It’s time again to nominate AISD teachers for their extraordinary work during the 2023-24 school year. Educators from the district will be honored later this spring at the Teachers in the Limelight Celebration dinner hosted by the Abilene Education Foundation. Just a reminder that last year’s Edwin and Agnes Jennings Teaching Excellence Award winner as the Elementary Teacher of the Year in the district was Stafford Elementary School fifth grade teacher Taniece Thompson-Smith, who went on to become the Region XIV Elementary Teacher of the Year, and, last October, the Texas State Teacher of the Year. The Teachers in the Limelight Celebration goes beyond just a celebration; it serves as a platform for recognition and collaboration, inspiring excellence in teaching practices. Let’s unite to acknowledge and reward these outstanding teachers and contribute to advancing education in AISD. Nominations are now open for Coach, Counselor, Math, Science, and Fine Arts Awards. You can nominate someone for each of those awards here

The Abilene High girls’ basketball team is back in the state playoffs for the first time since 2019, and they will open the Class 5A playoffs against one of the top teams in the state, the Amarillo Lady Sandies. Amarillo is 31-4 overall, won District 3-5A with a 12-0 record, and ranked No. 3 in the state in this week’s rankings. Abilene High is 17-15 on the season and finished fourth in District 4-5A with a 5-7 district mark. Abilene High and Amarillo High will tip off at 5 p.m. Monday (Feb. 12) at 5 p.m. at the Brownfield High School Gym. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students. District 3-5A and District 4-5A passes, and Texas High School Coaches Association and Texas Girls Coaches Association passes will be accepted for entry. The game will be broadcast live on AISD Live.

ATEMS Robotics hosted its winter tournament, The Battle in the Big Country-VRC HS/MS Over-Under Tournament, last Saturday (Feb. 3), with 33 teams competing from West and North Central Texas at The LIFT. Three ATEMS Robotics teams won awards at the event where teams competed as alliance partners (two against two) so that there would be tournament champions and two finalists. The three ATEMS teams that won were Team 9871M Martyr (Design), Team 9871S Stargazer (Think Award), and Team 9871T (Create Award). ATEMS will again host the Region 5 state championship Robotics meet on Saturday, Feb. 24, at The LIFT. 

The Abilene High and Cooper swim teams competed in the District 4-5A Swimming and Diving Championship meet on Jan. 27 at the Pete Ragus Aquatic Center in Lubbock, and a combined seven relays qualified for the Region I-5A meet this weekend at the Ragus Center. Lubbock High won the boys and girls team titles at the district meet, with Cooper and Abilene High finishing sixth and seventh, respectively, in each division. The relays that advanced to the regional meet are the Abilene High boys and girls medley relays, the Abilene High boys and girls 200 free relays, the Cooper boys 200 free relay, and the Cooper boys and girls 400 free relays. The only AISD individual to advance to the regional meet was Alex Longoria from Cooper in the boys’ 100 fly.  Abilene High swimmers on those teams are Kristina Braun, Remie Batten, Reagan Nickell, Emilee Thompson, Olivia Horn, Alt Breeana Ortega, Karter Batten, Levi Huddleston, Lucas Lee, Landon Schroeder, and Rilian Voss. Cooper swimmers on their relay teams are Bronwyn Ward, Michelle Olivia, Izabella McCutchen, Hazel Harris, Alan Harris, Jaymz Jarvis, Longoria, Orion Lopez, Mikado Lam, and Alt Sladen Kastner. Three individuals and two relay teams set school records at the district meet: Olivia in the 200 girls’ freestyle, Schroeder in the 500 boys’ freestyle, Huddleston in the 100 boys’ breaststroke, the AHS girls’ 200 medley relay, and the AHS girls’ 200 free relay. In all, 26 AISD students set personal bests at the meet.

The AISD Board of Trustees met Monday night (Feb. 5), and the board covered several items during the meeting. For a brief recap of the items on the agenda, please watch this video.

