities are also offering events such as college fairs and information sessions for students around the world and for students specifically in Texas. Often groups of colleges with similar characteristics will present together, providing a wealth of information to students and families.
In addition to promoting these events and presentations, Lakehill is also fortunate to be able to host individual college information sessions for its students. Colleges such as Rice, Vanderbilt, University of California at Davis, Savannah College of Art and Design, Trinity University, Pitzer College, and many more have visited with our students via Zoom during the Upper School open periods and lunches. We have also provided an opportunity for our students to explore different types of universities by hosting college panels for each grade level. Our juniors learned about small, medium, and large universities by visiting with Lynn University in Florida, Bradley University in Illinois, and the University of Connecticut. Our sophomores learned about the benefits of liberal arts colleges by visiting with Grinnell College in Iowa, Kenyon College in Ohio, and Rollins College in Florida. Our freshmen also learned about colleges of varying sizes from coast to coast by visiting with Temple University in Pennsylvania, St. Edward’s University in Texas, and Willamette University in Oregon.
Universities, high schools, and professional organizations have been working to give the students the opportunity to learn as much as they can online, so that when it comes time to apply, students will have the information they need to make well-informed decisions.
Jacqui Nickell
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The Texas Private School Music Educators Association (TPSMEA) All-State Choir convened in Richardson on January 23-25.

Lakehill juniors Asher Chamoy and Sophia Ganson, were selected from over 700 Texas students to participate in the All-State Choir. Being selected for the All-State Choir is the highest honor bestowed upon a high school choir student.

Every November, 200 private high school students - fifty basses, fifty tenors, fifty altos, and fifty sopranos - are selected from across Texas to perform in the TPSMEA All-State Choir. The students learn eight challenging pieces on their own, then convene in Richardson to rehearse with a eminent clinician and prepare for the All-State concert, along with the All-State Orchestra, All-State Band, and All-State Jazz Band.

During the weekend, choir members attended a variety of clinics and rehearsals. After a collective seventeen and a half hours of rehearsal, students performed in a public concert on Saturday, January 25, at the Eisemann Center in Richardson.


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