HPS Austin Highlights january 2019 Edition

STEM for All

No exploding volcanoes here! Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville Biology teacher shares with Austin's KXAN News why she thinks science fairs are important for students in addition to the science curriculum taught. Students prepared for months to showcase their projects at the 2019 Harmony Austin District Science Fair!


Is yawning contagious? Which brand of gum has the longest lasting flavor? Why are teens so stressed?

Judges discovered the answers for these questions and more from over 200 middle and high school students on Wednesday, January 23rd at the annual 2019 Harmony Austin District Science Fair. Young scientists presented their science investigations that ranged in topics from Math and Computer Science to Environmental and Behavioral Science.

A special thanks to our panel of community judges that volunteered their time and expertise at the District Science Fair. This year we hosted professionals from Sunland Group, Freese and Nichols, Inc., Black & Veatch, Thinkery Museum, Professional Testing Inc., Buildasign.com, Community Brands | Empowering Associations, Nonprofits and Schools, SALT Light & Electric, and Pflugerville Realty. We would also like to thank Rice, Huston-Tillotson and UT Austin professors and students for sharing their insights with our Harmony Austin students.


At the Awards Ceremony, Harmony Austin hosted KVUE Meteorologist, Mr. Nathan Gogo, as this year’s keynote speaker.

Gogo joined KVUE’s Storm Team in 2015 and covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017 as the field meteorologist for TEGNA TV-stations. Besides hurricanes, he has covered tornado outbreaks, flash flood emergencies and winter storms. Gogo holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology from Iowa State University with an emphasis on Broadcasting.

HPS - Austin students enjoyed learning about his career and were not shy to ask questions! Thank you Nathan Gogo and KVUE News!

KVUE meteorologist Nathan Gogo and Jason Mikell stopped by the 2019 Harmony Austin District Science Fair!

Harmony Austin teachers received Outstanding Contribution Awards for their hard work, dedication, and support to their students in the Science Fair.


Director of Academics Award

Congratulations to Harmony School of Excellence - Austin 8th grader, Josiah, for receiving the Director of Academics Award for his project in Engineering titled "Stirling Engine Speeds."

Superintendent Award

Congratulations to Harmony School of Endeavor - Austin 8th grade student, Sidnee, for receiving the Superintendent Award, the best of show award at the district science fair. Sidnee's project in the Life Science category titled "Nitrite as a Potential Antibacterial Agent" received the highest score of the fair.

Congratulations to the winners that will advance to the Austin Energy Regional Science Festival in February! Good luck! #STEMforall #HarmonyProud

HPS Austin Promotes a Love of Learning


Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville held their annual College and Career Fair where Junior and Senior students were given first-hand insight into career choices. “The objective of the fair is to get to know the career of the professional and their education. Many times one's degree is not directly associated with their career and it is great for the students to get background information,” said Ms. Ofelia Arroyo, high school counselor. Students were able to choose sessions which allowed them to speak to professionals about their career pathway or college admissions counselors about different degree program opportunities.


Harmony School of Excellence - Austin junior, Aunesti, at Austin Youth Career Fest.

It was a busy day for Harmony Public Schools - Austin students as they headed off to the annual Youth Career Fest by the Youth and Family Services/Initiatives Office on January 30th. The Fest is a career exploration event for Austin area high school students hosted by the Austin Youth Council. Students are encouraged to explore a day many different colleges and future career opportunities. This year, students from Harmony School of Excellence - Austin, Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville, and Harmony School of Endeavor - Austin attended the festival.

The 2019 Youth Career Fest set out to be the largest event to date with over 2,500 students in the Austin area and with over 170 college and career representatives.

HPS Austin Celebrates 100th Day of School


During the last week of January, HPS - Austin students celebrated the 100th day of school by dressing as 100-year-olds and parading through the halls in their 100th themed shirts.

Harmony Science Academy - Cedar Park elementary students dressed as Centenarians!

Harmony Science Academy - Austin elementary students wore 100 themed shirts to the 100th day of school!

Harmony School of Endeavor - Austin students are 100 days smarter!

Mrs. Cindy Ojeda's Pre-K class wore Happy 100th Day hats to celebrate the day at Harmony School of Endeavor - Austin!

