When Grace Tilley returns to campus this fall to kick off her junior year, the Montgomery High School student will have one incredible story to share about how she spent her summer. She has been selected for a STEM Enhancement in Earth and Space Science (SEES) internship at the University of Texas in Austin’s Center for Space Research.
The program, sponsored by NASA’s Texas Space Grant Consortium, provides an opportunity for students to collaborate with scientists and engineers designing Mars habitats, conducting authentic research from information received from NASA’s Earth observing satellites, Lunar Exploration and robotics. The goal is for students to increase their STEM knowledge through Earth and space education.
“I’ve spent many hours doing research and reflection to prepare for this opportunity,” MHS student Grace Tilley said. “To have an opportunity to work alongside actual scientists and engineers as part of the SEES internship is nothing short of thrilling for me.”
Out of 700 applications, Grace was one of 300 selected to participate in the internship, which is virtual this year due to the pandemic.
“I’m excited for Grace to have this experience to research and work alongside professional scientists and engineers on projects that are current space exploration initiatives for NASA and other entities,” MHS Aerospace Engineering Teacher Jennifer Duffer said. “I know she will gain more than academic knowledge during her internship and will represent herself and Montgomery well.”
As the 2020-2021 school year comes to a close, Montgomery ISD proudly introduces the Valedictorians and Salutatorians for Montgomery and Lake Creek High Schools. These students have accomplished so much in their K through 12 educational career, ultimately earning the top two spots in their graduating classes. We are incredibly proud of them along with the entire MISD class of 2021!
Montgomery High School
Valedictorian, Nicholas Ensey
In addition to excelling in the classroom, Nicholas was involved in many organizations throughout his high school career. Some of his extracurricular accomplishments include National Honor Society President, Student Council Treasurer and playing on the MHS Bears football team. He was also named Mr. Montgomery High School and represented the bears at Texas Boys State. After graduation, Nicholas plans to attend The University of Texas in Austin, majoring in Computer Science. His career goals include software development and establishing a company.
“It’s truly an honor to be named the Montgomery High School 2021 valedictorian,” Nicholas said. “There have been some amazing teachers in my life who have shaped me into the person I am today.”
Salutatorian, Dustin Dillon
Although Dustin’s dream for his future has him looking to the stars, his history at Montgomery also had him looking skyward. He served on the team that built Purple Bearon, an RV-12 FAA certified airplane. He also served as the MHS Choir President and was a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta and National Honor Society and VEX Robotics Team. Dustin plans to attend Texas A&M University to pursue an Aerospace Engineering degree. His career goal is to become a Flight Dynamics Officer for NASA.
“I’ve grown up in MISD and it is sad to say goodbye, but endings are just the start of something new,” Dustin said. “The most beautiful things come from new beginnings.”
Lake Creek High School
Valedictorian, Lyle Tobin
Lyle has a unique bragging right when it comes to his high school career, multiple state champion titles! In his senior year, he earned State Championship titles in Social Studies and Current Issues and Events as part of multiple University Interscholastic League academic teams. Lyle’s post-high school plans include attending the University of Mississippi in the pursuit of becoming an Oncologist.
Salutatorian, Isabel Harwood
Isabel’s high school career is an interesting mix of journalism and science. As part of the Lake Creek Journalism team, Isabel served as yearbook editor. She also competed on the UIL Science team, which may serve her well after graduation. She plans to attend The University of Texas as a Nursing major, with a career goal of becoming a Nurse Practitioner.
“Something I have learned throughout high school is that there is not one true definition of success,” Isabel said. “It is a measurement of how much work you are willing to put in to achieve your dreams, whatever they may be. Everyone is successful in their own unique way.”
As the 2020-2021 year comes to a close, so does the inaugural season of Conversations with Dr. Heath Morrison. In the latest installment, Montgomery Junior High teacher Dr. Steven Meeker sits down with Dr. Morrison to reflect on the many opportunities, challenges and celebrations we experienced during this past year.
On a sunny spring day, a select group of Montgomery ISD students took the field at the MISD Athletic stadium to participate in the first ever “Mission Possible Day.” The event was hosted by the MISD Special Education department and featured a wide range of events designed to showcase their athletic skills while having fun.
“Students were able to participate in field events such as Races, Distance Throwing, Individual Skills Games of Kicking and Dribbling, Group Games of Giant Volleyball, Parachute Games, Giant Cup Stacking, Line Dancing,” Executive Director of Special Education Meredith Burg said. “All games and activities were modified to fit the individual needs of our fantastic athletes.”
