May Newsletter: A Slice of APIE

A Slice of APIE Logo
Quick Bites of APIE: Teachers of Texas
1. AISD has 242 national board certified teachers – more than any school district in Texas.
2. The 2015 National Teacher of the Year is from Texas – the first time since 1957.
3. AISD has more than 6,300 classroom teachers.
4. 95% of participating teachers agree APIE programs are a good use of class time.
5. AISD teachers have an average of more than 11 years of teaching experience.

Donor Spotlight: Horace MannHMleft_blk_notag
Horace Mann has a 75 year history of providing educators with quality life, health, and car insurance. They are a longtime supporter of APIE and are this year’s Signature Sponsor for Celebrate and Salute events honoring excellence in AISD. Horace Mann maintains over 750 offices in 46 states with former teachers making up approximately 50% of their workforce. Regional Marketing Officer Lori Gray is one of these former educators and understands the high demands and stress associated with working long hours in the classroom. Horace Mann believes teachers are unsung heroes, so Lori and her colleagues work to provide educators with insurance products to meet their unique needs.

As part of Teacher Appreciation Month, Horace Mann representatives will be visiting schools throughout May to provide breakfasts, lunches, and treats to AISD educators. Lori enjoys the camaraderie of these school campus visits as well as the opportunity to recognize hardworking teachers in our community. “If we can put a smile on their face and put them in a better mood, at the end of the day the kids benefit from happy, well-fed teachers.”

Horace Mann understands the impact teachers have on young minds as they continue to grow and develop and gives teachers the necessary support and encouragement needed to continue in their often thankless positions. Lori hopes all teachers know, “You are an appreciated and respected part of society and the most valuable asset to the community. You are not just a teacher. You are THE teacher.”

Please join APIE and Horace Mann in recognizing AISD’s hardworking teachers on May 19 at this year’s Salute event.

To learn more about becoming an APIE donor, please visit

Volunteer Spotlight: David MatustikDavidMatustik_portrait
David Matustik, Deputy Communications Director for the City of Austin, has been a committed APIE Classroom Coach for the past seven years. Each week, he takes 45 minutes out of his busy schedule to read with 2nd graders at St. Elmo Elementary School. Since he was a child, his parents ingrained education in him and his siblings as the “ticket to success.” He strives to pass this along to his students in hopes they will have bright and successful futures. Most of David’s students are bilingual, and although he is not fluent, David has managed to make a deep connection with each of them.

“We become, in a sense, another family to the children,” he said as he reflected on his experiences. David said he learns as much as the students each week and enjoys the stories and laughs they share. One of his proudest moments was when his most timid student volunteered first to read aloud to his classmates in English. “I love to see the smiles on the children; that really brings me back every year.”

APIE in the ClassroomAPIE in the Classroom
Thanks to each and every volunteer who helped make this school year GREAT! You make a difference in the life of a child, and it doesn’t go unnoticed. Everyone needs someone who cares about them, someone to look up to, or someone to admire. You were that person for a student this year. We, and your students, thank you deeply.

“Many times at the beginning of 8th grade I said I hated math. I said that because I had zero confidence in myself. Now I’m great at math and have a lot of confidence… My confidence all began when APIE Coaches started coming… [they] boosted my confidence by making me feel wanted and making sure I knew the concept before moving on.”
–Iza, 2015 Math Classroom Coaching student

APIE After SchoolSalute - APIE After Class
We see the dedication of teachers and school staff members firsthand every day. This month we get to celebrate them. Join APIE and AISD to celebrate teachers in May at Salute: A Tribute to Excellence. We’ll be awarding Teacher of the Year, Principal of the Year, Librarian of the Year and more! We hope to see you Tuesday, May 19 at the new AISD Performing Arts Center. The reception begins at 5:00 p.m. followed by the program at 6:30 p.m. For more information, you can visit the Salute webpage.

APIE Donor Meterstackable books May

APIE donors give students an
educational boost! Please join
them to help us reach our
goal of $45,000 by May 31!

Teacher Appreciation Week

As Teacher Appreciation Week continues, we’d like to recognize our 2015 Middle School Champion, Ms. Kimberly Moctezuma. Ms Moctezuma

Ms. Moctezuma, a 6th grade teacher at Burnet M.S., creates an environment in which students feel respected and valued, and volunteers feel welcome. She really gets to know her students, and she gets to know the volunteers we bring into her classroom each week. Without fail, our volunteers say how much they enjoy being in Ms. Moctezuma’s classroom.



