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The open-enrollment public charter high school will turn focus on new programs for students

Texans Can Academies has been announced as a recipient of the 2018-2019 Texas 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Cycle 10, Year 1 grant program that became effective on their campuses August 1, 2018. The non-profit charter high school district will utilize the funds of the grant program to enhance the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) enrichment programs at their eight campuses in the Dallas / Fort Worth area. The federally-funded program, also called Texas Afterschool Centers or Texas ACE, recognizes organizations that offer academic programs before and after school hours, as well as during the summer months.

Texans Can Academies will actively begin expanding the STEAM programs currently offered on campus to allow students more opportunities to practice their newly developed skills. The STEAM programs collectively make up a series of career fields and focuses that are considered the core tools in guiding the student’s dialogue and critical thinking abilities. Teaching relevant, in-demand skills provide young adults with marketable skills upon high school graduation, which is a core pillar behind Texans Can Academies’ curriculum.

STEAM adds the arts to the original STEM framework and provides a method to foster the true innovation that comes with combining the mind of a scientist or technologist with that of an artist or designer. Within the framework of STEAM classes also stems modeling and evaluation. The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that jobs in science, technology and math will grow by 17% by the end of 2018.

“We recognize that our students have a hunger to learn or they would not be here today,” said Richard Marquez, President and CEO of Texans Can Academies. “It is important to us to provide them with the tools necessary to succeed and excel in their desired career fields beyond graduating from high school.”

Texans Can Academies believes in providing the highest quality education for all students. The high school’s curriculum has been designed to prepare their students for life beyond high school graduation with skills and concepts such as Marquez Reading, critical thinking, college preparation, workforce etiquette and more. The non-profit combines a unique network of 14 public charter high schools located throughout the state of Texas in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. To date, more than 143,000 youth have been given an opportunity for success in the classroom with the opportunity to pursue their dreams.

About Texans Can Academies

Celebrating 33 years of providing the highest quality education for all students, Texans Can schools are graduating thinkers. Texans Can Academies are a unique network of 14 charter schools located in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. The schools are tuition-free, open enrollment, public high schools of choice serving students who have struggled in a traditional high school setting. To date, more than 143,000 youth have been given a second chance at life with the opportunity to pursue their dreams. Texans Can - Cars for Kids™ is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization benefiting Texans Can Academies and is the only car donation program in Texas that is operated by the charity it serves. For more information, visit www.texanscan.org or www.texanscancars.com.

 

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Rufus Johnson.jpg Rufus Johnson has been named the 2018-2019 Head Principal over Texans Can Academy - Dallas Ross Avenue.

Texans Can Academies is pleased to announce the appointment of Rufus Johnson as the Texans Can Academy – Dallas Ross Avenue 2018-2019 principal. The 16+ year education veteran most recently served as the assistant principal for Texans Can Academy – Fort Worth Lancaster Avenue, and has been with the non-profit charter school organization for eight years. He also served as the assistant principal for Texans Can Academy - Oak Cliff, Ross Avenue, and Houston Hobby prior to his position at Fort Worth Lancaster Avenue. This will be Johnson’s first year serving as head principal.

“Rufus has demonstrated outstanding instructional and extracurricular guidance for our student body and staff during his eight years with us,” said Richard Marquez, CEO and President of Texans Can Academies. “We are confident his vision and expertise will reflect in the Ross Avenue campus this year and look forward to the long-term results his leadership will bring to the school.”

Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in management from Paul Quinn College and a master’s degree in education administration from Prairie View A&M University. He obtained his teaching certification through the 21st Century Leadership Principal Program.

About Texans Can Academies

Celebrating 33 years of providing the highest quality education for all students, Texans Can schools are graduating thinkers. Texans Can Academies are a unique network of 14 charter schools located in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. The schools are tuition-free, open enrollment, public high schools of choice serving students who have struggled in a traditional high school setting. To date, more than 143,000 youth have been given a second chance at life with the opportunity to pursue their dreams. Texans Can - Cars for Kids™ is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization benefiting Texans Can Academies and is the only car donation program in Texas that is operated by the charity it serves. For more information, visit www.texanscan.org or www.texanscancars.com.

