Message from the Superintendent
The excitement of warmer weather has brought new endeavors for Harmony Austin. The outside learning environments at our campuses allow our students to experience the joys of celebrating Earth Day by our students working in the campus gardens, construct projects for recycling and conservation and volunteer in the community to keep our earth clean. GoogleExpeditions and a Robotics Week RockOut engaged our students in their STEM learning this month. Our campuses are conducting college fairs, and our sports teams are alive with teamwork while enjoying the outdoors. Springtime in Austin is one of the best times for learning and engaging students, the Harmony way!
HPS Austin is staffed with committed and talented educators from around Texas and the globe. Our dedicated staff use a whole child approach to education and do whatever it takes to help our students' reach their goals. Each month, we are honored to introduce and highlight one of the amazing team members from the Harmony family.
Harmony School of Excellence Austin
Timothy Brewer fosters creativity at Harmony School of Excellence Austin as the English Language Arts Teacher. Brewer obtained a BAS from Dallas Baptist University and offers students a new perspective on writing and expressing their thoughts outside the norm. With seven years teaching experience, three of those with Harmony, Brewer believes there is value in students engaging with professionals in the community. Students gain skills in Mr. Brewer’s classroom and those skills translate into real world experiences. In the past, Mr. Brewer has invited community members such as young adult author, Natalie Grigson, lawyers who've argued cases in front of the Supreme Court such as Jordan Lorence and local public-access television show host, Matt Dillahunty. Learning doesn’t stop in the classroom for Mr. Brewer. For the past 2 years, Timothy Brewer has been writing for the acclaimed “Typewriter Rodeo” in efforts to express thoughts through free writing. This past year, Mr. Brewer also spoke at the Conference of College Teachers of English at Tarleton State University. He presented a short piece he wrote titled "Brackish" as a graduate student representative for the conference. Mr. Brewer won his category and was awarded the 2018 CCTE George Nixon Award for outstanding prose. His story and some of his poetry will also be published in the journal of the CCTE as well as The Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas. Timothy Brewer delivers HPS mission everyday.
Harmony School of Political Science and Communication
As department head, ACC dual-credit professor of public speaking, and with 14 years of teaching ELA under her belt, Jessica Madsen has been an amazing resource on the HSPS campus this year. She served as English Spanish Olympiad judge, and the sponsor for UT Girls Engineering Day and Texas Women’s Conference. In addition to her commitment to the T-STEM Advisory Board Committee and serving as soccer coach second year in a row, she has spearheaded the Garden Club this year with a campus-wide compost program, a seedling project, and the club just harvested their first vegetables for Earth Day. Her success with the garden has inspired a new endeavor, the HSPS courtyard beautification project. She has created a plan using natural irrigation and selected plants that will benefit and help sustain the draining problems the space has had in previous years. She located a source for large spools that will be re-purposed into tables for outdoor classroom use. Madsen’s vision and initiative to transform an un-used space to its full potential is not unlike the drive and inspiration she shows her students in the classroom. Jessica Madsen goes above and beyond and is a dedicated staff member
Heirloom Teacher Plants the Seed
Harmony Science Academy Pflugerville alumna Maria Martinez graduated, went to college and returned to her home campus to teach Spanish. Fellow colleague and former teacher, Mrs. Heather Clifford, reflects on what it is like seeing Maria grow into adulthood and into her new role.
IN THE COMMUNITY
“Go Green” with Austin Community College
The HPS Austin Outreach and Communications team give back each month in volunteering projects throughout the community. With Earth Day being in April, the team celebrated by joining Austin Community College faculty and students during Garden Earth Day at the ACC Northridge campus on April 18th during Earth Week. The team assisted by planting, mulching and pulling weeds from the campus community garden, and by getting the campus garden beds ready for a new growing season. #EarthWeekACC #sustainableACC
Prom It Safe
As we enter prom and graduation season, students will be faced with decisions on how to celebrate these milestones. At times, these decisions can be life-changing and even life-threatening when it involves alcohol. Officer Angela Johnson with the Austin Police Department and the Police Activities League (PAL) brought the interactive STAR Cart Program to Harmony Science Academy Pflugerville driving-aged students during the first week of April to give them the facts and consequences of underage drinking. This anti-DWI program informed students on laws and health issues of drinking alcohol. After an informative presentation, students were able to experience a driving course with a pair of Fatal Vision goggles, which are designed to simulate impairment. Students discovered how difficult and dangerous it is to drive while impaired.
