Taylor High School students Isaiah Holloway and Sedia Woods were named first in the state of Texas in Duet Acting after competing for Mainstage at the Texas Thespians State Festival. Holloway and Woods had the honor of performing their Duet Acting scene at closing ceremonies in front of 6,400 people in attendance and received a standing ovation. This is one of the highest honors a high school theatre student can achieve. In addition, Holloway and Woods are nationally qualified in Duet Acting, and Woods received a $1,000 scholarship from Texas State Thespians.

Kerr High School also had 13 national qualifiers in seven different categories following the Texas Thespians State Festival. The qualifiers are Christina Tahtouh and Mariah Menendez (Duet Acting), Andrew Lam (Costume Design), Kevin Cortez (Set Design), Gaby Rodriguez, Jesus Pineda and Helen Do (Group Acting), Rem Aitbouchireb (Monologue), Vivian Vu (Lighting Design) and Kerean Vu, Quincy Robinson, Saul Flores and Jose Ramos (Group Acting). Gaby Rodriguez also earned the top award at the festival, a $5,000 scholarship for service to troupe and community, teamwork, and leadership and general theatre skills.

The Alief Super Stars Special Olympics Team recently competed at the area level bowling tournament. Fourteen students received medals, and seven others earned ribbons.

  • Gold medal recipients: Jana El-saleh (Youngblood), Osato Osuan (Hastings), Sierra Davis-Latin (Elsik), William Nguyen (Hastings) and David Nnama (Elsik)
  • Silver medal recipients: Brianna Wilson (Albright), Emmanuel Castro (Albright), Terrance Simms (Taylor), Diego Sanchez (Hastings), Timothy Hinson (Hastings) and Carlos Ramirez (Hastings)
  • Bronze medal recipients: Xavier Boyd (Hastings), Celeste Montes (Hastings) and Alison Nguyen (Taylor)

Petrosky Elementary student Dimitri Barnett was selected to represent his local Youth Football Association in the 2015 American Youth Football (AYF) and Cheerleading National Championships in Florida. AYF is a nationally recognized non-profit youth sports organization which champions education and rewards academic achievement.

Albright Middle School has the distinct honor of being an Oliver Foundation recognized school. The Oliver Foundation is a non-profit organization that focuses on prevention of childhood obesity. Albright was awarded a $500 grant to develop a student-driven wellness organization. As a result, the Albright Student Wellness Ambassadors were created to implement wellness programs and health awareness programs for the campus student body.

Elsik High School student Joy Ihedilionye and Alief Early College High School student Daniel Chica both were awarded the Quest Bridge Scholarship, a full four-year scholarship worth more than $200,000. The scholarship includes tuition & fees, room and board, books and supplies and travel expenses. Ihedilionye will be studying Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame. Chica will be studying Aerospace Engineering at Cal Tech University.

Two teams from the O’Donnell Middle School Robotics Club earned a gold ticket at the FIRST Lego League regional qualifier and will advance to the regional championship tournament in February. The team also took home the award for Core Values, which is given for exceptional teamwork and sportsmanship.

Cummings Elementary was spotlighted on KPRC Channel 2 when the station’s meteorologist
Britta Merwin visited the campus and conducted a science experience with the students.

December Scholar Athletes:

  • Natalie Brannon represents the Taylor High School basketball program and is in the top quarter of her class. She has been a member of the basketball program since her freshman year and is also active in the volleyball program. Brannon is involved in Texas Association of Future Educators, Christians in Action and the African American Association. She is involved in the youth ministry as a bible teacher at her church. She previously attended Outley Elementary, Miller Intermediate and Albright Middle School. Brannon will continue to play basketball at South Western Christian College, where she will be pursuing an English and Kinesiology degree with plans to become an educator and coach.
  • Ejike (EJ) Okocha-Ojeah represents the Hastings High School basketball program and is currently ranked 15th in his class. He is a three-year letterman for the basketball program, has been in PALS and is active in the Civil Engineering and Architecture Program. Okocha-Ojeah also volunteers for the youth group at a local church. He previously attended Rees Elementary, Miller Intermediate and Albright Middle School. He plans to study Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University and hopes to have a career in the aerospace industry.

