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L. D. Bell High School (Hurst, Texas)

Lawrence Dale Bell High School, more commonly known as L. D. Bell High School, is a public high school in the cities of Hurst and Bedford, Texas and part of the Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District. The school is named for Lawrence Dale Bell, the founder of nearby Bell Helicopter Textron, and was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School for 1994-96.

L. D. Bell's marching band has placed in the top five of every competition entered since 1999, and in 2007 won the Bands of America Grand National Championship. The men's and women's gymnastics teams have won a combined total of 35 state championships since 1967.

History

L.D. Bell High School opened in 1957 at a campus on Pipeline Road. Lawrence Dale Bell High School was relocated to the current campus on Brown Trail Drive in 1965, at a site donated to the school district by Lawrence D. "Larry" Bell, Founder and President of Bell Helicopter Textron in Hurst. The new location was able to accommodate a growing student population resulting from the rapid suburban growth in Hurst, Euless, Bedford, and Colleyville. The former high school grounds now house Central Junior High, the H-E-B Athletic Complex, KEYS (Keeping Eligible Youth in School) High School, and the Forest E. Watson (F.E.W.) Center.

Preceding Jim Bannister as principal was Jim Short. Both of these men were preceded by the state legislature-commended E. Don Brown, a former president of both the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP).

In 2002, the school was at the center of a national zero tolerance debate when an honor student was expelled for having a non-serrated bread knife in his truck-bed. The knife was left in the truck by accident after the student had helped move his grandmother's possessions. His expulsion was rescinded when media attention mounted against principal Jim Short and the school district.

On June 2, 2006, a senior Bell theater student, Katherine Smith, was arrested for "tampering with a consumer product" after she put bleach in a 20 oz. Mountain Dew bottle and gave it to the 15 year old actor who had won a leading role in the play, "Ha", for which Smith was the understudy.

Campus and facilities

L. D. Bell High School moved to its present location in 1965. Venues on the L.D. Bell High School campus include Nathan F. Danford field (baseball); a softball field; the Raider Bowl - a football field with permanent bleachers, a track, a field house, and an observation deck; a practice football field for the marching band with an observation deck; several other large football fields; and four parking lots (faculty, student, band hall and Bell Freeway Entrance (B.F.E.) / Raider Bowl).

The northern section of the campus grounds, including all buildings, is within the Hurst City limits. The baseball diamond and most of the Raider Bowl and track are located within Bedford city limits.

L.D. Bell shares the use of district facilities such as Pennington Field for soccer, football, and marching band events; the H-E-B Natatorium located on the Trinity High School campus; and the HEB athletic field located at Central Junior High.

Student body

During the 2005-2006 school year, L. D. Bell High School enrolled 1,947 students in grade 10 (35.0%), grade 11 (34.5%), and grade 12 (30.6%). Ethnicities represented include white (66.1%), Hispanic (15.3%), Asian and Pacific Islander (6.0%), African American (11.9%), and Native American (0.7%). Twenty-five percent were economically disadvantaged.

There were 590 graduates in the class of 2005. The annual dropout rate is 0.5% (in 2004-2005).

L.D. Bell receives students from three feeder schools: all students from Bedford Junior High school and Hurst Junior High school attend Bell along with a share of the students from Central Junior High school. Students in the attendance zones for Bedford Heights, Bellaire, Bell Manor, Donna Park, Harrison Lane, Hurst Hills, River Trails, Shady Brook, Shady Oaks, Stonegate, and West Hurst elementary schools attend L. D. Bell High School.

Academics

L.D. Bell High School is ranked 210th in the nation (and 4th within Tarrant County) on Newsweek's 2007 list of the top 1,200 high schools in the country. The rankings are based on the number of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests taken by graduating seniors — L.D. Bell had 2.595 tests taken per Class of 2007 graduate. 2007 is the first year that L.D. Bell has been included in the list.

Among Tarrant County high schools, Bell High School ranks eleventh (of forty-six) in average points above passing on the 11th grade TAKS test.

The district has offered the IB Diploma Programme and Pre-IB preparatory classes at L. D. Bell since fall 2002, graduating the first class of IB students in spring 2004.

L.D. Bell students may take specialized or vocational courses at other school district facilities, such as broadcast journalism classes at the F.E.W. Center (near Central Junior High) or automotive repair and service, culinary arts, computer aided drafting, and cosmetology classes at the Technical Education Center (near the district administrative buildings and Pennington Field on Central Dr.).

