HPS Austin Highlights October 2019 Edition

STEM For All

Harmony School of Excellence - Austin 8th-grade middle school Gifted and Talented Education students, attended a half-day visit to Silicon Labs Austin campus this October through AuSTEM. During their tour, students visited three engineering labs that demonstrated the STEM careers available at Silicon Labs. Students heard from industry experts on the operations and functions of a semiconductor company. After lunch, students formed teams and collaborated to create a variety of self-designed electronic circuits.

Ms. Victoria Rossi, HSE GT Teacher, found the field trip be very informative and timely as the 8th-grade students are planning for the high school STEM track to be future engineers.


The University of Texas at Austin Computer Science department held an informative and engaging presentation, named the CS Roadshow, to Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville middle school students. During the CS Roadshow, students learned about the many different career fields in computer science and the applications of CS in their everyday lives.

"Throughout the 2018-2019 academic year and this fall, RetailMeNot has quietly donated significant funds for computer science education to over 500 students across Harmony Public Schools Austin."


Several Harmony Public Schools Austin elementary students participated in Hello World's Startup Crawl event this October. Students visited tech companies in downtown Austin such as RetailMeNot, Tableau, and Atlassian. The program first began at Capital Factory, where students heard from a video game programmer.

Along their downtown crawl, students heard from computer science engineers on what it takes to be in the tech industry and what their daily work life is like. They were even able to hear from Marissa Tarleton, CEO, RetailMeNot, Inc., as she welcomed students and spoke about the importance of CS at the company.


Austin Community College Dental Hygiene students visited the kindergarten and first-grade classes at Harmony Science Academy - Austin Rundberg campus to teach them essential tips on keeping their teeth healthy and clean. They showed the elementary students how to brush their teeth correctly, how much toothpaste to use, and how long they should brush. Students were able to go home with toothbrushes, toothpaste, flossers, and information for parents in English and Spanish. This initiative is for the ACC students to give back to the community through various outreach projects. Harmony School of Innovation elementary campus is involved in a long-term project with ACC's dental program with multiple visits throughout the school year.

HPS Austin Celebrates National Book Month


Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville high school Spanish Honor Society students visited The Texas Teen Book Festival at Southwestern University in Georgetown this past October. Students read their copy of “I am not your perfect Mexican Daughter” by book author Erika L. Sánchez weeks before the festival in preparation for hearing the author’s keynote address.

Students met Sánchez and had their book autographed after her captivating keynote address.
"I thought it was a fun and exciting event to be able to meet the author. I got more insight into the characters she wrote and why she did. The book was great, and I loved meeting other people at the event that had the same interests as I do," said Brenda, HSAPf senior.
Students enjoyed their day at the Texas Teen Book Festival. Transportation was graciously provided by TTBF for students to visit the festival.


After months of anticipation and excitement, Harmony Science Academy - Austin students and staff welcomed four nationally renowned published book authors for the campus’ second annual Reading Rock Stars program. Tom Angleberger, Ibi Zoboi, Kwame Alexander, and Ibtihaj Muhammad visited the elementary/middle school this October with over 700 eager students waiting to meet the book authors and receive their very own autographed book.

THE PROUDEST BLUE by Ibtihaj Muhammad

Olympic medalist and book author of “The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family,” Ibtihaj Muhammad, visited with pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and 1st grade students. Muhammad read to students before they each received their own signed book to take home and share with their families. The story of family, love, and acceptance is one all can enjoy, from pre-kindergarten students to their parents and beyond.


Book author, Tom Angleberger, and illustrator, Jared Chapman of “Didi Dodo, Future Spy: Robo-Dodo Rumble” were met with many smiling faces of 2nd and 3rd-grade students ready to read about Didi Dodo’s new adventure! Both gave an engaging and interactive presentation that all students enjoyed.

Angleberger and Chapman gave each student a signed book at the end of their presentation.

After Ibi Zoboi, the book author of “My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich,” spoke with 4th-grade students about Harlem, New York, and NASA, students were able to meet-and-greet with her and receive their own signed copy of the book.

THE CROSSOVER by Kwame Alexander

The Texas Book Festival’s Festival’s Reading Rock Stars program has donated books to not only our elementary students but also to our 6th through 8th-grade students as well, a first for the program but a second consecutive year at Harmony Science Academy - Austin.

“The Crossover” book author, Kwame Alexander, performed alongside musician, Randy Preston, to HSA-Austin middle school students. Alexander’s lyrical verses with Preston’s musical tunes had our students wholly engaged. Students were thrilled to receive their very own autographed book copy at the end of the presentation, where Alexander spoke of never giving up on personal goals and continuing to persevere through failure.

HSA-Austin is a recipient of the Texas Book Festival’s Reading Rock Stars program. The school was selected to be a part of the dynamic program which seeks to bring the love of reading to life by inviting book authors from across the nation to give presentations to young readers as well as to provide each student with their very own autographed book.


Harmony Science Academy - Cedar Park kindergarten teachers hosted a book writing celebration with local book author, Preston Cox, during October's National Book Month. Student’s writing was showcased at the celebration where parents were also invited. Students brainstormed ideas, wrote rough drafts, edited, and published their stories. At the event, parents were able to read their completed stories and also visit other student’s work. Parents wrote encouraging notes for each student they visited.

Preston Cox, author of “A Big Little Something,” also shared his book about spreading kindness to our students and parents.
“It was such an amazing opportunity for students to have their written work read and praised by so many!” - Emilee Coleman, parent and HSA-CP Engagement Coordinator

National Fire Prevention Month


The Cedar Park Fire Department firefighters visited Harmony Science Academy - Cedar Park during October’s National Fire Prevention Month. The CP firefighters performed a Toy Story themed show to educate students about fire safety and also included topics such as no texting while driving, pulling to the right when a safety vehicle is behind you, turning down your music, and buckling up in the car.


