Fox Tech transformation earns school Blue Ribbon status
Rally, parade mark academic achievement
Fox Tech High School’s transformation from one of the state’s lowest performing schools to a magnet school for medical and legal careers has earned it national recognition as a Blue Ribbon School.
Its academic achievement was marked Friday with a rally at its downtown campus led by Mayor Julian Castro, followed by a parade to City Hall where students were greeted with an official proclamation.
An SAISD spokeswoman said Fox Tech also received Blue Ribbon recognition in 2000.
A delegation from the school will be travel to Washington D.C. Nov. 12 to accept the honor.
Dawn Parker, the school’s principal, said the U.S. Department of Education reviewed five years of data, tracking its academic progress.
Parker said at the school has gone from a large, traditional high school with an enrollment of 2,000 to a magnet school with 450 students.
“Our attendance has skyrocketed. Our test scores as well,” Parker said, citing hard work by committed students and teachers.
Parker said unlike those in more affluent school districts, Fox Tech students don’t necessarily come ready to learn.
“These kids come with gaps and we’re able to fill those gaps,” Parker said.
She said in large part because of the energy and enthusiasm of its teachers who work with students before and after school and receive training year-round.
“They’re very creative. They’re very innovative,” Parker said.
Among them is Brendan Chan, a second-year teacher, who had students use themselves as points on a graph at their feet.
“I was trying to get students to interact with the math in kind of a physical way,” Chan said.
Chan said he tries to show his students, math also speaks to life’s complex problems.
He said, “You can use your instincts and really see am I really on the right path to make a decision? Am I on the right path to get the right answer and find a solution?”
Amber Martinez, a freshman, said were it not for teachers like Chan, “I would really not learn anything and not get my advantage.”
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