Alief ISD was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). The award was based on Alief ISD’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2013. Alief ISD also received GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award.

District Literacy Strategist Karen Hays was recently selected as a Bonnie Campbell Hill National Literacy Leader Award recipient. Administered through the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the Children’s Literature Assembly, the groups award two grants annually to individuals with a passion and dedication for professional learning in literacy. Hays plans to lead a cadre of 10 teachers through a process of “Teacher as Writer” to engage a new generation of writing instruction. She will be recognized at the NCTE conference in November.

Elsik High School’s Gentlemen of Elsik (G.O.E.) step team performed at the Natural Hair Parade and Festival in Dallas, where Erykah Badu was the grand marshal. The festival is sponsored by The Isis Project, which promotes community development.

Alief ISD schools have been hard at work raising funds for The ALS Association. Youngblood Intermediate staff raised $850 for the cause, and Miller Intermediate students donated $500. Both campuses participated in the ice bucket challenge as a part of their efforts.

Alief ISD graduate Tuong-Phi Le won a $10,000 scholarship from the Davidson Fellows Scholarship Program for her literary project “Shadow and Song: Revitalizing the Expatriate Vietnamese Identity Through Mythological Media.” Le, who is one of 20 Davidson Fellows, graduated from Kerr High School in June and attended Petrosky, Outley, Budewig and Albright. She currently attends the University of Oklahoma, where she is majoring in international studies.

Hastings High School was named School of Honor in Speech at the 2014 National Forensic League (NFL) National Tournament this summer in Kansas. Alumna Abigail Onwunali, who is continuing her speech and debate career at The University of Texas at Austin, was named the national champion in Dramatic Interpretation at the tournament. Onwunali bested hundreds of other competitors in Dramatic Interpretation to clinch the title. At the same tournament, Hastings graduate John Medrano and current student Fortune Onwunali finished in the top 34 spots in Duo Interpretation, while Kerr student Junyuan Tan advanced to the finals in Congressional Debate.

Kerr High School student Somtochi Anyalebechi advanced to the national quarterfinals in Storytelling at the Middle School National Speech and Debate Tournament this summer. Anyalebechi previously attended Olle Middle School.