School Matters

March 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
Big picture

No school, offices closed March 13-17

All LTISD schools and buildings will be closed for Spring Break March 13-17. Classes resume Monday, March 20. Be sure to stay up to date with major districtwide events listed in our 2022-2023 Instructional Calendar.

Long Range Facilities Planning Committee to study potential November 2023 bond

The District will be reconvening its Long Range Facilities Planning Committee later this month to address Proposition C (athletic facilities and renovations) which did not pass. The committee will review items contained in the proposition and discuss next steps for a potential bond election in November 2023.

Before beginning this process, we want to hear from you. A community survey has been developed which will allow you to share your open and honest responses to a series of questions regarding our bond preparation and planning. Please note that individual responses cannot be linked to individual respondents.

Your feedback is important to us. The results of the survey will be used to guide our work as we continue to address our growth and facilities planning.

Big picture

Deadline approaching for LTEF scholarship applications

The deadline to apply for the Lake Travis Education Foundation 2023 scholarships is fast approaching. All uploaded items are also due by Sunday, March 19, 2023 no later than 12:00 MIDNIGHT. LTEF offers numerous scholarships to LTHS graduating seniors which are awarded each year to students who embody the exemplary culture of Lake Travis ISD.

Lake Travis ISD applied to receive Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The intent and purpose of the funding is to sustain the safe operation of schools and address student learning needs as a result of COVID-19.

As a part of ongoing ESSER provisions, the District is required to review and revise, as applicable, its plan approximately every six months—including receiving stakeholder input to assist us with prioritizing ESSER funding and developing our Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan.

In an effort to obtain parent and community feedback, we have developed a survey linked below. Please take a moment to share your input and opinions. Responses are due by Wednesday, April 5, 2023 and will be reviewed and taken into consideration as the District updates its plan. Your participation and feedback are valued and appreciated.

LTHS recognizes National Merit Scholarship Program Finalists

Lake Travis High School is pleased to announce that the following seniors have been recognized as Finalists by the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program:

  • Tyler Harrison – parents, Jeff and Faith Harrison
  • William Iannitelli – parents, Anthony Iannitelli and Denise Ray
  • Bogna Kaminska – parents, Piotr Kaminski and Beata Kaminska
  • Jackson Lieb – parents, Gordon and Jennifer Lieb
  • Elizabeth Sewell – parents, David and Rory Sewell
  • Meghana Singireddy – parents, Srinivasa and Sudha Singireddy
  • Siddharth Sreenivasan – parents, Santosh and Jyoti Sreenivasan
  • Andrew Yun – parents, Eunsang and Soeun Yun

These students entered the program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) as high school juniors in 2021. They were chosen from more than 1.6 million program entrants and represent less than one percent of each state’s high school seniors. According to the National Merit Scholarship Program, these students are the top scorers from each state and show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. In all, 64 seniors from the Lake Travis High School Class of 2023 are National Merit Scholarship Program Qualifying Students. National Merit Scholarship Program Finalist is the highest distinction a student can earn. Beginning in March and continuing through mid-June, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation will notify approximately 7,500 Finalists that they have been selected to receive one of three Merit Scholarship® awards: a National Merit® Scholarship, a Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship, or a College-sponsored Merit Scholarship.

Big picture

Interested in a corporate partnership with LTISD?

Contact our Development & Corporate Relations Department to learn how your organization can partner with Lake Travis ISD and support our schools while increasing exposure for your business.

LTHS students earns prestigious recognition from Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Lake Travis High School sophomore Aidan Schatte was recently named the 2023 Student Visionary of the Year for Austin, a program sponsored by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Aidan and his team, including co-leader Tanner Hadden (St. Michael's Catholic Academy) and members Michael Colligan (Lake Travis High School), Sophia Palmer (Lake Travis High School) and Jake Palmer, were were honored during a special celebration held February 25 at the JW Marriott Austin.

According to its website, Student Visionaries of the Year is a philanthropic leadership development program through which high school leaders embark on a journey of professional growth, fostering skills such as entrepreneurship, marketing, and project management all while working to raise as much as possible for LLS’s mission: to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's Disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

"Aidan was driven to participate because of our family's commitment to cancer-related causes, and especially because his cousin is a Leukemia survivor," said Aidan's mother Bridget Schatte.

The team raised over $75,000, and along with the title of Student Visionaries of the Year, was also recognized with an additional award for its commitment to the Patient Support and Education pillar of LLS’s mission. The titles "Student Visionaries of the Year" are awarded to teams who raise the most funds in their community during the 7-week competition.

"In their acceptance speech, Aidan and Tanner—both having been students of Stephanie Cardarella at Serene Hills Elementary, specifically thanked her," Mrs. Schatte added. "Aidan said, "'"I’d like to thank our amazing team members, our families, and Mrs. Cardarella for teaching us everything we know.'"

