Best of 2013
Dec 12, 2013 02:44PM ● Published by tina
2013 is full of many memories including the Best VIP Event in Southlake.
By Catherine Adcock and Linden Wilson
Best Band That Needs No Modifier: The Robotix
They made us proud, going all the way to the live round of America’s Got Talent — but we didn’t need a TV show to tell us how hard this group could rock. On the stage, this outfit, composed mainly of locals, gets us going, all pounding beats, guitar solos and pure rock ‘n’ roll. When they’re onstage, we forget how old they are — all under 16, FYI — because true rock music is ageless!
Best Fido Find: Dog Days of Summer Photo Contest
This year, we brought some fun to the summer heat with our Dog Days of Summer photo contest. We invited you to send your favorite Fido moments our way, and we in turn got a cute pup for our August cover. Bernese mountain dog Zoe — and more than 300 pounds of sand — made for one exciting photo shoot!
Best VIP Event
Not resting on just another great cover story of a Southlake movie star in the making, we upped our game by throwing a VIP premiere event celebrating Sidney Fullmer’s role in the TV movie An American Girl: Saige Paints the Sky. Thanks to the event sponsors, 100 percent of ticket sales ($4,600) from a packed Harkins Theatre went to support the GRACE Feed Our Kids program.
Best Interactive Science Exhibit
The gleaming 180,000-square-foot Ross Perot Museum of Nature and Science opened late in 2012, but crowds are still pouring in to visit must-see exhibits like the 35-foot-long Malawisaurus dinosaur, a child-sized, climbable Dallas skyline and toddler park and our favorite — the motion lab and running wall in the Sports Hall.
Best Time to Sign: 19 Carroll Athletes Sign NCAA D1 Scholarships
A whopping 19 outstanding Dragon athletes received D1 athletic scholarships in 2013. And now they’re running, kicking and blocking their hearts out in the NCAA. Eight cross-country runners, seven soccer players and four football players were honored when they gathered to sign their letters of intent on Feb. 6.
Best Maternal Instinct: Bryce Klein
This Dragon dived into his future with ambitious record-breaking goals. The state point-total record holder and international diving champion signed to SMU last year, the same school his mom, Krista, competed for when she was an NCAA champion. Not only that, but his new coach? The same one his mother had during her years as a Mustang!
Best Reveal: Great Dane Johnson’s Visit to the New Dragon Stadium
Sure, he’s coaching the football team at rival Flower Mound, but this Dragon champion — he was part of three championship teams in two sports during his time at Carroll — got a kick out of his first visit to the new Dragon Stadium. He marveled at how the entire stadium is for football with no track surrounding the field!
Best Double Play: Back-To-Back UIL Lone Star Cup Wins
Two years in a row, Southlake Carroll has taken home the honor of University Interscholastic League’s Class 5A Lone Star Cup. It’s awarded to the school with the best program in its class based on performance in state and district championships. We can’t wait to see the Dragons turn this double into a triple at the end of this school year!
Best Three-Peat: Boys and Girls Cross-Country Teams
We couldn’t believe the success of the boys and girls cross-country teams, winning three state championships in a row. So, we took some time out this past spring to learn more about their intense all-or-nothing training schedules. We’ll be watching the team’s continued domination all through the season this year.
Best Rightful Return: Homecoming Parade in Town Square
Marching bands, floats, balloons — homecoming wouldn’t be homecoming without a parade. And this year, Southlake Carroll’s parade returned to its rightful place in Town Square. We were elated to watch the King, Queen and all the other celebrants make their way through the center of town this past October!
Best Lesson Giver: Patty Willingham
We loved getting to know CISD Teacher of the Year Patty Willingham, who grew up teaching her deaf sisters how to speak and communicate with the hearing world. She might have retired from teaching after a 33-year career this past spring, but she continues to give back, overseeing the preschool at Grapevine Church of Christ.
Best Education Reform: House Bill 5
Some serious curriculum changes took place this year thanks to Texas State House Bill 5, which was signed into law this past summer. The legislation made significant changes to standard school curriculum, reducing the emphasis on high-stakes testing. Our favorite part: The bill is expected to save more than $11 million through the next two school years!
Best Peace of Mind Givers: School Resource Officers
SROs have been a part of school life in Southlake for many years, but this year, every CISD campus got its own dedicated officer. These police officers do more than just keep our kids safe, they also provide support and encouragement to students, creating an environment where they can thrive, learn and feel protected.
