Category Archives: Valley Ranch

Taste of Irving offers a little something for everyone

Photo: Susu and Joey Love of Irving take a few moments to relax with their puppy, Cowboy, a St. Bernard mix during the Taste of Irving festival. /Photo by Teri Webster

Food, music, activities for kids and a craft show were just some of the attractions at the second Taste of Irving festival at Cimarron Park in Valley Ranch on Saturday, May 16.
Food was one of the main attractions with a variety of restaurants selling menu items for $5 or less.

“I think the food is the best part,” said Valley Park resident Susu Love, who was at the festival with her husband Joey and their mixed-breed St. Bernard puppy, Cowboy. “We plan on trying a lot of different things.”

They had plenty of choices. A total of more than 20 restaurants served up specialties ranging from barbecue to Japanese food and gourmet sandwiches.
Ballroom dance enthusiasts Clair Jameson of Denton and Mark Estrella, visiting from Los Angeles, Calif., enjoyed some dancing during live music provided by the Texas Gypsies at the festival. Jameson and Estrella were previously dance partners in Los Angeles.

“He was down here visiting and we decided to come to the festival,” Jameson said. “This is the kind of music we dance to, so when we hear great music, we just can’t help ourselves.”

Northern National and Brave Combo also performed on the Valley Ranch Association Main Stage. Covered seating was available. Although skies were cloudy and at times overcast, rain held off for the day.

Linda Brown of Irving was impressed by the diverse crowd and activities at the festival.

“It’s fantastic to see the families as well as the individuals here,” Brown said. “It’s a very diverse crowd and this is a diverse area. They’ve done a great job in providing something to interest people from a lot of different backgrounds.

“It’s also laid out very nicely. There are a lot of people here, yet it is not crowded like it is at a lot of other area festivals.”

Brown also admired the handmade jewelry made by Donna Patton, one of the vendors at the festival.

“Beautiful,” Brown said. “Just beautiful.”

Patton, a Grapevine resident and owner of Butterfly Creek Jewelry, displayed leather bracelets, handmade metal jewelry and beaded bracelets and jewelry, just to name a few.

Parking was full throughout the neighborhood surrounding Cimarron Park. Free parking was available at Ranchview High School, which also offered continuous shuttles to the festival. In all, a total of several thousand people from Irving and surrounding areas were expected to attend. There was no charge for admission.

Student moves closer to scholarship

Fourth and fifth grade finalist competed at the school level as part of the National Geographic Bee, a national geography contest sponsored by the popular magazine publisher. (Left to right) Adrianna Erichsen 4B, Matty Morgan 4D, Jacob Paek 5A, Grace Barry 4A, Hannah Shen5C, Naman Goyal 4C, Akshat Talathi 5B, Brianna Perez 5D. Photo courtesy of Valley Ranch Elementary.

Fifth grader Jacob Paek won the school-level competition of the 26th Geographic Bee at Valley Ranch Elementary (VRE) on Jan. 9.

Every year, the National Geographic Society gives elementary students the opportunity to win a $50,000 college scholarship based on their knowledge of geography. Eight fourth and fifth grade finalists competed in seven preliminary rounds for the chance to represent their homeroom in the final round where they answered oral and written questions on geography. As VRE’s finalist, Paek will take a written test to qualify for the state-level competition, from where the top scorers will advance to the national championship rounds. The first place national winner will receive a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership to the National Geographic Society and a trip to the Galapagos Islands, courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic. SOURCE Valley Ranch Elementary

Nolan recognized as teacher of the year

Photo by Tricia Houston

Parrish Nolan, a fourth grade teacher at Valley Ranch Elementary, won teacher of the year for the 11th year running. Nolan has proven herself as an outstanding creative teacher who provides an engaging learning environment for all of her students. Not only has Parrish embraced and successfully implemented project-based learning, but she has complemented the curriculum by integrating technology in her classroom.


SOURCE Valley Ranch Elementary

Valley Ranch Library Closure

Jan. 2 to Feb. 28

Valley Ranch Library will be closed while the facility undergoes construction and renovation. The library will reopen March 1. Java Me Up, the coffee shop annexed to Valley Ranch Library, will close from Jan. 6-10 only. While the Valley Ranch Library is undergoing construction, patrons are welcome to visit other Irving library locations and to take advantage of the many online resources available to Irving Public Library cardholders.

