Congratulations to our Building Teacher of the Year finalists. The Elementary Teacher of the Year finalists are Darilynn Scifo (Boone), Tina M. St. Clair (Hicks), Michelle Lopez (Martin) and Braulio Melendez (Owens). The Secondary Teacher of the Year finalists are Roderick Graves (Holub), Jeanette Kirsten Statt (Hastings) and Patricia Greenleaf (ALC). The winners will be announced during the Alief ISD Teacher of the Year Ceremony on April 23.

Alief ISD swept the Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA) Star Awards. The organization recognizes outstanding education communications and projects. In the division for school districts with more than 30,000 students, Alief ISD received three Gold Stars, two Silver Stars and three Bronze Stars for projects including The Alief Communicator district newsletter, 2014-15 calendar, Let’s Talk!, the district mobile app and the Alief Proud campaign.

Alief ISD Career & Technical Education students will be competing in Detroit against students from other countries in the Shell Eco-Marathon competition. The Team Elsik Blue Cetane students, who are in the Auto Technology Class at Elsik High School, have partnered with the University of Houston for this project. The Blue Cetane make up one of the six local groups that will compete with other groups’ fuel-efficient vehicles with practical designs. They were recently spotlighted by local media outlets Houston Public Media, Telemundo, the Houston Chronicle and ABC 13.

Alief ISD schools received awards at the SeaPerch regional competitions. Taylor High School received first place in the poster category. Killough Middle School received second place in the obstacle course category. The Taylor High School team, which consists of Erikson Huanca Garay and Gerardo Carpinteyro, placed fourth overall and advanced to the national competition at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth in May. SeaPerch is an underwater robotic operating vehicle (ROV) competition sponsored by the Office of Naval Research.

Alief ISD students won one gold and four silver medals from the 22nd Annual Special Olympics Texas Winter Games. Students, who competed with more than 2,500 other athletes, participated in the bowling category. Xavier Boyd (Hastings) brought home the gold medal. Jaramoji Graham (Hastings), Terrance Simms (O’Donnell), Emmanuel Castro (Albright) and Timothy Hinson (Hastings) received silver medals. Luis Andres Castro (Elsik) received a fourth place ribbon.

Petrosky Elementary students Faith Adesipe, Jennifer Valera and Markese Murray had their art work featured in a recent edition of the Texas Register, a journal by the Office of the Texas Secretary of State. The art works were submitted by teacher Cheryl Walker.

Hastings High School student Jelilat Odubayo has been nominated to present at the International Sustainable World Project Olympiad (I-SWEEEP). It is an innovative science fair where the brightest minds from 70 countries compete and discuss energy sustainability, engineering and the environment. Odubayo, who is our district JASON Learning Argonaut, will be competing in the state science fair from March 26-29 after taking second place at regionals and first place at district.

Elsik High School student Mbolle Ekane was the overall winner in the Interview category at the regional Academic Decathlon meet. Ekane received a perfect score.

Alief FFA won third place in the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (HLSR) Tour Guides Contest. Xavier Ahmed (Hastings) also participated in the HLSR Calf Scramble and was one of the first five to pull a calf across the line. Ahmed won a $1,500 certificate to buy a heifer for next year’s rodeo. FFA also placed in the San Antonio Livestock Show. Javier Rivera (Elsik) placed first in his class with his bull. Brenda Jones (Hastings) placed second in her class with her heifer. Michael Zepeda (Elsik) and Christian Macedo (Elsik) placed second with their bulls. Drake Thomas (Hastings) placed fourth in his class with his longhorn heifer.

Hastings High School students Ann Morris and Claudia Irra received awards at the Association of Texas Photography Instructors Winter Conference. Morris won third place in the “Live” category and an honorable mention in the “Water” category in the Digital Image contest. Irra received third place in the Advanced Photojournalism Portfolio contest. Teacher Andrea Negri received second place in the “Conference Behind the Scenes” category of the Faculty Digital contest.