Fine Arts Roundup: The Abilene High and Cooper choirs performed well at the UIL Region 6 Solo and Ensemble Contest on Jan. 27 at the Williams Performing Arts Center on the Abilene Christian University campus. Fifty-nine (59) students from the two schools earned Superior Ratings (first division) and advanced to the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest on May 26 in Austin. The 33 students advancing from Abilene High are Ian Agustin, Morgan Anders, Hope Arrazola, Baylee Barnes, Caitlyn Bowman, Natalie Bowman, Hannah Bryant, Diego Castillo, Kaila Craddock, Emma Elliott, Kaylie Enriquez, Davis Goolsby, Kaylee Hamilton, Bailey Hinds, Kaitlyn Johnson, Jackson Liske, Mary Lowe, Lauren McGrew, Josh Melson, Carrie Mercer, Jesenia Narvaez, Liberty Palacios, Kelsie Patterson, Dae Rapp, Alice Anne Riley, Hazel Samuels, Aiden Schwartz, Asher Shelburne, Mattie Spaulding, Nolan Sullivan, Kate Tolar, Zoey Wallace, Zoe Wilson, and Anaja Woah. The 25 students advancing from Cooper are Gaven Aguirre, Sayyonce Ardrey, Cierra Brown, Isabelle Espinoza, Kamonie Ford, Adam Guiterrez, Logan Hamilton, Kayleigh Henry, Mathis Kanda, Zoey Klohn, Angelica Lampkin, Jalissa Martinez, Emily Mitchell, David Mugoya, Deori Newman, Bryana Parson, Jasiah Pequeno, Ava Quinones, Hannah Reid, Heath Reid, Amelia Rockett, Kaley Rutledge, Avery Simer, Lauren Valentine, and Kyler Wheeler.

The AISD Impact Award honors district employees who make a positive difference at work and in the Abilene community. We need your help recognizing our teammates who give an exceptional effort to be a force for good in the lives of our students, staff, and neighbors. Anyone can nominate any AISD employee for this recognition! If you would like to submit someone’s name to be considered to receive an Impact Award at an upcoming Board of Trustees meeting, please fill out the nomination form at the link below. You can also use the link to learn about previous Impact Award recipients. Click here to nominate an outstanding colleague to receive the AISD Impact Award!

AISD Basketball Roundup: The Abilene High boys (21-10 overall and 7-3 in District 4-5A play) have clinched a berth in the Class 5A state playoffs, but with two games left in the regular season, seeding out of District 4-5A is still up in the air. The Eagles lost to Lubbock Cooper, 61-57, last Friday at home, dropping them two games behind the Pirates in the district standings. Lubbock Cooper is 9-1 in the league, while the Eagles are tied with Lubbock Monterey for second at 7-3. Wylie is in fourth at 6-5. However, because no team below Wylie can still match seven wins in the league, Lubbock Cooper, AHS, and Monterey have all clinched a spot. And with Lubbock Coronado and Lubbock High eliminated, the fourth spot in the district comes down to two teams: Wylie and Cooper, which is in fifth at 4-6 in the league. Abilene High will play a role in who gets that fourth spot as the Eagles play at Wylie tonight, followed by hosting Cooper next Tuesday (Feb. 13) in the regular-season finale at Eagle Gym. The Eagles can still win the district title with two wins and some help from teams below them as Lubbock Cooper closes the regular season on the road at Abilene Cooper (tonight) and Lubbock Monterey (Tuesday). … The Cooper boys (11-18 overall and 4-6 in district play) have been in playoff mode for most of the second half of the district schedule, and the Cougars responded last week with two big wins: 43-30 last Tuesday at Lubbock High and 49-42 last Friday against Coronado. The Cougars must win out – beating Lubbock Cooper tonight at home and winning at Abilene High next Tuesday – to secure the district’s fourth and final playoff spot. Two wins by Cooper would give the Cougars and Bulldogs the same 6-6 records, but Cooper will earn the playoff spot because it would have swept the season series from Wylie. … The Cooper girls finished their season with two hard-luck losses: 58-50 last Friday at Lubbock High and 46-40 on Tuesday at home against Lubbock Coronado. The Lady Coogs finished at 12-20 overall and 3-9 in District 4-5A play.

