Woodlawn High School’s Talented Music students competed virtually for the 2021 DeBose Virtual Fine Arts Festival Series Competition. While Talented Music ensembles have showcased their talents annually at the festival, this year they participated in the inaugural performing arts competition sponsored by the DeBose Foundation. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, students recorded individual performances to submit for the competition this year.
Woodlawn High School had two Talented Music strings students compete in the Non-Vocal Solo category for the High School Music competition. Talented Music teacher Dr. Yong H. Pan worked with these students to prepare and record their submissions.
Samuel Taylor received an Honorable Mention for his violin performance of Minuet I. Sam has been a part of the EBR Talented Music Ensemble since 2017, and he is in his second year of the Talented Music Program and orchestra at WHS.
Nicole Workman is pictured with Dr. Pan.
Nicole Workman placed third with her violin performance of Handel’s Sonata No. 3 in F Major, 2nd Movement. Nicole has enjoyed playing for the WHS Orchestra the last four years and joined the Talented Music Ensemble this year.
Nicole says that “Music is my life. Being a part of the Talented Music Strings Ensemble has allowed me to improve my technique because we work more individually.” Nicole recently auditioned and received a scholarship offer to join the University of Louisiana at Lafayette orchestra.
Congratulations to both of our WHS Talented Music Strings Students for their accomplishments in the 2021 DeBose Virtual Fine Arts Festival Series Competition.
You can watch the entire Virtual Festival Competition by clicking here.
For more information on the Gifted and Talented Programs at Woodlawn High School, please contact Gifted Site Coordinator Danelle Miller at [email protected]
Victorine Kasangandjo is a senior at Woodlawn High School. She is a citizen of the Republic of the Congo. As a freshman, in 2018, Victorine’s parents decided to bring her Baton Rouge and enroll her at Woodlawn High. The decision was made in order to give Victorine the best opportunity to be successful.
Coach Randall interviews Victorine for Gear Up.
Upon arrival to the United State, Victorine spoke no English. Her native language is Swahili. She was placed into the East Baton Rouge School Sytem’s program for English Language Learners. Each year, Victorine’s knowledge of English grew. This year, she reached the Level 01, which means that she is fully proficient in the English language. Her hard work and dedication to her studies has paid off, as she carries a 2.8 GPA and has never had to repeat a class despite learning English while she completed her course work.
Victorine has also been active outside the classroom at Woodlawn High School. She participated in soccer and was named to the 2020-2021 All District team. She enjoys drawing and participating in Community Sports Leadership Club.
Coach Randall recently completed a video on Victorine’s successes for Gear Up.
“The entire Woodlawn community is so proud of Victorine’s hard work, dedication, and of the resilience she has shown in her time with us,” said Randall. “We look forward to following her success as she graduates and start the next chapter of her life.”
A historical first has occurred in the annals of Woodlawn High School Athletics. Our very own Panther Esports Team has brought home our first match win in a Super Smash Tournament. Panther Esports Sub team, The Generation of Mind War, made up of Jason Delcid, Brizzio Dore, and Jesus Jimenez, came away with the best of three victory in their first ever Panther Esports match.
Esports is a lively, growing activity at high schools and colleges all over the country. It is a form of sport competition using video games. It often takes the form of organized, multiplayer video game competitions, usually individually or as teams. Esports is projected to top $1 billion in revenue this year alone and double to $2 billion next year.
Panther Esports at Woodlawn High School is led by team captain Delcid. The team, which is in it’s inaugural season, currently has 16 players. Panther Esports is a member of the PlayVS league. PlayVS operates state leagues in partnership with 23 state associations and regional leagues nationwide and helps to bring Esports to all 50 states. PlayVS is sanctioned by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, which means that Panther Esports team members can earn varsity letters for participating in Esports for Woodlawn High. Players can also earn college scholarships and acceptance to their college Esports teams.
All video game matches are played online from the players’ personal devices and in the comfort of their own home. Panther Esports currently participates in two different video game title competitions. Super Smash Brothers is a one-on-one fighting game that is the most popular game for the Woodlawn High Esports team. Super Smash Brothers features many popular characters from video games across all platforms. The game allows players to use their favorite character to fight in one-on-one matches. Esports members have three one-on-one matches, with the victorious team winning at least two matches. The Panthers also have a Rocket League Team. Rocket League is a soccer game that is played with vehicles that have special features.
