Seven organizations earn 2019 Employers for Education Excellence award
The State Board of Education (SBOE) today announced that seven organizations have earned the 2019 Employers for Education Excellence award for their support of parents and Texas schools.
“Strong schools are built in partnership with the support of active parents and local employers. These seven employers have shown again and again that they are strong supporters of their local public schools. They make special provisions so that their employees can attend parent-teacher conferences, mentor students, and participate in other volunteer activities,” said SBOE Chair Keven Ellis.
Created in 2007 by legislation, the award recognizes three levels of support – gold, silver, and bronze. Three employers this year earned the gold award. Two employers earned the silver award, and two earned the bronze award.
Award recipients received a plaque and a copy of the resolution passed by the board in their honor today.
Gold level awards
Toyota of Boerne
Shortly after opening its doors in 2008, family-owned Toyota of Boerne established a strong relationship with the Boerne Independent School District (BISD). It has helped BISD’s automotive courses; the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program; and its FFA chapter by donating cars and auto parts. For example, it has donated a new Toyota Tundra truck every 5,000 miles to support the FFA program. The dealership also provides a $10,000 award to the district’s Teacher of the Year program. Employees have donated more than 300 hours of volunteer time to the district and the company maintains a policy that allows parents to attend parent-teacher conferences during regular work hours.
The remaining six award recipients are involved in Dallas ISD’s P-Tech program. P-Tech stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High School. As part of the program, students choose a career pathway and take courses that provide the academic, technical and workplace skills needed to succeed in that profession.
Southwest Airlines partners with North Dallas High School’s P-Tech program in which employees host onsite tours at Southwest facilities and go into the classroom to teach essential skills. The company has an award-winning Adopt a Pilot program that sends aviators into classrooms from February to May to provide aviation-themed lessons that are used to supplement math, science, geography, writing and other core subjects. A “freedom to flex” policy allows employees to adjust their hours to attend parent-teacher conferences. Southwest encourages volunteerism through its “Tickets for Time” program in which for every 40 hours of volunteer work with a non-profit entity, the airline provides a free roundtrip ticket to that organization. Volunteer hours are still being tallied for 2019 but in 2018, Southwest donated more than 50,000 tickets through this program.
Haynes and Boone, LLP
The Dallas-office of the Haynes and Boone law firm works to encourage and develop diverse talent through its pipeline committee which engages with students from middle school through college. Its working parents committee strives to create a family-friendly culture that has developed flextime and remote workplace opportunities to allow parents to participate in school activities, such as parent-teacher conferences and mentoring programs during business hours. The firm collaborates with Dallas ISD’s L.G. Pinkston High School’s law practicum and is an industry partner with the Pinkston P-Tech Collegiate Academy. It regularly hosts students at its Dallas office, provides mentoring and training, such as resume writing. It also provides a program that introduces the practice of law to middle school students at Uplift Education, a charter school.
Silver level awards
Accenture, a professional services company in Irving, is a recipient of the silver EEE award. It is a signature industry partner at Dallas ISD’s Seagoville High School and is actively engaged in mentoring activities with P-Tech students. For two years, Accenture employees have partnered with Marriott hotels on its Bridges from School to Work program, which helps prepare young people with disabilities for employment. The company has developed a global culture that supports volunteerism. One of its many programs is called Dollars for Doers in which people who volunteer for 25 or more hours in one year earn a grant for their non-profit partner.
Dallas Fire-Rescue Department
The Dallas Fire-Rescue Department is a partner with several Dallas ISD P-Tech programs. The department provides speakers who mentor students and who explain the work of first responders. It also sponsors a Fire-Rescue Explorers troop in which students ages 14-20 gain basic knowledge about the fire service, including emergency medical services, fire behavior, personal protection equipment, and extinguishing agents. The department offers show-and-tell station tours and provides numerous educational presentations tailored to school or student groups.
Bronze level awards
Thomson Reuters, a global professional services company with offices in Carrollton, is a signature industry partner with Dallas ISD’s North Dallas High School where it is actively engaged in mentorship activities. The company encourages additional community involvement by providing 16 hours of volunteer time per year that employees can use to attend their children’s school events. Employees who donate 20 hours of volunteer time can earn a $500 grant for schools or other community groups and those who donate 40 hours of time can earn a $1,000 grant for organizations.
Pricewaterhouse Coopers, a professional services company with offices in Dallas, is an industry partner in the James Madison High School P-Tech program in Dallas ISD. Employees volunteer on the campus and assist with career development and mentoring activities. The company’s flex time option can be used to provide staff members with 10 hours per year of discretionary volunteer time, which can be used to support school activities. A compressed work schedule option is also available to employees, which gives them more time to be involved in area schools.