New Tech’s redesign gains momentum

Students will see changes in the upcoming years for some academies on campus

New Tech High director Brandi Hosack is proposing to bring several career majors in to her academy next year.

Savannah Garza , Editor-in-Chief

Changes are in store for an academy known for innovation since it’s inception in 2006.

For the first time New Tech High at Akins      will offer career majors in their own academy starting next year. They will focus on career and technology courses specializing in digital media and computer technology that currently are housed in other academies except for a proposed Audio/Visual Production major that is pending final approval.

New Tech High director Brandi Hosack plans to give New Tech students the same equal opportunities as those in the other academies on campus.

“The goal is to bring New Tech in to the school as an equal partner like every other academy,” she said. “It’s the only academy that does not have their own majors. It’s been that way for years. We want students to have more ownership of their academy and not be split into two different directions.”

This means ACES academy would lose most of their technology classes to New Tech, but leaders hope to emphasize an environmental focus.

“ACES is agriculture, computer and environmental science so the computer part didn’t fit as smoothly as the others,” assistant principal Pamela Gray said. “We’re just going to try to make it more environmentally focused technology and not just generic computer maintenance because they don’t necessarily connect with what we’re doing now.”

Although Hosack plans to redesign New Tech, she said it would not have a negative effect on students already in the academy.

“Next year’s upperclassmen will simply        just go to that academy that they major in. The only difference will be that their class is in that academy,” she said. “Upperclassmen won’t notice the difference.”

Principal Daniel Girard also said that the redesign would not affect current students in other academies.

“Kids in New Tech are already currently taking majors in other academies. In terms of the numbers they won’t necessarily change,” he said. “This really affects the incoming freshman.”

New Tech is going to have all pre-AP classes, it’s also going to reset to just ninth and tenth graders next year. As the years go by, each grade level will be added until it’s finally a 9-12 grade academy.

“The vision is to make New Tech centralize all the digital and technology majors on campus in to one academy,” she said.

Hosack hopes to gain substantial financial support for the changes being made to New Tech.

“I’ve written a proposal to our district career and technology folks to request that they back the new tech academy in being the digital academy on campus,” Hosack said.

Hosack has requested $25,000 for a renovation of a classroom and $50,000 for equipment a proposed Audio/Visual Production major.

“That’s the newest major that nobody on campus currently has, hopefully it gets more kid’s interest,” Hosack said.

Print journalism majors will shift to New Tech, along with a new pathway that will be introduced next year. In order to complete this major, students will have to take audio and video production classes, along with digital and interactive media.

“It just makes sense for the new transition because New Tech is about technology,” Arts & Humanities academy director Shawn Mena said.

With some classes in AHA shifting to New Tech, Mena has proposed new classes to replace the loss of career and technology offerings in the academy.

“We’re going to create a costume design class,” she said. “We’re also creating an academic decathlon class so that this becomes more competitively oriented, and then a UIL class. We also plan on expanding speech and debate.”

Mena said the new costume design class would bring different opportunities to students.

“The costume design class supports theater,” Mena said. “I want to find a person with a background in design and bring them in so the student’s can support theater productions.”

CTE department chair Lisa Shaw has high hopes for the changes ahead.

“They didn’t have that strong sense of culture that all the other academies had,” Shaw said. “If everyone is patient and goes in to it with a good attitude it will be fantastic. We can look for the opportunities and not the problems.”

This is Hosack’s first year as the director of the New Tech academy; previously she was the director for the Social Services academy. She also used to teach science in New Tech.

“Mrs. Hosack is such a strong leader,” Girard said. “She’ll be able to make the new majors that we’re creating for students flourish.”

New Tech sophomore Alek Peschansky created the official New Tech song and is also working on a music video for the academy.

“It’s about time that New Tech got recognized for the kids they have and the skills we bring,” Penschansky said. “Expect a lot of things to come out of New Tech next year.”