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Our curriculum promotes the critical thinking, problem solving, writing and technical skills necessary to pursue young dreams.
We collect scholar achievement data to make informed decisions on the pace and appropriateness of learning plans for every scholar.
More Classroom Time
Our longer school days and longer school year add 259 hours of classroom instruction annually, providing more opportunities for scholar learning and growth.
Teachers as Leaders
We focus on recruiting the best educators and empower them to shape curriculum and school culture.
Parents as Partners
We view parents as partners in their children’s education. Parents receive regular updates on their child’s progress and opportunities to participate both at home and at school.
Safe & Nurturing Community
Our schools are safe and stimulating learning environments. We unite school and community through our Parent Advocacy Committee and after school partnerships.
What Makes Austin Achieve Unique
Rigorous College Readiness
Our high school scholars attend an hour-long college prep class every day. This four-year class series will empower them to enroll, persist, and thrive at the best-fit universities.
Teaching Beyond the Classroom
Our "whole child" approach includes guidance counseling, restorative justice, and family-based social services. Free after-school programs provide scholars with further opportunities to hone leadership skills and pursue academic excellence.
Conquering the Digital Divide
Scholars learn two programming languages via daily classes in digital literacy and coding, supported by our 1:1 scholar-to-computer ratio. Our programming curriculum includes Snap!, Python, and Java.
Our Restorative Practice program includes peer-to-peer mentoring, community service, and college and career lunch events to encourage leadership and emotional preparedness. Our zero suspension policy ensures at-risk scholars stay in school.
What is a Charter School?
Charter schools in Texas are part of the public school system. When the Texas Education Agency authorizes a charter, the agency is effectively creating a smaller, more nimble independent school district. For context: Austin Achieve will grow to serve over 2,000 scholars by 2020. By comparison, the Austin Independent School District currently serves over 80,000 children.
Scholars & Families
Are charter schools private schools?
No. Charter schools in Texas are required to adhere to specific enrollment rules and regulations outlined by the Texas Education Agency. Austin Achieve currently serves a broad cross-section of scholars with a variety of academic and social & emotional needs.
Do charter schools "weed out" low performing scholars through discipline or suspensions?
We have a zero suspension program so that our most struggling scholars stay in school at all times. With this program, we ensure all scholars have access to the academic and emotional supports they need to stay in school at Austin Achieve.
Do charter schools offer special education programs?
Yes. In fact, 13% of scholars at Austin Achieve receive special education services. This is a higher percentage of special education scholars than in the Austin Independent School District.
Operation & Structure
Are failing charter schools allowed to continue to operate?
No. Charter schools are required to adhere to the public school accountability system and are held to higher standards than traditional public schools. If a charter school receives a negative accountability rating for three consecutive years, the school will be subject to closure. Traditional public schools are not subject to this “three strikes, you’re out” rule.
Do charter schools want to remove the need for traditional public schools?
No. At Austin Achieve, we recognize that some traditional public schools do not meet the needs of all scholars. Charter schools exist to provide those scholars alternatives, and also create competition with surrounding schools.
Why do we need charter schools? How do charter schools increase the quality of education?
The larger goal is for all schools to be high-performing, and when charters share their innovation and best practices, it helps foster education reform which benefits all scholars no matter which school they attend.
Some people say charter schools divert funds from regular public schools. Is this true?
Charter schools receive state and federal funding based on the number of scholars enrolled at the school, and public funding follows each scholar. If a scholar is enrolled at a charter school, public funds flow to the charter. However, charter schools in Texas receive $1,200 less per scholar per year than traditional public schools.
Do charter schools pay their teachers less than traditional public schools?
We are proud to say we pay our teachers nearly 10% more than traditional schools in our area and provide paid maternity leave, an on-site daycare, and a variety of other benefits that aren’t found at other traditional or charter schools.
Board of Directors
The Austin Achieve Board of Directors is the steward of our mission, vision and goals. Dedicated to strategic growth, the board provides leadership and guidance to ensure Austin Achieve continues to thrive as a premier charter campus.
