Free Trade Alliance Recognizes Students that Compete and Collaborate Globally

free trade alliance foundationThe Free Trade Alliance Education Foundation will host the awards ceremony luncheon for its 4th annual International Business Plan Program on Saturday, April 13th within the Rackspace Corporate Headquarters. Students from 23 countries and 30 universities will come together at that event to learn how their international business plan measured up in a field of over 140 globally minded students. Winners will receive their share of the over $20,000 prize fund. The four finalist teams from the graduate and undergraduate categories will present to high level executives just before the luncheon. These tough and experienced celebrity finalist judges include: Preston Atkinson (Whataburger), Kirstin Silberschlag (Valero Companies), Jane Macon (Fulbright & Jaworski) Maria Lulu Sobrino (Lulu’s Dessert Corp.), Aracely Garcia-Granados (MATT Foundation) and Paul Duran (GreenStar LED Products, Inc.).

The Alliance began the International Business Plan Program as a way to help students develop the skills to compete and collaborate globally, develop their global network, and foster international relationships and understanding. Kyle Burns, Free Trade Alliance President & CEO, stated that “Through the program, students work on cross cultural teams of 4-5 students with an executive level mentor in writing a 10-12 page business plan. This is the only program of its kind that brings students from around the world together on a cross-cultural team. Adding to its relevance and importance in today’s global economy, many of the students and mentors never meet in person, simulating a multi-national work environment.”

Many of the projects are for companies that intend to implement the project, adding to the real world education the students receive. Each team has been mentored and judged by executives from companies such as Boeing, HEB, Port San Antonio, Holt Cat, Dixie Flag Mfg. Co, Rackspace and many more. “This program is a perfect example of bringing education and business together to develop future global leaders and prepare students for a multi-cultural workforce” said Peter Albarian, Director of the Education Foundation. “These students are learning well beyond the book and have gained tremendous practical experience in solving real business issues and communicating across cultures and time zones.” The success of the program has led it to grow in size and diversity for each of its four years. “Programs like this and others we provide continue and grow, thanks in part to support and sponsorship from companies like H-E-B and Rackspace.” said Albarian.

Program sponsors include H-E-B, Rackspace, and NuStar Energy among many others.

San Antonio Educators named Finalists for 2013 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards

Educators to Compete on a Statewide Level for $500,000 in cash prizes 

180x150-HEBEight San Antonio educators have been named finalists for a 2013 H-E-B Excellence in Education Award, spotlighting them as some of the best educators in Texas. The eight San Antonio educators were among 40 finalists from all over Texas.

HEB Kimberly Reznicek NISDH-E-B’s Excellence in Education is the largest monetary awards program for educators in Texas, and among the largest in the nation. The honor was kept a surprise from the educators, who learned they were finalists when H-E-B representatives visited their classrooms and schools in March with balloons, cake, and flowers.

Six teachers were presented with a $1,000 check for themselves and a $1,000 check for their schools. The San Antonio teacher finalists are:

  • Kimberly Reznicek, Timberwilde Elementary, Northside ISD (Rising Star Elementary)
  • Kristen Guerra, Frank Tejeda Middle School, North East ISD (Rising Star Secondary)
  • Charlotte Dolat, Woodridge Elementary, Alamo Heights ISD (Leadership Elementary)
  • Steve Davidson, Douglas MacArthur High School, North East ISD (Leadership Secondary)
  • Debbie Dixon, Woodridge Elementary, Alamo Heights ISD (Lifetime Achievement Elementary)
  • Terry Zablocki, Warren High School, Northside ISD (Lifetime Achievement Secondary)

All finalists are invited to Austin on May 1-3, 2013 to compete on a statewide level for larger cash prizes totaling $585,000. A panel of judges will interview each teacher and principal finalist.

H-E-B launched the Excellence in Education Awards program in cooperation with the Texas Association of School Administrators in 2002 as a positive way to support public education in Texas by spotlighting best practices and celebrating the passion and creativity of Texas educators.

Since its inception, H-E-B has given nearly $6 million, making it the state’s largest monetary award program dedicated to education. In addition to recognizing great teaching and leadership, H-E-B selects 12 campuses to receive a $15,000 Healthy Campus Grant for programs promoting health and wellness. An Early Childhood Award supports public or private schools that prepare children under 5 to enter kindergarten socially and academically ready to learn.

