Alief Taylor High School

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Alief Taylor High School
Alieftaylorhs.jpg
Front exterior
Location
7555 Howell Sugar Land Drive
Houston, TX
Information
School type Public high school
Motto "Failure is Not an Option"
Established 2001
School district Alief Independent School District
Principal Mary Williams
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 3,068 (2014-15)[1]
Campus Urban
Color(s)                Crimson, navy and white
Athletics Baseball, basketball, cross country, cheerleading, football, golf, power lifting, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball
Mascot Leo the Lion
Team name Lions
Rival schools Alief Hastings High School, Alief Elsik High School, Memorial High School and Katy High School
Website

Alief Taylor High School is a public high school in the Alief Independent School District. It is located in an unincorporated area in the Alief community of Harris County, near Houston. Opened in 2001, Alief Taylor is the newest high school in the district. It is named after Edward "Doc" Taylor, who taught AP American History at Alief Hastings High School.

According to the Texas Education Agency, Taylor covers grades 9-12 and has 500 or more students in each grade level. When it opened in the fall of 2001, it had only freshmen and sophomores. During the 2002-2003 school year the 11th grade was added. Taylor added its first 12th grade class during the 2003-2004 school year. Alief Taylor is one of two schools in Alief ISD that does not include a Ninth Grade Center, a separate building for ninth grade students. The other is Kerr High School. Alief Taylor was originally referred to as "High School No. 4."[2]

In 2012 Taylor was rated "Academically Acceptable" by the Texas Education Agency.

History[edit]

Alief Taylor High School opened on August 13, 2001. The school was initially designated for freshman and sophomores only, in an attempt to alleviate overcrowding at nearby Elsik and Hastings High Schools which, at the time, had a combined student population of over 9,000. It eventually expanded to accept students from 9th to 12th grades.

In 2010, Taylor achieved the highest AP scores in the district, reporting that 77% of their students received a score of three or higher. Taylor's graduation rate is the highest in the district, and its dropout rate is the lowest of for comparable district high schools. Unlike Hastings or Elsik, Taylor hosts all grade levels (9-12) on the same campus.

According to the Texas Department of Education, Taylor High School exceeded all performance expectations in the 2016-2017 school year[3]. The class of 2015 averaged a score of 18 on the ACT and 1148 on the SAT[4].

Athletics[edit]

Alief Taylor has a rich sport history despite being somewhat young in tenure; it has had one state championship, six regional titles, and eight district titles in football, track, cross country, tennis, swimming, and diving.

Football[edit]

The Alief Taylor football team prior to kickoff

2003–2008[edit]

The varsity team began 2003 with coach Gerber at the helm; the all-junior varsity team went 1–9. In the following season, now having its first senior class, the team went 6 and 0 before its first loss. The team swept Elsik and Hastings, finishing the season 8 and 2 and making the playoffs for the first time in the program's young history. In the 2004-05 season, the team had a 5-4 record during which they came from behind to upset the Katy Tigers 23-21. The 2005-06 season was less successful. They won 3 games and lost 5. They bounced back in the 2006-07 season with a 6-5 record, and for the first time went to the playoffs, where they lost to Cy-Falls in the first round. The 2007-08 season was the least successful, with the team winning 3 games from 10. Over that summer coach Gerber resigned and Coach Trevor White stepped in.

2008–2012[edit]

This era established Alief Taylor as a growing competitive athletic program. It made inroads to laying the path to future success by dominating the playing field. In the 2008-09 season they had 6 wins, 5 defeats, and a victory against Alief Elsik that brought the Lions back into the playoffs against Cinco Ranch; they lost 14-50. The 2009-10 season saw the team win 6 games from 10 and once again qualify for playoffs. They beat rival Katy Taylor 17-10 and continued into the second round against Aldine, in which Ismael Becerra provided the winning field goal to win 38-35. In the third round, they lost to Brazoswood 19-45, ending the season with 9 wins and 4 defeats.

The Alief Taylor football team

Over the summer, Coach White resigned and took the head coaching position at George Ranch High School. Coach J.D. Jordan took over. The team finished that season with 10 wins and 2 defeats. Having only lost one game against Katy High School, they again headed into the playoffs, beating Cy-Ridge in a 37–36 victory. They headed into round two against past district rival Spring Branch Memorial, but lost 28-35.

