December 19 - January 3
Holiday Break

January 4
Classes Resume

January 18
Martin Luther King Holiday
School Closed

January 21
Awty Campfire
7:30 p.m.

January 21-22
International Festival

February 1
Re-enrollment Deadline



As one of our schoolwide professional learning themes, our work continues to focus largely on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), both locally and nationally. To deepen our understandings of these topics, all faculty and staff were asked to pick a book to read over the summer to discuss during one of our first professional development days in August. If your curious about what we read, click here to see the entire list.


With a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, civil discourse, and innovative instructional strategies, our professional development days this year have given our staff and faculty the opportunity to hear and learn from two esteemed thought leaders and race relations experts. In August, Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, psychologist and author of Can We Talk About Race? and Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? led faculty and staff through important DEI questions and conversations during a panel with Head of School Lisa Darling. Then in October, we kicked off another professional development day with a keynote from Eric Deggans, NPR TV critic and author of Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation. We also had several panels on civil discourse and rounded out the day with some sessions on innovative teaching tools.

In early December, ten members of the Awty community had a chance to participate in NAIS’s online week-long People of Color Conference (PoCC) / Student Diversity Leadership Conference. We had students, faculty, and staff who participated to advance our DEI work. The PoCC provided a safe space for four of our employees including Jessica Holland, Josh Hudley, Susan Sanders, and Nadia Triki to discuss issues surrounding the interracial, interethnic, and intercultural climate in schools. We also had six Upper School students attend the Student Diversity Leadership Conference including Olushola Adesakin, Isabella Chamma, Samar Dhanani, Latifah Iginla, John Melhem, and Autumn Ross. The multiracial, multicultural gathering of Upper School student leaders from across the U.S. and abroad focused on self-reflecting, forming allies, and building community. While our representatives worked hard, we know there is still much work to be done. Use the links below to learn more about the conferences.

Another area where the school has committed to advancing our DEI work includes our Board of Trustees. They have dedicated time at every one of their board meetings this year to focus on a diversity topic. Our faculty and staff have also developed a task force that is leading a deep dive look at where DEI is working at Awty and where and how it can be improved. Additionally, the school has partnered with a number of local organizations in Houston that are looking at social justice issues in and around our city including Greater Houston Partnership and Center for Houston’s Future. We want to be a part of their work in acknowledging the issues and helping to better things in our community. Finally, we’ve had some of our phenomenal parent volunteers step forward to help organize virtual Black History Month celebrations and events for our students coming in February 2021.

We are grateful for the privilege to continue to learn and improve DEI on Awty’s campus and in our community!


Awty students have been getting their hands dirty and working hard to clear the weeds and plant a winter garden. There is a specific row in the Awty garden designated to each grade level with student decorated signs. They are planting beets, turnips, cabbage, and carrots and maintaining the herbs that survived from last year.



While it may have looked a little differently this year, Awty continued with one of it's oldest and most beloved traditions, the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 11.

Keeping with tradition, students who have been at Awty the longest (also known as Awty lifers) and the student who has attended Awty the shortest amount of time were honored during the virtual ceremony. This year, the honor went to six students. Five seniors including Alejandro Ayala, Esteban Ayala, Andy Dequin, Cristobal Ramirez, and Heris Salek began attending Awty as preschoolers in 2006 and have all been at Awty the longest. Bella Naik in PK3 is the youngest student and the student who has attended Awty the shortest.

These students were joined by Sam Waugh (the employee who has worked at Awty the longest), Pam Dorsey (the employee who has been at Awty the shortest amount of time), Head of School Lisa Darling, and Proviseur Pierre Puget, as well as two of our long-term faculty members who will be retiring this year, Françoise Matz and Eliana Marchani.


A mysterious monolith surfaced on campus and rose, the origin of which no one knows!

Among the crazy and wacky of 2020, surprises have been plenty!

It definitely brought some excitement to the year. We knew we had to get pictures before it disappeared!



From the seed to the table, our 10th grade/2nde students in the Aquaponics and Hydroponics elective were able to harvest the food they have been growing for weeks in a controlled environment on campus! The fresh, local, and organic vegetables were not only grown on campus in a sustainable environment, but they were also served for lunch in our cafeterias. Those who worked on the hydroponics system provided the lettuce for Sage Dining to use in the salads. In December, they harvested 280 heads of organic oak leaf lettuces. Join us in congratulating and thanking these students for the fruits (or rather, vegetables) of their labor!



