School Matters

February 2023

Welcome to School Matters, your official source for news that matters most from the Lake Travis Independent School District Office of Communications, Media & Community Relations. Questions or concerns regarding any of the content in this publication should be addressed to
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Update on Elementary School #8

As you may already know, on Monday, February 13, 2023, the Lakeway City Council voted 7-0 to deny a development agreement for the construction of Elementary School #8 off Bee Creek Road. This development agreement had been discussed with city staff since June 2022 and at no time did they ever share this project would not be moving forward. The unexpected result of this vote means that, at this time, we will not be able to build Elementary School #8 at this location.

During our school board meeting on Wednesday, February 15, the board discussed the City’s denial and options to best accommodate our students and address overcrowding at our elementary campuses. As we discussed during our bond presentations in the fall, if we are unable to build elementary schools, we would have to rezone or add portable buildings to existing campuses. The rezoning process will include working with our demographer to help determine new school boundaries. If portables are needed, that is a much more extensive process which involves securing the buildings, obtaining permits, and establishing utilities. These processes will look at our areas of projected growth, the impact on our district and take effect this fall, August 2023.

The City’s decision was a complete surprise to us, and the denial is disappointing after months of discussions with them. It is not the direction we hoped and planned for our students and families, but is the unfortunate situation which has been placed upon us. We understand that you are anxious to know where your elementary student will attend school and have many questions. Our goal is for our families to know the campus their child(ren) will attend during the 2023-2024 school year by mid-May 2023. We will keep you updated throughout this process, and thank you for your patience as we work through this as quickly as possible.

No school Feb. 20 due to staff professional development

As a reminder, there will be no school on Monday, February 20 as teachers and staff will take part in their third consecutive day of professional development. Classes will resume Tuesday, February 21.

The Lake Travis ISD Department of Curriculum & Instruction hosted more than 1,000 members of the LT family February 16-17 at Lake Travis High School for the annual LT "Learning Together" Conference. The event began at the Lake Travis Performing Arts Center with keynote speaker Dr. Eric Twadell. Attendees then filled LTHS classrooms to participate in a multitude of interactive and informative sessions for teachers and support staff across the District.

The Administration would like to thank the District's C&I Department, instructional coaches, Food and Nutrition Services staff, Office of Corporate Relations, CraigOs Lakeway, It's All Good BBQ, and all conference sponsors.

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BCMS students earn prestigious thespian awards, advance to nationals

Nine students from the Advanced Production Class at Bee Cave Middle School earned Superior ratings–the highest rating possible–at the Texas Thespians' Regional Junior Festival held February 11 in Austin. As a result, the following students have automatically qualified to participate at national competition later this summer:

Group Acting

Superior IE - National Qualifying Performance

Charles Howard, Brandon Linscomb, and Lucas Wauson

Duet Acting

Superior IE - National Qualifying Performance

Ronin Kenworthy and Reagan Murray

Duet Acting

Superior IE - National Qualifying Performance

Arun Nalluri and Avery Poole

Duet Acting

Superior IE - National Qualifying Performance

Cooper Clawson and Hudson Wright

Texas Thespians, an affiliate of the Educational Theatre Association, is one of the largest chapters in the nation which promotes excellence in middle and high school theatre departments across the state.

"We recognize these students for their prestigious accomplishments," said Amy Jordan, Texas Thespians Executive Director and Chapter Director. "Awards of this nature do not come easily and reflect the efforts of the individual and their director. They have represented their theatre department, school and district with excellence."

Additionally, Bee Cave Middle School also competed against 14 other schools in a Tech Relay event during the Texas Thespians Junior Festival, earning 3rd place. This was the first time for BCMS to participate at the festival. Anna Barkin is the school's Theater Arts teacher.

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Board approves submission of waiver to TEA for missed school days due to ice storm

It was definitely (another) one for the record books. With area-wide ice accumulations throughout the Texas Hill Country and Greater Austin, Lake Travis schools were closed between January 31 and February 3 thanks to Winter Storm Mara. Aside from downed trees, limbs, and debris, overall damage to District facilities was minimal.

LTISD students have two bad weather days already built into the current instructional calendar. On February 15, the school board approved the application of a waiver to the Texas Education Agency to have all missed days due to the ice storm waived.

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Bee Cave, Lakeway to host 2023 Special Olympics Texas Winter Games

The Special Olympics Texas Winter Games are returning to Bee Cave and Lakeway February 17-19.

Specifically, the Lake Travis Special Olympics Delegation will compete in cycling on Saturday, February 18 at Bee Cave Middle School. Other events scheduled at BCMS include floorball, powerlifting, and FUNdamental Sports. Opening ceremonies and the Victory Dance will be held from 7:00-9:00 pm, Saturday, February 18 at Star Hill Ranch. The complete schedule of events and volunteer opportunities are available on the Special Olympics Texas website.

A press conference announcing the return of the Winter Games to Bee Cave and Lakeway was held December 13 at the Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Hotel. Pictured (left to right) are Glen Koen, City of Lakeway Chief of Police; Mark Calaway, also known as WWE wrestler "The Undertaker"; Matthew Wells, Texas Special Olympics athlete of the Hill Country Stars; and Michelle McCool.

