HPS Austin Highlights March 2019 Edition

STEM for All


Harmony School of Science - Austin hosted its first annual STEM Expo on March 14th, 2019. The elementary student-led event included demonstrations & presentations from the Aviation & Drone Club, Gifted and Talented students, the Robotics Team, and STEM lab students. Students were also able to get hands-on experience with Robotics activities.


Middle School students at Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville and Harmony School of Endeavor - Austin brought science to life at the 2019 Regional Science Olympiad held at Texas A&M University this March.

Congratulations to Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville middle school students who placed 2nd at the Regional Science Olympiad!
Harmony School of Endeavor - Austin middle school students placed 1st at the Regional Science Olympiad and have advanced to the state competition to be held at Texas A&M-College Station on May 3rd and 4th, 2019. We wish them good luck! Congratulations! #HarmonyProud


Teams Endeavor 1 and Endeavor 2 of Harmony School of Endeavor - Austin launched their rockets and are awaiting their official qualification score this month! We wish them luck and hope to see them at Nationals in May!


Harmony Science Academy - Cedar Park 4th and 5th grade students presented their web development projects at the Hello World Student Demo Day at Google headquarters after months of coding work. Funded through a grant from RetailMeNot, Inc., Hello World Studio engineers have been teaching web development to now two campuses at HPS Austin. Last semester, students from Harmony Science Academy - Austin were also graciously funded for a semester of coding. #HarmonyCodes

Great job Zumra, Rylan, Mustafa, Christopher, Jayla, Ocean, Sri, Tristan, John Wayne, and Emmad!


Harmony School of Endeavor - Austin senior, Fakhri, and a team of developers and coders collaborated together for their app, Radar - “Identifying Emerging Viral Personalities for Music Career Development,” at the 2019 SXSW Hackathon event. The hackers had access to official Artists and Entrepreneurs-in-residence, public APIs and tools. Although, the Radar team did not continue on to the next stage, the opportunity to present was enough to be #HarmonyProud of Fakhri and his team. Congratulations!


On March 14th (3.14), those who know and love Pi (π), the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter (which is also 3.14), come together and revel in the beauty that is the endless number. For two students at Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville, they proved to be devoted fans of Pi by memorizing part of the neverending number. After a contest that tested how many numbers of Pi that students could remember, middle school student Pranav and high school student Luis won and took home the medals of honor! Pranv knew the first 136 numbers and Luis knew 108!

π 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286208998628034825342117067982148086513282306647093844609550582
Congratulations to our Pi contest winners Pranav and Luis!

HPS Austin Celebrates Student Success


The Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville Spanish Honor Society competed in Spanish language contests at the Pan American Student Forum of Texas in San Antonio with over a thousand other Texas students. Congratulations to all the winners!

"The Spanish Honor Society is proud to announce that PASF 2019 was very fun and successful. This year, 1,140 students participated taking the Spanish test at state level. I’m very proud of my students for their hard work." - Ms. Maria Hernandez, HSAPf Spanish Honor Society Sponsor

Grammar Advanced Heritage Speaker:

3rd place; Juan Antonio C., Cristian V., Stephanie H.

Listening Comprehension Advanced Heritage Speaker:

Honorable Mention: Juan Antonio C.

HPS Austin Promotes a Love of Learning


Students from the College Readiness and Leadership Program of Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville and Harmony School of Excellence - Austin attended the Explore UT event this March at the University of Texas at Austin campus. During the Saturday field trip, students had an opportunity to get a first-hand view of UT Austin through a guided tour. Harmony students enjoyed the day learning about program offerings through hands-on activities, faculty visits, and demonstrations.


Harmony School of Excellence - Austin hosted their third annual College and Career Fair on March 29th. HSE-Austin’s gym was filled with over 30 distinct institutions ranging from various Texas-based universities to different career opportunities in high demand fields such as wielding and nursing. High school and 8th grade students visited each station to talk with university and career representatives about what steps they can take to prepare for life after high school.

“It was really exciting to have such a hands-on experience with all the different options I have waiting for me after I graduate,” said Kiela, HSE-Austin 9th grader.

Thank you to the following colleges for hosting a booth: University of Houston, Regent University, Blinn College District, University of North Texas, Huston-Tillotson University, Texas A&M International University, Texas A&M University, Peloton U, University of Houston-Victoria, Austin Community College, The Art Institute of Austin, Avenue Five Institute!

