Byron Nelson High School is rounding out its 10thyear of existence since opening in August 2009. In those 10 years, students and staff have seen tremendous accomplishments, exemplified by awards, championships and more.
This academic year has been full of success for the school – or as Dr. Ron Myers, principal of Byron Nelson, phrases it, they have made “consistent progress building upon the foundation that Byron has put in place.” From fine arts to academics to athletics, students have upheld the name and reputation created by classes before them, he said.
Being in the UIL’s 6A classification, the largest in the state, means students face some of the top opponents in Texas. Byron Nelson, however, is also home to some of the top athletes and coaches in the state. More than 30 student-athletes signed to continue their academic careers and play sports at the collegiate level this year alone, for example.
Junior wrestler Lexie Basham brought home the state championship title when she won the 6A girls 138-pound division, her second consecutive year to win gold. Senior teammate Kaylynn Albrecht won the silver medal in the 6A girls 165-pound division. Their coach, Carlos Ornelas, was named the 6A Girls Wrestling Coach of the Year.
Byron Nelson’s Lady Bobcat Volleyball team also went far in their season, as they earned the No. 1 ranking in the state’s largest classification and were among the top-ranked teams in the nation. That team includes Gatorade’s 2018-19 Texas Volleyball Player of the Year, Paige Flickinger, who beat out many of the state’s top volleyball players for the prestigious title and will return next year for her senior season.
The school also earned numerous fine art accomplishments as well. The Dazzlers drill team received many top awards throughout their dance competitions, including Best of the Best team and officer awards. The Bobcat Cheer Team received the 6A bronze medal at the 2018-19 UIL State Spirit Championships in January, and the Byron Nelson Marching Band earned “superior” ratings at their UIL competition.
The fine arts department also amassed five nominations in the esteemed Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theatre Awards competition for its production of “The Drowsy Chaperone.” Nominations include best leading actor, best leading actress for Whitney Stonecipher and Jack Gates. Best supporting actor, best supporting actress for Melanie McBride and Blayne Stonecipher and best technical execution. This marks the third consecutive year the theatre program has earned multiple nominations.
Students at the school are constantly working to make the environment of Byron Nelson High School one that everyone can enjoy, Dr. Myers said. This effort can be seen through assemblies such as iShine, February Kindness Month, and partnerships with outside organizations such as the Trophy Club Police Department.
“I really do have the best job ever,” Dr. Myers said. “Our students do a great job both in their individual endeavors and collectively making sure we have a great school environment.”
Campus culture isn’t just cultivated by students, however – staff are also earning praise for their work. Tammy McClure, Byron Nelson’s student council advisor, was awarded the Eddie G. Bull State Advisor of the Year Award. This is the state’s top honor in her profession; only one other Northwest ISD teacher has ever earned the award.
Some of the most noticeable events happening at Byron Nelson are to the school physically. Construction on a new academic wing began summer of 2018, with a scheduled completion of August 2020. It will increase the capacity of the school to 3,200 students by adding about 75,000 square feet. A new outdoor athletic facility is also under construction, and it will feature about 40,000 square feet for locker rooms, offices and other rooms for athletic purposes. That building is scheduled to open in October 2019.
Kara Lea Deardorff, associate principal, noted the continual improvement across the campus is a point of pride.
“Byron Nelson is all about community,” she said. “Our students, staff, and stakeholders are what makes this a place I am proud to work at.”