You say your hair is on fire? Us, too!

The end (of the school year) is near, and we've got lots to talk about

By Toni Garrard Clay/AISD Communications Coordinator

First things first: Blessings of patience, peace, grace and discernment on all the parents, guardians, teachers, staff and students who are metaphorically racing uphill wearing loose rubber boots and trying not to end up barefoot. It’s an exciting and exhausting time of year. Hang in there, Hornets!


These two ladies are the bee’s knees, the cat’s meow, the cream of the crop … the teachers of the year! In a district blessed with a multitude of outstanding educators, they have been chosen to represent Athens ISD among their peers. Jane Johnson is the AISD 2021 Elementary School Teacher of the Year, and Phyllis Walker is the AISD 2021 Secondary School Teacher of the Year. We asked both of them a series of questions, and you can read their answers here. Here’s a sample of what they told us:

Question: Do you have a daily or weekly practice that helps prepare you for the rigors of teaching?
Johnson: I have two daily practices. I get up super early every day and start by praying and meditating — no devices allowed, and none allowed at bedtime.
Question: Have children changed in the time you’ve been a teacher, or the way you have to teach them?
Walker: I've changed. And I hope to keep changing. So, I'm sure they have, too.


Working in partnership with NET Health, 18 of our high school students were vaccinated for COVID-19 Thursday at the AISD administration building. Those who did not take the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot will return to the admin building in June for their second dose of Pfizer. Earlier in the school year, AISD worked in partnership with CHRISTUS Health in order to offer vaccinations to all interested district employees. “We want to do what we can to make the COVID-19 vaccine as accessible as possible to employees and qualifying students,” said Assistant Superintendent Ginger Morrison.


The Athens High School baccalaureate service was held Monday. During the service, the AHS Choir performed the song “You Say.” The lyrics were profoundly appropriate, and the choir absolutely nailed it.

“I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I'm not enough/ Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up … You say I am held when I am falling short/ When I don't belong, You say I am Yours/ And I believe.”

Treat yourself by listening to these young people shine.


If you have uniform clothing that is in good enough shape for other students to wear, PLEASE drop it off at the main office of any campus on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday so that it can be re-distributed this summer by the First Baptist Church Children’s Clothes Closet. The distribution of gently-used uniforms will take place July 26-29. See the post below for more details.


These seven girls represent the Athens Hornet Math team. They competed this spring at the UIL District 14-4A meet in Athens. All three teams were district champs and qualified for region! Sarah Campa was first in number sense and second in calculator applications. Sonia Cerrillo was second in number sense and first in general math. Kasish Shrestha was fourth in both number sense and math. Lizbeth Casio was third in calculator and second in math. Isabel Ramirez was the district champion in calculator. Flor Lopez was fifth in number sense, and Adie Allbright was on the champion calculator team. At the regional meet, the number sense and calculator kids won second place, which made them the first alternate to the state meet in Austin. Pictured are (front row, from left) Kasish Shrestha, Sarah Campa, Flor Lopez, Sonia Cerrillo, and (back row, from left) Adie Allbright, Isabel Ramirez, and Lizbeth Casio. Fun fact: Their coach, Ken Walker, was the AISD 2020 Secondary Teacher of the Year. The district’s 2021 Secondary Teacher of the Year is his wife, Phyllis Walker. Talk about a power couple!



Graduation is May 28 at 6:30pm at the AHS Competition gym. The ceremony will be broadcast live on on the AISD facebook page. The event is ticketed; graduates are allotted up to 10 each. Please note: As in years past, balloons, noisemakers, flowers and any kind of signs are prohibited. No handbags or backpacks will be allowed. Exceptions: diaper bags with infants & toddlers, & a bag with medical necessities.

• The Athens Economic Development Corporation is hosting a “Youth Work Expo” on May 25, 3pm-7pm at The Texan in Athens. It’s designed for young adults to connect with local employers for job opportunities.

There are SO MANY Hornet sports camps slated for the summer. Any camps happening on the same dates do not take place during the same time of day. Registration is 30 minutes before camp starts on the first day. Call the athletic office at 903-677-6992, Monday-Thursday, for more details.

We had two more episodes of The Buzz Podcast over the past two weeks. AHS Principal Nicole Cornish discussed highlights of the end of the school year. You can listen here or just read the highlights. And at South Athens Elementary, Principal Nikki Mason and Assistant Principal Jennifer Nicholson talked about their fabulous book vending machine, which has been a big hit with students this school year. Listen to that episode or read the highlights here.

If you have a student who has never been enrolled at AISD and may qualify for Pre-K3 or Pre-K4 classes OR who will be starting kindergarten or first grade and is not enrolled now, it is important to enroll them now. AISD does not charge for qualifying pre-K3 or pre-K4 students. Enroll your student online at To enroll in a language other than English: click the enrollment link, right click anywhere on the page, select “translate to English,” click the three dots, then select “choose another language.” Anyone needing a step-by-step video guide can watch here:

Athens ISD is a great place to live & learn!