Thank you to Plumbers & Pipefitters Local Union #286, Foundations Communities College Hub, Frost Bank, Austin Code Department, YMCA, The Thinkery, Workforce Solutions, Amazon, Girls Empowerment Network, The Health Professionals at CyberTex Institute of Technology, Austin Film Society, and Mexic-Arte Museum for hosting an interactive table at HSE's career fair!


The Leadership Club at Harmony Science Academy - Austin was visited by a special guest speaker Ms. Aida Cerda-Prazak, founder of the Austin Pen Club. Ms. Cerda-Prazak engaged students with a hands-on lesson about pen care and taught HSA students how to clean and refill ink in their new Shark Foundation Pens which were donated by Kinokuniya Book Store.

“Austin Pen Club is thrilled to be able to reach out to young people and introduce them to the love of writing and learning about different types of pens. The desire and interest is obviously there and we’re happy to help them learn about the joy of using and collecting fountain pens.”


Harmony School of Innovation - Austin opened its doors and welcomed Career Day into its hallways on March 15th. Kindergarten through 5th grade students were wowed by a variety of professionals from different fields of work across Austin. Students also dressed up as the profession they aspire to be.

A special thank you to all of the guests for taking the time to show HSI elementary students all about their careers!

  • Reena Diamante, Spectrum News Reporter
  • Firefighters Kyle Melton, Sam Ross, Nick Orr, and Bill Kessler, Austin Fire Station 24
  • Senior Animal Protection Officer Chris Tulowetzke, City of Austin Animal Services
  • Chelsea Paresi, Biomedical Science graduate / Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UT
  • Christian Mora, Software Consultant
  • Dr. Luz Elena Ruedas, Pediatric Physical Therapist
  • Dr. Hector Montenegro, Retired Superintendent
  • Nan Bozeman, Muralist/Local Artist
  • David Friday, ETL Developer & Data Analyst Lead
  • Jennifer Young PT, MS, Hippotherapist
  • Jeff Copeland, Carpenter

Civic Engagemnt


Harmony students and their families from across Texas had a rare opportunity this month to meet their elected officials in Austin, showcase their latest school projects, and share their stories about attending charter schools in their community. Every two years during a legislative session, “Harmony on the Hill” brings Harmony Public School students from Harmony campuses across Texas for a day of fun and civics at the Texas State Capitol.

Students began the day with a STEAM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Art-Mathematics) takeover of the Texas State Capitol rotunda. They demonstrated some of their latest STEM-focused projects, including 3D prosthetic hands, heart dissections, and a variety of robots. Art students also showcased winning art pieces from across the state.

Throughout the day, Harmony students, alumni and their families conducted sit-down office visits with their hometown officials. Select students also served as official House and Senate pages during Harmony on the Hill.

"The program continues to play an integral role in creating platforms that cultivate meaningful relationship with the stakeholders who develop policies that impact our schools and students. We will continue to work diligently to ensure your voices are heard across Texas!" said Dustin Cox, Harmony Public Schools Director of External Relations.


Harmony Public Schools Austin and Austin Achieve Public Schools high school Mock Government students came together to discuss policy change with State Representative Donna Howard. Mock Government students are working on a bill for their end of the year mock trial. Students were able to ask questions about policy change and received advice from Representative Howard. Thanks to her guidance and support, the legislation has a chance to become a real law, as it has since been adopted and picked up by State Representative James Talarico. Our students will continue to help tackle issues and craft solutions impacting our community.

Harmony and Austin Achieve students visited with lawyer and politician, Wendy Davis​ and Claudia Ferla, Director of Student Outreach and Organizing at Deeds Not Words, to discuss their bill.

Community Connections


On Wednesday, March 27th, National Honor Society of Harmony School of Excellence - Austin traveled to Dallas, Texas, where they were honored at WE Day Texas for their volunteerism and support in Austin’s Dove Springs community. WE Day is the global celebration that puts a spotlight on young people committed to empowering their local communities through various acts of community service. NHS members were able to hear from world-renowned social activists like George Takei from the Star Trek franchise, Margaret Trudeau of WaterAid Canada, and Craig Kielburger, co-founder of WE Day. HSE-Austin was selected out of several high schools across the Texas region to be featured on stage to a global audience!

NHS members posed for a group photo with Craig Kielburger, the co-founder of WE Day!
“It was so exciting to see our members’ efforts being recognized by such a reputable organization with such a huge platform. The kids were so excited and I hope this experience will ripple-effect positivism not only in our school by in our community,” said Angelica Garcia, NHS teacher sponsor.