TAKS - Met Standard (Sum of All Grades Tested)
Subject 2005 School (10,11) 2006 School (10,11) 2006 District (all grades) 2006 State (all grades)
Reading/ELA 82% 94% 93% 87%
Mathematics 75% 81% 85% 75%
Science 72% 81% 80% 70%
Soc. Studies 93% 94% 94% 87%
All Tests 58% 71% 79% 67%

Athletics

Despite not having freshmen on campus, the 9th graders at each feeder campus are technically eligible for varsity sports programs, and on rare occasion make the teams and participate with the high school attendees.

L.D. Bell has three football teams: varsity, junior varsity, and sophomore. For the game with rival Trinity High School, the teams alternate between home and visitor every two years. The varsity football team has lost against Trinity High School in each of their last 10 games, including a 44-0 loss in the regular season of fall 2007. The 1982 varsity football team was defeated in the state championship game by West Brook Senior High (Beaumont, TX). Bell made the state semifinals in 1986 and the area finals in 1989.

in 2006 the sophomore team went 8-2 finishing their season with a 27-14 win over their rivals Trinity Trojans In the following year the JV had a 7-3 season beating the trojans again with a 20-14 victory.

In 2007, the Sophomore team went 10-0 with 4 shut-outs on the year. They capped off their undefeated year against their rivals, the Trinity Trojans with a 27-15 win

Men's Gymnastics State Champsionships: 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1988, 1993, 2007

The men's gymnastics team has won 16 state titles since it was founded by Coach Emil Millan in 1966. The Bell men's team, currently coached by Sean Sims, has been the district and regional champions for the past two years, and placed 3rd as a team in the 2006 state championship. In the 2007 state championship meet, the team won their 16th state title, bringing back the championship for the first time in 14 years.

Women's Gymnastics State Champsionships: 1967, 1968, 1970, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1993, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005.

The women's gymnastics team has won 19 state championships since 1967. The team has claimed the first place spot at both district and regionals for at least the past six years, claimed state titles from 2002 to 2005, and placed second in the 2006 and 2007 state championship competition. The 2006-07 school year was Coach Debbie Williams' 32nd season at L.D. Bell.Lindsey Heartsfield, Renee McEntire, and Sara Bedford are the only gymnastics in the state of Texas that have won 4 Team State Championships. Individually, Heartsfield is the 2005 Uneven Bar State Champion; McEntire is the 2005 All-Around State Champion; Bedford is the 2003 Balance Beam State Champion and 2005 Floor State Champion.

Men's baseball is played on campus at Nathan F. Danford field, located along Pleasantview Dr. on the northwest corner of campus. The team made the regional semifinals in 1983 and the regional quarterfinals in 2002. They won the district championships in 1995, 1996, 1999, 2002, 2004, and 2005.

The ice hockey team plays at area ice rinks, including the Dr. Pepper Star's Centers in Euless, Grapevine, and Coppell.

The volleyball team won the district 7-5A championship in 2006. The women's soccer team won the district championship in 2007. The men's and women's soccer teams' home games are typically played at Pennington Field. Softball home games are played at the softball field on the south end of campus near the Raider Bowl. L.D. Bell High School also fields teams in men's basketball, women's basketball, and golf.

Fine Arts / UIL Competitive Organizations

The band program at L.D. Bell splits students into four concert season bands: Sub Non-Varsity 2,Sub Non-Varsity, Non-Varsity, and varsity. The marching band consists of members from all four concert season bands and totals 310 students. Jeremy L. Earnhart is the head director of bands at L.D. Bell.

The marching band advanced to the UIL 5A State competition in 2006, 2004, 2002, 2000, 1998, and 1996; advanced to the finals in 2006, 2004, 2002 (finals canceled due to inclement weather), and 2000, and won the championship in 2004 and 2000.

In addition to the University Interscholastic League (UIL) competitions, the band regularly competes in independent contests (usually run by schools) and Bands of America (BOA) contests at both the regional and national levels. In November 2007, the Bell marching band won the BOA Grand National Championship and additional awards for Outstanding Music Performance and Outstanding General Effect. Their judge's score of 97.8 was the highest score awarded in the history of the BOA competition. In 2006, the marching band was awarded "Outstanding Musical Performance" and placed 2nd overall at the BOA Grand Nationals. In 2004, the band won the BOA St. Louis Super-Regional and captured all captions (specific categories of judgment - music, marching, and general effect). In other BOA Grand National competitions, the band placed 4th in 2001, 5th in 2003, 3rd in 2005, and 2nd in 2006. Since 2000, the band has medaled at 16 BOA events and 4 of 4 times at the UIL State Marching Band Contest. As of November 2007, the L.D. Bell Marching Band has placed in the top 5 of every contest entered since 1999.

