AHS 2018 valedictorian and salutatorian

Ideal Ademaj (left) is valedictorian and Jacob Moore is salutatorian of the Athens High School class of 2018. Graduation is Friday, May 25. (Toni Garrard Clay/AISD)

Ideal Ademaj is the Athens High School valedictorian, and Jacob Moore is the Athens High School salutatorian. Ademaj has a grade point average of 108.635; Moore’s is 108.094. The commencement ceremony is Friday, May 25, at Athens High School.

Ademaj is a member of AISD’s Pinnacle Early College High School program and graduated with an associate’s degree from Trinity Valley Community College on May 11.

Born in Athens to restaurant-owning Albanian immigrants, he attended school at AISD beginning at the age of 4. In fourth grade, he competed in the UIL math competition, winning that year’s regional number sense meet. That extracurricular activity continued throughout his school years, with Ademaj qualifying for the Regional UIL Academic Meet repeatedly in high school, right up to his competing in number sense in the UIL State Academic Meet this May.

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History of Athens ISD with Rob Risko

Athens ISD held a ribbon cutting in the Athens High School foyer Tuesday, May 15, to celebrate the completion of construction projects connected to the $59.9 million bond passed in November 2015. During the event, School Board President Rob Risko gave a detailed history of the school district. We captured his talk in a podcast.

Meet incoming AHS principal and tour new construction

By Toni Garrard Clay/AISD Communications Coordinator

Athens ISD Superintendent Blake Stiles invites parents and community members to meet incoming Athens High School principal Clay Tracy and tour the new construction at AHS. Doors will be open to the public on Thursday, May 17, 5:30pm-6:30 p.m.

“This is a pivotal moment in our school district’s history,” said Stiles. “We’re celebrating not only the improvements at the high school but across our district. In addition to that, I believe we’ve hired an all-star in Clay Tracy to see the high school through the next several years, and I want our extended Hornet family to meet him in person.”

Toni Garrard Clay/AISD
Clay Tracy has been chosen to serve as principal at Athens High School in the upcoming school year.

In the coming school year, Tracy will replace current AHS Principal Ginger Morrison, who is moving to the district administration office, effective July 1, where she will replace two directors’ positions: the director of federal programs and student resources, and the director of educational services.

In addition to being a classroom science teacher, Tracy has served as assistant principal at Trinidad Middle School and Mabank High School, and principal at both Kemp Junior High and, where he is currently serving, Canton Junior High. In the early 2000s, before entering the education field, he worked for a few years as an extension agent for Henderson County. Tracy and his wife of 14 years, Kyra, have four daughters, ages 2, 6, 10 and 11.

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Masons partner with AISD to support innovative dyslexia program

Dr. Jeffrey Black, medical director of the Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders at Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. (Photo from Athens ISD Facebook page)

By Toni Garrard Clay/AISD Communications Coordinator

A partnership between Athens ISD, Athens Masonic Lodge #165 and the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children was celebrated Tuesday evening at a Lodge dinner bringing representatives from all three parties together. The focus of the partnership is to introduce a new intervention program for students with dyslexia.

Athens ISD has selected four existing teachers within the district, and is hiring a fifth, to begin an intensive two-year mentorship program with Scottish Rite’s renowned Dyslexia Education Center. Under guidance from program instructors, the five educators will both train in and begin implementing the “Take Flight” curriculum for students with dyslexia. Take Flight is proven to allow children to learn course material more quickly, with a higher retention rate than other programs. With successful completion of the two-year training course, the teachers will become certified academic language therapists.

“This will provide dyslexia therapy in a two-year course for students, equipping them with reading strategies in a more timely manner than our current multisensory teaching approach,” said Brooke Brock, director of special populations for the district. “We are excited to help our students become more successful and fluent readers.”

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