Khalid Jackson, HSE-Austin junior and Vice President of the NHS, was selected to go up on stage to highlight their annual NHS Christmas Gift Giving event which seeks to relieve the financial pressures of the holiday season for families in the Dove Springs community.

“It was so cool being able to go up on stage and talk about how we’ve helped to make a difference in our community. During the last three years, we’ve been able to serve over 100 families in our community, and we are excited to see how much more of an impact we can create in the future.” - Khalid Jackson


For the seventh consecutive year, the National Junior Honor Society of Harmony Science Academy - Austin participated in ‘Its’ My Park Day’, one of Austin’s biggest city-wide volunteer events hosted by Austin Parks Foundation. This event encourages all residents from the city of Austin to sign-up for a project that can help to improve their local parks and greenbelts. NJHS middle school students led by teacher and NJHS sponsor, Ms. Abby DeShazo, volunteered their Saturday morning at the Gus Garcia Recreation Center on Rundberg picking up trash.

“It’s always a lot of fun when we get to come to help out at our local park. It really makes us realize how important it is to keep our community clean and not dirty because it’s bad for the environment,” said Jenibellerainna, 8th grader from HSA-Austin.


On Saturday, March 1st, National Junior Honor Society students from Harmony Science Academy - Austin were able to bring the joy of reading to the Rundberg community with the installation of a Little Free Library at the Gus Garcia Recreation Center. Little Free Libraries encourage local communities to “take a book, share a book” which allows readers from all ages to enjoy a free book.

NJHS 7th grader students personalized the Little Free Library by hand-painting the Austin skyline to reflect what makes the Austin community special to them.

During the inauguration of the Little Library, HSA-A students, with the guidance of 5 engineering students from the University of Texas at Austin, helped dig a hole for the post and put the final pieces of the Little Library together. It was truly a community effort!

“It was a great experience being a part of setting this up for our local community. And we got to work with college students and meet new people because of it. It was a lot of fun,” said Gabriel Rodriguez, HSA-Austin 7th grade student.
“Thank you Austin Police Department Region 2 District Representative Officer Kianes and Officer Stewart and to the Austin Neighborhood Community Liaison Sodar Arruza for beginning this whole process. I also want to thank Ms. Abby DeShazo, NJHS sponsor, for giving our Harmony Austin students the chance to make such a lasting difference in their local community,” said Victoria Mancha, HPS Austin District Public Relations Coordinator.


On Wednesday, March 6th, Leadership Club students with the help of R.E.A.D. (Rundberg Educational Advancement District) community members, threw a surprise farewell party for Senior Officer Ray Kianes, the Austin Police - Region 2 District Representative. Officer Kianes has been headlining the Leadership Club at Harmony Science Academy - Austin for the last two school years and has helped to improve the Rundberg area through his work with R.E.A.D. and other various community initiatives. Those in attendance included Harmony Public School - Austin Area Superintendent Gina Gregory, Delano Brown, Site Supervisor for Gus Garcia Recreation Center, and Aida A. Cerda-Prazak, member of R.E.A.D. and founder of the Austin Pen Club.

Harmony Public Schools - Austin Superintendent Gina Gregory presented Officer Kianes with a framed picture of his student leaders at HSA-Austin.

Delano Brown, Site Supervisor for Gus Garcia Recreation Center, poses with Officer Kianes. Gus Garica Rec. and Officer Kianes have had a long history of providing family-friendly resources for the Rundberg community.

Aida A. Cerda-Prazak, member of Rundberg Educational Advancement District and founder of the Austin Pen Club, poses with Officer Kianes.

After years of serving his local community, Officer Kianes has been promoted as a Detective and will be busy making the streets of Austin safer for everybody. Thank you for all that you have done for HSA-Austin and for the Rundberg community, Officer Kianes!



Harmony Science Academy - Cedar Park hosted their second annual Color Fun Run on March 29th, 2019. The active fundraising Color Splash run event brought Harmony families, teachers, staff, and students together for an exciting afternoon run! As they began their journey through the balloons led by a police escort, participants were doused with color! Ringo from the Austin Stars even joined in on the fun!

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 | Dustin Cox, MBA - Director of External Relations | Toraman Yayla, M.Ed. - Director of Operations | (Not Pictured) Robert Navarro - 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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