Rescheduled: Special Services Transition Night 2023

"Transition Night 2023 - Moving Toward Independence" has been rescheduled to 5:30 pm, Tuesday, February 21 at Lake Travis High School.

Lake Travis ISD Special Services invites parents to an evening of informational sessions centered around helping children with disabilities move toward independence in life after high school.

Parents of students who receive services through Special Education and 504 are encouraged to attend. Participants will be able to choose from several sessions on topics including college planning, agency contacts, post-secondary support groups, job training, and more. Confirmed presenters include student support services from several universities across Texas, Project SEARCH, Goodwill Industries, Texas Workforce Commission's Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Bloom Consulting, Integral Care, and more.

Attendees are encouraged to RSVP to

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LTHS student-athletes sign letters of intent

On February 6, Lake Travis High School student-athletes signed letters of intent to play football at the collegiate level. The signing was rescheduled from National Signing Day February 1 due to inclement weather. View photos of the signings on the Lake Travis ISD's Facebook 2022-2023 Athletic Signings photo album.

Six LTHS students selected performed in All-State TMEA ensembles

The musical talents of six Lake Travis High School students have earned each of them a place on the 2023 All State Band, Choir, and Orchestra as determined by the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA).

According to TMEA, All State is the highest honor a Texas music student can receive. Approximately 1,830 students were selected through a process that began in the fall of 2022 with over 70,000 students from around the state vying for the honor to perform in one of 18 ensembles (band, orchestra and choir).

The following students from Lake Travis High School were selected as All-State musicians:

  • Luc Birla - band, junior
  • Jacob Fagan - band, junior
  • Autumn Forgey - choir, senior
  • Sam Orgeldinger - band, senior
  • Lucas Scott - orchestra, senior
  • Abigail Stivers - choir, senior

TMEA is an association of more than 13,000 school music educators dedicated to promoting excellence in music education. Each year, TMEA hosts its annual clinic and convention in San Antonio where music students and educators gather to learn, perform and network.

Richard Hicks, Ana Macias, and Adam Poynor direct the Lake Travis High School band, choir, and orchestra programs, respectively.

LTEF scholarship applications now open for LTHS seniors

Attention parents and guardians of Lake Travis High School seniors: The Lake Travis Education Foundation 2023 scholarship application process is now open. LTEF offers numerous scholarships to LTHS graduating seniors which are awarded each year to students who embody the exemplary culture of Lake Travis ISD.

Third episode of "Lake Travis ISD Matters" podcast focuses on mental health awareness

Lake Travis ISD has published the third episode of its podcast, Lake Travis ISD Matters. Listen to the full episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Player FM, and Stitcher.

In this episode, we discuss mental health awareness with guests Jennifer Lyon, LTISD Director of Health & Social Emotional Learning; Lacey Branker and Rachael Macomber, Licensed Clinical Social Workers at Lake Travis High School; and two students from the Breathe Initiative club at LTHS.

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Tickets for the Lake Travis Education Foundation “Havana Nights” 2023 Gala are on sale now. Individual and table ticket options are available.

The annual fundraiser will be held at 6:00 p.m., Saturday, April 15 at the Omni Barton Creek Resort.

Lake Travis DECA recognized for outstanding School-Based Enterprise

DECA Mart, the school-based enterprise at Lake Travis High School, was among 461 school-based enterprises achieving Gold certification for the 2022-2023 school year and will be recognized during DECA’s International Career Development Conference in Orlando, FL.

A school-based enterprise (SBE) is an entrepreneurial operation in a school setting that provides goods and services to meet the needs of the market. SBEs are managed and operated by students as hands-on learning laboratories that integrate National Curriculum Standards in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. DECA advisors have utilized this effective educational tool for over four decades to provide their students with realistic and practical learning experiences that reinforce classroom instruction, enhance 21st century skill development, and prepare students for college and careers.

The Lake Travis High DECA member who contributed to this certification was Nausheen Hossain with the assistance of their DECA chapter advisors, Tracey Griffith and Jill Oates. The SBE at Lake Travis High has been in operation for 15 years.

“DECA’s School-based Enterprise Certification Program is a rigorous process designed to help DECA members demonstrate their classroom learning in a practical, learning laboratory, and then translate that into meaningful outcomes,” said Christopher Young, CAE, Chief Program Officer at DECA Inc. “These DECA members are practicing important workplace readiness skills while preparing for college and careers.”

LT Fire Rescue performs "The Search for Baby Yoda" safety presentation

The Lake Travis Fire Rescue Safety Squad provided "out of this world" fire and life safety presentations to schools within Travis County Emergency Services District No. 6, including Lake Travis ISD. The presentation titled, "The Search for Baby Yoda" made a stop at Serene Hills Elementary School on January 30. The Safety Squad also performed its show at Lakeway, Lake Travis, Lake Pointe, and Bee Cave elementary schools earlier in the month.

