Alief Early College High School and Kerr High School advanced to the SeaPerch National Competition after qualifying at regionals. Teams Fresh Off the Perch (AECHS) and One Direction (Kerr) will compete against more than 175 teams from across the country and Puerto Rico at the national competition in May. Killough Middle School also won first place in the middle school division at the regional competition. The underwater robotics competition is supported by the U.S. Navy Department of Outreach.

Liestman Elementary student Dannielle Liggans met and introduced herself to President Barack Obama during the South by Southwest Conference in Austin. Liggans is a kindergartener in the school’s dual language program.

Students from the Hastings High School Fashion Department won scholarships from the Fashion My Future Career Conference state-wide design competition. Ana Nolasco, Deily Navas and Elvia Rodriguez placed first, second and third respectively, and each student received a scholarship.

Alief ISD high school speech and debate students were recognized at the Texas Forensic Association’s state tournament. Mbolle Ekane (Elsik) won third place in Prose Interpretation. Rebecca Grant (Hastings) made it to state finals in Congress. Ever Cruz (Taylor) and Kaily Edison (Taylor) were state quarterfinalists in Informative Speaking and Programmed Oral Interpretation respectively. Leticia Nketiah (Taylor) was a state finalist in Student Congressional Debate.

Alief ISD Career & Technical Education students were recently named regional semi-finalists in the Stratasys Systems 2016 Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge. The following students were spotlighted: Luigi Defoe (Elsik) for his drone innovation, Eduardo Cantu (Elsik) for his lighter military vest innovation, Tianna John (Hastings) for her baby bottle innovation and Richard Tran (Hastings) and Andrew Diep (Hastings) for their hoverseat innovation. The students are in the Intro to Engineering class.

Million Mile Month Update:

  • Team Leaderboard: Administration Instruction is currently in the lead. Administration Business and Collins Elementary are in second and third place respectively.
  • Individual Leaderboard: Sue Page (Administration Instruction), Roxana Subonj (Collins) and Rita Minter (Holub) are in first, second and third place respectively.

Alief Jazz Ballet students Blessing Yemi-Ese (Elsik) and Jose Gonzales (Hastings) received scholarships from the Velocity Dance Convention. Yemi-Ese placed second for her solo in the contemporary category. She also received a dance scholarship to the Edge Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles, where she can continue her dance training with free classes. Gonzales received first runner up “Maximum Velocity Artist” out of all of the senior boys and received a dance convention scholarship at any touring city for a year. He will be attending the national convention and competition in Las Vegas this summer.

Two Alief ISD Special Olympics Teams placed at area competitions. The Alief Superstars and the Alief Shooting Stars placed second and third respectively in their brackets at the Special Olympics Area Basketball Tournament in Cy-Fair.

Mata Intermediate School students Qayyum Ayilara and Arwon Thanars won Individual Student Award prizes in the Think Through Math 2016 Lonestar Math Cup. Students across Texas spent more than one million hours and completed 305 million lessons and 102 million math problems in 29 days. Each student won a Wal-Mart gift card.

Sneed Elementary students in Marco Dosal’s third grade bilingual glass reached its first goal of 500,000 points using Think Through Math and will donate points to the non-profit organization NO KIDS HUNGRY. The class hopes to win another 500,000 points so that it can donate to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Hastings High School student Ahmir West, who is a point guard for the varsity girls basketball team, was selected to participate in the Houston Area Girls Basketball Coaches All-Star Game. After graduating, West will play basketball at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo., on a full athletic scholarship.

District University Interscholastic League (UIL) Results:

  • Accounting: Eri-Ife Divine Adepoju (first place/Kerr), Duy Dinh (second place/Hastings) and Sheila Page (third place/Hastings)
  • Current Events: Vera Nweke (third place/Kerr)
  • Computer Applications: Thanh Nguyen (first place/Elsik)
  • Editorial Writing: Marisa Cherry (first place/Taylor)
  • Feature Writing: Ann Morris (first place/Hastings) and Estefania Rodriguez (third place/Taylor)
  • Headline Writing: William Ward (first place/Hastings) and Ann Morris (third place/Hastings)
  • Persuasive Speaking: Vera Nweke (second place/Kerr)
  • Poetry Interpretation: Gwendolyn Natividad (first place/Kerr), Kimora Kelley (second place/ AECHS) and Connie Ogiamien (third place/Taylor)
  • Prose Interpretation: Rem Aitbouchireb (first place/Kerr), Huy Bui (second place/Kerr) and Fortune Onwunali (third place/Hastings)
  • Ready Writing: Heather Beans (third place/Hastings)
  • Social Studies: Hang Tran Nguyen (second place/Kerr)
  • Teams: Hastings High School (first place in Accounting and journalism) and Kerr High School (first place in Speech and third place in Computer Science and CX Debate)