JD, Harvard Law School
Mr. Nortey is an Associate at Duggins Wren Mann & Romero, LLP. His practice includes commercial litigation, commercial transactions, administrative law, and energy matters. Mr. Nortey provides legal, business, and policy solutions to clients in regulatory proceedings before state agencies in Texas.
Born in Dallas and raised in El Paso, James is the son of two immigrants from Ghana in West Africa. He attended Baylor University in Waco where he studied Philosophy and Criminal Justice. Afterwards, James attended law school at Harvard University. He interned for Attorney General Greg Abbott and worked for City Council Member Sheryl Cole before becoming an attorney. As a young child, James was blessed by a community of devoted parents, educators, ministers and civic leaders. As a young adult, he was always grateful to his mentors for honing his leadership skills and developing his natural curiosity for knowledge. Now, as a young professional, he is empowered to reinvest the blessings bestowed upon him to help open doors of opportunity for others.
Past Board Chair
Past Board Chair
J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law; M.S.W. and B.S.W., Texas State University
Veronica L. Garcia is President of Periscope Strategies LLC, an advocacy and consulting firm that helps clients navigate complex issues at both the state and local level. Before starting Periscope Strategies, Veronica served as Vice President of Government & Public Affairs of the Texas Charter Schools Association, leading them to significant legislative wins in the Texas Legislature. Prior to TCSA, she practiced law with Walsh Gallegos Trevino Russo & Kyle P.C., representing public schools across Texas, led government relations for the largest school district in Texas, the Houston Independent School District, and was the legislative director for a Texas state representative.
Veronica received her J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law, M.S.W. and B.S.W. from Texas State University, and is licensed to practice law in Texas and Illinois.
Thomas I. Queen Jr.
Thomas I. Queen Jr.
JD, University of Richmond; BA, History, James Madison University.
Thomas was recently selected by Best Lawyers in America® as 2018 Austin Lawyer of the Year for Mergers and Acquisitions. In 2017, Best Lawyers in America® selected Thomas as Austin Lawyer of the Year for Corporate Law.
Prior to co-founding Queen Saenz + Schutz, Thomas was a partner with Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody, where he served as practice group leader for the firm’s corporate practice. Following law school, Thomas clerked for the Hon. Robert G. Doumar (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia) before working as a corporate attorney for the international law firm of Hunton & Williams.
Thomas is a member of both the Texas and Virginia bars, and previously served as the Chair of the M&A Committee of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. At the national level, Thomas is an active member of the American Bar Association’s M&A Committee, having served as a member of the ABA’s “Deal Points” task force for the last 10 years. Thomas has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® (by Woodward White, Inc.) since 2014 in the areas of Corporate Law, Corporate Governance Law, and Mergers and Acquisitions Law. He has also been listed in Super Lawyers® (a Thompson Reuters service) since 2014.
When he is not working on a deal, Thomas enjoys spending time with his wife, Sarah, and their two young daughters. Thomas received his law degree from the University of Richmond—where he was editor-in-chief of the University of Richmond Law Review and presented with the Charles T. Norman Award for Most Outstanding Overall Graduate—and a B.A. in History, with honors, from James Madison University.
BS, Chemical Engineering, University of California Berkeley
Kathrin is an award-winning CEO, thought leader and visionary who earned national recognition for her work at the intersection of technology and education. An acknowledged leader of innovation in education, she retired as superintendent and CEO of KIPP Austin Public Schools in 2011 after a decade of public service. As executive director of Austin Partners in Education, Kathrin developed a new model for student …
and community engagement to accelerate student learning, which gained endorsement from the National Education Association. She arrived in Austin in 1984 to join the growing semiconductor industry and held several engineering and management roles, moving toward the practice of leadership in maximizing the potential of organizations and communities. As a semiconductor executive, Kathrin created a nationally recognized college bridge and internship program to build technical capacity in the Austin workforce. An involved community leader and Leadership Austin graduate, Kathrin serves on for-profit and nonprofit boards focused on education and professional growth, and recently joined the Make-a-Wish foundation as president and CEO of the Central and South Texas region. Along with her husband, she proudly supports her daughter on the University of Michigan and USRowing crews.