In recent years, the L.D. Bell High school and Trinity High school bands have cooperated to run the "H-E-B Marching Contest" as an additional fund-raising opportunity. Located at Pennington Field, the contest features an exhibition performance of both host bands along with other high schools from the state and surrounding areas in full preliminary and finals competitions.

The theater department participates in several activities each year. The UIL One act plays are competitive and advance through district, area, and state rounds. There are also senior directed one-act plays that allow students the opportunity to direct and produce their own play. In 1987, the Theatre department advanced through zone, district and area rounds to compete at the regional-level competition with their UIL One Act play "Amadeus". L.D. Bell Theater won the 1995 state championship with the UIL One Act play "Black Angel".

The Raiderettes dance team performs at football games, basketball games, and in competitions. Consisting only of sophomore, junior and senior girls, the Raiderettes are known for their entrance onto the field to the song, "Grand Entry Swing March", and for their traditional kick/dance to the song, "Hey, Look Me Over!"

The choral program includes Bell System, an exclusive group that combines singing with dance steps and complicated choreography.

Clubs / Organizations (non-UIL)

Famous Alumni

Famous alumni are listed in chronological order by graduation (or expected graduation) year.
Name Distinction Graduated
John T. Montford Former Texas state senator (1983-96) and Texas Tech chancellor (1996-2007) 1961
Desedee D.Jenkins History since 10 years, and shes a Member of the Lady Steppers
David Kunkle Police Chief for the city of Dallas, Texas. Former police chief of Grand Prairie and Arlington, Texas. 1969
Karen Tandy Appointed Administrator of U.S.Drug Enforcement Administration 2003 1971
Cary Blanchard Former NFL placekicker (1992-2000) with Jets, Colts, Redskins, Giants and Cardinals 1987
Tommy Maddox Former NFL Quarterback and NFL Comeback Player of the Year 1988
Eric Vance Former NFL safety (1998-2002) for Buccaneers and Colts; went to Vanderbilt 1993
Ryan Roberts MLB player in the Texas Rangers organization, made major league debut with the Toronto Blue Jays late in the 2006 season. 1999
Jamie Story Miss Texas 2004 1999
Katie McNeill Member of former country music group 3 of Hearts 2001
Blair Stroud Member of former country music group 3 of Hearts 2001
Deserea Wasdin Member of former country music group 3 of Hearts 2001

Awards and Recognitions

Year Organization Award
1982 Varsity Football UIL 5A State Finalist (2nd place)
1986 Varsity Football UIL 5A State Semifinalist
1994-1996 School National Blue Ribbon School
1995 Theater UIL One Act Play State Champion
2000 Marching Band UIL 5A State Champions
2001 Marching Band BOA Grand National Finalist (4th Place)
2002 Gymnastics UIL 5A State Champions
2002 Marching Band UIL 5A State Finalist (2nd place)
2003 Gymnastics UIL 5A State Champions
2003 Marching Band BOA Grand National Finalist (5th Place)
2004 Gymnastics UIL 5A State Champions
2004 Marching Band UIL 5A State Champions
2005 Gymnastics UIL 5A State Champions
2005 Marching Band BOA Grand National Finalist (3rd Place)
2006 Marching Band UIL 5A State Finalist (2nd place)
2006 Marching Band BOA Grand National Finalist (2nd place)
2006 Mesmerizing Lady Steppers Texas Step Shows State Champions
2007 Gymnastics (Men - Team) UIL 5A State Champions (Team)
2007 Gymnastics (Men - Individual) UIL 5A Individual High Bar State Champion (Abram Holt)
2007 Gymnastics (Men - Individual) UIL 5A Individual Vault State Champion (Tyler Martin)
2007 Marching Band BOA Grand National Champion ;
2008 Gymnastics (Men - Team) UIL 5A State Runner-ups (2nd Place)
2008 Gymnastics (Men - Individual) UIL 5A All-Around State Champion (Nik Bosnyak)
2008 Gymnastics (Men - Individual) UIL 5A Individual Floor and Parallel Bars State Champion (Elijah Holt)

External links

References

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