Hastings High School student Victor Pichardo signed to play baseball at Finlandia University. The university is located in Michigan.

Hastings High School journalism students competed against other students from across the state in the CenTex UIL Invitational Meet. William Ward placed second in Editorial Writing and third place in Feature Writing and in Headline Writing. Ann Morris placed second in Headline Writing.

Five Alief ISD students received recognition from the Houston Fire Museum for their fire prevention posters. Martin Elementary student Daniel Soto received first place in the fourth grade division, Sneed Elementary student Ericka Martinez and Chambers Elementary student Abraham Martinez received second place in the first grade and third grade categories respectively. Alief Early College High School student Jasymne Trishell received third place in the ninth grade division while AECHS student Tianyin Xu received honorable mention. The art posters are on display at the Houston Fire Museum until the end of 2015.

Hastings High School student Fortune Onwunali, who advanced to the final audition for the Texas All-State Choir, will perform at the area audition in January in an effort to earn a coveted spot in the Texas All-State Choir.

The Alief Early College High School Speech and Debate Organization won first place sweepstakes at both the Bay City High School and the Brazoswood High School Speech and Debate Tournament. AECHS defeated 25 area high schools for the title.

The Kerr High School Speech and Debate Team took home first place sweepstakes at the Taylor High School tournament.

Alief ISD students are spreading holiday cheer. Alief FFA students from Elsik and Hastings High School recently brought holiday cheer to the children at Memorial Hermann Children’s Hospital. The students were able to deliver eight trash bags full of toys to the kids. While Martin Elementary choir students were performing holiday carols to patients and visitors at the Houston Methodist Hospital, the school’s art students gifted cancer awareness bracelets to the staff, patients and guests.

Horn Elementary students and staff collected $2,613.38 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The collection was in honor of the son of campus staff member Yaneth Mejia, whose son Eduardo is in the maintenance stage of his leukemia treatments and is well on the way to being in remission.

The Chambers Elementary Student Council held a successful Holiday Food Drive in which more than 900 items were collected. The items were donated to the House of Amos, which provides assistance to people in the Alief community through emergency food pantry operations and services designed to assist individuals in gaining healthy families, meaningful employment and achieving self-sufficiency.

Hicks Elementary received funding through a Texas Commission on the Arts grant to have Carranza Puppets perform Hansel & Gretel to the school’s Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students.

Taylor High School teacher Roxanna Barnes received the 2015 Alma Slawinski Leadership Award for Excellent Work in Theatre Education. In order to receive this award you have to be nominated by theatre teachers from across the state, have 10 or more years of service as a theatre educator and must be voted on by the Texas Thespians State Board. Barnes received the honor during the Texas State Thespian Festival.

District Technology Integrator Ashley May’s article was published in the November edition of Tech Edge. The article, titled Game Time, talks about how to recognize who the technology leaders are on each campus. Tech Edge is a publication by the Texas Computer Education Association.

Albright Middle School teacher Adriana Hernandez and her students were highlighted as “Classroom of the Month” on the website of Six-Word Memoirs. The profile celebrates Albright’s student writers.

Mahanay Elementary teacher Kayla Coutouzis received funding from DonorsChoose.org for iPads in her classroom. The project was funded by district business partner Chevron.

Alief ISD graduate Robert Jackson was named one of the 10 most influential students at New York University. Jackson, who is currently a senior, was chosen for his work in empowering young black and Latino communities. He graduated from Hastings High School in 2012 and previously attended Chambers Elementary, Owens Intermediate, Miller Intermediate and Albright Middle School.

Elsik High School graduate Devohn Reed (Class of 2013) was named to the 2015 All-SWAC (Southwestern Athletic Conference) Football Team. Reed is currently a defensive lineman for the Prairie View A&M University Panthers and previously attended Best Elementary, Chancellor Elementary, Mata Intermediate and Holub Middle School.