MPA, The University of Texas, BBA Accounting
Jonathan joined Blue Sage Capital in 2013. Previously, he worked as a Senior Associate at Avista Capital Partners, a middle-market private equity firm with $4 billion under management, specializing in investments primarily in growth oriented energy, healthcare, communications & media, industrial and consumer companies.
Prior to Avista, he worked as an Analyst in Credit Suisse’s Global Energy Group in Houston where he advised on mergers, acquisitions, financings and other strategic advisory assignments in the sector. He also previously worked as an Analyst in the Private Bank at J.P. Morgan Chase where he was responsible for a variety of investment and financial advisory services to high net worth clients.
Jonathan graduated from The University of Texas with MPA and BBA degrees in Accounting from the Master in Professional Accounting Program and a minor in Finance. He is a Certified Public Accountant.
M.B.A., Business Management,
University of Phoenix: B.A., Journalism with a specialization in Public Relations,
University of Texas at Austin
BiNi has over 20 years of business administration and financial management experience. She has been leading innovative best practices reflected in the community impact work currently underway across Central Texas and beyond.
As founder and CEO of 212 Catalysts, BiNi currently provides consulting services to nonprofit organizations, corporations, education systems, and government agencies, to help them improve their mission-critical business operations.
BiNi was a member of the University of Texas Women’s Volleyball team, and is now a happy wife and mother living in amazement of her beautiful 4-year-old daughter.
G. Nelson Crowe, III
G. Nelson Crowe, III
BBA, Real Estate Finance, Southern Methodist University; BA, Spanish, Southern Methodist University
G. Nelson Crowe III serves as Principal at Endeavor Real Estate Group, an Austin, TX based real estate investment and development company. Mr. Crowe is responsible for leading the Multifamily acquisition and development platform at Endeavor including site selection, entitlement and design work, consultant and construction coordination, project capitalization, and asset management. Prior to joining Endeavor, Mr. Crowe spent eight years at Forestar Group, serving as Vice President of Multifamily for the publicly traded (NYSE: FOR) real estate development company. In 2010, he was a founding team member for the multifamily group, which developed and/or managed over 4,000 units in Austin, Dallas, Denver, Charlotte, Houston, and Nashville. Prior to joining Forestar in 2008, Mr. Crowe worked for Crow Holdings, a private equity firm that focuses on direct real estate investment through equity funds. While there, he worked on the capital placement of an $850 million equity fund. Mr. Crowe received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Real Estate Finance and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Southern Methodist University. He serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors for the Real Estate Council of Austin and Austin Achieve Public Schools and is an active member of the Urban Land Institute and Austin Ridge Bible Church. Mr. Crowe is married to Cindy and has one son, George IV.
BBA, Finance and Real Estate, University of Texas at Austin - Red McCombs School of Business
A lifelong Austinite, Cooper works in a business development role for Heritage Title Company. His diverse background in commercial real estate with experience in leasing, brokerage, debt origination and land entitlements, has given him extensive market knowledge of Central Texas and allows him to be an asset to clients in a variety of ways. Cooper is involved in a wide range of Austin organizations. …
He is a member of the 2010 Leadership Development Class of the Real Estate Council of Austin and served as a committee member for RECA’s Knock Out Night, Christmas in October and Vote Now Austin. He is active in the International Council of Shopping Centers and Urban Land Institute and spends significant time working with the Rainforest Partnership, Saint Louise House, Hill Country Conservancy, Austin Chamber of Commerce and Austin Stone Community Church. Cooper married his wife Camille in 2013 and they are happy to call Austin home.
M.S. Industrial Engineering (with honors), Lehigh University; BS, Mathematics (with honors), Millersville University
Andy retired from Dell Computer Corporation in September 2000 after a successful 24-year career in information technology. He has since directed his efforts toward various personal projects, volunteer efforts and consulting. Primarily focused on education, he serves on two advisory councils at the University of Texas-Austin and one at his alma mater, Lehigh University, chairing two of them. He co-chairs an advisory task force for the UTeach program in the College of Natural Sciences at UT-Austin and is active with various nonprofits throughout the Austin area. While at Dell, Andy served for seven years in various capacities as IT vice president and Group CIO at Dell. From 1991 to 1993, he was vice president, Processing Services, at the Continuum Company (now CSC Financial Services). His IT career began in 1976 at Air Products and Chemicals in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he served 15 years in different IT and general management roles.