Established in 2005, LTFR Safety Squad is the department’s public education program that promotes life and fire safety to elementary school-age children. Utilizing popular characters and pop culture references, this group of firefighters introduces and reiterates important safety lessons and concepts through annual theatrical performances at elementary schools in Travis County ESD No. 6. The Safety Squad enables members to interact with the community to enhance the relationship between the department and local children and their families. These interactions broaden the participating firefighters’ experience with their community and promote positive relationships with emergency personnel.

Lake Travis students earn prestigious gold keys in Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Ten Lake Travis students earned a Gold Key at the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards regional competition. As a result, these students have advanced to national competition:

  • Hailey Anson - LTHS, 12 grade
    Title: "Who Are You."
    Category: Drawing & Illustration
    Art teacher: Amber Forgey

  • Demetra Frantzen - LTHS, 11th grade
    Title: "Strings Attached"
    Category: Drawing & Illustration
    Art teacher: Bohye Na

  • Erin Jackson - LTHS, 12th grade
    Title: "Found Something Cool"
    Category: Printmaking
    Art teacher: Amber Forgey

  • Anvi Jana - LTHS, 10th grade
    Title: "Entangled"
    Category: Drawing & Illustration
    Art teacher: Bohye Na

  • Nicholas Miller - LTHS, 11th grade
    Title: "Ruby and Max"
    Category: Drawing & Illustration
    Art teacher: Caleigh Taylor

  • Katelyn Presley - LTHS, 11th grade
    Title: "One With The Fish"
    Category: Mixed Media
    Art teacher: Amber Forgey

  • Zoey Stein - LTHS, 12th grade
    Title: "Conceal"
    Category: Painting
    Art teacher: Bohye Na

  • Keaton White - LTHS, 10th grade
    Title: "Hidden In Plain Sight"
    Category: Drawing & Illustration
    Art teacher: Bohye Na

  • Carolyn Hall - BCMS, 7th grade
    Title: "Getting Put Together (Personal Growth)"
    Category: Drawing & Illustration
    Art teacher: Aaron Forgey

  • Devansi Vuta - BCMS, 8th grade
    Title: "Eyes On Me! Stress Induced"
    Category: Drawing & Illustration
    Art teacher: Aaron Forgey

An award ceremony and gallery show was held January 29 at the Scanlan Gallery at St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Austin. The event also commemorated Scholastic’s 100 years of empowering creative teens and celebrating youth voices.

All art and writing submissions are judged based on the program’s three criteria: originality, technical skill, and emergence of personal vision or voice. Student works are first adjudicated regionally through the more than 100 local Affiliates of the Alliance. Students receiving Gold Keys, Silver Keys, Honorable Mentions, or American Visions & Voices Nominations are celebrated within their communities through local exhibitions and ceremonies. Gold Key works are then judged nationally by an impressive panel of creative-industry experts to receive Gold, Silver, American Visions & Voices, Portfolio Silver with Distinction, or Portfolio Gold Medals. Results for national awards will be released on March 23.

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Lake Travis FFA makes impressive sale at Travis County Youth Show

The Lake Travis FFA Chapter had an estimated 20 members and four junior members who exhibited more than 75 projects at the 2023 Travis County Youth Show held January 12-15 at the Travis County Expo Center.

Projects ranged from livestock of all sizes to artwork, jewelry, photography, shop work, and foods. FFA Members competed for ribbons, rosettes, buckles, and money in the premium auction. Highlights of the show included an estimated half of the exhibitors “making sale” and bringing an estimated $45,000 for the students to be used for scholarship or to fund their project for next year.

Congratulations to Myron Smith (pictured left) for earning Grand Champion Meat Rabbits, Danny Crompton (pictured center) for winning Reserve Champion Meat Rabbits, and Maya DeLeon (pictured right) for garnering Reserve Breed Champion (Southdown lamb).

For a complete listing of all FFA members who participated in the Premium Auction, visit the Lake Travis High School website.

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Austin Symphony Orchestra, Lake Travis High School musicians to perform together for one night only

Members of the Austin Symphony Orchestra and students with Lake Travis High School will come together once again for the third annual “A Night with the Austin Symphony Orchestra.”

Maestro Peter Bay will conduct the performance with participation by Anna Macias, LTISD Orchestra Director and Richard Hicks, LTISD Band Director. The special concert, brought to you by the City of Lakeway Arts Committee, will take place at 7:00 pm, Saturday, April 1, 2023 at the Lake Travis Performing Arts Center. Visit for more information and details about the musical selections for the evening.

Tickets are available at the Lake Travis Performing Arts Center, or online at Ticket prices range from $15 to $50 each.

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Keeping Connected

Download the LTISD Keeping connected PDF to learn about the various ways to receive district and campus-level news, emergency notification, and other information.

Stay in the know on the go with our district mobile app for iOS and Android. Follow LTISD on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Learn about Peachjar, the innovative flyer management system that sends district- and school-approved digital flyers directly to parents via email.

Lake Travis Independent School District

The Lake Travis Independent School District is a 6A district located about 25 minutes west of Austin, Texas. Established in 1981, Lake Travis ISD is a fast growth district comprised of 11 campuses serving more than 11,300 students.