Plano ISD School Board Hosts Community at Dedication for New Academy High School
November 14, 2013
The Plano ISD Board of Trustees hosted the community at a dedication ceremony held on November 7 for Plano ISD Academy High School, located at 1701 Alma Road. The event was attended by several hundred students, faculty, staff, district and city officials, academy sponsors and other community leaders.
Principal Renée Godi brought greetings from students, faculty and staff to dedication guests.
Academy students and staff served as ambassadors throughout the evening, made introductions, provided musical entertainment, videotaped the event and led guests on tours of the campus. Principal Renée Godi brought school greetings, and Superintendent of Schools Richard Matkin served as master of ceremonies. View the dedication program .
Aleta Stampley, Texas Instruments K-12 education and community relations director (right), and Gail Chandler, TI’s public affairs communications director, and other volunteers from TI were introduced and thanked during the dedication ceremony. Ms. Stampley brought remarks following a TI-produced video presentation about the academy.
Texas Instruments, $5 million sponsor of the academy, was represented through a video produced by the company, remarks from Aleta Stampley, K-12 education and community relations director, and TI volunteers. Additional academy sponsors are Cisco Systems, Capital One Bank, Encana Oil & Gas, Quaker Steak & Lube and Fossil. Hosting an art activity, in which guests helped produce the academy's Titan mascot logo, was the Dallas-based nonprofit Big Thought and artist Jennifer Kindert.
Academy High School Titanettes
As master of ceremonies, Superintendent Richard Matkin welcomed guests and remarked on the new academy. Boy Scout Troop #747 presented colors and led the Pledge of Allegiance. The Voice of the Titans performing group sang the National Anthem. School Board President Nancy Humphrey brought greetings and introduced fellow trustees. A City of Plano proclamation was presented by The Honorable Harry LaRosiliere, Mayor of Plano.
The Titan Jazz Ensemble performed while guests arrived and toured the facility. During the program, guests enjoyed performances by the Titanettes dance group and Titan Steppers. The Academy Anthem was performed by the Voice of the Titans student group. The song was written by Allie Moore and Avery Seaton and composed by Bryson Sidebottom.
Guests watched a video entitled "The Journey Begins," produced by students Tate Christopher and Henry Howard. Introducing speakers were students Josh McDonald and Nick Hughes. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Jim Wussow, secondary academic services executive director. Read keynote address
The Titan Steppers
City of Plano officials attending the dedication included Plano City Council members and Mayor Harry LaRosiliere (right). The mayor presented a proclamation on behalf of the city.
City of Richardson officials in attendance at the dedication were Deputy City Manager David Morgan and Communications Director Greg Sowell.
Principal Renee Godi brought school greetings. "We are lucky to have so much talent to pull from for an event such as this," said Ms. Godi. "These were all student-led and created events, so not only do they have talent, but outstanding leadership, as well."
Ms. Godi continued, "Having the opportunity to lead this innovative new campus is an educator’s dream. The Titan Staff is proud to help fulfill the school board’s vision to offer students more pathways for learning. Our project-based learning community, with learning occurring in the context of science, technology, engineering, art and math, will prepare our students for life beyond graduation, allowing students to take part in real-world experiences and problem-solving—and encouraging them to collaborate with others inside and outside of school. Our students have adapted quickly to their new learning environment and we are eager to see where they will go from here."
Following the program, guests enjoyed tours and refreshments provided by the Academy High School PTSA.
In a dedication art activity hosted by Big Thought, volunteers assisted guests in creating artwork that was assembled into the Titans logo and displayed following the program.
About Plano ISD Academy High School
In 2010, the Plano ISD Board of Trustees created the Academy Visioning Committee to study and advise the feasibility of
creating a 9th-12th grades option for students that offers choices for programs not currently available in the comprehensive high schools and senior high schools.
The Academy Visioning Committee developed a findings report that was presented to the school board. In September 2011, the Academy Steering Committee took this report and created the actionable plans of work for the school. This group of educators and corporate and community leaders set a strong foundation of work for the Academy staff to carry forward. In May 2012, Renée Godi was named principal of Plano ISD Academy High School and the inaugural staff was hired to create the unique curriculum during the 2012- 2013 school year.
Opening in 2013, Academy High School is an innovative, project-based 9th-12th grade learning community committed to fostering a professional environment, inspiring creativity and empowering students to collaborate and compete in a rapidly changing world. With an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) and interdisciplinary connections, student learning is anchored in real world experiences which rely on continuous collaboration with others both inside and outside the school.
Read more information, visit the Academy High School website, watch academy videos and view the dedication photo gallery.
eNews Table of Contents
Academy High School student Tate Christopher (pictured) and Henry Howard produced the video "The Journey Begins" for the academy dedication.
Origin of Academy High School
The Journey Begins
Full November 7 Academy Dedication Program
TI / Plano ISD Academy High School Partnership
"Our project-based learning community, with learning occurring in the context of science, technology, engineering, art and math, will prepare our students for life beyond graduation, allowing students to take part in real-world experiences and problem-solving—and encouraging them to collaborate with others inside and outside of school. Our students have adapted quickly to their new learning environment and we are eager to see where they will go from here."
Renée Godi, Principal, Plano ISD Academy High School
"This school was born out of community-wide input from business leaders, higher education institutions, nonprofit organizations, parents, students, teachers and administrators...We are excited to add this brilliantly repurposed building to our family of schools in Plano ISD. The building itself is an important part of the school’s instructional setting and will help further Plano ISD’s mission to provide an excellent education for all students for years to come."
Richard Matkin, Superintendent of Schools
"In response to community demand, and with foresight that preceded legislative action that would promote flexible graduation pathways, my fellow trustees embraced finding new ways to offer choices to students and engage them as learners. This school is a direct result. We know that the success of our district depends on the collective vision of the board, staff, parents and community."
Nancy Humphrey, School Board President
"Don’t let anyone fool you that in the age of Google, content knowledge doesn’t matter anymore. Content knowledge matters – I contend it will always matter – you can’t think critically in a vacuum. But content will play a slightly different role than the past – and it certainly won’t be content in isolation."
Dr. Jim Wussow, Executive Director of Secondary Academic Services
Read full keynote address