Also in attendance were student volunteers, district employees and parents to cheer the athletes, making it a special day for everyone.
“As the mother of a child with special needs, my circle tends to be pretty small. Talking to other parents that day felt like a weight was being lifted, even if temporarily. We connected and were able to brag on our kids’ victories and have the other person truly understand that sometimes the little things are REALLY BIG to a special needs parent,” MISD Marvels parent Jessica Prosser said. “Seriously, best day ever!”
Video Production students from Montgomery High School captured the action, producing a video highlighting the day’s exciting events. You can watch the video below.
The Texas School Safety Center is partnering with Extreme Youth Leadership to host the TxSSC Youth Safety Summit this summer. This virtual event features opportunities for students to develop and expand their safety skills and learn how to improve their school and/or community through projects while connecting with their peers from across Texas.
The three day event is FREE, but spots are limited. For more information and to submit a registration application, click on the link below.
After months of hard work during a challenging school year, Montgomery High School engineering students proudly displayed their engineering skills as part of the fourth annual Montgomery ISD Engineering Design and Development Expo Night.
The event, held on Friday, April 30, was the culmination of nearly four years of learning engineering theory as well as hands-on work designing and building.
Participating students are enrolled in the Montgomery High School Engineering Design and Development course, which is the capstone course in the Project Lead the Way program. The research course provides students with an avenue to develop secondary-level knowledge and skills in math, science and technology. Throughout their senior year in the Engineering Design and Development course, students work in teams to identify and develop a solution to an open-ended technical problem using their engineering design process skills. After designing, building and testing, the student teams present and defend their solution to an outside panel.
“This event brings to fruition all of the hard work our students have accomplished over the last four years in our engineering pathway,” MHS Project Lead the Way Instructor Russell Reid said. “We have moved away from theory and now they have produced tangible products designed to serve as a solution to a real world challenge.”
The Engineering Design and Development course is designed to allow students maximum flexibility in how they structure their time while completing their work. The project workload required a great amount of responsibility on the part of the student with some outside-the-classroom, research-based coursework. For example, students contacted outside professionals and obtained resources from around the United States to help complete their projects.
“An added benefit of this program is the development of valuable soft skills,” Reid said. “Throughout the design process students work with community mentors and engineering experts working not only on the actual design honing creative and problem-solving abilities, but also refining organizational, communication and interpersonal skills.”
Students participating in this year’s expo were Lain Morris, Daniel Chang, Kalani Hayden, Bradan Graham, Dustin Dillon, Ethan Reid, Samuel Cook, Robert Ackerly, Matt Rickman and Blaine Pavlock.
An overview of each project is below:
“Solo Spotter” – A safety device to aid a weightlifter while bench pressing without the support of a weightlifting spotter. (Daniel Chang, Matthew Rickman, Bradan Graham)
“Aegis Wear” – A belt buckle designed with built in GPS tracking and emergency alarm to protect and track the user. (Kalani Hayden, Robert Ackerly)
“Gamers Gauntlet” – Dual purpose gaming/graphic artist glove. The glove allows the user to switch between playing video games and working with artist tablets. (Blaine Pavlock, Lain Morrison)
“VaBox” – A unique design Shop-Vac that separates metal from waste. It has a built-in magnetic base that is easily removed for recycling. (Ethan Reid, Dustin Dillon, Samuel Cook)
The Lake Creek High School robotics team 2854Y will soon take their talents to a global stage as qualifiers for the VEX Robotics World Championship. The team received the invitation to compete at the conclusion of the VEX Robotics Texas State competition and a year of virtual and in-person competitions.
“Lake Creek’s robotics teams began the school year with one goal in mind, return to the VEX Robotics World Championship,” Lake Creek Robotics Teacher Eric Moons said. “After each of these tournaments, teams would refine their robot and code to improve their world rankings.”
The competition consists of a challenge to build a robot for a game designed by the VEX Robotics Game Design Committee which allows students to use the engineering process to design, build and code competitive robots. The teams then compete in matchups with random teams at each tournament.
Competitors spend hours immersed in design, game theory along with pre and post-game analysis of their performance and their competitors in order to position themselves to be a dominant team in their competitive field.
“Being great at what they do is not the most impressive part to me,” Moons said. “Their willingness to share design ideas, strategies, tools and parts with random teams they compete with or against to help improve the robotics community and make the competition stronger, is what really sets them apart.”
The VEX Robotics World Championship will take place over the course of a week starting on Sunday, May 16th and running through Saturday, May 22nd.