School Matters

May 2020

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

LTHS goes virtual for Class of 2020 graduation ceremony

The virtual graduation ceremony for the Lake Travis High School Class of 2020 is now available for viewing. The event requires no special software or password.

On behalf of the Lake Travis ISD school board, Superintendent Dr. Brad Lancaster, and Lake Travis High School principal Gordon Butler, congratulations to the Class of 2020... and let the watch parties begin!

Lake Travis High School Class of 2020 Virtual Graduation

Students, staff bid farewell to school year

While it was not the typical manner for students and staff to say their goodbyes before heading into summer, the response to our campus end-of-year activities was incredible, not to mention emotional.

Our secondary campuses hosted drive-thru sendoffs for families between May 21-22, and at our elementary schools, teachers hosted online award ceremonies and slideshows to commemorate and celebrate a challenging but successful school year.

On behalf of our school board and Superintendent Dr. Brad Lancaster, we wish our teachers, students and families a safe and relaxing summer!

LTISD Campus End of Year Activities 2019 2020

District to offer summer school online for eligible students, suspend summer child care and recreational programs

Due to the continued uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, we will offer our academic summer school programs for eligible students online beginning Monday, June 1. Additionally, with the health and wellness of staff and students as our guiding principle, we are suspending our 2020 Summer Camps and Summer Squires programs through June 30. In the meantime, we will assess whether or not our district can safely and feasibly offer some level of recreational programming in July. Read more

Families may retain District-issued Chromebooks, hotspots for summer learning

Parents and guardians who checked out a District-owned Chromebook and/or mobile WiFi hotspot to support online learning during the closure will not be required to return those devices until the start of school in August.

"We want our families to be able to maintain access to online learning and instructional materials throughout the summer," said Chris Woehl, the District's Executive Director for Technology and Information Systems Services. "We will reach out to parents in August with instructions on how to return those devices.

However, Lake Travis High School seniors and other students who will not be returning to LTISD schools in the fall must return devices between June 1-4 to the Lake Travis ISD Technology/Distribution Center located at 16101 W. SH 71, Building B.

Questions or concerns should be addressed via email to the LTISD HelpDesk.

Superintendent provides district update, Q&A in response to school closure as of May 21, 2020

District Update and Q&A - May 21, 2020

District Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year announced

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The LTISD school board and Superintendent Dr. Brad Lancaster recently announced the selection of our District Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year: Idalia Gannon, Lake Travis Elementary School (5th Grade Dual Language) and Shannon Aguirre, Lake Travis High School (Latin). Mrs. Gannon and Mrs. Aguirre were selected from the Campus Teachers of the Year announced last month, and both will now be considered for the 2021 regional/state Texas Teacher of the Year program. Congratulations to these outstanding educators!
Thank you to Texas Regional Bank for sponsoring the flowers for our Teachers of the Year. The example below is proudly provided by West Cypress Hills Elementary School Teacher of the Year Bianca Brymer. Similar orchids were delivered to the homes of our 10 campus teachers of the year.
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Celebrating our 2019-2020 Retirees

Lake Travis ISD proudly honors 12 dedicated professionals who have elected to retire from the school district this year. With over 120 years of combined service, our retirees include Barbara Crawford - Lakeway Elementary School; Nancy Kogler - West Cypress Hills Elementary School; Dr. Brad Lancaster - Superintendent of Schools; Joyce Loyd - Lake Travis Middle School; Colleen Moore - Lake Travis High School; RG Murrow - Transportation; Emily Nading - Lakeway Elementary School; Janet Pyne - Lake Travis Middle School; Marla Retano - Lake Travis Middle School; Lisa Vaughn - Lake Travis High School; Kim Wood - Lake Travis Elementary School; and Beth Young - Lake Travis Middle School.

Read more about each retiree's plans.

School board members in Place 6, 7 take Oath of Office

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During the may 20 regular school board meeting, trustees William Beard (Place 6) and Bob Dorsett, Jr. (Place 7) were administered the Oath of Office for another 3-year term each. Both drew no opposition this spring. We are grateful for their service, especially during these unprecedented times.

