HPS Austin Highlights november 2019 Edition

STEM For All


After months of hard coding course work, a selected group of elementary and middle school students presented projects on web design and AutoAuto python coding at the Hello World Student Demo Day event held at Austin's Google headquarters.

Funded through a grant from RetailMeNot, Inc., Hello World instructors have been visiting with Harmony School of Endeavor elementary students and Harmony Science Academy - Austin middle school students throughout the Fall semester.

Each cohort has been diligently working in their technology classes, with the Demo Day students completing eight projects and graduating to level 2 coders. In recognition of their academic engagement in the Computer Science field and advancement in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and Python - Level 2, students were presented with a Certificate of Achievement during the event. Congratulations to the coding graduates! #HarmonyCodes


Newsweek Magazine announced its ranking of the top 5,000 STEM high schools for 2019, honoring excellence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Harmony School of Endeavor - Austin and Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville, was ranked among the top STEM high schools. HSAPf ranked 1,930 in the nation, but when compared to other schools that also made the list in the city of Pflugerville, HSAPf was ranked at the top.

“Our campus is STEM centered, and we pride ourselves on bringing new and innovative programming for our students,” says Agil Sharifov, HSAPf Principal. “We work closely with community partners for new opportunities such as Code4College, Amazon Future Engineers, Microsoft TEALS, and more. We also just secured a grant through the KLE Foundation to create a computer science pathway from our elementary school to our secondary school because we know the importance of starting them young in CS.”

With its long history of reporting on scientific breakthroughs, technological revolutions, and societal challenges, Newsweek partnered with STEM.org to rank America’s Best STEM High Schools. The list includes schools in every region of the country that offer skilled teachers who keep up with developments in these fields and who create dynamic learning environments to engage their students.


On Friday, November 22nd, elementary students from Harmony School of Science enjoyed a day of Thinkery To-Go, Austin's children's interactive museum outside of the brick and mortar. The Thinkery museum directed interactive learning experiences for kindergarten through 5th-grade students, where each grade level spent time at four different stations.

Students explored circuits by making lights shine, motors spin and buzzers beep all while developing a greater understanding of circuit components and their functions.

At the Rigamajig Playground station, students used a collection of wooden planks, wheels, pulleys, nuts, bolts, and rope allows children to follow their curiosity through play. During their Imagination Playground station, students played with "loose parts" that prompted them to transform their environment using foam cubes, bricks, cogs, curves, and cylinders that fit together. Students even traveled the world with Mousbot as their guide and learned about the different landscapes of the globe.

Check out all the Thinkery fun in the video highlight below!

HPS Austin Honors Veterans

Harmony Austin celebrated Veterans Day and took the opportunity to teach students about the national day of observance by inviting Veterans to speak to students and share their first-hand experiences in the service.

Annie Hernandez, United States Air Force Veteran and Harmony School of Science Parent of 5th grader Zarah, speaks to students about her time in the service.

Harmony School of Science - Austin 5th grader, Zarah, with her Father, Miguel Hernandez, a United States Army Veteran, visits with elementary students during their annual Veterans Day assembly.

"My parents are heroes because they took a stand to help our country. I feel they are very brave!"

Harmony Austin physical education teacher and United States Navy Veteran, Coach Janiece Beardslee, visits with Harmony Science Academy - Cedar Park elementary students.

Melkys Quinones, United States Air Force Veteran and aunt of Harmony Science Academy - Cedar Park teacher, Deja Ridgeway, inspired elementary students during HSACP’s annual Veterans Day assembly.

"We were so lucky to have two amazing Veterans speak to students about their time of service and also inspiring our students to become ANYTHING they want! It was an honor to listen to these two women, and we thank them for their service to our country!" - Emilee Coleman, HSACP Engagement Coordinator


Harmony Public Schools Austin honors and thanks our staff Veterans. We are thankful for your service to our nation and to the students that you serve every day.

HPS Austin Promotes the Love of Learning through Art and Culture

Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville’s high school Spanish Honor Society and Harmony School of Innovation - Austin elementary cheer team joined in Mexic-Arte Museum's 36th annual #VivalaVida Festival and Parade.

Students marched proudly down Congress Avenue in front of the Texas State Capitol, representing HPS Austin in their traditional Mexican folklore attire.

Harmony School of Innovation - Austin cheer team marched with painted calaca faces alongside their teacher sponsors.