 

 

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Texans Can Academies.jpg Donations for the Countdown to Class 2018 will be accepted until August 31st.

Countdown to Class 2018 school uniform drive has begun

Texans Can Academies, a non-profit organization giving young Texans a second chance at life through education, today announced that they are sponsoring a back-to-school fund drive, Countdown to Class, for their students who need assistance getting ready for the approaching school year. As summertime comes to an end, students across the state of Texas are gearing up for the upcoming first day of school. While some are out shopping for new clothes or visiting their campus to pick up their school uniforms, others are faced with the dilemma of affording new clothes. Texans Can Academies understands the challenges a lot of families face with back-to-school expenses and wants their students to begin the school year with confidence and refreshed outlooks.

From now until September, Texans Can Academies is hosting their annual Countdown to Class 2018 Uniform Drive to raise funds that will benefit students at their 14 campuses across the state of Texas. The open-enrollment public charter high school has campuses located in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. The funds from the drive will benefit students and their families by providing brand new clothes that fit properly to wear as the school’s uniform of khaki pants and white collared shirts. A $75 donation will provide one pair of pants, two shirts, socks and a belt for one student.

The Countdown to Class 2018 fundraiser officially ends August 20th. Donations will be accepted until the 31st specifically for uniforms. 

“We know the expense of school supplies and clothing can put a major dent in the household budget for a lot of families,” said Richard Marquez, President and CEO of Texans Can Academies. “All donations will help our families provide back-to-school items so that their children will feel proud and comfortable during the school year. It’s especially important for teenagers to feel confident in what they are wearing when they are in school so they focus on learning.”

A 2018 study by Deloitte found that the average United States household planned to spend $510 per child on back-to-school shopping. The National Retail Federation estimates that families shopping for students this year will spend the most on clothing, about $237 per school-age child.

The cost of clothes and school supplies for teenagers can create financial and emotional strains on families that cannot be met and can lead to a child dropping out of school. Texans Can Academies takes steps every year to offer solutions to any obstacles students face outside their classrooms to help them remain in school and graduate.

“We know that if children don’t have school supplies or the proper clothes to wear to school, they may decide to stay home,” continued Marquez. “Our goal throughout our campuses and programming is to break down barriers to educational success. We are asking for help to raise funds for our kids to have clothes they are proud to wear to school throughout the school year. All children deserve to come to school wearing clothes that fit comfortably and feeling like they look their best.”

Texans Can Academies believes in providing the highest quality education for all students. The high school’s curriculum has been designed to prepare their students for life beyond high school graduation with skills and concepts such as Marquez Reading, thinking skills, college preparation, workforce etiquette and more. Classes are structured with a learning, yet nurturing environment that touches on student-centered decision making.

Serving the education system for 33 years, Texans Can Academies provides open enrollment, public high schools of choice for students who have struggled in traditional high school settings. To participate in Texans Can Academies’ 2018-2019 Uniform Drive, please visit www.texanscan.org/countdown2class2018.

About Texans Can Academies

Celebrating 33 years of providing the highest quality education for all students, Texans Can schools are graduating thinkers. Texans Can Academies are a unique network of 14 charter schools located in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. The schools are tuition-free, open enrollment, public high schools of choice serving students who have struggled in a traditional high school setting. To date, more than 143,000 youth have been given a second chance at life with the opportunity to pursue their dreams. Texans Can - Cars for Kids (TM) tax-exempt organization benefiting Texans Can Academies and is the only car donation program in Texas that is operated by the charity it serves. For more information, visit www.texanscan.org or www.texanscancars.com.

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The 1900 Pacific Residences in downtown Dallas, a redevelopment project designed by Merriman Anderson/Architects, has been awarded LEED Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council Chapter. An open house celebration and plaque ceremony was held at the 1900 Residences last week. Owner and Developer, John Kirtland, hosted a building tour and reception, and U.S. Green Building Council delivered the plaque ceremony at 6:00 p.m. The event was open to the public, and sponsored by Cafe Izmir, I AM THE JUICE PLACE, EARTHx, and Cambria Downtown Dallas.