Best Tech Improvement: Dragon Mobile Phone App
We can’t believe someone didn’t think of it earlier! This year, a free smartphone app debuted for Southlake Carroll students, parents, staff and friends offering convenience and connectivity. Replete with school phone directory, calendar, campus maps and sports news, the MobileDragon app also gives parents access to students’ schedules, grades and attendance information.
Best Golfing Oasis: North Texas
We surveyed the country and — maybe we’re a little biased — concluded that North Texas offers some of the best clubs and conditions for golf aficionados. With year-round playability and the best-ranked courses in the country — such as Timarron Country Club, Vaquero Country Club and Sky Creek ranch, to name a few — no wonder our backyard attracts such talented pros like Hunter Mahan, Ryan Palmer and Ben Crane.
Best Place to Go Rugged: Whole Earth Provision Co.
For over 40 years, this company has been outfitting us to take on the Texas terrain, and we couldn’t wait for it to open its newest location in Southlake Town Square this year. Whole Earth has the goods we need to hit the great outdoors no matter what the season!
Best Place to Put On Muscle: Impact Performance and Fitness
We discovered this wonderland of physical fitness this past January and marveled at owner Kevin Kordish’s scientific and intense approach to personal training. Open to novice gymgoers and professional athletes alike — Cowboy DeMarcus Ware puts in time here during the offseason — Impact boasts a philosophy of helping its members improve their lives through fitness.
Best Way to Impress at the Tailgate: Pitmaker Custom Trailer Rigs
In our ongoing effort to find pigskin perfection (and knowing we can’t count on Romo for that), we landed on Houston-based Pitmaker’s custom trailer rigs. For a not-so-small fee, you can have your personalized trailer — replete with grill, flatscreen TV and anything else you can think of — to cookout on before, during and after your home team games!
Best Family Trip Close to Home: Destin, Florida
We got loads of rave reviews on our feature on this nearby paradise, and no wonder: Destin boasts beautiful beaches, luxurious accommodations and a vast array of entertainment options. It takes the award for our fave nearby place for fun in the sun. Sure, we love Possum Kingdom and we can’t forget Galveston, but for bonafide beach-time we head east, year after year, to a place that’s just a day’s drive away!
Best Way to Beat the Heat: Local Water Parks
Another year, another mercury-busting summer. Lucky for us, we’re surrounded by oasis after oasis of water parks, which we were only too happy to avail ourselves of during the interminable summer months. From Roanoke’s Hawaiian Falls and Grapevine’s Great Wolf Lodge to the Gaylord Texan’s Paradise Springs and, of course, Six Flag’s Hurricane Harbor, North Texas offers a cornucopia of ways to beat the heat.
Best Dragon on Broadway: Pim Van Amerongen
This 2008 Carroll Senior High graduate wowed audiences the country over in the Broadway revival of A Chorus Line this year. After attending Boston Conservatory (and graduating cum laude in 2012), Pim moved to New York City where he tirelessly auditioned for role after role while waiting tables. Once he landed the role of Don in A Chorus Line, Pim took off touring the country with the production — making this Carroll grad the best Broadway performer of 2013.
Best with a Brush: Greg Barnes
A man of faith, Greg Barnes left his job in corporate America and let God take him to better things. His plein air paintings showcase the wonder and brightness of the natural world with inventive use of color and movement. He was honored as Artist of the Year for this year’s Art in the Square, and we can’t wait to see what he paints next!
Best Keys to Glory: Van Cliburn International Piano Competition
This year the prestigious competition, named for a man who bested a Russian at a Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow in 1958, returned to Fort Worth, drawing 30 of the world’s most talented pianists to Cowtown. They played their hearts out until one, Ukrainian Vadym Kholodenko, was crowned the gold medal winner.
Best Star in the Making: Sidney Fullmer
This local starlet stole our hearts in 2013’s DVD release An American Girl: Saige Paints the Sky. The 13-year-old Southlake resident got discovered, if you will, during a mall visit to buy a new American Girl doll for her 9th birthday.
Best Dance Duo: Anita Conley and Alexandra Johnson of Studio A
This duo brought contemporary dance to Southlake and then brought Southlake to New York City. The company of Studio A took their performance of The Weaving all the way to Lincoln Center in New York. When they’re not performing, the pros of Studio A are training and teaching Southlake’s future toe-tappers from age 2 and up.
Best Miracle in the Making: Groundbreaking of Miracle League Field
This past May, construction began on the first Miracle League field in Southlake (scheduled to be completed in 2014). Brought to fruition by Miracle League Southlake president Phillip Meyer, the league is designed so that handicapped kids can enjoy playing America’s pastime — because every child deserves a chance to play baseball.