Harmony Science Academy - Austin 4th grader, Victoria (pictured far left), marched with Guzman Ballet Folklorico during the parade.


Every day, elementary students at Harmony School of Science pass by the tiger mural in the main hallway and smile at it. Students and staff not only love the tiger, but it has grown as a symbol of pride in their school. Art teacher, Tania Belknap, used this symbol of pride as a means of teaching students different lessons in not only art but in culture and even character. During the traditional Mexican observance of Día de Muertos, Belknap was able to bring the tiger into the conversations of classrooms through an art installation project. After three days of creating a day of the dead paper mache mask for the tiger, it was finally unveiled for all to see.

"The students absolutely loved the mask. Our students were so respectful and never touched the mask. They wanted to know who made it and what it meant. All teachers were ecstatic to tell them all about the meaning behind the mask. "

Belknap will continue to incorporate the tiger into future lessons with various art installations. "Our Tiger is the center of our campus and it will have opportunities to celebrate with us in the future," said Belknap. Now when students pass by, they will look back and remember the many lessons the tiger has taught them.


Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville celebrated its 11th annual school-wide Multi-Cultural Fair this past November. Students, staff, and parents all came together to celebrate the many cultures in the school community by learning about the foods, dances, and art of what makes up HSAPf.

HPS Austin Celebrates Student Success


Teacher Rebecca Thompson’s middle-school students in her Harmony School of Excellence’s English class hosted a writing gallery walk of their work for all to see. Students celebrated the publishing party by allowing visitors to chat with them and invited them to leave a post-it of commentary on their writing.

College and Career Readiness


Each year, high school counselors arrange college and career fairs for students to have the chance to speak to higher education institutions and professionals in different occupation fields to expand their knowledge of emerging careers and college and career opportunities.

Harmony School of Endeavor high school students enjoyed walking from booth to booth to speak with many universities and professionals.
Texas Representative John H. Bucy III, District 136, visited Harmony School of Endeavor and met firsthand with several high school juniors and seniors at the annual College and Career Fair where he discussed the ins-and-outs of his role as a member of the Texas House of Representatives.
Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville high school students received informative packets and swag items from the colleges in attendance.

Civic Engagement

Texas Representative John H. Bucy III, District 136, met with high school members of the Mock Government Club from Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville to discuss the work they have been doing regarding gun control legislation. The Mock Government Club aims to bring real-life perspectives and hands-on experience to its club members by hosting round-table discussions about various legislation topics with elected officials in Texas. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with our students, Representative Bucy!

Community Connections


When Ashley Wright, middle school English teacher, began her DonorsChoose.org project, she was not expecting for it to be fully funded, much less for it to be funded by whom some call a local celebrity, Erin Condren.

"As a company founded by the daughter of two teachers, Erin Condren has always made education projects a special priority. We're so happy to be able to help fund your classroom project and support educators like you who are making a difference."
The CEO and founder of Erin Condren, donated to Ms. Wright's Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville middle school English classroom for a diverse classroom library collection.


As the season of giving is upon us, Harmony Science Academy - Cedar Park families and staff came together for a meaningful cause and a charitable team-builder. This November, the school partnered with Together We Rise, an organization that helps improve the way kids experience foster care. Though there are many different ways to assist with the organization, HSACP focused on their Sweet Cases project. Most foster care children are given two trash bags to move from foster home to foster home. To stop this trend, HSACP purchased and decorated duffel bags that come pre-filled with essentials for foster children.

HSACP parents, staff and students gathered together at The COOP Austin to decorate duffel bags for foster kids in the Austin area.
"It's a small way to help foster kids feel valued during an incredibly difficult time. We feel this is a lovely opportunity for staff members and their children to give beyond the Harmony family." - Emilee Coleman, HSACP Engagement Coordinator


Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville middle and high school students visited with Pflugerville Health Care Center Nursing Home residents this November. Social Responsibility Club, Rocketry Club, and Robotics Club students enjoyed visiting with residents and building community relationships.


Harmony Science Academy - Pflugerville celebrated its fourth annual Family Giving event where staff members delivered turkeys to the families of students. For four years, the school campus has partnered with H-E-B to receive a donation of turkeys, and for this Thanksgiving season, the school was able to gift 28 turkeys to 28 families. Staff members delivered the turkeys to families right before Thanksgiving break and visited with students in their homes.

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