• History of Kyrene Akimel A-al Middle School

    Akimel A-al is the fourth of six middle schools in the Kyrene School District. The name is from the language of the Akimel O'odham (Pima) People and means "Children of the River." Akimel A-al opened in August, 1992.


    We promote academic excellence by providing a quality environment which fosters relevant, life-long learning for our community. We honor… trust, accountability, enthusiasm, communication, growth, professionalism, respect, and diversity.



    High Standards; High Achievement; High Expectations for All

    Mascot: The Rattlers
    School Colors: Turquoise & Black
    Opened: 1992/93 School Year
    Dedication Ceremony: December 15, 1992
    20th Anniversary Celebration:February 24, 2012


    The name was chosen to honor the Akimel O'odham people. There are fifty square miles of Akimel O'odham land in the Kyrene School District -- a part of the large Gila River Indian Reservation. This land was included as part of the Kyrene School District in 1956. The Akimel O'odham Native American students from the Gila River Indian Reservation attend Akimel A-al. We take great pride in our school's name and its history.

    While we pronounce the school's name "Ah' key mahl", we always write it as Akimel A-al. To leave off the A-al changes the meaning of the school's name. “Akimel” means people. The A-al makes it diminutive (children) and adds “of the river”. We made an agreement with tribal members that while we may say “Akimel”, we would always write it appropriately.


    • AMS was the first Kyrene School to have a networked computer system. The vision was to center the school around the knowledge of the library. The networked system was the first to allow the resources of the library to "flow" directly into the classroom.

    • The circular form of the Native American kiva is used throughout the school (take a good look at the middle of the courtyard).

    • Samples of soil from the mountains surrounding the school were used to determine the colors of the brick used to build the school.

    • The tower which marks the entry to the school is symbolic of watch stations once used by ancient civilizations.

    • The carpeting has Native American designs. In the lobby of the gym, the carpet design represents the mountains, the sun, and the river.

    • Many of our doors have windows that represent "keyholes" or the shape of the doors of ancient Native American dwellings.

    Akimel A-al Middle school is located just north of the Gila Indian Reservation and is built on land once inhabited by the Akimel A-al O’odham people and their ancestors, the Hohokam. Our school’s name, which means Children of the River in their native language, was chosen to honor them.

    Once the “Rattler” was chosen as the school mascot, we searched for a representation of a rattlesnake that would provide an additional connection to the history and culture of the area. Former Kyrene del Pueblo Principal, historian and artist Tom Seiger, had a piece of pottery in his collection that provided the perfect inspiration. Found just a few miles north of here, this 1,000 year old Hohokam artifact was used as the model for our logo. It is found on our gymnasium floor and at the center of our kiva shaped, circular courtyard.

Last Modified on September 1, 2021