“Since the goal to gain LEED Certification came late in the project, significant modifications to the HVAC design had to be made while trying to maintain proposed chases and equipment sizes and concepts,” said Patrick Hazard, Merriman Anderson/Architects’ Project Architect for 1900 Pacific Residences. “The teamwork and collaboration between the mechanical and electrical engineer JJA, Inc., Andres Construction, H&G Mechanical, and our team made this challenging task possible.”

LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, which provides third-party verification that certain performance improvement strategies and sustainability features were implemented into the design of a building. Certain factors include energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reductions, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

The 1900 Pacific Residences project, formerly known as Corrigan Tower, transformed an 18-story, mid-century modern tower in downtown to a 150-unit Class A apartment building with ground floor retail space and a rooftop pool. Originally built in 1952 as an office tower by iconic Dallas real estate tycoon, Leo Corrigan, Corrigan Tower was vacant for more than a decade before being redeveloped.

The building recently won a Preservation Dallas Achievement Award, which honors Dallas’ outstanding residential and commercial historic preservation projects and the individuals who are committed to making Dallas a better place to live by promoting its architectural heritage.

Merriman Anderson/Architects is an industry leader in its diverse scope of projects including corporate office headquarters, mixed-use master planned developments, high density housing, and historic renovation. Other noteworthy projects include Grandscape Lifestyle Center in The Colony, The Centrum, and The Statler.

 

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Last month, Merriman Anderson/Architects (MAA) was nominated for the 2018 Architect of the Year by Cummings Electrical and was selected by the American Subcontractors Association (ASA) North Texas Members for the award.

“We want to thank Cummings Electrical for nominating our firm for this award and American Subcontractors Association for the special recognition,” said Merriman Anderson/Architects Founder and President Jerry Merriman, AIA. “We are honored to be selected and appreciate Cummings Electrical’s support not only for this award but consistently with our collaboration on projects.”

MAA was recognized at ASA’s 40th Annual Awards Night on June 7, 2018, at the DFW Marriott North. ASA is a unified, effective organization working to improve the economic wellbeing of subcontractors/suppliers and alleviate problems affecting the construction industry. The organization has a long history of honoring general contractors, subcontractors, architects and engineers each year. Nominees and winners for the Architect of the Year award are chosen by the ASA North Texas members, which are comprised of subcontractors, suppliers and industry professionals.

The MAA stamp can be seen on a wide range of project types throughout the United States and internationally. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with additional offices in Austin, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina, the firm offers customized project solutions to a varied portfolio of clients. With projects such as The Statler, Dallas High School, The Centrum, Bell Helicopter’s Global Headquarters, THE DREVER, and Grandscape Lifestyle Center, Merriman Anderson/Architects is an industry leader in Dallas and across the country.

 

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Branda Matamoros-Beveridge has been selected as Texans Can Academies new Fort Worth development director.

Texans Can Academies – Fort Worth named Brenda Matamoros-Beveridge as the new director of development over the two Texans Can Academies high schools in Fort Worth: Fort Worth Lancaster and Fort Worth Westcreek. Matamoros-Beveridge was previously responsible for planning and implementing all aspects of the Dallas Museum of Art’s Corporate Partners program and corporate sponsorships at the $50,000 level and below. Her involvement included overseeing the portfolios of corporate donors and prospects and creating and implementing strategies to engage and cultivate corporate supporters. Matamoros-Beveridge’s role as director of development for Texans Can Academies in Fort Worth: Fort Worth Lancaster and Fort Worth Westcreek will include overseeing all fundraising efforts in the area including: identifying grant opportunities; coordinating fundraising events; and developing community awareness and outreach for the two campuses. The role also includes cultivating new members for Fort Worth and coordinating the Council’s activities.

 A gifted writer, Matamoros-Beveridge formerly served as the grant writer for the Lakota Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota and for an organization in Bozeman, Montana that built schools for girls in the Middle East. She has also worked with MTV and their Staying Alive Foundation, where her former boss was famous singer-songwriter, George Michael.

After receiving her BA in print journalism from Southern Methodist University in 2000, Brenda served as a journalist for several years before entering her career in development. On her days off, she likes to test her skills as a long-range rifle shooter and attend the Parker County rodeo events. She describes herself as a “motivated self-starter” with an entrepreneurial drive and creative disposition that generates new ideas and strategies.

