Elsik Ninth Grade Center teacher Izabel Hlayhel was named the Houston Area Association for Bilingual Educators Secondary ESL Teacher of the Year. She will move onto the state competition.

The Elsik High School Air Force JROTC Program recently received the Distinguished Unit Award. This unit was one of 330 chosen out of 887 units worldwide that was selected for the Distinguished Unit Award for the 2015-16 school year. This award emphasizes community service, and the Elsik JROTC Cadets have performed more than 2,100 hours of community service in the past calendar year.

The following Alief ISD high school students have qualified for the UIL Academic State Meet after placing at UIL Regional Competition. They will be competing in Austin in late May.

  • Hastings: Duy Dinh (third place/Accounting), Ann Morris (second place/Feature Writing) and Fortune Onwunali (first place/Prose Interpretation)
  • Kerr: Huy Bui (second place/Prose Interpretation)

Three Alief ISD students were named recipients of the Gates Millennium Scholarship. Ibukunoluwa Falana (AECHS), Grace Akinyemi (Elsik) and Lilian Ebhamen (Elsik) are among approximately 53,000 seniors from across the nation who applied for this prestigious scholarship. Only 1,000 seniors were selected. Each scholar will receive a full-ride scholarship for their post-secondary studies.

Elsik High School student Grace Akinyemi was chosen as one of only 70 winners from the Houston area to receive the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation Scholarship. It is valued at $18,000 over four years. Akinyemi has graciously declined the scholarship offer because she would like for the scholarship to go to another deserving student in need.

Taylor High School student Diana Garcia was awarded the Commit For Life Scholarship. She was one of only 20 recipients to receive this $1,000 award.

The Alief Jazz Ballet Performance Company took first in the Contemporary and Hip Hop routines at the 24 Seven Dance Convention. Blessing Yemi-Ese (Elsik), Teyama Lewis (Hastings), Jose Gonzales (Hastings), Trevon Anderson (Hastings) and Robyn Harris (Kerr) were awarded dance scholarships.

Congratulations to the following Alief ISD high school students, who will each be awarded a $1,000 scholarship by CITGO to pursue post-secondary studies in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics):

  • AECHS: Busayo Okusaga
  • Elsik: Wafeeq Ahmad and Abdul Campos Quintanilla
  • Hastings: Xin Chen, Fola Okeyemi, Steven Gu, Vinh Le and Kiet Tat
  • Kerr: Kathy Nguyen and Angel Phan
  • Taylor: Sam Abayomi, Sasha Falaja, Jamese Harris, Chikodi Merenu and Cheyenne Redmond

The following Alief ISD high school students were each awarded a scholarship worth at least $800 by the Alief Retired Educators Association:

  • AECHS: Alondra Martinez-Almanza
  • Elsik: Taylor Jones and Steven Johnson
  • Hastings: Ha Nguyen and Nancy Serpas
  • Kerr: Angel Phan
  • Taylor: Jarmanese Davis and Allison Sanborn

Alief Early College High School student Elizabeth Lopez and Taylor High School student Temitayo Ahmed were awarded scholarships from the Houston Westchase Rotary Club. They will each receive $500 each semester for four years of their college careers. The Houston Westchase Rotary Club is currently supporting eight Alief graduates.

The following Alief ISD high school students will each be awarded a $500 scholarship to pursue their post-secondary education. The scholarship is made possible through the Alief Employee Alumni Association (AEAA), its members and supporters.

  • AECHS: Alondra Martinez-Almanza (AEAA Scholarship)
  • Elsik: Timothy Dent (AEAA Scholarship)
  • Hastings: Faridat Agboola (AEAA Scholarship) and Ashley Mondragon (AEAA-Raising Cane’s
  • Kerr: Kelly Yu (AEAA Scholarship)
  • Taylor: Charee Williams (AEAA Scholarship)

The Alief Superstars Special Olympics Team brought home many awards from the St. John’s Track and Field Meet. Students competed in different heats in either the 50 meter or the 100 meter event. Timothy Hinson (Hastings), Terrance Simms (Taylor), Jorge Malvaez (Youngblood), Jana El-Saleh (Martin) and Devin Spaniel-Gunn (Martin) each secured a first place finish. Amanda Santana (Taylor) and Kimberly Maradiaga (Outley) placed second. Jesus Patino (Hastings), Steve Garcia (Hastings), Carlos Ramirez (Hastings) and Makayla Polk (Elsik) placed third.

Miller Intermediate’s Cyber Red Robotics Team from the school’s After School Program took second place in the 4-H Agri-Biotics Competition at Prairie View A&M University.

Eight Killough Middle School students received the Certification of Merit Award from the Society of Women Engineers of Houston. The students were Ayla Gumataotao, Kenya Mitchell, Omolere Aliu, Sabrina Ho, Charlotte Garcia, Sally Hoang, Truc Truong and Precious Fowobaje.

Hastings High School student Jelilat Odubayo will be interning this summer with Jackson Walker Law Firm. This opportunity is an eight-week, full-time, paid position.

Taylor High School teacher Christine Zimmerman was selected to speak at the 2016 AVID Summer Institute General Session in Dallas. She is the only teacher speaking at the Dallas Summer Institute.

Alief Early College High School teacher Dr. Noemi Dimaliwat-Frias was awarded a certificate of appreciation by Educate Texas, a public-private initiative of Communities Foundation of Texas. She was recognized for her dedicated service to STEM education and the students of the Alief Early College High School T-STEM Academy.

Staff from 16 Alief ISD schools received funding from the Alief ISD Education Foundation. These teacher mini grants will further student learning across the district. This year’s mini grants funding total is more than $40,000.

Alief Learning Center won a $5,000 grant through Lowes Toolbox for Education. The grant will be used to transform its courtyard area into an outdoor classroom with a garden for science.

Budewig Intermediate Language Arts Specialist Pam Baker was recently awarded a $1,000 community grant by Walmart. The money will go towards the campus’s Real Men Read Program and Literacy Festival.

Alief ISD graduate Martellus Bennett recently gave a TEDx Talk about creativity. Bennett will be playing football for the New England Patriots this season. He graduated from Taylor in 2005.