Temple architecture

Lufkin ISD, Angelina College and TLLTemple Foundation Partner to Create Center of Excellence

LUFKIN, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) – On Thursday, Lufkin ISD shared the following information about a new educational partnership for high school students in Angelina County.

From Lufkin ISD:

The vision of Early College High School became a reality four years ago when TLL Temple Foundation, Lufkin ISD and Angelina College came together to help students get the most out of their high school experience. From now on, the Lufkin Early College High School (ECHS) model will be an example for other schools starting the ECHS process. The TLL Temple Foundation awarded a grant in the amount of $507,500 over three years to open the Center of Excellence which will be housed at Lufkin High School and provide technical assistance to school districts in the 23 counties served by the Foundation TLL Temple.

This May will be the first time Lufkin High School has earned degrees from ECHS, with nearly a third of those graduates receiving an Associate of Arts in General Studies or Texas Common Core. Lufkin ISD Superintendent Lynn Torres sees the benefit of offering high school students the opportunity to be part of an ECHS program and the privilege of being a demonstration site.

“The Lufkin Independent School District and Angelina College have a strong partnership that benefits our students. Through Early College High School and our collaboration with Angelina College, we have seen a very positive increase in the number of dual credit courses offered to students. As the teaching site for Angelina College, we have seen the benefits for our students and the availability of classes for all,” said Lynn Torres, Superintendent of Schools at Lufkin ISD.

In 2020, the Lufkin ECHS became a demonstration site, which means that the program is recommended as a model for other high schools. As a demonstration site, the Lufkin ECHS will be responsible for helping other prospective ECHS campuses succeed by providing mentorship opportunities and opening up their campus to prospective ECHS campus leadership teams. The TLL Temple Foundation has provided financial support which will be used to open the Center of Excellence under the leadership of Kristy Bush which will schedule tours, host webinars, provide content related to best practices, and more.

“While visiting the Center of Excellence, visitors can expect comprehensive experiences that demonstrate how to develop high-quality teaching programs, maintain a strategic alliance with higher education institutions, and develop a portfolio of school designs that empower all students to be resilient as they graduate. college and career ready. Together, we can transform standards to exceed expectations in rural East Texas,” said Kristy Bush, Demonstration Site Coordinator for the Lufkin ECHS Center for Excellence.

Ms. Torres added that local partnerships have made all the difference.

“We look forward to continuing our collaboration through the Center of Excellence and the TLL Temple Foundation’s mission to help all students access these opportunities. Lufkin ISD and Angelina College will be able to share our successful model with other schools in East Texas. Lufkin ISD is grateful to have such support from our partners,” said Torres.

Angelina College President Michael Simon supports the partnership and believes this opportunity supports the college’s mission.

“The strong collaboration between the Lufkin Independent School District and Angelina College to create and operate Early College High School has been a huge success for the students. In addition, the operating and funding model we have adopted is sustainable and scalable for both institutions. The opportunity to share our experience and practices with other educators through the Center of Excellence aligns with our mission to help Texans reach their full potential,” said the President of Angelina College. , Dr. Michael Simon.

The partnership with the TLL Temple Foundation has been instrumental in the progress of the program.

“The TLL Temple Foundation is delighted to further support the Early College High School partnership between Lufkin ISD and Angelina College. This grant will build on the success of previous investments, accelerating Lufkin Early College High School’s momentum to become an East Texas demonstration site. Ultimately, this grant advances a successful education model for rural East Texans, ensuring that more students in rural East Texas have clear pathways to graduating from college. high school and be ready for a career,” Wynn Rosser, President and CEO of the TLL Temple Foundation.

Lufkin’s ECHS program will graduate its first students this year.

“In the first class of Lufkin Early College High School, we have about 100 students who will be graduating from high school as well as many college hours granted by Angelina College. As an individualized program, students can choose to work toward the Associate of Arts degree, Basic Completion, or other certificate programs including Welding, Architectural Design, and Patient Care Technician” , said Charlotte Davis, director of the ECHS.

Currently, there are nearly 500 students at Lufkin Early College High School in grades 9-12. The application process is underway for the Class of 2026 and applications are due Friday, February 18. Applications are available at Lufkin Middle School and are open to all current 8th graders. The Center of Excellence is now open and will be hosting tours soon.

“Our students are the true beneficiaries of the partnerships that make the Center of Excellence possible. We are fortunate to have a successful ECHS program and the opportunity to share what we have learned with other school districts,” Torres said.

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