Big picture

LTMS 7th grade ELA social media essays on display at Bee Cave Library

Is social media mostly beneficial or mostly risky for teens?

This is the question presented to our Lake Travis Middle School seventh grade students as part of an English Language Arts lesson. Their assignment was to read articles and gather research in order to address the prompt. Students then wrote an argumentative essay, and the author’s purpose was to make a case for their position for younger students and parents. Their teachers, Meg Coe, Lindsy Trapani, and Monica Wommack, coordinated with the Bee Cave Public Library to provide an authentic audience and they graciously opened a space for the work.

The essays are currently on display at the Bee Cave Public Library through Spring Break.

Big picture

SHE student earns 1st place for poem in Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo contest

Congratulations to Mackenzie Wood, fourth grade student at Serene Hills Elementary School, for earning first place in the student poetry contest sponsored by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

If I had a pony, I would brush her curly mane

I would ride her day and night, and sometimes in the rain

She’d prance and gallop and trot with such grace

And I would just have to stroke her soft, perfect face

If I had a pony, she would have long, soft hair

To keep her warm and cozy in the cold, cold air

She’d have a beautiful white coat that had a little bit of gray

That sparkled like snow on a cold winter's day

Her mane and tail and furry hooves were a light colored peach

That almost looked like sand on a California beach

Her eyes shine like blue crystals and sparkle like glitter

And the first time I saw her, my heart began to twitter

LTHS swim student-athlete competes in state competition

Congratulations to Lake Travis High School student-athlete Macy Rausch for a great 500 meter freestyle swim at the UIL Swimming and Diving State Meet held February 17 at The University of Texas at Austin.
Big picture

LTHS wrestling student-athletes compete in state tournament

Courtesy of Lake Travis High School Wrestling:

The 2022-2023 season for the Lake Travis Men's Varsity Wrestling Team was one of the most successful seasons this team has had since the program was founded in 2013. The leadership and teamsmanship throughout the season created a strong bond between this group of wrestlers and coaches. Part of this success has been attributed to senior captain Luke Burgess and junior leaders Laird Borbón, Kaiden Antonacci and Jacob Henry. Throughout this season, wrestlers from this team broke school records for most single season wins, takedowns, match points, pins, nearfall, and District Champions. These records were broken by freshman Will Deutschlander, junior Kaiden Antonacci, senior Peyton Tamez and senior Luke Burgess.

The season ended with an overall team ranking of 12th in the UIL state competition. The LTHS wrestling team is lead by head coach Kevin Smith and assistant coaches Tanner Wells and Robert Rayos.

Big picture
Big picture

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.

BCMS Day of Service 2023 Special Report
Big picture

March 6-10, 2023 is National School Breakfast Week

With the theme "Get Your Day in Gear with a Healthy School Breakfast," Lake Travis ISD joins the Texas Department of Agriculture to celebrate March 6-10 as National School Breakfast Week.

Students were encouraged to "get their gears turning" by eating foods from all food groups including whole grains, milk, protein, fruits and vegetables! If one component (or gear) is missing - our bodies are not set up for success.

Our elementary school cafes were decorated with themed signage and received stickers. Lake Travis Elementary School received a special visit by Ms. Strawberry, too! Our middle schools and high school are celebrating National School Breakfast Week by hanging posters in the cafeterias encouraging students to "Get Your Day in Gear With a Protein-Rich Breakfast."

District celebrates March 6-10, 2023 as Educational Diagnosticians’ Week

Lake Travis ISD proudly joins the Texas Educational Diagnosticians Association to celebrate March 6-10, 2023 as "Educational Diagnosticians’ Week."

Educational diagnosticians are certified professionals who help identify many types of learning disorders and help provide students with a high-quality education. Educational Diagnosticians’ Week is a time set aside to honor diagnosticians who consistently demonstrate professionalism, competence, and excellence in order to provide individuals with disabilities quality educational services.

The following educational diagnosticians serve students across LTISD:

  • Casey Brown, Lake Travis High School
  • Jeff Dietzel, Lake Travis High School
  • Lisa Ducote, Rough Hollow Elementary School
  • Leena Gulati, Serene Hills Elementary School
  • Stacey Hall, Bee Cave Elementary School
  • Stacey Oncale, Lake Travis High School
  • Lari Rogge, West Cypress Hills Elementary School
  • Thelene Scarborough, Lakeway Elementary School
  • Jennifer Scoggins, Hudson Bend Middle School
  • Randi Sherrer, Lake Travis Elementary School
  • Ruben Soria, Bee Cave Middle School

Please join us in recognizing the contributions of these amazing members of the LTISD family.

District recognizes March 5-11, 2023 as National School Social Work Week

With the theme “We Rise,” Lake Travis ISD proudly joins the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA) to celebrate March 5-11, 2023 as "National School Social Work Week."