Best Use of Style: NCL Wild About Style Event
One of our fave fundraisers this year, the National Charity League’s Wild About Style event this past March, brought fashionistas out in force to raise money for several charities. The mother-daughter members of NCL strutted their stuff on a catwalk all to benefit organizations including Metroport Meals on Wheels, Battered Women's Foundation, GRACE Feed Our Kids and others.
Best Ten-Year-Old: GRACE Gala
It’s the hottest fundraiser in town, and this year it celebrated its 10th birthday. This past October, the Grapevine Relieve and Community Exchange (GRACE), an organization that aids residents in crisis, held its 10th annual black-tie fundraiser. The Angels Among Us gala raised upwards of $2 million to support the organization that offers area residents in need a new start free of the concerns of financial woes, hunger, homelessness and illness.
Best Hospitality: Baylor Medical Regional Center’s New Patient Tower
It had been in the works since 2011, and this past summer, Baylor opened its $90 million new patient tower. This hospital has served North Texas for 60 years, and the new tower offers improved specialty facilities — including new cardiac, radiology and NICU units — as well as 40 new beds featuring superb amenities. It’s just the most recent example of how the hospital has continued to evolve to best support our community.
Best Peek Inside A High-End Home: Jason Witten’s Home Hits the Market
We got a lucky look inside the home of the Cowboys tight end when it went on the market this past May, and we couldn’t believe our eyes. The sprawling $1.5 million, 7,500 square-foot house was full of palatial rooms, rich wood detailing and homey touches. Our favorite part: Witten’s game room full of NFL memorabilia.
Best Milestone: Boardroom Salon’s 10th location
We love this men’s salon’s sophisticated take on grooming. With the feel of a 1920s country club, complimentary beverages and even a pool table, the Boardroom has a distinctively masculine feel that most men can agree on. Congratulations were in order to founders and Southlake residents Bruce and Heather Schultz when the Boardroom Salon for Men opened its 10th location this year.
Best Bucks Per Word: Preston Stone
This fourth grader earned $5 a word — $2,500 in prizes — with his Best Mom Essay Contest submission. In the 500-word essay, Preston called his mom, Jerri Stone, “perfect,” “an angle in disguise” and “magnetic to greatness.” He told us of his mom’s strength, love and determination, easily earning the grand prize full of goodies for his mom.
Best Fear-Facer: Dan Henry
We couldn’t believe that polished pro Dan Henry was once a supernervous telecaster, but our April cover subject told us that was definitely the case. Fortunately for us, he overcame his fear of public speaking and now delivers the forecast for tumultuous Texas weather to Metroplex viewers five nights a week on FOX4.
Best Mom on the Mic: Dionne Anglin
This Keller mom to two has covered hurricanes, politicians, crime, corruption and her share of parades, but her passion lies in sharing stories of community, hope and triumph. No wonder we love tuning into her newscasts at 5 p.m. on FOX4 day after day.
Best Way to Go Green: Recycle Carts
With the roll-out of new recycle carts this past September, it got even easier to go green. The 95-gallon capacity carts marked a huge upgrade on the 18-gallon recycling containers that overflowed with bottles, cans and newspapers. These bins can fit more than 100 uncrushed aluminum cans, 300 pounds of paper or, more realistically, eight full 13-gallon trash bags. So recycle away!
Best Light At the End of the Tunnel: DFW Connector
The year of never-ending highway improvements continued with some serious milestones reached. We loved the completion of the north end of the DFW Connector this past fall. There’s still plenty of work to be done — construction will continue until October 2014 — but we’re relieved to know that there was a definite end in sight.
Best Reason For Earplugs: Airport Noise
We could have used a little more space between us and DFW airport this past year when runway construction caused the bustling air-traffic hub to use runways facing Southlake for departures. Usually they’re only used for arrivals, which has meant seriously noisy disruptions to our typically peaceful days.
Best Reason to Stay Indoors: West Nile Spray
Low-flying airplanes were a welcome sight this past summer as we got some much-needed relief from the summer scourge of mosquitoes. With concern over mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile at an all-time high, we took some serious comfort in the added protection, even if it meant we had to stay indoors during the periodic sprayings.
Best Community SPARK: Laura Hill
Now in her second go-round as a city council member, Laura Hill has worked tirelessly for our community for years. Six years ago, she and several other leaders founded Students and Parents Against Risks to Our Kids (SPARK), with the goal of fostering conversations amongst teens and adults about difficult issues. The organization has no doubt helped countless Southlake families.
