On September 6, 2017, Great Hearts leaders and supporters gathered in a field in northwest San Antonio to turn shovels of dirt where a new public charter school campus, Great Hearts Western Hills, will open in fall 2018.
Great Hearts Western Hills will be located at 8702 Ingram Rd., San Antonio, TX 78245 (map). In case an online map pin directs you to the wrong place—go to the southeast corner of Ingram Road and Midhurst Avenue.
The ceremonial groundbreaking was an opportunity to bring together the people who made the project possible and to have a meeting of the minds about the purpose of the project.
The first speaker at the ceremony was Robby Kuhlman, who will be the first Headmaster at Great Hearts Western Hills. He is an experienced school leader from Arizona.
- “There’s a joy that you see. I see it in my boys and the students in general. A joy of learning. A joy of camaraderie.”
- “They are held accountable intellectually and morally and I think that makes them feel secure and on their way to be who they’re supposed to be.”
- “When they know more about these options that are out there, then they really see the difference. We love the fact that our tax dollars are being used for this wonderful purpose.”
Greg Brockhouse, District 6 City Councilman, thanked Great Hearts for choosing a campus location in District 6, where he believes students need more education options. Brockhouse mentioned that his wife is a teacher in nearby Passmore Elementary in Northside ISD, so he is familiar with the challenges faced by students and families who struggle to meet basic needs. (Over 90 percent of the students at Passmore are economically disadvantaged, according to the 2015-16 TEA school report card.)
Dr. Daniel Scoggin, co-founder of Great Hearts and Chief Advancement Officer, noted that the site of Great Hearts Western Hills is on former farm and ranch land, which will be used for cultivating the hearts and minds of children. The classical education school will serve grades K–5 in 2018-19, growing to serve 1,400 children when at full capacity.
George P. Bush, Texas Land Commissioner, said he wants to be a voice for parents who want better schools. He is a father—his sons are two and four years old now—and, as leader of the General Land Office, has made progress in applying resources of the Permanent School Fund to benefit public charter schools. Speaking to KENS, Bush said, “We have to look at ways in which we approach all types of families here in Texas, and public choice happens to be one of those areas.”
Who participated in turning the dirt for Great Hearts Western Hills (left to right):
- Robby Kuhlman, Headmaster of Great Hearts Western Hills
- George P. Bush, Texas Land Commissioner
- Greg Brockhouse, San Antonio City Council, District 6
- Jay Heiler, President, Great Hearts Academies
- Victoria Rico, Chairwoman and Trustee, George W. Brackenridge Foundation
- Nora Walsh, Foundation Director, George W. Brackenridge Foundation
- Randy Boatright, Trustee, George W. Brackenridge Foundation
- Marisa B. Perez-Diaz, Texas State Board of Education, District 3
- Jackie Moczygemba, Foundation Manager, Ewing Halsell Foundation
- Henry B. Gonzalez III, Board Member, Choose to Succeed
- Dr. Daniel Scoggin, Co-founder and Chief Advancement Officer, Great Hearts Academies
Great Hearts intends to open a new campus in San Antonio every year for the foreseeable future. That is good news for the more than 4,000 students on Great Hearts waiting lists in San Antonio. The open enrollment period—the best opportunity to apply—will be from November 13 through December 11, 2017. Families can apply through the enrollment website.
Pictured here, left to right, Wade Dyke, CEO, Great Hearts Academies; Jay Heiler, President, Great Hearts Academies; George P. Bush, Texas Land Commissioner; and Dr. Daniel Scoggin, Co-founder and Chief Advancement Officer, Great Hearts Academies.
I am a proud Great Hearts Monte Vista parent. Here I am with Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and my friend Adanary Galindo, a tireless parent-advocate leader.
Pictured here with Dr. Scoggin and Commissioner Bush, here are two parent-volunteers, Christina Lynch (a Great Hearts Northern Oaks parent) and Jennifer Osborn (a Great Hearts Monte Vista North parent), who helped capture the groundbreaking ceremony.
- “Charter Schools Becoming Popular in San Antonio”, James Keith, KENS, September 7, 2017
- “Great Hearts Western Hills: New Campus Coming to San Antonio in 2018-19,” Inga Cotton, San Antonio Charter Moms, August 23, 2017
- “Great Hearts Announces Newest Campus in Northwest San Antonio”, Great Hearts Texas news release, August 22, 2017
- “Charter school to build fourth San Antonio campus,” Ryan Salchert, San Antonio Business Journal, August 21, 2017