Alief ISD students placed at the Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE) competitions. Twelve Elsik High School students are state VASE finalists, and the campus had 103 medalists. Hastings student Edwin Barajas advanced to state and received an area medal. Hastings had 56 regional medal winners. About 26,000 Texas high school students participated in this year’s VASE competitions.

More than 100 orchestra students from seven Alief ISD schools participated in the Lunar New Year Parade. Students from Albright, Holub, Killough, O’Donnell, Elsik, Hastings and Taylor performed for spectators while walking down Bellaire Boulevard.

Hastings High School student Jennifer Mejia placed third in the state-level design competition during the Fashion My Future conference. Mejia won a $250 scholarship for her design.

Killough Middle School has presented at different venues regarding the campus’s usage of technology. Venues include the Adobe Connect Symposium, Florida Education Technology Conference and New York Institute of Technology.

Hearne Elementary students and staff raised $4,020.34 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to help fight childhood cancer.

Chancellor Elementary students collected $3,057.08 in donations for the American Heart Association. Students participated in Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart.

Youens Elementary students donated more than 1,000 toiletry items and hundreds of food items to My Brother’s Keeper Outreach Center.

Petrosky Elementary students donated approximately 300 pounds of pet food, snacks and toys to AniMeals on Wheels, a project of Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston which provides pet food for home-bound senior citizens to feed their beloved cat and dog companions.

Alief Early College High School’s National Honor Society donated 430 pounds of food to the West Houston Assistance Ministry. The donation is equivalent to 375 meals.

Solo & Ensemble Results:

  • Kerr High School was awarded 35 medals for band for “superior” performance. Of these 35 medalists, 29 of them have qualified for State Solo & Ensemble this May. In addition, 31 students received an “excellent” rating for their performance. For choir, students received 41 medals for superior ratings, and 11 soloists qualified to compete at the state division.
  • Elsik High School’s choir students received 41 gold medals and advanced to state competitions. Band received 12 gold medals and also advanced to state.
  • Hastings High School’s Big Bear Band had 15 students medal at regionals. Six students advanced to the State Solo & Ensemble contest.


Scholar Athletes for February:

  • Hastings High School student Stacy Giang represents the tennis program. She has been a member of the tennis team for four years. She has been a Student Council member for four years and has been serving as Class President for the last two years. She plans to attend the University of Houston to study math and computer science and previously attended Petrosky, Miller and Albright.
  • Hastings High School student Juan Villarreal represents the soccer program. He has been a member of the soccer team for four years and has been a team captain for the past two years. Villarreal has also competed in cross-country for four years. Villarreal is a member of the Spanish Club and the Business Club. He hopes to attend Houston Baptist University to major in Chemical Engineering and previously attended Chambers, Owens and Killough.


Landis Elementary Principal Dr. Christopher Pichon was named Administrator of the Year by the Texas Caucus of Black School Board Members. Pichon was recognized for his impact on public education.

Hastings High School teacher Andrea Negri will receive the Edith Fox King Award from the Interscholastic League Press Conference (ILPC) during its spring conference. ILPC, which is a part of the University Interscholastic League (UIL), gives out this award to advisers who have made significant contributions to Texas scholastic journalism for at least 10 years. Although recipients are usually nominated by colleagues, Negri was nominated by her students and fellow journalism teacher Laura Negri (Kerr), with support from Principal Patrick Cherry.

Alief Early College High School teacher Dr. Noemi-Celerina Dimaliwat-Frias won the 2015 Teacher of the Year Award in the Ninth Grade Division of the Science and Engineering Fair of Houston. She is the biology teacher and STEM Club sponsor at AECHS.

Alief ISD graduate Vy Nguyen is currently a Legislative Intern for Texas Congressman Dan Huberty and will be interning in Washington D.C. this summer for the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Nguyen, who was the Class of 2014 valedictorian at Alief Early College High School, also attended Killough Middle School.