It’s that time of year! We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back.

Join the global giving movement known as Giving Tuesday. Upload a selfless selfie to your Instagram account and use the hashtags #UNselfie and #GivingTuesday and tag @AustinPartners to let us know how YOU’RE giving this year!

Helping Aspiring College Graduates Succeed

By Ben Hirsch, College Readiness Advocate

As October begins and students are settling back into school, Austin Partners in Education’s college readiness advocates have already begun helping high school seniors get ready for a successful academic career in college.

Senior year is an incredibly tumultuous time: there are the foreseeable hurdles of college applications, financial aid forms, and impending adult responsibilities; the excitement about the upcoming life change or fear inspired by leaving home; and the Hollywood-sanctioned coming of age moments: homecoming, prom, and finally graduation. On some level, though, last on their mind is the question “am I academically prepared for college?” That is where APIE comes in.

This is the beginning of my third school year helping seniors solidify the skills they need to be a high achieving college student. Successful college students can write clearly and persuasively, comprehend the main ideas, philosophical underpinnings and supporting details in the texts they read, and have the math skills necessary to pursue careers they find compelling.

As a College Readiness Advocate, I have the exciting job of helping students identify areas in which they are struggling and give them extra one-on-one or small-group instruction to improve in those areas. At Akins High school I worked with Alyssa, who was struggling to demonstrate college-level ability in math. In her own words math had always been “the worst” for Alyssa.

Working with Alyssa made it apparent that her struggles were the result of some real deficiencies in mathematical knowledge. She was confounded by fractions, had difficulties working with negative numbers, and found graphs incredibly confusing. While a class full of peers and friends is not the ideal environment to reveal deep-seeded confusion, a small group can be more supportive. When one student expresses confusion, others often chime in, “yeah, I never got that either.”

When you don’t have a basic understanding of mathematical concepts, most high school math feels like a series of random steps that, if you don’t do perfectly, will lead you to the wrong answer. This obviously causes stress. But after we discovered the foundation concepts that Alyssa was missing, she was able to make great strides. By solidifying her ability to do things like reduce fractions and grapple with negative numbers, we enabled her to make sense of complex algebra like rational equations (which are essentially just extremely complex fractions) and quadratic functions (which cannot possibly be solved consistently if you do not understand the real significance of a numbers sign).

At the end of the year, Alyssa passed the mast section of the Texas Success Initiative Assessment and was able to avoid developmental courses at the University of Texas San Antonio. She was especially happy because these courses would have been in math.  Working with students like Alyssa is why I am excited to work with more aspiring college graduates. Many students have the desire and capacity to be successful and happy in college, but they need a little academic support before they head off on the next incredible step in their life of learning.

2014 School Supply Drives

school suppliesAccepts donations throughout the school year but partners with area businesses that collect school supplies.

DONATE: Austin Partners in Education assists schools within the Austin Independent School District, where 64% of our students are of low socioeconomic status. Donations of school supplies this August will make a huge difference to so many of our students as they begin the new school year.

Austin Regional Clinic is collecting school supplies through August 18. All their clinics will be collecting items. You can view their press release with details here!

Lumeris, Inc. is collecting school supplied from August 5 until August 25 at 950 N. Capital of Texas Hwy, Suite 210.

Whole Foods Markets is collecting school supplies through the month of August. Store locations accepting donations include: Arboretum- 9607 Research Blvd, Arbor- 4301 W. William Cannon, Central, 525 North Lamar, Domain—11920 Domain Drive.

Kendra Scott will be collecting school supplies from August 18 until August 25. They are located at 1400 S. Congress.

Austin Partners in Education has a school wish list on their website with over 400 school needs posted who would be grateful for donations to support their schools

For more information about Austin Partners in Education, go to or contact Dawn Lewis at 512-637-0983.

Volunteer on Disability Mentoring Day 2014!

Disability Mentoring Day

For more info about DMD, contact: Austin Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities • • phone: 512-974-3256 • TTY: 512-974-2445

Looking for Another Way to Help APIE Support Austin ISD Students?

AmazonSmile for APIEAmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support APIE every time you shop with Amazon, at no cost to you.

Simply go to and sign in with your existing Amazon account information. From there, you can select APIE as the charitable organization to receive donations, and AmazonSmile will remember your selection each time you sign in!

The AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5% of the purchase price to APIE!


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