February 20-27
Gala Online Auction

February 26 - March 2
Awty Appreciation Week

February 28 - March 2
Book Fair

March 1
Fine Arts Month Begins

March 3
2018 Awty Gala
Sea the World
The Ballroom at Bayou Place
6:30 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.




Congratulations to sophomore Katrina Sawyer! She is a member of Awty's Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band and she performed with the Texas All-State Band in San Antonio on Saturday, February 17, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center as part of the 2018 Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Clinic/Convention.

Katrina was chosen for this prestigious honor through a competitive process held this year across the state at the District, Region, and Area levels. She is a student of Aaron Montes’ and plays at Awty under the direction of Jason Peguero, who is a member of the TMEA, a 19,000+ member organization headquartered in Austin.

High school students selected to perform in the All-State concerts have competed through auditions to qualify at the state level. All-State is the highest honor a Texas music student can receive. Only the top 2.5% of musicians who initially audition become All-State musicians. Over 1,700 students are selected through a process that begins with over 70,000 students from around the state vying for this honor to perform in one of 15 ensembles (bands, orchestras, and choirs). TMEA sponsors the Texas All-State competition. This competitive process begins throughout the state in auditions hosted by 33 TMEA Regions. Individual musicians perform selected music for a panel of judges who rank each instrument or voice part. From this ranking, a select group of musicians advances from their Region to compete against musicians from other areas in eight TMEA Area competitions. The highest-ranking musicians judged at the TMEA Area competitions qualify to perform in a TMEA All-State music group.

These All-State students participated in three days of rehearsals directed by nationally-recognized conductors during the TMEA Clinic/Convention. Their performances for thousands of attendees brought this extraordinary event to a close. For the All-State concert schedule and conductor information, go to the performances section of


Congratulations to Ynes Kang, 11th grade, for winning Best in Show at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (HLSR) art competition! Her artwork will be on display in the Hayloft Gallery at HLSR through March 18.

Artwork from eight other Awty students placed at the competition including:

1st Place
Danielle Xu, 10th grade
Sophia Hashmi, 10th grade
Samantha Francis, 9th grade
George Kapitan, 11th grade

2nd Place
Lara Roy, 9th grade
Ashling Devins, 12th grade

3rd Place
Lisa Meng, 10th grade
Aranza Rodriguez, 10th grade


Congratulations to the Awty students who qualified for the TAPPS Division I State Swimming Championship including Emilien Bevierre (Tle), Colette Chen (9th grade), Leila El Masri (12th), Kara Fields (12th), Mitchell Griffiths (12th), Eddie Hirs (Tle), Ynes Kang (11th), Miles Lewis (9th), Brandon Mahan (11th), Abby Partridge (12th), Amelia Ward (12th), and Will Ward (10th).

Overall, the Girls team finished 6th and the Boys team finished 10th. Bravo to Brandon Mahan and Leila El Masri! They both received second place medals at the state championship. Congrats also to the following students for breaking school records:

  • Leila El Masri - 500 freestyle
  • Brandon Mahan - 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle
  • Will Ward - 100 backstroke


On January 27, Awty hosted the Region V Chess Championships (Texas is divided into ten regions). Over 250 players from small private schools to huge public schools participated. Awty entered three teams: High School Open (Varsity), Middle School Open (Varsity), and Middle School U700 (Junior Varsity). We won the championship in all three divisions we entered, giving us our best result as a school in the history of our chess program! You can find the full results here.

Individual results include:

High School Open:
1st - Yian Wong, 11th grade
2nd - Stephen Wells, 11th grade
5th - Jose Mendoza, 10th grade
11th - Elias Wolkiewiez, Tle

Middle School Open:
7th - Sumair Nibber, 8th grade
9th - Carter Cunningham, 7th grade
10th - Julian Blanco, 7th grade

Middle School U700:
1st - Benjamin Azencott, 5ème (perfect with five wins, no losses or draws)
2nd - Saheb Nibber, 6th grade
4th - Jose Gallo, 7th grade
5th - Amine Jokhan, 5ème (whose only loss was to Benjamin)
10th - Elliott Lazar, 8th grade
20th - Sami Jokhan, 5ème
28th - Max Grinstein, 6th grade
32nd - Aidan Cunningham, 8th grade

Elias Wolkiewiez, who will graduate this May after several years with the team, said it best when he remarked that these results show that the future of chess at Awty is bright. Congratulations to all! We look forward to the State Championship, held in Houston on March 9-11.


For the second consecutive year, sophomore Emily Zoorob has earned membership in the Texas All-State Choir. Her successful audition in January included a perfect score and the highest ranking on sight-singing in her voice part, meaning she sang a melody that she had neither seen nor heard before with zero errors. Very impressive!