The Hastings High School Journalism Program recently received honors from two organizations. The campus newspaper has been named as a finalist for “Star” rating for the Interscholastic League Press Conference (ILPC) from the University Interscholastic League. The rating indicates that the newspaper has done an outstanding job in all areas of journalism. Current Yearbook Editor-in-Chief Ann Morris and 2015 Editor-in-Chief Claudia Irra both have photos featured in the 30th edition of the Yearbook Yearbook. Produced by Balfour, the publication contains examples of original themes and designs as well as unique photos and coverage ideas from schools across the country.

Elsik High School student Miguel Rivas was invited to go to NASA this summer to compete in the NASA High School Aerospace Program. During the competition, he will join a team of 10 to 12 students to compete in various challenges and will be mentored by NASA professionals. He will also be able to visit areas not generally open to the public.

The Alief Middle School Harmony Singers received sweepstakes at the UIL Concert and Sight Reading Competition. Sweepstakes is the highest rating earned at this competition.

Hastings High School students Jorge Martinez and Paul Okwegba received awards at the Waltrip Jazz Festival. Martinez won best trumpet player of the festival, while Okwegba (saxophone) won an outstanding soloist award.

Alief ISD Basketball All-District Teams:

  • Girls Basketball:
    • Offensive Player of the Year: Ahmir West (Hastings)
    • Co-Coach of the Year: Corey Brotherton (Hastings)
    • First Team All-District: Jolia Spot (Elsik), Ashley Moore (Hastings), Kai-Lee Valentine (Hastings), Natalie Brannon (Taylor) and Tia Jones (Hastings)
    • Academic All-District: Lydia Taylor (Elsik), Crystal Broussard (Hastings), Sarah Faulhaber (Hastings), Alia Mortada (Hastings), Tatiyanna Riley (Hastings), Natalie Brannon (Taylor), Kylah Ingram (Taylor) and Alayshia Jones (Taylor)
  • Boys Basketball:
    • First Team All-District: Domonic Morgan (Elsik), Julius Hardison (Hastings), Simon Falokun (Taylor) and Eric Olonade (Taylor)

Outley Elementary raised $6,861.51 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Elsik High School students Mariah Moore, Rut Ferretiz and Zoria Loague were selected to participate in the 2016 Houston Methodist Hospital Summer Nursing Externship Program. The program is sponsored by Communities In Schools.

Alief ISD staff members are avid supporters of wellness initiatives. Holub Middle School teacher Carl Classen competed in the 40K Woodlands Marathon. Cummings Elementary Principal Jeanette Byrd won the 5K Lookin’ Good Shamrock Strut Fun Run. She was the first overall 5K female finisher for this fundraiser, which provides necessary vision services for adults and children.

Elsik Ninth Grade Center Principal Vinson Lewis was recently recognized by the C.A.U.S.E. Foundation as the recipient of its Excellence in Education Award at the annual banquet. This award is given to an individual who has shown outstanding achievements in the field of education.

Landis Elementary ESL Specialist Anna Escobar has been selected to present at the Houston Baptist University’s Teaching and Learning Symposium. She will present on Sheltered Strategies for the ELL Classroom. Projects:

  • Rees Elementary teacher Amy Martinez received funding from Dwight Howard with the Houston Rockets for her project. She will receive iPads with cases and wireless headphones for hands-on learning for her Pre-Kindergarten students.
  • Three Heflin Elementary teachers received funding for their respective projects. Mary Bondurant received funding for collage pots and life cycle vocabulary readers for her Kindergarten students. Laura Donaldson received funding for bouncy bands to help students focus on learning. Irene Oloko received funding for a class rug to enhance with class structure.
  • Boone Elementary teacher Heather Hughes received funding for music carpets for her music classroom. Students will use the rugs to learn where to sit.