MBA, Business Administration, University of Chicago; BA, Politics, Princeton University
Temp is a K-12 education entrepreneur who’s launching a new student-curated learning lab model, largely informed by his work in 2012 as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Austin’s Acton Academy. He is the former managing director of Innovations for Learning, as well as founder, former president and chairman of Resources for Indispensable Schools and Educators (RISE). In 2004, Temp was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship, one of only 150 social entrepreneurs in the U.S. to be recognized for “innovative, entrepreneurial solutions to some of the world’s most pressing social problems.” Prior to RISE, Temp taught 5th grade at East Palo Alto Charter School in California. Temp lives in Austin with wife Kerry and their two children.
Michael Lofton is a well-known Austin philanthropist, whose influence
and passion has significantly impacted a host of at-risk populations
including youths and families throughout the greater Austin area.
Michael’s activism initially took flight in 1993 with the debut of the
“Michael Lofton Talk Show” which aired weekly on public television.
The show provided Michael a platform to relay educational information
to disenfranchised communities while instilling positive attributes
including self-esteem, respect, and equality.
In 2005 Michael spearheaded a group of parents, educators, mentors and community leaders alike
to address the growing concern taking shape on both a local and national level. The concerns
centered on the low high school graduation rates for African American and Hispanic male
students- which were in contrast to the overrepresentation of this population regarding expulsions
and suspensions. As a result, Michael Lofton and the community members involved created the
African American Men and Boys Conference (AAMBC). The goal of the conference was to have
African American men serve as mentors to help impart the value of education to elementary,
middle and high school aged young men. Since its inception, over 100 conferences have been
Due to the success of the AAMBC, the first African American Women and Girls Conference was
held in 2007. Both conferences were inspired and fueled by Michael’s belief that a community
working together by engaging parents, students and providing the proper resources, can make a
Michael Lofton also serves as the driving force behind the creation of the African American Youth
Harvest Foundation (AAYHF), which originally stemmed from the success of the African
American Men and Boys Foundation. 2011 marked the opening of the African American Youth
Resource Center (AAYRC). The goal of the AAYRC is to serve as a central location for those
youth and adults primarily in Northeast Austin and Northeast Travis County to receive programs
such as summer camps, technology and STEM training and overall academic enrichment. In 2012,
one year after AAYHF’s opening, over 3500 youth and adults have participated in conferences
and/or received social services. Since AAYHF's inception, approximately 70% of the clients have
been African American, 25% Hispanic and 5% Caucasian. In 2013 and 2014, over 8500 youth and
families accessed services through AAYRC.
Catherine P. Thompson
Catherine P. Thompson
BBA, Accounting, The University of Texas at Austin
Catherine Thompson was CEO and co-Chair of the Board of Motion Computing from March 2011 until December 2014. As CEO, she worked closely with Motion’s Board of Directors in setting strategic goals. She oversaw the company activities focused on innovation and industry leadership. She identified and recommended her successor.
Cathy joined Motion in 2009 at the COO with responsibilities of operations, service, finance and legal. She led the focus on Customer Experience as a key differentiator.
Prior to joining Motion, Ms. Thompson served in various leadership roles with Dell. She began her career with Dell in 1993 as Vice President, Internal Audit. She also held roles as Vice President and Corporate Controller, Vice President of Business Operations, Vice President of Customer Support for the Relationship Business, Vice President of the Global Customer program and Vice President of Finance/CFO for the Americas and various other business units.
Before joining Dell, Ms. Thompson was a partner at the accounting firm of Arthur Andersen where she was the director of the Dallas/Ft. Worth telecommunications and utilities audit and financial consulting practices. She served as an expert witness before administrative agencies and the Texas legislature.
