Alief ISD Points of Pride

Hastings High School student Jelilat Odubayo won a bronze medal and $150 from the International Sustainable World Energy Engineering and Environment Project Science Olympiad (I-SWEEEP). With representatives from 71 countries in attendance, Odubayo represented the United States at the competition. Odubayo is the Alief ISD 2014 JASON Learning Argonaut, district and regional science fair winner and state science fair participant.

Boone Elementary teacher Carlos Pierson was named the 2015 Houston West Chamber of Commerce Elementary Teacher of the Year. Pierson was the 2014 Alief ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year. During the ceremony, district business partners Sew Much Fabric and First Community Credit Union were also named the 2015 Houston West Chamber of Commerce Business Partners of the Year. These two partners were nominated by Business & Community Partnerships Coordinator Dee Jones for their outstanding contributions to Alief ISD.

Sixteen Alief ISD seniors were named recipients of scholarships funded by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Each scholarship winner will receive $18,000 over four years.

  • Alief Early College High School: Jocelyn Velazquez (Metropolitan), Michelle Garcia (Opportunity) and Dat Quan Huynh (Opportunity)
  • Elsik High School: Amiti Busgeeth (Metropolitan), Nicholas Stone (Opportunity), Phillip Asaju (Opportunity), Safa Vaid (Metropolitan), Sidrah Rahman (Opportunity) and Vanessa Rivera (Opportunity)
  • Hastings High School: Michelle Ibidapo (Metropolitan)
  • Kerr High School: My Quan (Metropolitan), Thanh Le (School Art), Van Luong (Opportunity) and Yen Tran (Metropolitan)
  • Taylor High School: Chelsea Uzoukwu (Opportunity) and Phung Doan Tat (Metropolitan)


Alief ISD high school students were recently named Jones Scholars. The Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones Scholars Program is funded by the Houston Endowment, and students will receive $16,000 over four years.

  • Alief Early College High School: Alyssa Martinez
  • Elsik High School: Amiti Busgeeth, Lisa Nguyen, Nicholas Stone and Uniqua Williams
  • Hastings High School: Michelle Ibidapo, Thanh Le, Stephanie Omaliko and Anh Ho
  • Kerr High School: My Quan
  • Taylor High School: Denise Enamorado, Musse Hersi and Chelsea Uzoukwu


Elsik High School students Lisa Nguyen and Nicholas Stone were named recipients of the Optimist Scholarship. They will each receive $3,000. Only 36 Houston-area students made it to the final interview selection round this year.

Alief Jazz Ballet Company dancers Blessing Yemi-Ese (Elsik) and Trevon Anderson (Hastings) received dance scholarships to attend the Velocity National Dance Convention this summer. They went through rigorous auditions and were recognized amongst many other talented dancers.

Taylor High School student Andrew Antoine will be competing this weekend at the state track meet. He qualified in the high jump event.

O’Donnell Middle School student Elizabeth Ogolo was named one of the winners of the DISTCO: Digital Writing Contest. Ogolo competed in the health and medical category, and her video was on dementia. She is the only public school winner in the Houston area.

Girls’ Soccer 23-A All-District Honors:

  • District MVP – Stephanie Garcia (Elsik)
  • Coach of the Year – Connie Koehn (Elsik)
  • 1st Team All-District – Cindy Alatorre (Elsik), Lizette Baltazar (Elsik), Julie Duran (Elsik), Alessandra Rodriguez-Lazo (Taylor) and Amalia Ruiz (Hastings)
  • 2nd Team All-District – Seydeli Aguirre (Hastings), Perla Amezcua (Elsik), Cindy Franco (Hastings), Yamilet Sagastizado (Taylor) and Mayra Serrano (Elsik)
  • Academic All-District – Lizette Baltazar (Elsik), Amalia Ruiz (Hastings), Perla Amezcua (Elsik) and Mayra Serrano (Elsik)


Olle Middle School students Huy Bui and Victoria Lodico received the Degree of Outstanding Achievement from the National Junior Forensic League (NJFL), a national honor society for speech and debate. To receive the Degree of Outstanding Achievement, students must earn 400 NJFL points during their middle school speech and debate careers.