The 2011-12 season was a roller coaster ride. They began with an unexpected loss to Pasadena Dobie and then a shutout from rival Katy High School, but the team bounced back with a six-game win streak, beating rivals Alief Elsik nine years in a row and Alief Hastings four years in a row, along with Fort Bend Dulles, Conroe, Eisenhower, and MacArthur's football teams respectively, Then they suffered defeats from Aldine Nimitz and Aldine, and lost the District Championship, but they still qualified for the Texas 5A Division II Playoffs. They went up against Langham Creek High School in an intense game, with an offensive shootout going back and forth, eventually culminating to a 48-47 win over Langham Creek. They once again lost to Memorial at Home.

The Lions had success on the JV level, with the JV White Team finishing the season winning a district title with eight wins, a loss, and a tiebreaker in the season, with offensive standout Devonta Locks, defensive standout Noah Iheanacho, and Lendalle Johnson. 2011-2012 varsity star Greg Allen committed to Kansas University to compete his college career as a Jay Hawk.

2012–present[edit]

As an established contender, there were many expectations of Alief Taylor football program in 2012-2013. Many sports publications such as Vype magazine, Dave Campbell's Texas Football, Texas 5A football.com and The Houston Chronicle predicted Alief Taylor would finish first in the 18-5A district in 2012. The Lions' roster included five seniors with Division One football offers: Torrodney Prevot (Oregon), Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (Oklahoma), Trevorris Johnson (TCU), Duke Ejiofor (Wake Forest), and Jonathan Wiggins (Texas A&M).

The 2013 season showed promise, with four seniors with Division One offers: Chris Hardeman (Oklahoma State), Joshua Kalu (Nebraska), Keenen Brown (Oklahoma State), and Romello Brooker (Houston).

Tradition[edit]

One of the most important Lions football traditions is that during the off-season, the players go through boot camp, a brutal week of hard work and commands.

Another tradition is the band playing the school's alma mater, with the crowd singing along with the players after every football game.

The school is known as "The Pride of Alief".[citation needed]

Taylor has a number of friendly rivalries, including the annual games between in-district rivals Elsik and Hastings. As the team grew in caliber they began to play more challenging teams, such as Katy High School. Taylor also has a rivalry with Memorial High School.

Tennis[edit]

The Taylor tennis team is headed by Thomas Davis, who coached at Jack Albright Middle School prior to coaching at Alief Taylor. The tennis team has enjoyed moderate success under his lead. Teams are divided into varsity and junior varsity, with a total of 14 people on each team; 7 male and 7 female. Since the team began, the team has played in the 5A District; however, the 2010-11 school year brought about a new district, 4A.

Swimming and diving[edit]

The Alief Taylor swimming and diving team is currently coached by David Bargainer and Dan Hanrahan. Although it is one of the more smaller teams on campus, it has consistently qualified for the Swimming and Diving regional championships held at the University of Houston every year since its inception in 2002, and won district titles in 2003 and 2004. Teams are divided into varsity and junior varsity, with two men's and two women's captains. They compete in all four strokes: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle, including relay team.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Alief Taylor hosts many successful extracurricular organizations for its students, including:

The Alief Taylor Marching Band

The Alief Taylor Roaring Lion Band is one of the most visible and award-winning organizations on campus.[citation needed] Its members are divided into three bands: the wind ensemble, the symphonic band, and the cadet band. Each year they perform halftime performances of music from the 1960s to today. They are under the direction of Aaron Ellison and Charles Richter. In 2004, The Roaring Lion Band appeared in the film Friday Night Lights, in which they assume the role as the Dallas Carter band when they traveled with the team to 1989 Texas 5A football state semi-finals at the Houston Astrodome, most recently on November 11, 2011.

Richter also directs the Alief Taylor Drumline, who take part in competitions around the state of Texas. They are the gold medalist recipients of the 2006-07 PSAA TCGC Championship, a state-level competition. The win at state bumped them up to the PSA category, which they began in the 2007-08 season.

Under the direction of Jamye Robinson, the Alief Taylor Colorguard utilizes dance and equipment such as flags, rifles, and sabres to perform during half-time shows at football games and competitions with the Roaring Lion Band. Alief Taylor has one of the most preeminent colorguards in the district despite its small team of only nine for the 2010 marching season, winning 1st Place Best Colorguard of Group IV A at USSBA Central Texas Regional on October 9, 2010 in Kyle, Texas. After football/marching season, Colorguard becomes Winterguard and performs at several indoor competitions against many other high schools in Texas.

The Alief Taylor Orchestra, under the direction of Lester Lopez, consists of string players (violins, violas, cellos, and basses). They are divided into two ensembles: The Philharmonic Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestra. Students in orchestra play pieces ranging from classical to contemporary arrangements. The orchestra performs two concerts each year, one in winter, and one in spring. It also performs at various school activities and community events. They also participate in UIL Solo and Ensemble and UIL Performance and Sightreading contests.

