The El Paso Education Initiative, Inc. Charter Holder for the Vista del Futuro Charter School and Burnham Wood Charter School District is proud to announce the following breaking news!
September 27, 2016
U.S. Secretary of Education, John B. King, Jr., announced today that Vista del Futuro Charter School has been named a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School. Vista del Futuro Charter School is one among 279 public and 50 private schools receiving this honor.
Schools are nominated for the award by the state department of education, and then complete a comprehensive application about school practices. Schools may apply for status as Exemplary High Performing—among the top schools in a state—or Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing—schools making the fastest progress in the their state in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
Iris B. Burnham, Board President, Nydia Magdaleno Gonzalez, Superintendent, and Yvonne Whitman, Principal of Vista del Futuro will represent the Vista del Futuro teachers, students, and parents at a two-day awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., to celebrate their hard-won achievements.
For more information about Vista del Futuro’s prestigious award, please contact Ms. Yvonne Whitman, Principal at (915) 855-8143. For more information about the El Paso Education Initiative, Inc. charter schools, please visit www.burnhamwood.org. For more information about the National Blue Ribbon Schools program, please visit nationalblueribbonschools.ed.gov
Press Release submitted by: Iris B. Burnham (915) 584-4024.
The Texas Education Agency Grants Burnham Wood Charter School District 10 more years
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has awarded Burnham Wood Charter School District a second 10-year renewal contract and found no violation of fiduciary duty by the Board of Trustees in the 2006 purchase of a school campus.
The renewal contract received by the District runs from 2016 through 2026. Burnham Wood opened in 1998 as El Paso’s first charter school, and the District currently operates three schools.
Superintendent and founder, Iris Burnham, said, “This award demonstrates confidence and recognition by TEA for the fine work our schools are doing for the El Paso community.”
Since 2009, the District’s Board of Trustees had persistently disputed TEA’s statements that the Board violated its fiduciary duty when it agreed to purchase the current Howard Burnham Elementary School campus, as well as its conclusion that the Superintendent and her daughter, Esther Burnham (formerly Esther Furrer) the previous Assistant Superintendent of Finance, had a conflict of interest. The TEA recently reversed its findings and upheld the Board’s assertions that it operated correctly in its transactions.
See the article in El Paso Inc.
In Memory of Henry Kellen, Board Member
It is with profound sadness that we note the passing today of Mr. Henry Kellen, former member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Kellen served on the Board from April 1998 and was dedicated to the success and growth of the Burnham Wood Family of Charter Schools. He gave generously of his time, knowledge and experience, and the charter schools were privileged and honored to have his support. The Board is grateful for Mr. Kellen’s unwavering advocacy for quality educational opportunities for all El Pasoans. Mr. Kellen was a Holocaust survivor who tirelessly educated the community about the Holocaust as a compelling speaker and intrepid founder of the El Paso Holocaust Museum. In the 1980’s, working with the late co-founder of the Burnham Wood Charter School, Mr. Howard Burnham, Mr. Kellen started the museum in the conference room of the El Paso Jewish Community Center where Mr. Burnham served as Executive Director. From this humble but inspired beginning came the establishment of the present day Holocaust Museum, a monument to Mr. Kellen’s determination to ensure that generations to come never forget the horror of the Holocaust. His efforts and legacy have fostered greater understanding and appreciation of our common humanity and dignity. We express our deepest sympathy to the family of Mr. Kellen. His words and actions touched many lives for the better, and we join our fellow El Pasoans in mourning the loss of this distinguished man.