Visit our website to learn more about our school board.

Picturing the Lake Travis High School Class of 2020

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*Image courtesy Shannon Aguirre, LTHS

Class of 2020 top scholars, distinguished educators recognized "under the stars"

"A Night Under the Stars 2020," Recognizing Our Top 10 Scholars and Distinguished Educators
Despite event cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the District's inaugural "A Night Under the Stars" dinner recognizing the Class of 2020 top ten scholars and their distinguished educators was successfully redesigned, thanks in large part to our partner Texas Regional Bank.

Accolades, scholarships highlighted during annual LTHS Senior Awards

On behalf of principal Gordon Butler, we congratulate to the Lake Travis High School Class of 2020 and the many seniors who received scholarships and other academic awards recognizing their hard work and achievements during the 2019-2020 school year. We are grateful to numerous groups and community organizations for their generous support of our students.

Awards, honors and scholarships are highlighted in the presentations linked below:

Lake Travis Education Foundation presents 2019-2020 scholarships

The Lake Travis Education Foundation and its board of directors award named scholarships each spring. This year, LTEF presented 19 scholarships to deserving students in this virtual presentation.
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LTISD celebrates Project SEARCH Class of 2020

Each year, Lake Travis ISD partners with Baylor Scott and White Medical Center - Lakeway and Project SEARCH to provide life skills students at Lake Travis High School with competitive integrated employment. Six students interned at the hospital, rotating positions throughout the 2019-2020 school year.

We are pleased to highlight our LTHS Class of 2020 Project SEARCH graduates.

Project Search Graduation

Get Connected

Grab 'n Go meals program comes to close

With the close of the 2019-2020 school year, our Food and Nutrition Services Department has concluded its grab 'n go curbside meals program at our middle schools. However, there are a number of sites in our area serving meals throughout the summer. Visit the Texas Department of Agriculture website to find summer meal distribution locations.
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Our Lake Travis ISD student-athletes and coaches celebrated another great year in Special Olympics. The athletes participated in basketball, cycling, track and field, and bowling throughout the school year. A virtual celebration was held May 19 recognizing the hard work and dedication of these special athletes and volunteers.

Rough Hollow Elementary School construction update

Below are updated construction photos of Rough Hollow Elementary School (RHE) as of May 13. RHE, the district's seventh elementary school, will open in August 2020. For more information on Rough Hollow Elementary, visit

Lake Travis Education Foundations announces big total for upcoming Big Check Day

The Lake Travis Education Foundation recently announced $240,000 for Innovative Educator Grants for the 2020-2021 school year will be presented to Lake Travis ISD district and school officials this fall as part of the foundation's annual Big Check Day.

"The generosity of our Lake Travis ISD staff, Lake Travis community members, and corporate sponsors has been incredible, even in the midst of this global pandemic," said Katie Kauffman, Executive Director of the Lake Travis Education Foundation. "The support of our mission to 'provide financial resources to improve and support an exemplary education for all students of Lake Travis ISD' is especially crucial in times like these."

LTISD hosts Fine Arts Signing Day 2020

Our the 3rd Annual Lake Travis ISD Fine Arts Signing Day was a bit different from what we have done in the past. Regardless, we are so proud of our students and their families. Best of luck at the next level.
Fine Arts Signing Day 2020

LTHS highlights 2020 State VASE results

The Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE) is a statewide curricular competition—one of the largest of its kind in the nation—for high school students that gives them the opportunity to develop creative art and to discuss and analyze their work with professionals.

Over 35,000 pieces of artwork were adjudicated this year in Texas, and only the top 150 students are awarded the prestigious Gold Seal. Lake Travis High School students Lucy Bradshaw, Brooklyn Douglass, Devin Lietz and Chloe Storm each received a Gold Seal recognition for one or more piece.

View the slideshow of the Lake Travis High School 2020 State VASE images and results.