Every year, H-E-B asks customers, Partners (employees) and community members to submit the names of their favorite educators, administrators, districts, campuses and early childhood education providers for a slate of different awards and grants. Each nominee is sent an invitation to complete an application online.

H-E-B Online

AT&T Tuition Grant to The Winston School San Antonio Seeks 8th – 10th Graders

winston school logoAt the Mayor’s SA2020 Press Conference on February 4, 2013, AT&T recognized The Winston School San Antonio (WSSA) as one of five grant awardees in San Antonio.

WSSA received a $100,000 grant from the AT&T Foundation’s Aspire Program to attract new students with the goal of graduating more at-risk high school students.

Mrs. Renee Flores, Regional Vice President, External Affairs within the AT&T External and Legislative Affairs organization, attended the February 28 WSSA Trustee meeting to congratulate its members on receipt of this award.  Pictured are Dr. Charles Karulak and Trustee Chair, Mrs. Margie Warren, thanking Mrs. Flores and AT&T Foundation for this generous gift.  Dr. Karulak presented Mrs. Flores with the inaugural WSSA Fiesta pin.

winston school pic 1

To meet the requirements of this grant, WSSA is increasing its marketing efforts and seeking new 8th – 10th grade students with learning disabilities from low-income families to our school.

For admissions information, visit  or contact the WSSA Director of Admissions, Mrs. Julie Saboe at 210-615-6544.


Monarch Academy at Morgan’s Wonderland Names Anne Bristol Head of School

monarch academyAnne Bristol

Anne Bristol, with more than 30 years of experience as an educator and administrator, has been named head of school of Monarch Academy at Morgan’s Wonderland, a school for students with special needs next to the unique theme park in San Antonio.

“Anne brings a wide range of experience to her new position,” said Gordon Hartman, founder of The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation and driving force behind initiatives benefitting the special-needs community such as the theme park and school.  “She spent 10 years as head of school at Providence Catholic School in San Antonio before coming to Morgan’s Wonderland as director of development and marketing.  She has a proven track record of success in academics, student life, fundraising, marketing and student recruitment.”

Bristol said Monarch Academy prepares students with special needs ranging in age from 11 to 24 to become productive adults.

“We believe every individual deserves the opportunity to be prepared for life,” she said, “so we empower each student to achieve his or her own personal best.  We focus our attention on getting each student ready for independence and employment through reading and math instruction as well as social and life skills and vocational readiness.”

Founded in 2011, Monarch Academy emphasizes a safe teaching environment, holistic focus on the individual, low student-teacher ratio and structured physical education program, she added.  Further information is available at

Born in Dallas, Bristol attended Ursuline Academy in Dallas and earned a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.  She did additional post graduate work at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.  She taught in the Dallas County Community College District as well as at St. Luke’s School in Irving and Ursuline Academy in Dallas before coming to Providence Catholic School in San Antonio and Morgan’s Wonderland.

Bristol has earned numerous honors including the 2008 Archdiocese of San Antonio’s Outstanding Leader in Catholic Education Award, the 2004 Yellow Rose of Texas Education Award, the 1997 Diocese of Dallas’ Secondary Teacher of the Year Award and the 1996 Ursuline Academy Teacher of the Year Award.

Bristol and her husband, Lew Campbell, live in Universal City.  Their blended family consists of five adult children and 11 grandchildren.  In her leisure time, Bristol enjoys reading, working in her garden and attending theater events.

Monarch Academy, located next to Morgan’s Wonderland at 5235 David Edwards Drive in Northeast San Antonio just off IH 35, is one of many initiatives of The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation to help those with special needs.  Morgan’s Wonderland, which is completely wheelchair-accessible, features more than 25 elements and attractions including rides, playgrounds and gardens.

The STAR (South Texas Area Regional) Soccer Complex and the San Antonio Scorpions FC pro soccer team also were created through the vision and leadership of The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation.  Net profits from STAR Soccer and the Scorpions help Morgan’s Wonderland meet its operating expenses as well as expand programs and services for the special-needs community.