Harmony School of Innovation - Austin students celebrated the 101th day of school, Dalmatian style!

In the Community


The 20th anniversary of the UT Project is set to kick-off on February 23rd, 2019! The UT Project is the University of Texas at Austin’s largest day of service, serving the Rundberg community for its fourth consecutive year this 2019.

On January 26th, the UT Project held a Community Day with a panel of Rundberg community leaders for a Q&A session held at AISD Dobie Middle School. The panel included APD Officer Ray Kianes, Dobie Middle School Principal Jesse De La Huerta, Jose Carrasco of Austin Voices Family Resource Center, and Clarissa Davila, Director of Public Relations at Harmony Public Schools - Austin. The panel of four shared their insights and experiences working in the Rundberg community and working with previous UT Project days.

“We’re so thankful for the community members, team leads, committee and exec who came out to Community Day this weekend! Seeing some of the sites we will be working in on Project Day and speaking to community leaders who have seen the impact of The Project in Rundberg was truly inspiring.” - UT Project 2019

The 20th Anniversary of the UT Project day will take place on February 23rd in the Rundberg community with Harmony Science Academy - Austin as one of the work sites. UT Austin students and community volunteers will help with various beautification projects in and around the campus.

Civic Engagement


January started off GREAT as the local Austin Police Department officers brought the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program to 4th and 7th grade students at Harmony Science Academy - Austin and Harmony School of Science - Austin.

APD Officer Angela Johnson teaches the G.R.E.A.T. program to 4th grade students at Harmony School of Science - Austin.

Cultivated to inspire students to make positive decisions in their lives, the G.R.E.A.T program aims to highlight the various options students have when they are faced with social issues like bullying, peer pressure, and gang violence. The goal of the program is to better equip students on how to be leaders in their communities to promote a lasting and positive impact.

Officer Anna Jackson and Officer Adam Soliz teach G.R.E.A.T. to Harmony Science Academy - Austin 7th grade students.

HSA-Austin middle school G.R.E.A.T. program instructor and Austin Police Department Officer Adam Soliz believes this program is essential for kids since it gives them the chance to think about real world situations and the consequences that can result from making good or bad decisions. “G.R.E.A.T. is a program designed to teach kids about the dangers of gangs, but it also teaches life lessons which translates to when they get older. It can help them understand the differences between right and wrong. The program also highlights the need to volunteer and to give back to the community.”

HPS Austin Celebrates National School Choice Week

Students and staff at Harmony Public Schools - Austin celebrated National School Choice Week between January 20th - 26th. The entire week was filled with spirit and pride as teachers expressed why they chose to work at Harmony Public Schools - Austin.

Harmony Science Academy - Cedar Park students danced with their yellow scarves in celebration of NSCW in P.E. classes!
"I choose Harmony because of our smaller class sizes and being a smaller school. As the Gifted and Talented teacher, I get to teach my students from 6th grade until 8th grade and I love watching them grow their knowledge and just mature. I really feel like an integral part of their middle school lives." - Mrs. Victoria Wang Rossi, Gifted and Talented Coordinator at Harmony School of Excellence - Austin.
"I choose Harmony because Harmony is home! I started as a student in 2002 here at HSA-Austin for 7th grade and graduated in 2008. Now that I am the registrar at the same campus, it is very beneficial to provide an inside student look and experience for our applicant parents! Harmony is just one big family." - Amber Wilson, Registrar at Harmony Science Academy - Austin.
"I love Harmony because I have a lot of new friends now!" - Peyton, 3rd grader at Harmony School of Science - Austin

On January 23rd, teachers, students and parents from around the state met at the Texas State Capitol to march at the NSCW rally in support of school choice. NSCW celebrates traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online academies, and homeschooling.

Teachers are proud to choose to work at Harmony Austin!

Harmony School of Excellence - Austin cheerleaders danced on the Texas Capitol steps during the NSCW ceremony.

HPS Austin area Superintendent, Gina Gregory, with Harmony School of Innovation - Austin students at the NSCW rally.

