April 2, 2013

Points of Pride

The Alief Special Olympics basketball teams brought medals home from Area 4’s basketball tournament recently. The Superstar Team was awarded a gold medal in their bracket, while the Rookie Team won a bronze medal.

Hastings High School student Manuel Tunchez was accepted into the WonderWorks/University of Houston School of Community Filmmaking Pre-College Workshop. Tunchez was awarded a full scholarship to attend the five-week summer program, where he will gain hands-on experience in all aspects of filmmaking.

Albright Middle School students Hop Le, Duy Vo, Alice Vu, Iyanna Henderson, Khanh Nguyen and Irene Mei will represent Alief ISD as a team at the Texas State Historical Association’s Houston Regional “Texas Quiz Show” on April 20. The show tests students’ knowledge of Texas trivia, including history, geography, economics, current events and pop culture.

Several Alief ISD teachers received grants from Fund for Teachers. Elsik High School teacher Ronald Christensen was awarded a fellowship grant to study woodcarving and New Zealand’s preservation of traditional culture this summer. Landis Elementary teachers Anna Escobar and Melisa Perez won a grant, which will allow them to attend and observe different schools in the United Kingdom and their approaches in their bilingual programs. Escobar and Perez will receive money for educational materials and cultural souvenirs as a part of this grant. Fund for Teachers is a program that invests in teachers by enriching their personal and professional growth.

Elsik High School student Verenice Bautista was spotlighted in the Spring 2013 edition of the Kids Matter, a Communities in Schools (CIS) publication. Bautista, a CIS student, received a Gold Key for her submission to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards by the Harris County Department of Education.

Olle Middle School students Rebeca Lopez and Anthony Conner were named school finalists in the Do the Write Thing writing contest. The students will be recognized in a ceremony at Minute Maid Park. The contest asks students to write about how violence has affected their lives, the causes of violence and what they can do about it.

Kerr High School student Melissa Ramos was nominated Best Actress for her role as Kate Monster in Avenue Q: The School Edition by the Tommy Tune Awards. The ceremony is scheduled for April 16 at Theatre Under the Stars. Students Cindy Wang and Alex Vinh were also selected to perform, and Jason Quach was chosen to work backstage at the awards. The students will showcase their talents on one of the largest stages in Houston.

Alexander Elementary teacher Gary James is a published author and illustrator. His storybook, titled Velocity Man and Fusion, was published under the name “Garee.”

Alief ISD graduate Robert Jackson was named one of the inaugural Disney Dreamers Academy Champions. As one of the five selected among alumni to serve for a year as Disney brand ambassadors, Jackson, who is a Hastings High School Class of 2012 graduate, will serve as a national spokesperson and will become a guest contributor to the Disney Dreamers Academy social media. The Dreamers Academy is a national program designed to inspire high school students to achieve successful career paths.

Hastings High School’s Jazz Bands I and II recently received Division I ratings at the 7th Annual Waltrip Jazz Festival. The Jazz Band I was also named the Outstanding High School Jazz Band for the Festival.