Congratulations to the following winners of Awty's annual Geography Bee:

Geography Bee Champion
Matthew Drexler
7th grade

2nd Place
Lucia Urreta
8th grade

3rd Place
Elliott Lazar
8th grade


The 2017-2018 Middle School Spelling Bee Champion is 7th grader Kelvin Zhang! He correctly spelled the word "chevalier" for the championship. Mael Le Roy, 4ème, came in second place and Anna Simottel, 6ème, came in third place. Congratulations to all three students!

Spelling Bee Champion
Kelvin Zhang
7th grade

2nd Place
Mael Le Roy

3rd Place
Anna Simottel


Awty hosted a “Trashy Art Competition” on December 6 in order to raise environmental awareness and promote creativity. This year, the theme was endangered species. The competition was open to all Middle and Upper School students.

We are happy to announce the winners of the contest:

Upper School:
1st place - Margaux Thomas, 3ème
2nd place - William Ward, 10th grade
3rd place - Cynthia Deem, 9th grade

Middle School:
1st place - Andrea Nurko, 8th grade
2nd place - Camila Pozo Araujo, 4ème
3rd place - Agnes Raybaud, 4ème

Photo Winners:
1st place - Manon Buckner, 4ème
2nd place - Sammy Hashmi, 8th grade
3rd place - Isabelle Villanueva, 8th grade

Congratulations to all of the winners and participants!

awty student among via colori artists

Eleventh grade student Lucia Wu was invited to create a mural at the 12th annual Houston Via Colori Street Festival. The following students spent many hours helping Lucia complete her 4 x 4 foot design of Elpis, Hope After Harvey: Gulara Alaskarova (11th grade), Ynes Kang (11th), George Kapitan (11th), Sophia Pivnik (11th), Blessing Utomi (12th), Danielle Zabaneh (11th), and Elissar Zabaneh (11th). Congratulations to all of the participants in the festival.

Via Colori benefits The Center for Hearing and Speech (CHS), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping deaf children listen and speak without the use of sign language. Since 1947, CHS has helped thousands of Houston-area children gain listening, speaking and literacy skills – the tools they need to improve their quality of life and achieve success in society. All of the Center’s programs demonstrate a commitment to enable deaf children to reach their full potential by teaching them listening, speaking, and literacy skills. Last year, CHS provided services to more than 10,285 children from 31 counties across Texas. For more information on CHS, visit or follow CHS on Twitter @HelpingKidsHear.


Students in 4th grade/CM1 and 5th grade/CM2 competed in the annual Lower School Spelling Bee on December 5. In 5th grade/CM2, the winner was Finnian Helman and the runner-up was Parisian Inizan. Finnian won by correctly spelling staccato.

In 4th grade/CM1, the winner was Mark Lowe and the runner-up was Adela Nicolae. Mark won by correctly spelling homonym.

These students represented the Lower School when they competed in the Middle School Spelling Bee on January 4. Congratulations to all four students!

awty students compete in local chinese speech contest

Twenty-three students from Awty competed in the 16th Annual Greater Houston Chinese Speech Contest, which is organized every year by Sharpstown International School, Confucius Institute, Hua Xia Chinese School, and China Overseas Education Foundation.

Sixteen students in Awty's International program competed including Doreen Cai (11th grade), Jiaxi (Angela) Chen (10th), Megan Dunkin (11th), Adam Fields (9th), Alejandra Gerlach (11th), Aliya Gosdin (11th), Eric Hall (11th), Jeremy Jason (11th), Daniella Jimenez (11th), Joe Li (10th), Jim Ma (9th), Adriana Morales (11th), Sophia Gai Pivnik (11th), Ashlyn Yanxiu Tu (10th), Vivian Wu (9th), and Jaden Wu (9th). At the contest, candidates were judged by experts on their vast public speaking abilities in Chinese including pronunciation, main idea, and overall presentation. All of these students brought home trophies from various categories including Adam Fields winning 2nd place for the non-heritage group and Angela Chen winning 2nd place in the native group.

Seven students in the French program including Nolan Causer (3ème), Eduardo Dagnino (1ère), Louis Duchemin (1ère), Nathalie Jeanneret (1ère), Neelam Monroy (1ère), Joshua Santurbano (1ère), and Apolline Taxy (1ère) all received Honorable Mention prizes at the contest in the Middle-High School (12-18 year old) category. The topics were selected by the students, and the speeches did not exceed three minutes.

Congratulations to this group of enthusiastic and talented Awty students!