December 2-19
Toy Drive

December 11
PK4 / MS Show
8:45 a.m.

December 13
Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony

December 13-14
US Theatre
Dec. 13 at 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 14 at 2:30 & 7:30 p.m.
Fine Arts Recital Hall

December 15
MS Band Holiday Concert
6:00 p.m.

December 16
US Band & Orchestra Holiday Concert
6:00 p.m.

December 19
Santa & Fire Fighters Visit

December 20
Last full day of class before the Holiday Break

December 21, 2019 - January 5, 2020
Holiday Break

January 6
School Resumes


matthew slocombe named runner-up in the francophonie trivia


Kudos to 8th grade student Matthew Slocombe on being named the runner-up winner in the Francophone Culture Trivia Contest.

This contest was offered during National French Week by the American Association of French Teachers (AATF). Ninety-eight hundred students from 407 schools participated in Matthew's level initially. He ended in the top 10 scores in the country.

Bravo Matthew on this outstanding accomplishment!



AWTY's OTC TEAM continue to impress

The Awty team of Markus Isaacson (12th grade), Lisa Meng (12th), Tyler Nokleby (12th), and Jaden Wu (11th) continue the outstanding work they began last spring at the Offshore Technology Challenge (OTC). Carrying their momentum into the fall, the team accepted an invitation to present their unique green energy solution for oil platforms at the American Society of Mechanical Engineer's Green Energy Summit in Denver Colorado. Only one of two high school groups invited, the team impressed the professionals in attendance with their creativity and command of the problem. The experience also provided a rare glimpse into the existing and emerging global green technologies. After their success in Denver, the group was also asked to speak in Houston at the Chinese American Petroleum Association where they were presented with the Young Scientists Achievement Award. Looking forward, the group has accepted the 2019-2020 OTC Challenge invitation and will start their efforts in December on this year's problem.


Please congratulate the winners of the recent Concert Band and Jazz Band contests!

On November 2, four Middle School and 20 Upper School band students met at Sealy High School to audition for the Region 23/27 All Region Concert Band. The Middle School Region Band winners included Iker Charbit (8th grade), Mark Lowe (6th), and Zhiling Zhang (7th).

The Upper School Region Band winner included (Central Texas Area Band Winners are noted):

Lili Alamshenas (11th grade)
Henderson Chandler (11th) - Area
Nicole Dunkel (11th)
Sam Harris (10th) - Area
Rick Huang (11th) - Area
Matthew Jason (10th) - Area
Matthew Karazincir (10th) - Area
Madeleine Kimmel (10th)

Alexandra Moran (10th) - Area
Sydney Neal (9th) - Area
Sebastian Peralta (12th) - Area
Rajiv Premkumar (10th) - Area
Katerina Sawyer (12th) - Area
Jean-Luc Shimizu (11th) - Area
Adyan Syed (11th)
Meera Vashisht (11th) - Area

The students who made Area will compete on January 10-11 for one to two spots in the All-State Band. Good luck to these students!


Amazingly, the good news doesn't end there! Earlier this year, directors from the Texas Private School Music Educators Association judged and ranked recordings for our TPSMEA All-State Jazz Band. Juniors Jean-Luc Shimizu (trumpet) and Rick Huang (alto saxophone) won first chairs in their section for the All-State Band! Jean-Luc Shimizu also earned 2nd chair in the ATSSB All-State Jazz Band. He will be attending and performing for the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Convention in San Antonio in February.

Congratulations to all of these Awty musicians!


Bravo to Awty students McKenna Balliet (9th grade), Henderson Chandler (11th), Joelle DiPaolo (11th), Adam Fields (11th), Samantha Francis (11th), Rachel Gai (10th), Grace Giddings (10th), Therese Harman (11th), Jim Ma (11th), Angela Muñoz (9th), Zhongbo Sun (11th), Ziana Ukani (11th), Vivian Wu (11th), Kevin Yang (11th), and Didi Zhou (11th).

These Upper School students competed in the 18th Greater Houston Chinese Speech Contest on November 10 and were judged on their Chinese public speaking skills. Fifteen Awty students brought home 15 trophies, and six of them placed first in various categories.