Dedicated Staff


Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville alumna and teacher shares her story about why she supports school choice at the 2019 NSCW rally. Maria Martinez not only graduated from HSAPf, she also teaches at the campus and her daughter attends Harmony Science Academy - Austin! Hear why she chooses Harmony! #IChooseHarmony


Wanting a creative way to teach his students about Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Mr. JR Nutt, HSA-Austin Music teacher, took the advice of a former student about using music as conduit for change.

“I wanted to create a way for kids to learn about MLK Day through music that sent a positive message about being better in our community. When a former student suggested we do it through popular songs, it made sense. One of the most amazing things about it is that they completely flip out with excitement when they see their teachers singing ‘their’ song. It inspires them so much."

This year students selected “Heroes” by David Bowie which was rearranged to reflect the school’s anti-bullying message. This song is also a part of a bigger student-led documentary which explores the positive impact they can have when helping out in their local community. HSA-Austin, way to lead and inspire!

Welcome New HPS-Austin Principals

Tiffany Molina

Previous Harmony School of Innovation - Austin Principal, Mrs. Tiffany Molina, M.Ed., has been named new Principal of Harmony Science Academy, serving the Rundberg community.

“I am proud to be given the opportunity to serve the wonderful students and families at HSA and becoming a Rundie! HSA has exceptional staff supporting our students and I look forward to joining the team to continue to grow students. The front office team, teachers, teacher aides, and campus leaders are dedicated to serving our students to the highest level.”

Mrs. Molina is a veteran of the U.S. Army and has over 14 years of educational experience as a teacher, Principal, Assistant Principal of Academics, and Dean of Students. She earned a Master’s in Education with a focus on Leadership and Policy from the University of Texas at Arlington and a Bachelor’s in English and Criminal Justice from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi.

Amy Chankin

Mrs. Amy Chankin, M.Ed. has been announced as the new principal of Harmony School of Innovation - Austin.

Mrs. Chankin has 17 years of educational experience as a teacher, interventionist, curriculum coach, community outreach coordinator, Assistant Principal of Academics, and Principal in Residence. She has previously worked in the public, private, and charter school sectors in California and Texas. She served as Harmony School of Innovation - Austin Assistant Principal of Academics for the 2016-2018 school years before returning as Principal.

“It is an extreme honor to return to the Harmony family as your HSI principal. It is a privilege to return and work alongside the stellar teachers and staff at HSI to support your students in thier outstanding academic and social growth. I am fully committed to partnering parents and students as we continue to demonstrate greatness.”

Mrs. Chankin earned a Master’s in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington, K-12 Credential from San Jose State University, and a Bachelor’s from California State University at Long Beach.

Harmony Public Schools Austin

HPS Austin Leadership Team

Left to Right: Ozan Doganay, M.Ed. - Director of Engagement and Talent | Allanur Agaberdiyev, M. Ed. - Director of Academics | Clarissa Davila - Director of Public Relations | Gina Gregory, M.Ed. - Austin Area Superintendent; Dana Moses, M.Ed. - Director of Operations | Dustin Cox, MBA - Director of External Relations | Toraman Yayla, M.Ed. - Director of Finance
HPS Austin District Office - 13415 Fm 620 N Austin, Texas 78717

HPS Austin schools

Engin Dogan, M.Ed Principal | Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville

1421 WELLS BRANCH #200 Pflugerville, TX 78660 GRADES: 6TH-12TH

Tiffany Molina, M.Ed. Principal | Harmony Science Academy - Austin

930 E Rundberg Lane Austin, TX 78753 Grades: PK-8th

Waylon Stengler, M.Ed. Principal | Harmony School of Endeavor - Austin

13415 Fm 620 N Austin, TX 78717 Grades: PK-12th

Ilker Yilmaz, M.Ed. Principal | Harmony Science Academy - Cedar Park

12200 Anderson Mill Rd Austin, Texas 78726 Grades: PK-5th

Mehmet Subas, M.Ed. Principal | Harmony School of Science - Austin

11800 Stonehollow Dr. #100 Austin, TX Grades: K-5th

Agil Sharifov M.Ed. M.A Principal | Harmony School of Excellence - Austin

2100 East St. Elmo Rd. Austin, Texas 78744 Grades: 6th-12th

Amy Chankin, M. Ed. Principal | Harmony School of Innovation - Austin


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Created By
Clarissa Davila

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