Best of 2011
Dec 13, 2011 09:02AM
● By Mike
Once again Southlake Style takes a look back on the year that was 2011. The pages to follow are part history, part humor and all Southlake Style. As in years past we aim to shine the spotlight, refresh your memory, and reflect upon what makes Southlake great.
Best Mom – Each year hundreds of essays cross our desks from kids who want to let us know why they have the “Best Mom” in Southlake. We laugh, we cry and then we pick the winner of a prize package fit for a queen! Old Union Fourth Grader Eric Houtman’s Marvelous Magical Mom, also known as Cristi, took home the accolades and some great prizes!
Best Place to Work Up a Sweat – Yoga in Southlake is definitely catching on and those who really want to heat things up attend the Fire Series of classes at Sunstone Yoga. With the thermostat set to 98.6oF calories aren’t the only things burning!
Best Dressed – In 1818, Brooks Brother’s, Henry Sands founded America’s first ready-to-wear fashion store. It only took him another 193 years to find Southlake, but we assume Sands’ impeccable style got here as fast as it could!
Best Place to “T” it up! – Hailed as the best locally owned sporting goods store by those in Austin, Tyler’s, well-known for their signature T-shirts, made their way to Southlake Town Square this summer.
Best Tailgate: Proving once again that Southlake Knows Football, the city’s Tailgate party at Frank Cornish Park was our own little slice of Super Bowl madness.
Runner Up – Tommy Pennington has got a new football tradition of his own celebrating Dragon Football. His home team tailgate comes complete with Babe’s fried chicken, party games, music, and hundreds of guests.
Best Line: There are some doozies floating around the Glass Cactus, but for our money the best line of them all is the drive-thru at Mark Guilbert’s Chik- fil-A. “Yes Mark, we will have waffle fries with that.”
Best Reason to own a Tux – The GRACE Gala is the primary fund raising event supporting the many charitable programs of GRACE. In recent years it has become the black tie event of the year where the money raised through the high profile auctions directly impacts those in our community.
Best Moves –go to the Southlake Newcomers Club who put their spin on the latest television craze with their Dancing with Our Stars charity benefit. Southlake’s first couple, Mayor John Terrell and wife Joanne were amongst the contestants but Jose Guzman and partner Kristina Hayes took home the title.
Best Draft Pick- Former Carroll Quarterback Greg McElroy was drafted by the New York Jets in the 7th round of the 2011 NFL Draft. As the senior leader at Alabama McElroy threw for 2,987 yards and 20 TDs in 2010.
Best on Wheels – Students at Johnson Elementary teamed up with Spokes 4 Hope to assemble over 250 bicycles for area children.
Worst on Wheels – Just ask our action sports photographers, this award goes hands down to our editor. Mike’s Big Drive included some high-speed laps around the track at Texas Motor Speedway- unfortunately he didn’t drive any of them.
Best Anniversary- Southlake Style celebrated five years, and Emerald Belle Director Melissa Page fifteen – but the smokey goodness served up for the past decade at Southlake’s Feedstore Barbeque is real cause for celebration. We think ribs should take over as the new gift for tenth anniversaries.
Best Way to Catch Rays– Just when you thought a Dragon couldn’t get any greener - 70,000+ square feet of new solar arrays were installed on the rooftops at CMS and Walnut Grove. These green initiatives will considerably reduce energy costs at these campuses.
Best Cover – Even though Russell Maryland’s smile can light up a room, as can the bling from any one of his three Super Bowl rings, we chose to go with a more stately pose for our February Super Bowl cover.
Best Balls and Strikes- This year Mayor John Terrell threw out the ceremonial first pitch aptly marking the grand opening of the beautiful new baseball fields at Bicentennial Park.
Best Way to Cause a Racket- Playing a few sets on the public courts of the Southlake Tennis Center, a winner of the 30th annual USTA National Outstanding Facility Awards Program.
Best Brush Strokes- Deanna Kienast’s path to becoming a renowned artist came full circle after more than 30 years. When a move to Southlake revived her creative passions she again picked up her brushes creating works that now hang in the most luxurious and exclusive hotels and homes across the globe.
Runner Up: Bond dollars made bold strokes this summer as the new Fine Arts Wing at Carroll Senior High was unveiled to the class of 2012.
Best With Water – Carroll swimmers and divers ruled the pool as both the boys and girls made impressive showings at state competition. The boys finished as State Champions, the girls took second while one male diver brought home the state gold.
Runner Up- Our lawns. Mandatory water restrictions left little if any green spaces north, south, east or west of Southlake Town Hall.
Best Buds – Keep Southlake Beautiful’s “Spin Into Spring” Southlake Garden Tour provides a welcome pop of color every April. The Miller’s signature “Knock Out” roses proved to be a prime example of horticulture in our ‘hood.
Best Response in a Crisis – After a 9.0 earthquake devastated much of Japan, Southlake City Councilman Jeff Wang teamed with other community leaders to establish Southlake 4 Japan – a charitable endeavor to raise much needed funds in support of Tome, our sister city and home to over 80,000.
Best in Education – Continuing to keeping science exciting at CISD David Allison and his 300 student animal caregivers take part each year in practical, hands-on learning experiences with turtles, lizards, birds, bunnies, and even an 80 pound Python.
Best at School – From the morning busses to the evening custodial shifts and all things in between; Dave Taylor, Tracy Tanner Witt, Deidra Mulloy, Doug Edwards and Rafael Leyva represented CISD’s many Unsung Heroes in this year’s back to school issue.
Best for Kicks – Mac McGuire and Oshick Shams led the Boys Varsity Soccer in 2011 with an unprecedented and undefeated season posting 22 shut-outs and a 28-0-3 record on their way to the school’s first ever 5A State and National Championships.
Best for High Kicks- For 15 years Emerald Belles Director Melissa Page has literally overseen thousands of tasseled boots ascend sequined hats and life in Southlake is better for it.
Best Father Son Moment – Father and son Scouting team Darien and Joseph Beatty have bonded over merit badges for years. One day while biking Joseph put his Boy Scout skills to the test stabilizing his father’s medical condition after a riding accident sent him to the ground headfirst. The bond has never been stronger as the now healthy duo graced our cover this past June.
Best in Show- Our annual road trip brought us to the steps of Music City. Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland became the ultimate accommodations during our visit to the Grand Ole Opry right on property. A stop at Elvis’ famed Memphis home Graceland proved to be a hit on the b-side of this jaunt.
Best $ Million Milestone – After 15 years the Carroll Education Foundation reaches $1 Million in donations for teachers’ grants, and scholarships benefitting every CISD campus.
Best Facelift– A split Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us store takes over the yellow eye-sore that was Circuit City. Seems like a better fit to us.
Best Block Party – Ice carvers work round the clock for at the Gaylord Texan to painstakingly craft ICE!’s winter wonderland one 400-pound block at a time.
Best Left- The last one you took prior to the medians coming to Southlake Boulevard. We remember ours fondly.
Best Use of a Lemon: Everyone loves lemonade, especially when served up by our budding entrepreneurs and models Christopher, Isabelle and Gabriella!
Runner Up – Any lemon that hits a McAlister’s Iced Tea.
Best Burrito– The Vargas family’s home-grown operation combines the best blends of spices, smokey flavor and fresh ingredients all rolled up in a homemade crispy, yet chewy tortilla.