Photo courtesy of Dallas ISD

Special to The Dallas Examiner

Echoing the 18th Century, Skyline High School looked like a scene from Hamilton, one of Broadway’s most recent musical phenomena. Elementary students paraded through the school’s gym wearing tailcoats, frock coats, prairie dresses and colonial soldier costumes as they participated in the 2023 Lone Star Challenge program in early May.

More than 500 students competed in the challenge competition, which is a scholastic contest wherein their mastery of a theme-based topic is revealed as they compete against hundreds of other students in nine-member teams.

The challenge theme was “18th Century America: From Colonization to Independence, students were tested in literature, social studies, mathematics and science.”

After a full day of testing, the points from all events were tallied and schools were ranked according to overall scores. With 71 schools competing for the top spot, this year’s overall winning team was from Sudie L. Williams Talented and Gifted Academy.

“The kids had a blast during the challenge, and it was great to see their hard work throughout the months shine at the end,” said Elizabeth Holguin, Sudie Williams Lone Star Challenge coach.

A unique aspect of the competition was the tradition to conclude the day with a fun parade of costumes and school signs aligned to the selected Lone Star Challenge theme, leading into the team Super Quiz.

The costume parade was filled with smiling faces and looked like a 4th of July celebration, which echoed 18th Century motifs with colorfully decorated signs that read, Liberty or Death, No Taxation Without Representation and Raise Your Flag to the Birth of a Nation.

“Preparation for this contest is a considerable feat and a lot of hard work,” said Erika Guzman-Escobedo, student activities coordinator. “Being able to see all this excitement take place in Skyline’s gym, only serves to reaffirm that all the hard work put forth was so worth it. I was thrilled to see all the happy faces of students who attended the Lone Star Challenge event this year.”

During the awards ceremony, awards were given in the following categories: overall top-scoring teams, best dressed, best team sign, and best-dressed coach. Award highlights are below.

Overall top three teams in Group A:

First Place: Sudie L. Williams TAG Academy

Second Place: William B. Travis Academy for the Talented and Gifted

Third Place: Solar Preparatory School for Girls

Overall Top three teams in Group B:

First Place: PTAA – North Dallas

Second Place: Lakewood Elementary

Third Place: Mockingbird Elementary

Best Dressed Coach:

First Place: Larry G. Smith and Anderson Elementary

Second Place: Foster and Personalized Learning at Sam Houston

Third Place: Solar Preparatory for Girls and Macon Elementary

Best Dressed Team:

First Place: Maple Lawn and Personalized Learning at Sam Houston

Second Place: Cochran and Arcadia Park Elementary

Third Place: Solar Preparatory for Girls and Solar Preparatory for Boys

Best Team Sign:

First Place: Kahn and Moreno Elementary

Second Place: PTAA North Dallas and Stemmons Elementary

Third Place: Cochran and Truett Elementary

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