Although the spring 2021 league championship has already begun, Panther Esports can accept new team members who would like to play Rocket League or Super Smash Brothers. Any prospective Panther Esports team members should see Mr. Frazier in room 720 for information on how to join.
The Debose Fine Arts Festival is an exhibition and performance event which includes fine art and music competition once a year in the Baton Rouge area. This year the festival/competition was carried out virtually. Art and music teachers in the EBR area were allowed to submit five artworks for the competition. The student winners were awarded in different categories. There were three Traditional categories (Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced) and three Talented categories (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced).
Nine Woodlawn High students placed in this year’s festival. Five of those students placed in Traditional categories, and three placed in Talented categories.
- Rachel Ezell, First Place, Talented Advanced
- Isaiah John, First Place, Traditional Advanced
- Christopher Delcid, Second Place, Traditional Intermediate
- Joann Mayeux, Second Place, Talented Advanced
- Kerrin Whitly, Second Place, Traditional Advanced
- Hannan McCant, Third Place, Traditional Intermediate
- Cameron Rice, Third Place, Talented Beginner
- Angel Caine, Honorable Mention, Traditional Advanced
- Naya Smith, Honorable Mention, Talented Advanced
Congratulations to these Panthers for their spectacular achievements at this year’s festival.
Senior Harrison Breland-Triche has been named the 2020-2021 Student of the Year at Woodlawn High School. Harrison, who is a part of the Academically Gifted program and a School Ambassador, has distinguished himself as an academic scholar and leader at Woodlawn High. His high aptitude and intrinsic motivation helped him to achieve academically, and his innate leadership abilities and selflessness shaped his involvement in school and community activities.
His academic achievements include being named an AP Scholar for the 2019 and 2020 school years and achieving the rank of first in his cohort. Harrison was on the Principal’s List for honor roll every semester of high school and was named a district finalist for Student of the Year this year. He has scored at the highest level on all standardized assessments and maintained nearly perfect attendance, only missing a single day in his high school career. Harrison has continually challenged himself academically by taking Advanced Placement, Dual Enrollment, and Academically Gifted coursework, and he has achieved a current GPA of 4.57 from successfully earning straight As in these courses.
Harrison has exhibited academic strength in all core areas. He has served as Captain of the Woodlawn High Quiz Bowl team for the past three school years. However, Harrison has a passion for STEM with plans to possibly pursue a career in a science or math-related field. Early in his high school career, he played an integral role in the STEM program at Woodlawn High, serving as Build Captain for the FIRST Robotics Team as a sophomore and helping facilitate the Red Stick Rumble, one of the largest robotics competitions in the state.
His talents extend well-beyond the academic classroom to his involvement in athletics and the arts as well. As the Varsity Swim Team Captain, he has led his team to qualify for the state swim meet multiple seasons, where he has set personal and school records. His swim coach praises his natural ability, both in the water and with helping his teammates improve their techniques. This peer leadership can also be noted in his participation in the school’s marching and concert bands, where he serves as Trombone Section Leader and First Chair. In a normal year, Harrison would spend his Friday nights leading his peers in the football stands and on the field at half-time. Similar to the swim team, the marching band has received many accolades at festival, regional and state competitions.
Harrison has a more reserved demeanor, but his desire to openly serve his school and community is clear through his involvement as a Gifted School Ambassador, member of National Honor Society, and organizer of an American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life team. As a Gifted School Ambassador, he represents the school at recruitment events, gives school tours, and advocates for the Academically Gifted Program. Through NHS, he has played a major role in the school’s recycling campaign project, volunteered at pet adoption events, and assisted with the Louisiana Special Olympics competition. By organizing his own Relay for Life Team, year after year, Harrison has been able to organize and facilitate events that have raised thousands of dollars to support cancer research for the American Cancer Society. Harrison believes giving back to others has played an important role in shaping him into the person he is today.