In 2010, an Academy Visioning Committee was formed by the Plano ISD Board of Trustees to study and advise the feasibility of creating 9th-12th grade options for learners that would provide specialized learning programs not currently available within the comprehensive high schools and senior high schools structure. Visit the Academy Visioning Committee’s website to read an FAQ about the academy, school board reports and links to more information and resources.
The Academy Visioning Committee developed a findings report that was presented to the school board. In September 2011, the Academy Steering Committee took this report and created actionable plans of work for the school. This group of educators and corporate and community leaders set a strong foundation of work for the Academy staff to carry forward.
In May 2012, Renee Godi was named principal of Plano ISD Academy High School and the inaugural staff was hired. During the 2012-2013 school year, the new principal and staff worked collaboratively with district administration in order to develop the unique curriculum a school such as this one would require. Those selected grade 9 and 10 facilitators began their journey with a year of planning together to deepen understandings of PBL instruction, examine existing programs, and design the learning experiences for this one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary, STEAM, PBL program.
The doors opened August 26, 2013 to the initial group of first and second year learners. At the same time, the grade 11 facilitators joined the team for their year of planning. Throughout the course of the year, learners connected with corporate sponsors and community supporters, while showcasing their learning to hundreds of visitors to the campus.
The 2014-15 school year was a big one for the Academy. June 2014 marked the introduction of a new administrative team as Renee Godi accepted a position as the Executive Director of Secondary Campus Services for Plano ISD. We are thrilled that Lynn Ojeda was named principal of AHS and Catherine Gaschen was named assistant principal. A new first year class of learners joined the school which now serves grades 9-11. The third floor of the 90,000+ square foot facility was completed and opened to students, and the grade 12 facilitators began their year of planning for the rising senior class. We look forward to next year as our first senior class will complete their path to graduation while working through unique PBL experiences, internships, capstone projects, and community service.