O’Donnell Middle School brought home the Most School Participation and Best Decorated Rocket Awards from the Rocket Science Launch Day event. Students successfully launched 10 team rockets. The event is in collaboration with the Houston Rockets, Houston Community College and NASA Johnson Space Center.

Chambers Elementary student Kevin Hoang won first place in the third through fifth grade category of the Children’s Mental Health Art Contest. The contest, hosted by Mental Health America of Greater Houston and the Nick Finnegan Counseling Center, coincided with Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week.

Budewig Intermediate’s After School Program Robotics Class placed second at the 2015 Agri-Biotics Competition at Prairie View A&M University. These junior division students have only been learning robotics for five weeks.

Members of the Elsik High School Mighty Ram Band and Orchestra combined to perform as a full symphony orchestra at the Lone Star Showcase of Music. The full symphony completed a “full sweep” and took home Superior Rating, Best in Class and Most Outstanding Overall.

Alief ISD middle schools competed in the One Act Play theater competitions. Albright Middle School took first place, with student Nicole DePavia winning the Best Actress Award. Theatre Arts students from Killough Middle School were selected as the Most Outstanding Ensemble, with student Ulises Escamilla receiving the Best Actor Award. Killough students Jinan Hamadi and Connie Ogiamien were selected for the All-Star Cast, and Christine Ezeh received the award for Most Outstanding Technician.

Music groups from Chancellor Elementary recently won awards. The Chancellor Elementary Orff Ensemble received an Honorary Achievement Award at the Aldine Children’s Instrumental Festival, while the Chancellor Comet Choir received an Honorary Achievement Award at the Aldine Children’s Music Festival.

The Alief Cycling Team (ACT) has raised $17,513.21 so far to benefit the National MS Society. More than 30 ACT riders participated in the BP MS 150 fundraising bike ride.

Albright Middle School teacher Khytt Lawrey was one of 16 recipients from across the country who was selected to receive the National Endowment for the Humanities Scholarship. Lawrey will study Asian American Literature and Film this summer in New York City.

Alief ISD teachers Kathy Tuttle (Elsik), Katherine Boone (AECHS) and Charity Ezenwa (Hastings) recently participated in a panel discussion hosted by Houston A+ Challenge. These teachers have set the standard for the College Prep English Language Arts (CPELA) course across the state. Their collaboration with Houston Community College (HCC) has ensured that CPELA students are prepared to be successful when taking the first semester of college English.

Taylor High School teacher Dr. Danielle Jackson will be published in the scholarly journal, English in Texas. Jackson’s work addresses fine arts in education and the use of music in writing instruction.

Elsik High School teacher Keri Reynolds received grant funding from the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF). Her project includes a field trip to allow her students to visit George Ranch Historical Park in Richmond. Students will receive sketchbooks, paint and brushes to document their experiences through art. Reynolds is the only Houston-area TRTF grant recipient.

Kerr High School teacher Kathleen Harrison will have one of her poems about cancer recovery presented at the Pink in the Park event sponsored by Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital and the Sugar Land Skeeters. The poem will be presented on May 15 at Constellation Field.

Holmquist Elementary teacher Doreen Dennison received a grant for 10 stability cushions for her Pre-Kindergarten classroom. These items further the action-based learning idea that if students are not moving, they are not learning.

O’Donnell Middle School orchestra teacher Dr. Richard Spitz is performing in the orchestra for the current Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) production of Music Man. He also played for the Tommy Tune Awards Ceremony.

Alief ISD graduate Erin Katribe, DVM, has been named Medical Director of Animal Trustees of Austin. Katribe was previously the lead surgery veterinarian. She graduated from Elsik High School in 2001 and previously attended Cummings and Holub.