Best New Leader: City councilmember Randy Williamson
The freshest face on Southlake City Council just knew he’d found the place to call home when his family moved here seven years ago. They’d lived all over the county, but when Randy and his brood settled into Southlake, they knew they’d stay here for good. The husband, father to four and rabid Rangers fan has put in years volunteering for our city and community and was elected to city council this past spring.
Best Sweet-Tooth Satisfier: Truluck’s Chocolate Bag
We discovered this deceitfully delicious dessert during a labor-intensive search this past February. It looks like a plain paper bag shaped of dark chocolate on the outside, but dive into this dessert, and you’ll find a delightful wonderland of pound cake, fresh berries, nuts and chocolate chips all topped with caramel, chocolate sauce and whipped cream.
Best Reason to Down A Beer: Duff's hot wings
We dared at Duff’s Famous Wings to try sauces like Hot, Hot Hot and Death and were blown away by the burn of the Buffalo-born restaurant’s concoctions. So if you do like us, be sure to have a cold glass of suds nearby to wash down the spicy servings! You’ll be grateful for the attentive service when your glass nears empty and it’s time for another round.
Best New Digs: Copeland’s
This stand-by on the restaurant scene located at the Hilton in Southlake got a serious upgrade this past fall. With new flexibility to accommodate large parties, a brand-new bar with taps that serve liquor at 5 degrees Fahrenheit and loads of flatscreen TVs for watching big games, our fave place for Crescent City cuisine got a whole lot better.
Best Way Across The Pacific: Howard Wang’s
Finally, a fresh take on Asian cuisine right here at home. Howard Wang’s opened up in Southlake in July to our rave reviews. The restaurant’s family recipes and unique approach to traditional Chinese cuisine put it over the top for us. With an ambiance well suited to date night, Howard Wang’s became our go-to for Chinese in 2013.
Best Bringing It Back Home: Del Frisco’s Grille
When Southlake-based Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group announced plans to open one of its Del Frisco’s Grilles here in Southlake, we were beyond excited. We eagerly anticipated the opening of the upscale joint and were sure to be one of the first to enjoy its new American cuisine!
Best Health Kick On the Go: Snappy Salads
Created with the ultrabusy and health-conscious in mind, Snappy Salads offers us exactly what we need: fast, healthy food options. You can pick up your choice of salads, soups or wraps, or dine in at one of the communal tables. Delicious doesn’t begin to describe the green offerings, which are, according to the restaurant’s tagline, “So good, even guys like them.”
Best List Worth the Wait: TX Blended Whiskey
When the Fort Worth duo of Troy Robertson and Leonard Firestone began selling spirits in 2012, they couldn’t have anticipated the response. By the start of 2013, they’d sold out of their product with waiting lists forming at area liquor stores. The award winning spirit was more than worth the wait. But don’t fret: The duo added more staff and increased production and is more than capable of meeting our rather insatiable whiskey needs.
Best Buzz: Grapevine Craft Brewery’s original beers
Sure, Fort Worth has Rahr & Sons and Dallas has Deep Ellum Brewery, but we wanted a beer we could call our own. Enter North Texas’ boldest little brewery: Grapevine Craft Brewery. Unanimously approved by Grapevine’s city council this past January, the company brewed up beers that hit taps in November. We can’t wait to go visit the GCB’s permanent home when it opens off Grapevine’s Main Street next year!
Best bang for your (Star)Buck
Six miles wide, but five Starbucks deep: Here in Southlake, we’re never too far from our favorite java haunt. Perhaps the most perplexing is the Starbucks inside Tom Thumb (adjacent to the White’s Chapel/Southlake Blvd. location that was there years before), but we think we speak for many when we say we love the new Starbucks on Nolen, complete with fast and friendly drive-thru service.
We remember -
Community Impact Award recipient Jack D. Johnson.
Beloved Southlake Carroll Superintendent Jack D. Johnson passed away this past January. The December 2012 Southlake Style Community Impact Award recipient joined the then Carroll Common School District in 1957 and served what would become CISD for 30 years as teacher, coach, principal and superintendent.
NFL Broadcast Legend Pat Summerall
A familiar face in Southlake since his retirement in 2002, Pat Summerall passed away this past April at the age of 82. He first captivated audiences with his skills on the field as a placekicker for teams including the Detroit Lions and New York Giants and then off the field with his signature deep voice announcing sporting events. He called 16 super bowls and 22 NFL seasons among other sports.