Bringing Joy during the Season of Gratitude

KIPP Texas Families, 

Thanksgiving was the most relaxing and fulfilling time for me! My cup is definitely full, and I am excited to be back at work after a nice break. My family and I spent the week in Sedona with our extended family – resting, eating a whole lot, creating new memories, playing board games, hiking, and enjoying much needed down time with each other.  My kids’ laughter as they played with their cousins made me think of our Little KIPPsters back in Texas.

Bringing Joy is our theme for the school year, and it is my continued goal to ensure that our KIPPsters are running to school every day for a a joyful, academically excellent education where laughter is welcomed and uplifted. We have made great strides toward becoming an A-rated school system. We will continue Chasing Excellence as we close out the first semester. 

During this Season of Gratitude, our school staff are feeling the love! I am so thankful that each school-based Big KIPPster was served a delicious breakfast this November. Check out some of the photos below from KIPP Pleasant Grove Primary in Dallas and KIPP Austin Collegiate! 

The week before we left for Thanksgiving break, our gracious KIPP Texas – Austin board members fully funded breakfast for each of our 650 staff. Thank you to our Austin board members for Bringing Joy to our Big KIPPsters this season! Your unwavering support and love for our Little and Big KIPPsters are appreciated! 

November is also Native American Heritage Month. I have learned so much about our Native and Indigenous peoples through a Culture Connections event presented to all staff by the KIPP Texas DEI Team. Through the resources and impactful shared experiences, we learn from each other to better work together and provide our Little KIPPsters Brave and Belonging spaces at KIPP Texas. 

“I acknowledge that our KIPP Texas schools reside on Native lands. The ground beneath our feet is historically the home of Indigenous peoples, many of whom have been forced to leave.” 

At a groundbreaking ceremony earlier this month, KIPP Texas – San Antonio Regional Superintendent, Allen Smith, shared a Land Acknowledgement for the Coahuiltecan and Payaya peoples who were the first to live, celebrate, lament, and sing upon the ground where two of our schools will sit. We hope to honor this history in our new home for the current KIPP Poder Academy and KIPP Somos Collegiate by educating a diverse community built on collaboration, care, respect, and honor.

I am so grateful to the leaders of these schools, Stephanie Lee and Brittany Hill, for their work towards the future of this community. This coming fall, with the schools in one unified location together, we are launching KIPP Somos Primary School with grades K-1 alongside KIPP Somos Collegiate (6-12). In recognition of KIPP Poder’s history, and as we sunset the Poder name, the schools will have the Cubs and Tigers as their mascots and are working on other plans to carry through the culture and values of the KIPP Poder community into the KIPP Somos schools. 


Although this week will end November, the Season of Gratitude isn’t over yet. I am grateful for you all, KIPP Texas families. I cannot thank you enough for all that you do and for your commitment to our Core Values and our Little and Big KIPPsters. We’re on our way to A, and we couldn’t do it without each of our KIPPsters and our families! Thank you, for continuing to support us Rising Together to Chase Excellence


With gratitude, 

Sehba Ali

CEO de KIPP Texas

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