“The program was interesting to me especially because I already drive. I learned a lot of new things about the laws that affect me personally. It’s obvious not to drink at our age and not to drink and drive but some teens do drink so this was a good presentation to bring up the dangers of impaired driving,” said Michael, HSAPf junior.
Did some say Dip-off?
Earth Day Austin
Harmony School of Science 5th grade student Aroz Chandio’s Science Fair project titled “What is the Effect of Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources on the Amount of Electricity we Need?” won a 1st place ribbon and The Earth Day - Positive Futures Award at the Austin Regional Science Fair. After winning at the fair, Aroz was invited to publically showcase his project at Earth Day Austin, the largest sustainability event in Central Texas, held at Huston-Tillotson University on April 29th, 2018.
HSPS computer science teacher, Ms. Frida Garcia coordinated the exciting visit by GoogleExpeditions. This pilot program shows teachers how to use augmented reality (AR) technology to provide a virtual classroom experience using 3D images. The day of their visit, students in Social Studies, US History, GATE, Spanish, Computer Science and English classes viewed objects such as aircraft, tornadoes, celestial bodies, and early Russian space technology using teacher-selected tour expeditions related to current classroom curriculum. “Students were very excited!” says grade 6 science teacher, Mahmut Unver, “They experienced a virtual journey through celestial objects, and got to see the differences between a hurricane and tsunami. They explored a variety of animals from their specific ecosystems. Expedition is a very useful classroom tool to engage students.” Google is bringing AR to schools to experience through the Expeditions AR Pioneer Program throughout the school year in the United States. Schools can sign up for the Pioneer Program here.
Robotics Week Rockout
Harmony School of Science 1st graders learned about reducing, reusing, and recycling at home and in the community in celebration of Earth Day!
HSPS staff and students wore green, and gardening club sponsor, Ms. Jessica Madsen asked every student to bring a plant to donate, either a vegetable to grow in this year’s garden, or to support the plans for a courtyard renovation project by bringing a pre-chosen plant for its specific properties.
Harmony Science Academy National Junior Honor Society students presented to elementary students about the importance of recycling correctly. As part of the initiative, NJHS students picked up recycling from each classroom each week.
Twenty-four HSACP students participated in the Math Pentathlon tournament (Division 2) at Glen High School last weekend and several students earned medals. Jaeden Frazier from second grade won all five games. He earned a gold medal and his name will be added to the Math Pentathlon Hall of Fame. According to his teacher, Ms. Cross, Jaedan is a hard working student and a great helper to his friends. His favorite classes are Math and STEM. He loves playing chess and he is also our class origami master. He is also good at sports, art and public speaking. He currently enjoys working on multiplication and division problems.
Harmony Students Speak Their Piece
Not Your Typical Coaches
Introducing Ultimate Frisbee
The Harmony School of Political Science Ultimate Frisbee team played its second round of two games last weekend and had back to back wins over St. Francis Middle School and Magellan Middle School. Adwari, Jonas, Carlos, Andrik, Eduardo, Tyler, Jayden, and Josiah played tough and pulled out a last second victory over the very talented St. Francis team. All of the players showed Harmony spirit while exhibiting great sportsmanship! Go Hawks!
Be The Change
"Providing lessons in leadership help students gain confidence that will help them make good decisions when unsupervised. These lessons are focused on public speaking, proper decision making, setting goals and debate and will help the youth now and in the future. " APD Officer Kianes
We need you! Can you help? Community members and parents are encouraged to volunteer at HPS. Every day, volunteers fulfill essential needs especially in the administrative, support and fundraising areas so that HPS's teaching staff can focus all its energy on its young students. Volunteers may be utilized in the classrooms, assisting in the office, library, and cafeteria, or at community fundraising events. If you are interested in volunteering, please sign up at the link below!
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