Central Library
(972) 721-2606
East Branch Library
(972) 721-3722
Irving Archives
(972) 721-3729
Valley Ranch Library
(972) 721-4669
West Irving Library
(972) 721-2691

Turkey Drive

Pictured from left to right: Oorja Agarwal, Aryan Dalal, Isabel Agudelo. Photo by Maribel Urey
Pictured from left to right: Oorja Agarwal, Aryan Dalal, Isabel Agudelo. Photo by Maribel Urey

Headed by the Dad’s club President Jessie Van Luvan, Valley Ranch Elementary collected the most birds this year for the Coppell ISD Turkey Drive. Students, fathers, and staff helped load and count the Turkey’s the week of Thanksgiving. There were 535 total turkeys donated by VRE, more than twice the amount donated by any other elementary! We are so proud of our school and hope to continue the giving with our Holiday drives.  SOURCE: Valley Ranch Elementary

Fourth Graders realize change for needy families

Adults (left to right)- Eric Jones, Susie Mayes, Jennifer Erlenbusch, Money Man(Jose Guerrero) and Tonia Clark. Students (left to right)- Michelle Pak, Ted Hwang, Dario Galindo, Anika Bansal and Matty Morgan. Picture by Meagan Warminski.
Adults (left to right)- Eric Jones, Susie Mayes, Jennifer Erlenbusch, Money Man(Jose Guerrero) and Tonia Clark.
Students (left to right)- Michelle Pak, Ted Hwang, Dario Galindo, Anika Bansal and Matty Morgan.
Picture by Meagan Warminski.

The fourth graders at Valley Ranch Elementary partnered this week with Las Colinas Federal Credit Union, Irving Chamber of Commerce, Mortgages USA, ONCOR and Learning RX to launch their annual service learning PBL project, Making a CHANGE. With this project, the learners will collaborate using math skills and problem solving strategies to create the optimal budget for purchasing gifts for needy families in the community.

A wish list is compiled with items specified for every person in each household. After students create their budgets and present their multimedia presentations, the additional fun begins! Along with their teachers, the kids, shop for the actual items and deliver the wrapped gifts to the local families. The fourth graders are eagerly looking forward to “Making a CHANGE” as well as learning valuable life lessons about giving.

SOURCE Valley Ranch Elementary



“Sharing the Warmth” with the needy just got easier

The season of giving is upon us, and what better way to show you care than to help those in need.  Atmos Energy is encouraging customers to help their neighbors in need by participating in the utility’s Sharing the Warmth program.

“It’s as easy as rounding-up the pennies on your natural gas bill,” said Dan Alderson, Atmos Energy director of energy assistance.  “That excess change goes straight into our Sharing the Warmth program, which can then be distributed to low-income residents this winter.”

Atmos Energy’s Sharing the Warmth program is designed to supplement payments made by elderly, disabled or low-income customers who would otherwise be unable to pay the full cost of heating their home.

To donate, simply check the voluntary donation box on the back of your gas bill or call 1-888-286-6700 to make your donation via the phone. Please visit for more details.

SOURCE: Atmos Energy

Texans pass all constitutional amendments

Texans voted Tuesday to approve all nine proposed constitutional amendments — one of which will create a $2 billion rainy day fund to finance water projects in the state.

Proposition 6 is meant to help curb the impacts of drought in the state for the next 50 years. Now approved, the Texas Water Development Board will control the financing of water projects

“Small businesses, manufacturers, the energy industry, the conservation community, farmers and ranchers, agriculture, all came together very, very strongly,” said House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio), speaking at an Austin watch party.

“The people of Texas today validated our good work with an overwhelming vote of support,” He added.

In Dallas County, between 62,000 and 68,000 people cast a vote in the proposition elections.

Other amendments approved included:

1: Authorizing the legislature to give property tax exemptions to the spouses of veterans.

2: Eliminates state requirement to have the obsolete State Medical Education Board and State Medical Education Fund.

3: Extending the tax exemption period for storing aircraft parts in Texas.

4: Authorizing the legislature to give some property tax exemptions for residences donated to partially disabled veterans or their spouses.

5: Authorizing reverse mortgage loans.

7: Giving home-rule municipalities the ability to choose how to fill city council vacancies if those posts have less than 12 months in the term.

8: Repealing a constitutional provision that allowed a hospital district to be created in Hidalgo County.

9: Letting the State Commission on Judicial Conduct expand disciplinary actions against a judge or justice after a formal hearing.

Valley Ranch welcomes 90,000 lady bugs home

With fanfare, bounce houses, balloon animals and a spirit of adventuresome fun, Valley Ranch residents welcomed 90,000 lady bugs to their neighborhood during the 10 annual Lady Bug Release on June 1. Members of the Valley Ranch Homeowners Association, the event’s sponsor and coordinator, handed out small jars so children and families could take home the lady bugs, which serve as a natural pesticide, and release them in their own lawns and gardens.
“This year we have made the event bigger,” said Jessica Hughes, Lifestyle Director for the Valley Ranch Homeowners’ Association. “We are expecting about 100 people this year.
“It is the first weekend in June every year, and people love it. So many people tell us that they enjoy being here, and it is great for the kids. People come out and mingle with their neighbors. It is a great community event.
“I enjoy releasing the bugs and seeing how excited the kids get. They go crazy,” she said.
Trent York and his wife brought their three and a half year old daughter Alexis to experience the morning’s excitement.

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