First Place Winners:

  • McKenna Ballie - Non-heritage group
  • Henderson Chandler - Non-heritage group
  • Therese Harman - Non-heritage group
  • Zhongbo Sun - Higher Level group
  • Ziana Ukani - Non-heritage group
  • Didi Zhou - American born Chinese group



Congratulations to the following students: Cameron Ahmed (10th grade), Aidan Fulton (10th), Anthony Hoang (9th), Alyssa Mendiola (9th), Avani Shah (9th), Marcella Stones (11th), Chris Wolff (10th), and Emily Zoorob (12th). These Upper School singers qualified for the Region Choir, as well as the opportunity to continue the audition process to qualify for All-State Choir.



Bravo to Awty students Gillian Brady (10th grade), Charlotte Charlton (9th), Fiona Charlton (9th), Emma Fulton (9th), and Chloé Houy (10th) on earning their Girls Scouts Silver Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout Cadette can achieve.


Several of these award winners, along with Awty’s Head of School Lisa Darling, attended the 9th Annual Success to Significance Luncheon on October 22. At the luncheon, they had the delight of meeting and taking selfies with the keynote speaker Admiral Michelle J. Howard who is a Girl Scout alum, First Class recipient, and retired Navy veteran.

Each one of these students plans to continue her journey and hopes to achieve the Gold Award as a Senior or Ambassador. According to girlscouts.org, “the Girl Scout Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable—proof that not only can she make a difference, but that she already has.”


Congratulations to Awty alumna Maria Zaharatos, Class of 2018! Her poem The Millennial has been published in "Texas’s Best Emerging Poets 2019: An Anthology". You can read her poem below...


Congrats to CM2 student Hovannes Patlan! He received 1st place playing piano at the 2019 Triumph Music Festival. Earlier this year, he traveled to Philadelphia where he received his award and performed at the winners' Gala Concert at the Kimmel Center Academy of Music. It was his first-ever competition, and he was very excited to perform in the same concert hall where Rachmaninov himself played. Hovannes played two piano pieces by Chopin: Waltz Op. post No.19 and Mazurka Op.67 No.2.



A big thank you to the Junior Girl Scouts Troop #125071 (Unicorns) in the Tall Pines Hill Chapter for selling 24 cases of cookies that were donated to the Texas Children's Hospital West Campus through the "Cookies 4 Heroes" program.  These Unicorns included several Awty students: Chloe A., Scotia L., Leah M., Sloan M., Adela N., Isabella S., Katalina S., and Katelyn S.  You all make Awty proud!


Each summer, Upper School students have the opportunity to volunteer at the Young Leaders Institute (YLI), a weeklong program designed to prepare high school students for leadership in a globally interconnected society.

In its fourth year, the YLI offered three week-long sessions focused on the timely, relevant global topics of U.S. / China Relations, the Middle East, and Energy and Security. Awty juniors Rick Huang, Angelina Lee, Caelan Nair, and Eleni Zabaneh all participated in the U.S. / China Relations session. Throughout each session, the program seeks to prepare students to become leaders in today’s interconnected world by instilling global competency and expanding perspectives. Students hear from expert speakers, practice leadership skills, and work in groups to research and present policy solutions for a major issue before a panel of judges and an audience of peers and family members.

Participating in the U.S. / China Relations session, Eleni and her group chose the topic of the U.S. government’s ban on Huawei technology. The group highlighted benefits and challenges to the major actors including the U.S. and Chinese governments and the U.S. tech sector. Impressing the judges with their detailed research as well as their presentation, her group won first place among six student groups.

To acknowledge their achievements and provide an opportunity to learn more about global policy, the top-rated groups in each YLI session were subsequently invited to Asia Society’s prestigious Huffington Award Dinner on October 10, 2019. The Huffington Award honors outstanding contributions that have furthered international understanding, welfare, and diplomacy on a global scale and this year was presented to Princess Zahra Aga Khan for her work with the Aga Khan Development Network. Five YLI students (including Eleni) and their parents were in attendance.



Awty alumnus Elmer Cruz, Class of 2019, and current Awty junior Karen Hernandez each received a prestigious award through KIPP at the University of Houston last summer.


Karen received the Kenneth McGregor Jr. "Big Heart" Memorial Scholarship, a $7,500 scholarship, which is awarded based on a student's academic success, contributions to his/her school, and service to others.

Elmer was selected as one of the Dave Goldberg Scholars, receiving $43,000 for college as well as a Goldberg Mentor who will provide advice and support throughout the duration of the scholarship.

Both of these awards, which are highly competitive, recognize the diligence these students show inside and outside of the classroom. Congratulations to Elmer and Karen!