Welcome to the first newsletter for The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders. On June 4, 2008 we celebrated the end of an incredibly successful first year of operation. Our 208 6th and 7th grade girls were true pioneers, showing extraordinary leadership and spirit by opening the first public all-girls school in Austin, Texas.
The Ann Richards School provides a college preparatory school environment for a diverse student body, with 75% of our students coming from schools serving lower income families. We support enhanced programming focused on leadership and wellness, and our goal is for 100% of our girls to attend college.
Our success is due to the generosity of hundreds of individuals, organizations, foundations and corporations who give time and resources to support the school. Congratulations to our Principal, Jeanne Goka, our faculty, staff, parents and students for working together to make our inaugural year such a success. If my mom were with us today, she would be thrilled by what we have created together.
Thank you for being a part of my mom’s legacy,
News & Events
Students Shine on TAKS Standardized Tests
Our girls knocked the standardized test scores out of the park! Texas ranks schools based on student performance on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. A remarkable 100% of 6th graders passed the reading test and 99% passed math, and 98% of 7th graders passed the reading, writing and math tests. While we know our true success lies in ensuring Ann Richards Students are prepared to succeed in college, this type of excellent student performance is a key step to reaching that goal. Congratulations to the students and dedicated staff who worked tirelessly together to achieve these scores!
Ms. Lakshmanan Honored as Teacher of the Year
Ann Richards School teacher Shamaa Lakshmanan was named Middle School Teacher of the Year for the Austin Independent School District.
Ms. Lakshmanan received a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas and began her career as a professional engineer. She teaches math, STEM and Project Lead the Way (an engineering curriculum) and enjoys seeing girls pursuing these subjects with curiosity and confidence.
Ms. Lakshmanan is part of the top-notch faculty team in the school’s first year of operation.
Technology at Work
Ann Richards School students utilized technology in their math and science courses this year, thanks to the support of generous contributors like Janet Harman, pictured here visiting students in their math class.
NOVA 500 computers enhance student learning in environmental science and math courses – part of the school’s effort to encourage girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
Use of the NOVAs is made possible by support from the Motorola Foundation, AT&T Foundation, Austin Community Foundation, Bernard and Audre Rappaport and the KDK-Harman Foundation.
Leadership in Action: Student Council
The first Ann Richards School Student Council demonstrated true leadership on campus and in the community by organizing activities and raising money for nonprofit groups. Student Council President, Angelique Price is happy with the group’s first year. “We all worked together to make up our own traditions and put our own twist on them.”
The group of 25 girls created a culture of sisterhood at the school by honoring every student on her birthday and helping the girls build confidence in preparation for the TAKS test. They also worked with Principal Jeanne Goka to develop school policies, raised over $1,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society with the Pennies for Patients fund drive, and mobilized over 100 student and parent volunteers to beautify our campus and the Ann Richards Bridge in downtown Austin. The first Student Council established a legacy of spirit and service that will live on for years to come.