About 2,680 Alief ISD seniors will graduate on Sunday and Monday as a part of the Class of 2015. These students were awarded approximately $46 million in scholarships and grants. They exceeded last year’s scholarship amount of $37 million.

The Alief Superstars medaled at the Special Olympics Texas Summer Games. The basketball team won a bronze medal, and members included students Emmanuel Castro (Albright), Jaramoji Graham (Hastings), Sierra David Latin (O’Donnell), Catalina Ortiz-Valencia (Elsik), Jesus Patino (Killough), Makayla Polk (Elsik) and Terrance Simms (O’Donnell). In track, Timothy Hinson (Hastings) won silver in his 50 meter run, and Martha Chang (Hastings) won gold medals in softball throw and in her 50 meter assisted walk. Amanda Santana (Taylor) won silver in her softball throw and 8th place in the 50 meter run. Students competed against more than 3,000 athletes from across the state.

Alief ISD high school fine arts studentswon medals at the State Solo & Ensemble Contest.

  • Elsik High School
    • Band: 2 gold and 10 silver
    • Choir: 10 gold and 17 silver
    • Orchestra: 1 silver
  • Hastings High School
    • Choir: 2 silver
    • Orchestra: 1 gold and 1 Outstanding Soloist Award
  • Kerr High School
    • Band: 4 gold and 2 silver
    • Choir: 4 gold and 6 silver
    • Orchestra: 7 gold and 13 silver
  • Taylor High School
    • Band: 4 gold and 2 silver
    • Choir: 1 gold and 3 silver


Alief ISD beat out the competition at the Guiding Star Awards hosted by Parents for Public Schools of Houston. Mahanay Elementary teacher Damon Barone was awarded a Guiding Star Award for his work in and out of the classroom. He was nominated in the parent/grandparent category. Cummings Elementary was named the Parent/Community Friendly School, and the Cummings custodial staff won a Guiding Star Award in the non-certified staff category.

O’Donnell Middle School students Edwin Rodriguez, Daniel Miguel, Stephon Ruiz, Kevin Nguyen and Joseph Bilski were the first place winners in the Houston-Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Project’s Video Game STEM Challenge. The students beat out other Houston-area schools with their project, which includes a board game and a computer game that they built. The grand prize is a four-day tour of Washington D.C., which will include meeting with a senator or representative and a White House photo-op.

Students in Boone and Kennedy Elementary’s After School Program came out on top at Kids’ Day at Hewlett-Packard (HP). Kennedy was named the overal winner of the entire compteition and also received first place in the robotics category. Boone won first place in the speed demon category. Both campuses received new technology equipment. The event was a collaboration between HP and CASE for Kids, a division of the Harris County Department of Education.

Heflin Elementary won first place for their poster and third place for their skit in the Houston-area Dare to Dream end-of-year competition. Heflin defeated 10 other Dare to Dream schools. Dare to Dream is a program in which an interactive curriculum is used to boost self-esteem and provide positive role models for children.

Holmquist Elementary was named the winner of the Elementary Battle of the Books contest, and Hicks Elementary was the runner-up. Seventeen elementary schools battled through video conference.

Alief Early College High School student Drew Bernard was one of 35 juniors selected from a pool of 600 juniors from across the nation to receive the 2015 Alexander Hamilton Citizen Achievement Award. This award recognizes juniors for their academic, personal, service and entrepreneurial achievements and includes a $500 scholarship.

Taylor High School student Kafia Hersi was recognized as this year’s recipient of the Killough Soaring Eagle Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded through donations from the Killough staff and namesake Dr. Killough and is given to a senior who attended Killough in eighth grade. Hersi plans to attend the University of Houston to pursue a career in education.

Elsik High School student Ali Kromah was spotlighted by the Houston Chronicle as the newspaper’s Boys’ Soccer Player of the Year. Kromah, who made first team, will be playing for San Jacinto Junior College in the fall. Taylor High School student Juan Aguilar was also in the spotlight as a part of the boys second team.

Hastings High School student Dondrei Williams and Taylor High School student Ogo Obukwelu will be playing as a part of the west squad in the All Star Bayou Bowl on June 13 in Baytown. They will be representing their high schools one last time on the field before moving onto their post-secondary institutions.The Bayou Bowl consists of student athletes from the greater Houston area.

23-6A All-District Softball Team

  • First Team: Zachary Perez (Taylor / Catcher) and Luis Schwedler (Taylor / Outfield)
  • Second Team: Victor Pichardo (Hastings / Pitcher), Brandon Mitchell (Elsik / Pitcher) and Lazard Dominique (Elsik / Outfield)


The Taylor High School “SeaLions” competed in the annual Seaperch underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) competition in Massachusetts. Students Gerardo Carpinteryo and Erikson Garay represented Alief ISD and Texas among 200 project entries from across the country, including Puerto Rico.

More than 350 Alief ISD employees were honored during the annual Service & Retirement Banquet. Approximately 320 staff members received awards for 10 to 40 years of service. Employees who are retiring were also honored.

Alief ISD alumni Jordan Addison and Diana Valero recently graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). They also graduated together from Hastings High School in 2011. Addison previously attended Cummings, Smith, Mata and Albright, while Valero attended Martin, Owens and Killough.

Kerr High School graduate Cameron Clark (Class of 2012) recently completed his bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin within three years and will be continuing his studies at Harvard Law School. He previously attended Best, Outley, Budewig and Albright.

Retired Alief ISD staff member Laura Dawson was recently inducted into the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame. She served for eight years as a coach at Elsik High School, where she led the school to four state tournament appearances. Dawson served as one of the assistant athletic directors for Alief ISD for the next 15 years before retiring in 2013.