Grateful and thankful… this is exactly what our third grade students showed to some of our faculty, staff, and administrators with thoughtful letters and creative artwork. This was the perfect Thanksgiving project as it reminds us to all take a cue from our students and give thanks to those who matter most and make a difference in our lives. Please feel free to read all of the letters in the slideshow below for an uplifting feeling, a few chuckles, and see what is on the mind of Awty third graders.



If there’s one thing Awty has, it’s S P I R I T! There may not have been a Homecoming this year, but that didn't stop our students from showing their Awty pride. You could definitely see and feel it every day during Awty's 2020 Spirit Week celebrated in mid-November.

The week got off to a “sleepy” start with everyone's favorite Pajama Day on the main campus. Everything is better in pjs, just ask our happy Lower School and Secondary students!


Astronauts, teachers, and doctors, oh my! For their first order of business, our Lower School StuCo chose the Tuesday theme and asked all LS students to dress like their favorite teacher or like the profession they want to be when they grow up. From the looks of it, we are headed toward a very bright and creative future! We also saw double on Tuesday for the Secondary students' Twin/Squad Day!


Wednesday never looked better! Our ELC students rocked stars, stripes, polka dots, and everything in between for Pattern Day. As for our Lower School and Secondary students, who said it's not easy being green? Their Spirit Week theme was Go Green Day to celebrate nature and all things green.


Life is too short to wear matching socks. That's why our ELC students wore two different socks on Thursday for Mismatched Socks Day! The Lower School and Secondary students stayed golden! Go Gold Day commemorated all things uplifting like clubs, charities, and good vibes.


Green and gold never gets old at Awty! Everyone came together on Friday, sporting Awty gear and our classic colors to conclude an awesome Spirit Week!


Our 2020 Spirit Week wouldn't have been complete without a unique gift from one of our Awty moms. Catherine Chagnon gifted an Awty Spirit Chair to the school. This one-of-a-kind chair, which was designed and created by Mrs. Chagnon, incorporates pieces of Awty athletic jerseys on both the front and back. The chair has brought lots of smiles to many including the Senior Administration Team as it rotates from one location to the next on campus. Many thanks to Mrs. Chagnon for sharing her talent and creativity with us!



In just one week, we raised $181,315 for The Awty Annual Fund. Thank YOU for making it possible! We had the pleasure to hear from staff, one of our newest families, alumni, grandparents, parents, and faculty who championed us and showed how much our community treasures Awty. Not only did so many of you help us get closer to our $1 million+ goal for the year, but every penny donated will go straight back into our beloved school benefiting our students, teachers, and staff. Your gifts will directly support all of the investments the school has made, and continues to make, this year to re-open its campuses safely for its faculty and students and to offer families the choice of high quality at-home learning. If you have not had a chance to make your gift yet, click here to donate The Awty Annual Fund today.


This year’s weeklong Halloween celebrations were completely packed with costumes, activities, challenges, and treats! Can we get a boo-yah?!

Ninth grade/3ème and 10th grade/2ème students set the mood for the week by giving us “pumpkin” to talk about on Tuesday with their decorating skills!


On Wednesday, Upper School students wore spooktacular masks and socks, while the Middle School cohorts were creepin' it real with their door and box decorations. The MS cohorts competed in a decoration competition. Classes 6ème A, 7th grade cohort 3, and 4ème B all won first prize, which gained them a free dress day! Classes 6ème B, 7th grade cohort 1, and 8th grade cohort 4 celebrated second place with chocolate croissants during lunch while 6th grade cohort 1, 5ème A, and 4ème A enjoyed ice cream with their third place win!

Thursday was none other than the Upper School Trunk or Treat contest! Juniors and Seniors decorated their cars in true Halloween style.

Friday was the most wicked day of all! The ELC's Trick or Treat Village was a frightfully good time for all the little ghouls in training! Lower School students had some fangtastic looks while Middle School students also got in the spirit with fun headpieces and masks. Of course, Awty seniors stole the show with perfectly horrid costumes!



