Austin ISD PALS (Peer Assistance Leadership and Service) is a youth empowerment and cross-age peer mentoring program that has served thousands of Austin ISD students since it was founded at Crockett High School in 1980.

Since its inception, PALS has trained high school students across the district to be peer mentors to younger students at feeder schools, serving as their role models and mentors. Today, the PALS program has expanded to training elementary and middle school students to serve as peer mentors. PALS promotes service, the development of interpersonal skills and community-mindedness, which helps to create a more positive and productive school environment.

PALS is a curriculum-based program accredited by the Texas Education Agency as an elective course.

PALS Definitions

  • PALS are students trained in mentoring, leadership and cooperation by Austin ISD’s Counseling, Social and Emotional Learning and Trust Based Relational Intervention departments, as well as District-approved outside facilitators. PALS work with students at their own campuses and at feeder schools in their vertical teams to mentor, serve as role models and perform community service.
  • PALees are students who are paired with a trained PAL from a higher grade. PALees typically spend 30-40 minutes per week with their peer mentor.
  • Activities for PALS and PALees can vary from structured, outcome-oriented activities, to less structured play or conversation. PALS and PALees work in their pairs or form bigger groups for games or other activities. PALS and PALees stay on campus during their time together and are subject to school rules and expectations for conduct. 

Participating PALS High Schools
 

School Counselor/Contact Email
Akins Eagles  Akins ECHS Joseph Saxe joseph.saxe@austinisd.org
Anderson Trojans  Anderson High School Tessa Popp-Guttman tessa.popp-gutmann@austinisd.org
Ann Richards   Ann Richards YWLA Abby Eakin abby.eakin@austinisd.org
Austin Maroons  Austin High School Kat Kelley kat.kelley@austinisd.org
Bowie Bulldogs  Bowie High School Alejandro Garcia alejandro.a.garcia@austinisd.org
Crocket  Crockett ECHS Sharon Montgomery sharon.montgomery@austinisd.org
Eastside  Eastside ECHS Eric Braden eric.braden@austinisd.org
LASA  LASA Joseph Pendell joseph.pendell@austinisd.org
LBJ Jags  LBJ ECHS Joseph Rauls joseph.rauls@austinisd.org
McCallum Knights  McCallum High School Richard Cowles richard.cowles@austinisd.org
Lanier Vikings Navarro ECHS Mirtha Tabasco mirtha.tabasco@austinisd.org
Northeast Northeast ECHS Robert Walker robert.walker@austinisd.org

Participating PALS Middle Schools
 

School Counselor/Contact Email
bailey Bailey Jason Parker jason.parker@austinisd.org
“covington” Covington Jennifer Moczygemba jennifer.moczygemba@austinisd.org
“dogie” Dobie Kendra Bircher kendra.bircher@austinisd.org
“gorzycki” Gorzycki Andria Sindt andria.sindt@austinisd.org
“Lamar” Lamar Casey Schindler casey.schindler@austinisd.org
“lively” Lively Andrew Gonzales andrew.gonzales@austinisd.org
“small” Small Shaun Hopkins shaun.hopkins@austinisd.org

Participating PALS Elementary Schools
 

School Counselor/Contact Email
andrews Andrews Clelia Parlange clelia.parlange@austinisd.org
baldwin Baldwin Deborah Alexander
Lindsay Holley
deborah.alexander@austinisd.org
lindsay.holley@austinisd.org
barrington Barrington Sarai Vazquez sarai.vazquez@austinisd.org
blanton Blanton Pat Rios patricia.rios@austinisd.org
boone Boone Nicole Lozo nicole.lozo@austinisd.org
casey Casey Natalie Turner natalie.turner@austinisd.org
clayton Clayton Robin Johnson
Rhonda Rodriguez
robin.johnson@austinisd.org
rhonda.rodriguez@austinisd.org
cunningham Cunningham Marisa O'Connor marisa.o.connor@austinisd.org
doss Doss Natalie Perez natalie.perez@austinisd.org
govalle Govalle Dulce Gonzalez dulce.gonzalez@austinisd.org
hart Hart Danielle Trejo danielle.trejo@austinisd.org
highland park Highland Park Cari Land cari.land@austinisd.org
hill Hill Stephanie Winfrey, Chelsea Stover stephanie.winfrey@austinisd.org, chelsea.stover@austinisd.org
joslin Joslin Stephanie Turner stephanie.turner@austinisd.org
kocurek Kocurek Angela Vera angela.vera@austinisd.org
langford Langford Evelyn Ramirez evelyn.ramirez@austinisd.org
lee Lee Leah Gilbert leah.gilbert@austinisd.org
linder Linder Becky Cardenas-Salinas becky.cardenas-salinas@austinisd.org
maplewood Maplewood Kelli Kirk kelli.kirk@austinisd.org
menchaca Menchaca Lisa Schmitz lisa.schmitz@austinisd.org
mills Mills Kristina Kern kristina.kern@austinisd.org
norman-sims Norman-Sims Nakia Avery, Stephanie Johnson nakia.avery@austinisd.org, stephanie.g.johnson@austinisd.org
oak springs Oak Springs Rae Comeau, Jane Kilgore rae.comeau@austinisd.org, jane.kilgore@austinisd.org
perez Perez Isabel Marquez isabel.marquez@austinisd.org
pickle Pickle Brenda Hernandez brenda.hernandez@austinisd.org
pleasant hill Pleasant Hill Elise Edwards elise.edwards@austinisd.org
summitt Summitt Courtney Cardosa courtney.cardosa@austinisd.org
ta brown T.A. Brown Emily Smith emily.smith@austinisd.org
walnut Walnut Creek Ana Vazquez ana.vazquez@austinisd.org
widen Widen Megan Lanier megan.lanier@austinisd.org
williams Williams Karla Stewart karla.stewart@austinisd.org
zavala Zavala Kenn Peters kenn.peters@austinisd.org