The Austin Fire Department firefighters made a stop at Harmony School of Science to teach kindergarten through 2nd-grade students all about fire safety! Students saw firefighters in their complete uniform so that they are aware of what they will look like during a fire rescue. Students were also able to view the fire truck up close and the tools they use for rescues and fire emergencies.

Community Connections

Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville National Honor Society students volunteered at the 2019 Round Rock's Chalk Walk Arts Festival! All HPS Austin seniors need 100 service hours to graduate.
Police Activities League of Austin - PAL Officer Bohannon visited Harmony School of Endeavor Pre-K classes and taught them all about his job. Students were excited to not only learn what a police officer does in the community but they even had a dance party at the end of the presentation.
"Five presentations to 6th-12th graders at Harmony School of Endeavor! Thank you Mrs. Williams for the opportunity to talk to the kids about cyberbullying, self-worth and treating others with respect!" APD Officer Bohannon
Harmony School of Innovation welcomes Police Activities League of Austin - PAL Officer Johnson to class! Officer Johnson will be teaching the G.R.E.A.T. program, an anti-gang and anti-bullying initiative, for 4th graders this semester.
Austin Police Department Officer Bohannon and Detective Weiss partnered with Retired New York Officer John Verdi and his nonprofit Hey, Blue to have story time with the students at Harmony Science Academy - Cedar Park.
Congratulations to Zinnia and Ezekiel, Harmony School of Innovation students, for receiving a Certificate of Excellence from our Texas State Senator District 21, Judith Zaffirini, for their participation in the Dove Springs Proud 6th Annual Youth Summit.


The national celebration of Hispanic history and culture was recognized all month long at HPS Austin from September 15th to October 15th. From guest speakers to student performances, students celebrated la Herencia Hispana and discovered what it means to be Hispanic.

Harmony School of Science celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with Mariachi Los Toros as our guest performers! Our students were dancing and singing along with the mariachi group! What a celebration!

Harmony Science Academy - Austin celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with special guests speakers Leone Cruz and Sonny Guadarrama! ⚽️

Elementary and middle school students enjoyed a performance of traditional Mexican dances by the Harmony Science Academy - Pf Folklorico dance group. ¡Celebramos!

Ricardo Zavala of Dove Springs Proud visited Harmony School of Innovation to speak about the importance of education and being proud of your community.

Ballet Folklorico Mexikayotl performed at Harmony School of Innovation's Fall Fiesta Dip-off event!

Sylvia Butanda, Deputy Executive Director at Latinitas, spoke at the Harmony School of Excellence Hispanic Heritage student assembly, about being Latina in today's tech industry, being bold and chasing after your dreams.

Austin Bold American soccer midfielder Sonny Guadarrama spoke to students about his soccer career and the duality of being Mexican American.

The Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville Quinceañeras showed off their beautiful dresses during the school’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration! Students learned about what it means to be a Quinceañera and how the milestone is celebrated among Hispanic families in Latin America and the United States.

HSAPf Folkloric Dance Team performed at the Pflugerville Pfamily Pfestival and Expo hosted by the Pflugerville Chamber of Commerce. Students were introduced onto the stage by KVUE news anchor Bryan Mays.

Spooktacular Harmony


Harmony School of Science - Austin students were invited to Charles Schwab’s annual Trail of Treats event this October 31st. Themed imagination lands replaced the cubicles and offices to create an immersive experience for all the students to enjoy. Students dressed in their book character costumes and walked through the Schwab offices for treats and surprises along the way.


Harmony Public School Austin district talent specialist, Jonathan Lyle, has a secret identity when he isn't helping out the seven campuses in the Austin area, he is the superhero Frozone! Lyle visited Harmony School of Endeavor and Harmony School of Science in Austin, Texas, two elementary campuses, during the school's Book Character Day, and students were very surprised and excited to see the real Frozone from Disney's The Incredibles! Students even asked for his autograph.

During Book Character day, Frozone surprised elementary students and read to Pre-K about his adventures with The Incredibles.


"The Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville High School Cross Country Season has concluded. It has been a fun and rewarding season! I am proud of the hard work my team put in during challenging weather and with their busy schedules. I am proud of how they put their academics as a priority and still push themselves to be involved in many extracurricular activities. This season we practiced weekly, had Saturday runs at local trails, competed in 5K runs, and ran in the Texas Charter League Regional Meet. At the meet, the girl’s Junior Varsity team won 3rd place as a team!" - Coach Brittany Weaver
"Students also completed a service project one day after a strenuous practice as their cooldown by picking up trash around the school. In doing so, they were able to practice and earn service hours all in one day."

Harmony Public Schools Austin

HPS Austin Leadership Team

Left to Right: Dr. Ebubekir Orsun - Director of Engagement and Talent | Clarissa Davila - Director of Communications and Marketing | Gultekin Kaya, M.S., M.Ed. - Austin Area Superintendent | Katelyn Meck, M.Ed - Director of Academics Elementary | Toraman Yayla, M.Ed MBA RTSBA - Director of Operations | Robert Navarro - Director of Finance | Aydin Yildirim - Director of Academics Secondary (not pictured) | Victoria Mancha - Director of Public Relations (not pictured)
HPS Austin District Office - 13415 FM 620 N Austin, Texas 78717

HPS Austin Schools

Agil Sharifov M.Ed. M.A 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

Allanur Agaberdiyev, 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

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

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

Ashley Gorman, 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