AISD Soccer Roundup: The Cooper boys had a big week last week with two wins over their crosstown rivals: 1-0 last Friday against Abilene High and 2-1 Tuesday at Wylie. The Cougars are now 5-7-1 overall but 2-0-1 in District 4-5A play, one-half game behind district-leading Lubbock Monterey (12-0-1 and 3-0). The Cougars are off this weekend but will be back on the pitch Tuesday (Feb. 13) when they host Monterey at Shotwell Stadium at 5 p.m. … The Abilene High girls – the defending district champion – picked up a win and a tie last week as they knocked off Cooper, 4-0, last Friday and then tied Monterey, 0-0, on Tuesday. The Lady Eagles (2-4-3 overall and 1-1-1 in District 4-5A play) will play at Lubbock High tonight before returning to Shotwell Stadium next Tuesday to host Lubbock Coronado at 7 p.m. … The Abilene High boys dropped a pair of matches over the last week, falling to Cooper last Friday (1-0) and then losing 4-0 at Monterey on Tuesday. The Eagles (8-4-1 overall and 1-2-0 in district play) will host Lubbock High tonight at 7 p.m. at Shotwell Stadium before playing at Lubbock Coronado next Tuesday. … The Cooper girls got off to a tough start to district play with two losses in the last week – 4-0 to Abilene High last Friday and 2-0 Tuesday against Wylie – to fall to 6-5-1 overall and 0-3-0 in district competition. The Lady Coogs are off tonight but will return to action next Tuesday when they take on Lubbock Monterey in Lubbock. 

AISD Athletics Roundup: Congratulations to former Cooper placekicker Mark Smith, named last Friday (Feb. 2) as the new head football coach at San Angelo Central High School. After graduating from Hardin-Simmons University, where he played for the Cowboys, Smith went into coaching. During his coaching tenure, he has coached at high schools and universities such as Class 5A Colleyville Heritage High School, Class 6A MacArthur High School, and Class 6A L.D. Bell High School, the University of Oklahoma, Southern Methodist University, the University of Arkansas, Long Island University, and the University of Colorado. His team will take on Abilene High in the 2024 season-opener on a date and at a site to be determined. The softball season starts next weekend for Cooper and Abilene High. For more information on their seasons, click here. … The Cooper and Abilene High baseball teams are closing in on their season-openers and will be scrimmaging this weekend. … Abilene High will scrimmage Saturday at Odessa High (Feb.10) and at Copperas Cove (Feb. 16) before opening the season Feb. 22-24 at the Melissa Tournament in the DFW Metroplex. … Cooper will wrap up the scrimmage portion of the season with three straight at home: vs. Brownwood on Feb. 9, vs. Odessa Permian on Feb. 13, and vs. Wichita Falls on Feb. 16. The Cougars will start their season Feb. 22-24 with five games against Chisholm Trail and Granbury (doubleheader on Feb. 22 at Granbury), Azle and Nacogdoches (doubleheader on Feb. 22 at Azle), and a single game against Boyd on Feb. 24 at Weatherford.


Monday, Feb. 19 – Student Holiday / Staff Professional Development

Tuesday, Feb. 20 – Beginning of 5th grading period

Monday, March 11-Friday, March 15 – Spring Break

Friday, March 29 – Good Friday (AISD closed)

Sunday, March 31 – Easter

Monday, April 1 – Easter holiday (AISD closed)

Friday, April 5 – End of 5th grading period (early release)

Monday, April 8 – Beginning of 6th grading period

Sunday, May 19 – Baccalaureate Services, First Baptist Church

Thursday, May 23 – End of 2023-24 school year (early release)

Friday, May 24 – Abilene High graduation, Shotwell Stadium

Saturday, May 25 – ATEMS and Cooper High graduation, Shotwell Stadium