Thank you all for helping us celebrate the arts during our Fine Arts Day at Awty on October 26! The arts are a vital and integral part of our lives, as well as that of an Awty education. This is why we celebrate a day all about promoting awareness and appreciation for creativity and uniqueness, two qualities we know our students embody! Check out these awesome Awtyians who showed us their inner artist.



If there are any silver linings to 2020, the launch of our Future of Learning Speaker Series has been one of them. Spearheaded by Chief Academic Officer Kate Adams, we have been able to virtually bring two phenomenal authors to speak to our faculty, staff, and families so far this school year.

On October 19, internationally recognized author and education thought leader George Couros brought us to tears and laughter with his engaging presentation for parents. The author of “The Innovator's Mindset” and “Innovate Inside the Box”, Mr. Couros talked about the eight characteristics of the innovator’s mindset and the powerful role technology can play not only in engaging students, but also putting them in the driver seat of their own education. To learn more about Mr. Couros, click here.


New York Times best-selling author Julia Lythcot-Haims spoke to our faculty and staff on December 14 and to our families on December 15 about her highly acclaimed book on successful parenting, “How to Raise an Adult”. Drawing from her own experiences as a parent and former Stanford dean, she gave a passionate and inspirational presentation on the signs of overparenting and how this can harm children and their future. She offered practical strategies parents can use to focus on the ARC (agency, resilience, and character) of becoming. To learn more about Julie Lythcott-Haims, click here.

We plan to continue the Future of Learning Speaker Series in the spring. Stay tuned for information on our next guest speaker. We hope you will be able to join us!


Who’s got school spirit? Our Awty Rams, that’s who!!! In true Awty form, our students and teachers showed their “Green and Gold” pride on September 25, Awty’s first Spirit Day of the 2020-2021 school year!



Today’s modern technology allowed Mrs. Cigdemoglu, Director of Experiential Education and Secondary Science Teacher, to conduct a successful science lab earlier this school year with both her 11th grade students on campus and at home simultaneously. While Mrs. Cigdemoglu's IB Biology class was studying the properties of water, they investigated the cohesive, adhesive, thermal, and solvent properties of water during the lab.



On September 9, we celebrated Newcomer’s Day at Awty, and we officially welcomed our NEW students with kind messages, goodie bags, and delicious cupcakes (courtesy of Sage Dining). Our at-home learners made cupcakes to join in on the fun. Join us in welcoming our newcomers!



The Awty Student Ambassadors support the Admissions Office by enthusiastically welcoming prospective students and their families to their school. Throughout the year, applicants to the Secondary School meet the ambassadors on student-led tours, at the annual Open House, during admitted student Shadow Visit Days, and at various other events.

Awty Student Ambassadors are students in good standing, engaged in their education, involved in the school community, and respected by their peers and the faculty. They model the school’s values and embody the school’s vision and mission of preparing students to live, lead, and work anywhere in the world, wherever their passions and talents should lead them.

Meet our Student Ambassador Leadership Team

Alex Daube
12th Grade

Andrew Farrant
11th Grade
Vice President

Zara Amjad
12th Grade

Philippe des Boscs
12th Grade
French Program Chair

Cynthia Deem
12th Grade
Operations Team Chair

Sanam Sharafkhaneh
12th Grade
Training and Marketing Team Chair

Vivian Wu
11th Grade
Head of Social Media Outreach

Om Satapathy
12th Grade
Head of Campus Outreach

Evan Hammerstein
11th Grade
Training and Marketing Executive Team Member

Sophiya Sami
10th Grade
Training and Marketing Executive Team Member

Sofia de la Morena
10th Grade
Training and Marketing Executive Team Member

Marina Carlos
11th Grade
Training and Marketing Executive Team Member

Yasemin Dundar
11th Grade
Operations Executive Team Member

Margaret Watkins
10th Grade
Operations Executive Team Member

Arianna Shekhani
11th Grade
Operations Executive Team Member


As members of the Awty community, we want you to be our cheerleaders. You can help promote Awty by following these quick, easy steps:

  1. Like Awty's page on Facebook. Follow Awty on Twitter. Subscribe to Awty's YouTube channel.
  2. Like or love the school's post on each social media account.
  3. Share the school's posts on Facebook and retweet the school's tweets on Twitter.
  4. Write positive comments on each post.
  5. Write positive reviews on Facebook, niche.com, greatschools.org, (and if you work at Awty, glassdoor.com).