Harriett Ball Awards, Goldberg and Amplify Scholar Announcements & More!

KIPP Texas Families,

Get ready for a substantive, joyful note! I promise it is worth the 5-minute read.

This month we’re joining the country in celebrating and honoring the generations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) who have enriched history. Throughout the month, our Little KIPPsters across our regions will learn about the AAPI rich history, contributions, and what it means to Persist with Purpose.

We have so many powerful AAPI stories within KIPP Texas. From Sơn Nam Hàn, KIPP Texas Chief Financial Officer, and his parent’s journey as refugees from Việt Nam to others like Don Hoang, a Blended Learning Specialist and his incredible story of persistence (this video will bring you to tears), I am inspired as they evoke the cultural beauty and resilience within the AAPI diaspora.

I want to learn more about our KIPPster stories and how our schools are celebrating AAPI Month. Please email your stories and celebration to our Communications team at Comms@kipptexas.org.   

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

Last week, we observed Cinco de Mayo, the Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla in 1862. I celebrated by learning more about the real history of Cinco de Mayo. If you want to learn more about the history of this day, check out this resource.

Three Cheers for KIPP Texas’ Harriett Ball Award Winners


Every year, 10 teachers in K-12 across the nation are recipients of the Harriett Ball Excellence in Teaching Award, named in honor of Harriett Ball — the late, inspirational master teacher who shaped the creation of KIPP. This year, three out of ten winners were our exceptional KIPP Texas teachers award recipients and received a $10,000 check during Teacher Appreciation Week. Their work with our Little KIPPsters put our core values into action. Three cheers for three incredible Big KIPPsters!!

  • Shelby Powers 

Algebra 1 & Algebraic Reasoning (9th grade) 

KIPP East End High School, Houston, TX 

  • Jose Hernandez 

AP + IB Spanish (11th-12th grade) 

KIPP University Prep High School, San Antonio, TX 

  • Martina Ramos 

Reading Teacher (8th grade)

KIPP Aspire Academy, San Antonio, TX 

You can read more about our KIPP Texas Harriet Ball winners on the blog and watch a media clip about our San Antonio winners here! Congratulations KIPPsters!

KIPP Texas Students Announced as Goldberg and Amplify Scholars



I am thrilled to announce that five of our KIPP Texas students were selected from hundreds of applicants across the country into a cohort of college programs; Amplify Scholars Program and the Goldberg Scholarship Program

In partnership with iMentor, the KIPP Foundation announced 15 outstanding Amplify Scholars to receive financial support totaling $60,000 over four years and mentorship throughout college, with four of them from KIPP Texas. 

Meet the 2022 cohort of Amplify Scholars from KIPP Texas here:

  • Alejandro Armas – KIPP Austin Brave, will be attending The University of Texas at Austin.
  • Camila Mata-Charre – KIPP Austin Brave High School, will be attending The University of Texas at Austin in the Cockrell School of Engineering.
  • Sebastian Mora – KIPP University Preparatory High School in San Antonio, will be attending Trinity University.
  • Emily Guadian – KIPP Truth Academy in Dallas, will be attending The University of Texas at Arlington.

Also, meet Diego Ayala, a senior at KIPP Houston High School and now a Goldberg Scholar in partnership with the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation. This scholarship supports graduating seniors who embody leadership, resilience, achievement, character, and an entrepreneurial spirit. In addition to the financial support of $60,000, he will be paired with a mentor and a network of entrepreneurs and innovators. 

While reading the bios of our Little KIPPsters, I have to say that I am thoroughly impressed. Diego maintained all As throughout his 12 AP classes and Emily founded Education is Freedom, an organization that provides students with college admissions resources. All four of our regions have winners! Our KIPPsters continuously Chase Excellence. There isn’t a day without our Little KIPPsters making me proud. 

Congratulations to all of the Amplify and Goldberg scholars!

We Love Ops! 

This week is Ops Appreciation Week, May 9-13. Our KIPP Texas Ops Don’t Stop! We honor the 300 champions on our Operations team who are on the ground handling the logistics of all things at our schools and remove operational barriers for our KIPPsters so that they can focus on learning. They support teaching and learning so our schools and Little KIPPsters can thrive. 

Thank you, Ops, for Championing Equity every day!

Rock the STAAR

STAAR testing week begins for our Little KIPPsters in elementary school in 3rd-4th grade and continues for middle school students in 5th-8th grade. For our brilliant 3rd graders, this is their first round of STAAR testing ever. And although this one measure doesn’t define them, I know they will Rock the STAAR! Please continue to voice words of encouragement to our Little KIPPsters, their teachers, and all proctors!

Celebrating our KIPP Moms and Mom-Figures

Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and I would be remiss if I didn’t celebrate our Big KIPPster moms and mom-figures. Our KIPP moms are the best! I hope yesterday was joyful and restful because you deserve it every day. For the moms who have lost children, the children who have lost moms, or for all who haven’t been able to hug their mom in a very long time, I am sending you my love and compassion. To the teachers who get called Mom every once in a while by our students, we celebrate you too. 

COVID Updates

Each week we will share an update on where each of our KIPP region’s current levels stands according to the CDC Community Levels tool. As of 6 am on Monday, May 9, the levels are as follows:

Austin: LOW Masks are strongly recommended but not required in KIPP schools or offices. Masks are still required in healthcare areas.

Dallas: LOW Masks are strongly recommended but not required in KIPP schools or offices. Masks are still required in healthcare areas.

Houston: LOW Masks are strongly recommended but not required in KIPP schools or offices. Masks are still required in healthcare areas.

San Antonio: LOW Masks are strongly recommended but not required in KIPP schools or offices. Masks are still required in healthcare areas.

Please follow our Health & Safety Guidelines found here according to the level in your region. 

If COVID-19 Community Levels change mid-week in counties where our schools are located, we will not change our Health & Safety Guidelines until the following week unless the update involves a high (orange) threat level. In this instance, we will share same-day communication with regional staff and families, and the appropriate KIPP Texas COVID Policies will go into effect immediately.


A friendly reminder that Monday, May 16, is a Rest and Renew day, our last one of the school year. Enjoy an extra day of rest next weekend! For a list of the Rest & Renew Days and each region’s academic calendar for the 2022-23 school year, click here

Have a great week and extended weekend!


With Gratitude,

Sehba Ali

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