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TI Commits $5M to STEAM Academy in Plano ISD

November 2, 2011

Academy to Focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, digital Art and Math

At the November 1 meeting of the Plano Independent School District Board of Trustees, the district and longtime community partner Texas Instruments (TI) announced a $5 million commitment from the company to help launch and develop the district’s first academy.

TI and PISD Representatives

At the November 1 meeting of the Plano ISD Board of Trustees, Plano ISD and Texas Instruments representatives announced the corporate sponsorship. Pictured are Karla Oliver, executive director for government and community relations; Jim Hirsch, associate superintendent for academic and technology services; Monica Shortino, Plano ISD Education Foundation executive director; Lisa Raskin, Foundation president; Tammy Richards, School Board president; Gray Mayes, Texas Instruments director of public affairs; Superintendent of Schools Dr. Doug Otto; and TI's Arturo Sanchez, director of education and workforce development, and Gail Chandler, public affairs communications director.

As the founding corporate partner, TI’s involvement will enable Plano ISD to move ahead with plans for the new innovative high school as recommended by the Academy Visioning Committee in April this year. The committee, appointed by the Plano ISD board, was made up of parents, students, central office and campus staff members, higher education representatives, business leaders and community members.

TI and PISD Representatives

Arturo Sanchez, TI's director of education and workforce development, reinforced TI's commitment to the STEAM academy at the November 1 meeting of the Plano ISD Board of Trustees.

The district’s collaborative approach to research and planning yielded a proposal for an academy that combines project-based learning with rigorous coursework and adds technical arts to a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum. TI will work closely with the district on the STEM curriculum and technology integration for replication in other schools.

The academy, which will be located in an existing building at 1701 Alma, is expected to open in the fall of 2013, starting with 9th and 10th grades.

Plano ISD School Board President Tammy Richards said, “This is a great step for Plano ISD to be able to offer parents and students a choice for pursuing an area of academic interest. Much appreciation is extended to TI for partnering with us in continuing to offer education in innovative and creative ways in our school district.”

“This is the next phase in TI’s long relationship with Plano ISD, a district where many TI employees live and educate their children,” said Arturo Sanchez, TI director of education and workforce development. “TI is committed to improving STEM education in the communities where we operate, and this significant investment demonstrates our commitment to North Texas.” 

TI and PISD Representatives

President of the Plano ISD Education Foundation Lisa Raskin (left) thanked Gail Chandler, TI public affairs communications director, at the November 1 meeting. Also pictured (background) are Gray Mayes, TI; Tammy Richards, Plano ISD Board of Trustees; and Arturo Sanchez, TI.

Working together, Plano ISD and TI will create, expand and maintain a variety of programs to support and broaden educational curriculum and resources for students. TI’s education technology products, including graphing hardware and software, formative assessment systems, digital curriculum and professional development and 3D projectors may be used in the academy’s classrooms. The school could also have access to TI’s latest developmental products as a “beta site.”

“The academy will help Plano students succeed and build a strong technical workforce which is critical to the entire region’s future economic vitality. We applaud the work of the Visioning Committee and look forward to working closely with the district as detailed plans for the school are finalized,” Sanchez said.

Both TI and the TI Foundation have had a strong, collaborative partnership with the district and the Plano Education Foundation for many years. Among the many initiatives, TI’s Education Technology business has worked with Plano ISD for more than 11 years, and the TI Foundation has supported STEM teacher awards annually for five years.

Academy Building

The academy will be located in an existing building at 1701 Alma and is expected to open in the fall of 2013, starting with 9th and 10th grades.

“The TI Foundation has been a longtime STEM partner in making possible the annual Innovation in STEM Teaching Awards offered each spring to two outstanding Plano ISD secondary teachers. With this donation to the Plano ISD academy, we once again have an opportunity to thank TI for being such a visionary corporate citizen,” said Lisa Raskin, president of the Plano ISD Education Foundation.
Sanchez said that TI welcomes other corporate partners’ involvement with the district and academy. Plano ISD will continue to seek additional sponsorships, although TI will have exclusive naming rights.

“Maintaining a competitive edge and remaining responsive to the profile of today’s learner, Plano ISD continues to seek opportunities to innovate and find new ways to educate students,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Doug Otto. “Plano ISD is known for being on the leading edge of education and takes seriously its responsibility to students and to the future of public education in Texas. This partnership with TI will help us remain relevant and forward-thinking.”

The Plano academy sponsorship aligns with the national focus on improving STEM education and TI’s education initiatives in its communities worldwide. TI also announced on November 1 a “Power of STEM Education” initiative in four new communities that TI joined when it acquired National Semiconductor in September.

Education and nonprofit partners in Silicon Valley, California, South Portland, Maine, Greenock, Scotland and Melaka, Malaysia, will receive grants and be able to submit proposals to improve STEM education in those communities totaling $1 million over the next three years.

Over the past five years, TI and the Texas Instruments Foundation have invested more than $150 million in education, about $30 million for kindergarten to 12th grade (K-12) STEM education. TI’s support of education dates back to the company’s founders and the company has done business in education technology for more than 40 years.

About Plano Independent School District
The Plano Independent School District (Plano ISD) endeavors to foster the highest level of student learning. The mission of Plano ISD is to provide an excellent education for all students. Plano ISD is located 20 miles north of Dallas, Texas and serves the residents of approximately 100 square miles in southwest Collin County, including 66 square miles in the city of Plano, northern portions of the cities of Dallas and Richardson and parts of the cities of Allen, Parker and Murphy. Plano ISD employs 7,000 faculty and staff members who serve more than 55,000 students in 70 schools and 11 service facilities. Participating in Plano ISD schools enables students to adapt to new learning opportunities throughout their lives, collaborate with, and contribute to, the global community and to be creative and disciplined in their thinking.

About TI
Texas Instruments semiconductor innovations help 80,000 customers unlock the possibilities of the world as it could be – smarter, safer, greener, healthier and more fun.  Our commitment to building a better future is ingrained in everything we do – from the responsible manufacturing of our semiconductors, to caring for our employees, to giving back inside our communities. This is just the beginning of our story. Learn more at



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Related Links

November 1 school board meeting agenda item, sponsorship agreement and presentation video video icon (length: 00:10:53)

Academy Visioning Committee Website