Earlier in her career, Cathy was on the staff of the Public Utility Commission of Texas and a staff accountant with Haskins and Sells (now Deloitte).
Cathy is a Certified Public Accountant and received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Texas. She is a board member of Ballet Austin and the Capital Area Food Bank. She has served as a judge for the TCU Values and Ventures Competition, a panelist for the Austin Technology Council CEO forum and an Executive in Residence at Tarleton State University, a member of the Texas A&M University System.
Board Member Emeritus
Board Member Emeritus
MBA, Business Administration, Harvard Business School; BA, Management Science, Duke University
Steve is chairman and partner at Cypress Real Estate Advisors, an Austin-based realestate investment and development company. Prior to founding Cypress in 1995, he was a managing director at Harvard Private Capital Group, a subsidiary of Harvard Management Company, where he directed the group responsible for real estate investment activities. From 1982-1989, Steve was employed by Trammell Crow Company as the partner in … [click for more] charge of Philadelphia’s commercial activities. He is actively involved with the Urban Land Institute and is a former director of Hill Country Conservancy and Wyndham Hotels. Steve, wife Joan and their three daughters are members of Good Shepard Episcopal Church.
Sterling Lands, II
Board Member Emeritus
Sterling Lands, II
Board Member Emeritus
Ph.D., Divinity and Pastoral Studies/Counseling, Master’s International School of Divinity BS, Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering, Southern University-Baton Rouge
Sterling is pastor of Austin’s Greater Calvary Bible Church and president of the African Bible Church International Fellowship. In 2005, he was crowned development chief of the Village of Doryum, Ghana in West Africa. His corporate career as a registered professional control systems engineer spans 25 years in various management positions at Fortune 500 companies. Sterling is president of ANAK Consultants, a firm specializing in character-centered project management, facilitation, training, organization development, managerial analytics and systems design. He is president and CEO of both Rites of Passage Development, which specializes in affordable housing and community and economic development, and Greater Calvary Rites of Passage, focused on character-centered youth and young adult development. An international speaker, author, developer, musician, recording artist, producer and manager of “The Warrior Gospel Band,” Sterling and his wife, Lady Mable, have two sons and 10 grandchildren.
Board Member Emeritus
Board Member Emeritus
BBA, Accounting, University of Texas-Austin
Bruce has spent a lifetime in the public arena — as elected official for more than a decade and as an expert in public and governmental affairs since leaving office. As Austin mayor, he led the second-fastest growing city in the nation to record levels of job production and environmental protection, and spearheaded the conversion of Bergstrom Air Force Base to a $500 million civilian airport. Bruce led the successful joint city/county effort to preserve thousands of wilderness acres in Travis County and was instrumental in the effort to involve the community in youth programs and provide school-to-work opportunities for Austin scholars. He continues to serve on a variety of boards and committees for public benefit, including Austin Community College’s Center for Public Policy and Political Studies (current president), Austin-San Antonio Corridor Council (current Executive Committee member) and the Long Center for the Performing Arts (board member).
Laurence G. Walker
Laurence G. Walker
Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology MS, Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology BS, Electrical Engineering, Princeton
Larry is a partner at Capital Factory, an Austin-based technology incubator, and co-working group. He is the former VP of Strategy and VP/general manager for the Network & Computing Systems Group at Motorola and Motorola Solutions. Larry has served as an advisor and angel investor in public, private and non-profit companies. He holds or has held a number of director roles: Texas Instruments Lehigh Valley; ColdStor Data, C-Port, FINsix and Adbm; Mintera Corporation and Ciclon Semiconductor Device Corp.; Silicon Laboratories; Autocell Laboratories; Tier Logic (chairman); McDATA Corp. (lead director); and Oasis Semiconductor. Larry has more than 25 years of experience in the management of sales, support, engineering and manufacturing of networking, microprocessor and computer products. He began his career with HP, and later co-founded C-Port Corporation and served as its CEO. From August 1996 to May 1997, Larry was CEO of CertCo. From 1981 to 1996, he held a variety of management positions at Digital Equipment Corporation, including VP and general manager of the Network Product Business Unit.