Texans Can Academies is a unique network of 13 charter schools located in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. Serving the education system for 33 years, Texans Can Academies provides open enrollment, public high schools for students who have struggled in traditional high school settings. To date, more than 143,00 students have enrolled in the schools across Texas to pursue their dreams of higher education. For more information, please visit www.texanscan.org. 

 

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Felicia Gummi has been selected as Texans Can Academies new Dallas development director.

Texans Can Academies welcomes Felicia Gummi as the director of development for their six Dallas campuses. She joins Texans Can as the former director of philanthropy at Genesis Women’s Shelter Dallas.

As the director of development for Texans Can Academies – Dallas, Felicia will manage all aspects of the Development Department, which includes fundraising and community outreach. Felicia will be responsible for representing Texans Can Academies at various events, through public presentations about the organization and its mission. She will establish working relationships with community leaders, governmental agencies, youth service agencies, foundations and businesses.

Felicia is a driven professional with a passion for non-profit and philanthropy and has dedicated her entire career to working with at-risk youth. Felicia has over 10 years of experience working in non-profits, taking on various roles in both client services and non-profit development, she has assisted in launching first time events, served on a leadership team to help establish a coalition, and grow programs. She graduated with a Master’s in Non-profit and Civic Leadership from Drury University and she is a recipient of the Biz417 20 Under 30 Award for her work in the Springfield, Missouri community.

Texans Can Academies is a unique network of 13 charter schools located in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. Serving the education system for 33 years, Texans Can Academies provides open enrollment, public high schools for students who have struggled in traditional high school settings. To date, more than 143,00 students have enrolled in the schools across Texas to pursue their dreams of higher education. For more information, please visit www.texanscan.org. 

 

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Merriman Anderson/Architects (MAA), a downtown Dallas headquartered architecture and planning firm, helped downtown residents, commuters and visitors ring in The First Day of Summer with a refreshing treat. MAA helped the people of downtown celebrate the start of the new season and cool down from the summer heat by passing out ice cream in front of their office, which is steps away from the DART Akard Station and next door to DART’s main offices. The First Day of Summer, also known as the June or Summer Solstice, is a day when spring has finally come to an end and the warmest part of the summer season begins. It is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, the because it has the most hours of sunlight of the whole year.

MAA employees handed out small cups of ice cream, ice cream sandwiches and ice cream cones to everyone walking by their office from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A table was set up with ice chests keeping the treats frozen so that passers-by could enjoy an unexpected summer surprise. Those enjoying the ice cream included downtown workers on their lunch break, downtown residents who were walking by and tourists who were visiting Dallas and left with a sweet treat.

On February 17, 2018, Random Acts of Kindness Day, Merriman Anderson/Architects employees set up a table in front of their office to pass out warm breakfast tacos and coffee to downtown residents, commuters and visitors to help brighten people’s day and remind others to pass it forward. The response from people walking by was wonderful and the employees enjoyed helping people start their day on the right foot, so they decided to do something for the downtown residents and commuters nearby more than once this year.

Merriman Anderson/Architects is an industry leader in its diverse scope of projects including corporate office headquarters, mixed-use master planned developments, high density housing, and historic renovation. Noteworthy projects include The Statler, Grandscape, Bell Helicopter Headquarters, and THE DREVER.

 

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Texans Can Academies graduated students from each of their Houston campuses this past week. Texans Can Academy - Houston North’s Class of 2018 graduated on Thursday, June 14 at Lighthouse Church in Humble; Texans Can Academy - Houston Hobby held graduation on Friday, June 15 at Stevenson Middle School in Houston; and Texans Can Academy - Houston Southwest’s graduation was on Wednesday, June 20 at Higher Dimensions Church in Houston.

“We are extremely proud of each of our students who have graduated this month,” said Texans Can Academies President and CEO Richard Marquez. “They have put in an incredible amount of work and determination to get where they are today. Texans Can Academies have given these students a chance to receive a quality education and teach them how to truly be thinkers.”

