Dallas Doings
By Linda Wisch-Davidsohn

Mazel tov to Akiba Academy seventh-grade students Sarit Perl, Max Nurko and Evie Dunsky, who have qualified for Duke University’s Talent Identification Program (TIP).

Akiba Academy seventh-graders, from bottom, Sarit Perl, Evie Dunsky and Max Nurko qualified for the Duke University Talent Identification Program. | Photo: Courtesy Akiba Academy

All three students qualified for state recognition, meaning they met the state-level qualifying score, while Sarit also achieved grand recognition with a score that exceeds those of 90 percent of college-bound seniors who took the same test.
In addition to being enrolled in the seventh grade, a student must have scored in the 95th percentile or higher on an accepted subtest or total battery/composite of a grade-level standardized achievement test to qualify.
The Duke TIP helps educators and families determine how advanced their students’ abilities are and what level of educational challenge is appropriate. Eligible seventh-graders may take the ACT or SAT college-entrance exams, which reveals further insights to the students’ abilities and provides them with valuable benefits and resources.
“Our goal is to develop students who are independent thinkers, lifelong learners and active participants in a democratic society,” Akiba headmaster Rabbi Zev Silver said. “To support this goal, we are dedicated to the teaching strategies, organizational processes and program content that will enable all students to be responsible, productive members of society.” Akiba students consistently score in the high average or superior range on achievement tests and have an illustrious history of qualifying for the Duke Talent Identification Program.

Levine eighth-grader recognized for writing

For many of us who had children in Jewish day schools, Ann and Nate Levine Academy seventh- and eighth-grade language arts teacher Joanie Geffen leaves an indelible blueprint on her students’ lives.
Good wishes to Mira Fradkin, daughter of Yanina and Meir Fradkin, who was recognized for her outstanding writing skills in the National Council of Teachers of English Promising Young Writers’ Contest.
Students in Geffen’s eighth-grade class initially wrote on a national topic, using any genre. This year’s topic was “Connections.” All the students did their writing in class.
Levine had one entry into the contest, and Geffen selected Mira’s poem. Once her work was chosen, Mira also had to submit her best writing, which was an essay based on a short story.
The writing was evaluated on content, purpose, audience, tone, word choice, organization, development and style. Mira was one of 51 students — and the only one from Texas — to be designated an “outstanding writer” among 211 entrants.
“Anyone who reads one of Mira’s pieces, especially if it happens to be poetry, is amazed at its wisdom and oh so skillful usage of language,” Geffen said. “Her writing reflects maturity and subtlety, well beyond her 14 years. Honestly speaking, as soon as I read Mira’s poem titled ‘Scribbles on the Sidewalk,’ I smiled broadly and thought that we have a winner. Her ability to manipulate the English language, captivating the reader, is exceptional”
On a personal note, it is good to see that Joanie is still hard at it and getting better and better. We are lucky to have her share her love of English with Levine students.

Yavneh names 2012-13 Star Scholars

Congratulations to this year’s Yavneh Academy Star Scholars, freshmen Joey Goldman, Mitchell Levinson and Sammy Weyser. The Star Scholarship awards are presented to students for whom their attendance at Yavneh signifies a new experience in Jewish day school education.

Yavneh Academy’s 2012-2013 Star Scholars are, from left, Sammy Weyser, Joey Goldman and Mitchell Levinson. | Photo: Deb Silverthorn

“I’m honored to make the presentation to these wonderful and successful students,” head of school David Portnoy said. “Joey, Mitchell and Sammy came to Yavneh from outside of a Jewish day school program, and they have flourished, succeeded and become great assets to our Yavneh family.”

Von Trapp concert honors WWII vets, Holocaust survivors

The World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth and the Daughters of World War II will host what is certain to be a memorable evening of music to honor WWII veterans and Holocaust survivors on the 68th anniversary of V-E Day.
Vocalist Elisabeth von Trapp, granddaughter of “The Sound of Music” inspirations Maria and Baron von Trapp, will perform a benefit concert at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 8 at the Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St.
Her performance will be a tribute to the veterans and Holocaust survivors to commemorate V-E Day, or Victory in Europe Day, the public holiday that celebrates May 8, 1945. That was the date when the WWII Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany, thus ending the war in Europe.
Presenting sponsors are Sherry and Kenny Goldberg. Community sponsors are the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, DFW Honor Flight, city of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, VITAS Innovative Hospice Care and Belmont Village Senior Living.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Daughters of World War II, whose mission is to honor all veterans of the war and preserve their memories.

Etcetera, Etcetera, Etcetera

There’s still time to schedule an appointment with Kerri Lacher (kerri.lacher@gmail.com) to re-invent and add to your spring and summer wardrobe.
Kerri is hosting a trunk show of Etcetera’s latest fashions May 3-8. Etcetera features women’s clothing styled in classic lines sold in Kerri’s home.
She has more than 250 pieces of clothing to choose from in sizes 0-16.
The new lines are launched four times yearly. The current line will be available for one week only. In most cases, items will ship to the customer the following week. In addition, I’ve heard that dresses, jackets, pants, blazers, suited looks, casual clothes and shorts are available. Kerri says that the collection is geared toward professional women ages 25 and older.
In addition to individualized and personalized appointments, Kerri can assist with wardrobe building. She stated that her grandmother’s mantra was, “You never have a second chance to make a first impression.” Great advice for all of us.
Kerri attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a member of the Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas and is the mother of Lauren and Blake. She worked for Herman Miller as an account development manager. She is married to Rick Lacher.
Kerri can be reached at 214-701-7827.

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