May 13 is Public School Paraprofessional Day

In 2001, the Texas Legislature formally designated the second Wednesday in May of each year as Public School Paraprofessional Day in recognition of education paraprofessionals. LTISD recognizes our paraprofessionals who make important contributions in our public schools each day. Despite school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these men and women are an integral part of the LT family and deserve to be celebrated now more than ever.

As outlined in Texas Government Code 662.049, education paraprofessionals include teacher assistants, instructional aides, educational trainers, library attendants, bilingual assistants, special education associates, mentors, and tutors. Their work is an important part of the educational process at LTISD, and we certainly could not be successful without them.

May 6 is National School Nurse Day

There is no better time to recognize and celebrate the specialty practice of school nursing, now more than ever. Together with the National Association of School Nurses, Lake Travis ISD recognizes Wednesday, May 6 as National School Nurse Day and applauds the work of our school healthcare professionals to improve the safety, health, and academic success of all students.

"This year’s theme, 'School Nurses: Supporting Students in Times of Crisis,' could not be more appropriate and is reflective of the significant roles of school nurses within their communities," said Dr. Brad Lancaster, Superintendent of Schools. "School nurses have the unique skills to plan and implement care for students with chronic and medically-complex conditions and prepare school staff to recognize and respond appropriately to potential emergencies."

At LTISD, the following school nurses provide critical services to more than 11,400 students:

  • April Hicks - BCE
  • Margaret Freudenburg - LPE
  • Ursula Porter - LTE
  • Neal Shotwell - LWE
  • Bobbi Roberts - SHE
  • Dana Hensel - WCHE
  • Cheryl Rhodes - BCMS
  • Sue Meyerhofer - HBMS
  • Cynthia Williams - LTMS
  • Luanne Belville, Molly Hinds and Tara Thompson - LTHS
  • Becca Harkleroad - Lead Nurse

"Our school nurses have taken on unprecedented responsibilities and have adapted quickly to changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," continued Dr. Lancaster. "Whether physically present on campus during normal operating conditions or working virtually to support our students, these highly-skilled professionals are true advocates for health and wellness."

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 4-8

Lake Travis ISD joins the National Education Association to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, May 4-8. We thank each of our 647 professional educators for their time, commitment and dedication to more than 11,400 students across our schools.

"The strain and stress caused by COVID-19 are very real," said Dr. Brad Lancaster, Superintendent of Schools. "Yet our teachers continue to rise to the challenge each day, doing whatever it takes to make sure our students remain connected, engaged, and most importantly, healthy and safe during these uncertain times."

May 1 is National School Lunch Hero Day

Lake Travis ISD joins the School Nutrition Association to celebrate the hard work and commitment of our Food and Nutrition Services (FANS) Department staff. Their hard work is especially evident during these challenging times. In response to school closures due to COVID-19, our café staff continued to provide exceptional service via grab n' go curbside meals for LT families in need.

May is Better Hearing & Speech Month

Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) are highly-trained professionals who evaluate and treat children and adults with speech or language difficulties. School-based SLPs work with students who have communication challenges that affect success in classroom activities, social interaction, literacy, and learning. SLPs utilize strategies to help promote good communication skills that lead to success in speaking, thinking, reading, writing, and learning. With the theme: “Communication at Work,” Lake Travis ISD joins the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association to celebrate May as National Better Hearing & Speech Month in recognition of the critical role SLPs play in both school and clinical settings.

The following Speech-Language Pathologists serve students across LTISD:

  • Miranda Bradford - LTE

  • Ana Duque - LTE/Bilingual

  • Eileen Green - SHE

  • Marne Grgurich - LTE

  • Jackie Hamon - LTHS/18+

  • Leigh Han - LWE/LTHS

  • Sydney Jenkins - SHE

  • Chloe Kruedewagen - BCE

  • Elizabeth Liles - WCHE

  • Yvonne Loredo - BCE

  • Anne Massey - LWE

  • Kathryn McWilliams - LTMS/BCMS

  • Laura Miller - HBMS

  • Kira Moler - WCHE

  • Haley Root Watkins - LPE

  • Andrea Wilder - LPE

  • Kristi Payton - Lead SLP

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 10 campuses serving more than 11,000 students.