Most graduates have their own story about the struggles they faced and the journey they took to earn their high school diploma. Some were former high school dropouts; some students were not succeeding in a traditional high school campus; some were the first in their families to receive a high school diploma; among other struggles. However, all who graduated this past week are celebrating the end of a chapter in their lives that starts the beginning of a new chapter where some of them will be attending college, some will be going on to a trade school or community college, some will be going directly into the workforce, and some will be leaving for the military. They will all be participating members of the Houston economy and thinkers who will never be victimized by their circumstances again.

Graduations at Texans Can Academies are celebratory, loud and attended by entire families. Applause is given for each student as they cross the stage to celebrate hard work and determination. It is a celebration of overcoming difficulties and beginning a new, successful chapter in their lives.  

Texans Can Academies believe in providing the highest quality education for all students, especially those who have struggled in a traditional high school setting. The curriculum prepares each student with skills and concepts, such as the Marquez Reading programming methods, to emphasize college ready and workforce ready skills, so their graduates have successful plans after their graduation. Texans Can Academies graduates thinkers.

 

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A special group of 29 young students recently welcomed summer vacation after graduating from the Texans Can Academies preschool program, Wee Can Academy Ross Avenue and Wee Can Academy Carrollton/Farmers Branch. Wee Can Academy, Texans Can Academies’ Early Childhood Development Center, provides onsite education for children six weeks to four years old, along with after school care for children ages five to 12. In addition, Texans Can Academies also partners with early head start programs to offer infants and toddlers (six weeks - 2 ½ years) a learning environment to enhance children’s social skills and cognitive development.

“It was a joy to see these preschoolers walk across the stage in their mini caps and gowns and receive their very first diploma,” said Carol Wentworth, director of Child Care Operations for Texans Can Academies. “These are the moments our organization looks forward to all school year.”

Wee Can Academy was created by Texans Can Academies as part of the school’s commitment to education and removing barriers for their high school students. Wee Can Academy is available to high school students and offers affordable childcare while they attend their high school classes. Across the state of Texas, there are currently six Wee Can Academy centers located in Texans Can Academies’ campuses. In the Dallas/Fort Worth area: the Carrollton-Farmers Branch campus, the Ross Avenue campus in East Dallas, the Pleasant Grove campus, the Grant East campus in south Dallas and the Fort Worth campus on Lancaster Avenue each have in-house Wee Can Academies.

The mission of Wee Can Academy is to provide a nurturing and educational environment for children and to partner with and support the families that are a part of the school. Wee Can Academy provides programs designed to enrich the lives of infants, toddlers and grade school children through play, social and academic activities that offer experiences to stimulate the physical, emotional and cognitive growth of each child. 

The curriculum for students attending Wee Can Academy has been designed with fun in mind to emphasize school support, parent involvement and fun including field trips, sports activities and more. All children in the Wee Can Academy participate in the Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment Basic (FIE Basic) program designed by Professor Reuven Feuerstein, the Founder and Chairman of the Feuerstein Institute. The program teaches children how to think and how to reason through particularly designed instruments and mediation. FIE Basic tasks are intended to be readily transferable to all educational and everyday life situations. Not only do the methods teach vitally important cognitive strategies - such as how to gather information, strategize, compare and problem solve - they also teach children cognition behind emotions. All literacy programming includes Marquez Reading methods, and students are provided a 30-minute homework period Monday through Thursday.

All five Dallas/Fort Worth-area Wee Can Academies provide affordable childcare for the community and to Texans Can Academies students that are raising children.  The childcare option is a great resource for students who are also parents because it gives them an opportunity to go to school to earn their high school diploma knowing that their child is nearby for them to visit.  

About Texans Can Academies

Celebrating 31 years of providing the highest quality education for all students, Texans Can schools are graduating thinkers.  Texans Can Academies are a unique network of 13 public schools in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. The schools are tuition-free, open enrollment, public high schools of choice serving students who have struggled in a traditional high school setting.  To date, more than 141,000 youth have been given a second chance at life with the opportunity to pursue their dreams. Cars for Kids is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization benefiting Texans Can Academies and is the only car donation program in Texas that is operated by the charity it serves.  For more information about Texans Can Academies, visit: www.texanscan.org or www.carsforkids.org.