The Alief Taylor Crimson Cadettes, sponsored and directed by Mary Meadows, are a precision dance team at Alief Taylor that performs at football games, basketball games, and pep rallies. The Cadettes compete at the regional and national levels. The team has a diverse background, and is one of the earliest establishments on the campus.[citation needed]

The Alief Taylor Choir is under the direction of Eric West. It consists of three vocal choirs: the Varsity Mixed Choir, the Junior Varsity choir, and the beginners women's choirs, competing for the UIL and sight reading contest. There is also a men's choir.

The Alief Taylor Theater Department, also known as Troupe Taylor, is under the direction of Robert Maddox and Roxanna Barnes. Every year they perform a variety of plays and compete at various competitions including the Thespian Festival hosted yearly at the University of Nebraska, and also at UIL Solo and One Act Competition.

The Alief Taylor Student Council, sponsored By Chikita Washington, is a large student government association in which students get together to voice the opinion of the student body. The organization is composed of students from 40 different countries and different grade levels. It recently expanded with the consolidation of other student activity groups such as the class officer system and the Redvolution, thus making it the largest student activity group on campus, They are involved in many aspects of student life, promoting school spirit and being involved in various community service projects such as planting community gardens and picking up litter around campus.

Redvolution celebrating a touchdown

The Alief Taylor Redvolution, sponsored by Trevor Toteve, werethe started in fall of 2010. They attend all home and away football games, and have been featured on KPRC local 2 Friday Football Frenzy. They were voted "Campus With Most Spirit" by KHOU.com. They have numerous traditions such as making spirit posters for every football game, and running down the field with flags that spell out the school initials. They are known to "Red Out" every Friday before a football game, even having their faces completely painted.

The Alief Taylor Mademoiselles, sponsored by Jayme Robinson, is a sisterhood that promotes refined womanhood, self-development, and preparation for life. These young women participate in a number of community service events in the Greater Houston area.

The Alief Taylor Gents Club, sponsored by Kelvin Kibler, considers membership only for those applicants whose personal, social and academic qualifications are acceptable to both Alief Taylor High School and the organization, which is designed for young men who wish to excel in school. The club is designed for those young male students who exceed ordinary expectations of both themselves and of life.

The Alief Taylor Speech and Debate Team (Forensics) is sponsored by Dustin Kay and Adewusa Omoruyi, and works with the National Forensic League. The team continues to grow in both competition appearances and standards. Though it is somewhat young in tenure in Houston, Taylor has been recognized by the Texas Forensic Association as holding some of the most talented students of any Houston high school, and as one of the best teams in Texas. Although it is the youngest high school in the district, Alief Taylor easily rivals more experienced schools such as Hastings and Elsik.

The Alief Taylor Math Club or Mu Alpha Theta, sponsored by Amy Brown, helps the promotion of mathematics enjoyment among students on campus. All students of Alief Taylor HS are welcome to participate in math club activities, invitational tournaments and national-level math competitions.

True Colors, sponsored by Richard Harman, Arielle Brooks, and Kelsey Roberts, is the school newest LGBTQ+ group. Everyone is welcome to come and support each other for a more acceptable place for any person of any sexuality.

Alief Taylor Academic Decathlon is sponsored by Beth Roberts. The team competes in the Regional Academic Decathlon competition, held annually as part of the National Academic Decathlon competition. Open to 10th-12th graders, each year the team learns about a new topic determined by the National Academic Decathlon organization and competes in hopes of achieving medals and scholarships.

Feeder patterns[edit]

All Alief ISD elementary, intermediate, and middle schools feed into Taylor, as high school placement in Alief ISD is determined by a lottery, which may result in Elsik, Hastings, or Taylor. If a student is selected by lottery to attend a high school different from the high school which a relative currently attends or graduated from, the student may opt to transfer to that school. Students may also complete an application for the district's magnet high school, Kerr, or the recently established Alief Early College High School.

Neighborhoods served by AISD include Alief, most of Westchase, Bellaire West, most of the New Chinatown, most of Leawood, Mission Leona, and Mission Bend.

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "TAYLOR H S". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved November 11, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Harris County Precinct 3." Houston Chronicle. Wednesday September 13, 2000. ThisWeek 3. Retrieved on July 29, 2009.
  3. ^ "2016-17 School Report Card TAYLOR H S". Texas Education Agency. 
  4. ^ "2016-17 School Report Card TAYLOR H S". Texas Education Agency. 

External links[edit]

29°41′42″N 95°37′59″W / 29.695°N 95.633°W / 29.695; -95.633Coordinates: 29°41′42″N 95°37′59″W / 29.695°N 95.633°W / 29.695; -95.633