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The Spark That Inspires

June 28, 2018

On June 26–27, with the theme “The spark that inspires,” Arlington Convention Center was transformed into a hub of learning for more than 650 school leaders representing more than 300 schools from across the state who attended Educate Texas’ 2018 College and Career Readiness School Models (CCR School Models) Leadership Summit.

Educate Texas serves as the technical assistance provider for the Texas Education Agency (TEA) CCR School Models network, which includes the educational models of Early College High Schools; Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Academies; Industry Cluster Innovative Academies; and Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools.

Keynote speaker Brittany Wagner, founder of 10 Thousand Pencils

Attendees heard from keynote speaker Brittany Wagner, star of the Netflix series “Last Chance U” and founder of 10 Thousand Pencils, an organization which helps counselors throughout the country advise students to believe in themselves academically. Breakout sessions included topics such as “Tapping Into Local Workforce Resources,” “Keeping the End Game in Mind – Supporting Students Beyond High School” and “Using Workforce Data to Design Your Campus.”

Educate Texas’ Executive Director John Fitzpatrick shared remarks with attendees about their work’s cumulative impact on our state’s students, economy and future workforce. The day concluded with an inspirational presentation from author and speaker Stephanie Hirsh, executive director of Learning Forward.

Attendees also learned about real-world workforce needs and opportunities through site visits to partner companies. Tour sites included: Airbus, American Airlines, AT&T, Atmos Energy, Bank of America, Capital One, Children’s Health, Hill & Wilkinson, J.P. Morgan, Texas Instruments, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, and US Trust/Bank of America.


Industry site visit at American Airlines

The CCR School Models network, led by the TEA and supported by Educate Texas, provides educators the resources they need to help historically underserved students develop technical skills, earn dual college credit and pursue in-demand career paths. Learn more about this event at or to learn more about partnership opportunities and ways to engage with campuses, please contact

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