Together with SSWAA, we believe that school social workers rise up—supporting their students, families, and school communities. School social workers rise to share hope. They rise to listen and understand. They rise to challenge inequities. They rise to support all students.

Furthermore, school social workers are critical members of the education team, playing a central role in creating a positive environment in our schools. These professionals are especially skilled in identifying and providing services to students who face serious challenges to school success including poverty, disability, discrimination, abuse, addiction, bullying, loss of a loved one, and other barriers to learning.

The following school social workers serve students across LTISD:

  • Tracy Barney - Bee Cave Elementary School, Lake Pointe Elementary School, Bee Cave Middle School
  • Lacey Branker - Lake Travis High School
  • Rachael Macomber - Lake Travis High School
  • Daniela McFarland - Lakeway Elementary School, Lake Travis Elementary School, Serene Hills Elementary School, Hudson Bend Middle School
  • Colette Schwene - Rough Hollow Elementary School, West Cypress Hills Elementary School, Lake Travis Middle School

Please join us in recognizing the contributions of these special members of the LTISD family!

KXAN Meteorologist visits Lake Pointe Elementary School, features school on broadcast

KXAN News Meteorologist Kristen Currie made a special visit to Lake Pointe Elementary Friday, March 3 to teach our kindergartners about the weather. The Eagles were also featured on the KXAN news broadcast at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, March 6.
Lake Pointe Elementary KXAN Shout Out

LT cycling team spin into top place finishes at Texas Special Olympics Winter Games

The Lake Travis ISD Special Olympics Cycling team braved the near-freezing the morning of February 18 to participate in the 2023 State Winter Games at Bee Cave Middle School. The temperature may have been cold, but the team was on fire. Results are as follows:

Gavin Ahiers (LWE)
500M Time Trial - 1st Place
1K Time Trial - 1st Place

Madison "Gracie" Crook (LTMS)
500M Time Trial - 1st Place

Reno Dees (18+)
1K Time Trial - 2nd Place
5K Time Trial - 2nd Place

Sheriden Gorden (LTHS)
1K Time Trial - 1st Place
5K Time Trial - 1st Place

Jon "Jack" Halford (LTHS)
1K Time Trial - 3rd Place
5K Time Trial - 3rd Place

Travis Hodde (18+)
1K Time Trial - 1st Place
5K Time Trial - 1st Place

Valentina Johnson (LTHS)
500M Time Trial - 2nd Place
1K Time Trial - 3rd Place

Reagan Lowman (LTHS)
1K Time Trial - 1st Place
5K Time Trial - 2nd Place

Luke Mueller (LTHS)
1K Time Trial - 2nd Place
5K Time Trial - 1st Place

Torrence Spence (18+)
500M Time Trial - 1st Place
1K Time Trial - 2nd Place

William Sumrall (LPE)
1K Time Trial - 3rd Place
5K Time Trial - 2nd Place

Jason Walden (LTHS)
500M Time Trial - 1st Place
1K Time Trial - 2nd Place

Emilio Yazdani (18+)
1K Time Trial - 1st Place
5K Time Trial - 3rd Place

Additionally, the team's new trailer—purchased with donations following last year's theft, debuted at competition as well. Later that evening, the athletes joined other delegations for dinner at Star Hill Ranch followed by Opening Ceremonies and the traditional Victory Dance. Athlete Reno Dees participated in the final leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run alongside Lakeway Police Chief Glen Koen and lit the Special Olympics caldron together.

Dr. Laura Abbott serves as the Director of Special Services at Lake Travis ISD; Marisa Sodders serves as Lake Travis Head of Delegation; and Frank Assorgi serves as Lake Travis Special Olympics Cycling Coach.

Approximately 100 guests attend annual Transition Night

On Tuesday, February 21 the LTISD Special Services department presented Transition Night 2023. The event was rescheduled due to the ice storms in early February. Transition Night is an opportunity for families of students with disabilities to learn more about the transition to adulthood process and connect with resources.

At this year's LTISD Special Services Transition Night, 26 organizations shared information through presentations and informational tables including five LTISD groups. Approximately 100 guests attended Transition Night representing 45 families. Guests had an opportunity to attend 23 different presentations ranging from financial and legal planning, post-secondary education options, supports for families, and more. Additionally, guests were able to visit informational tables to learn more about the organizations and resources available to them which support the transition planning process.

Information on Transition Planning, including upcoming events, can be found on the LTISD Special Services Website.

The event was organized by Erika Musick Griffin, LTISD Special Services Transition Specialist, with help from the LTISD Special Services and campus staff. The Cottage Café, operated by LTISD 18+ students, staff and led by Loren Smith, prepared and served a delicious meal to the presenters and volunteers. Many thanks to all of the volunteers who helped make this event successful. Planning will begin soon for next year's Transition Night, which will take place in the Fall 2023. Information on Transition Planning, including upcoming events, can be found on the LTISD Special Services Website.
Big picture

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.

Big picture

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.