ASTEC Charter School students garner notable honors
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Published: 05-Apr-2015

OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma's public charter schools, funded through public dollars but operating with independent boards and free from some regulatory strictures, operate through accountability and direction from acclaimed community leaders. These innovative public schools are sustained through parental choice and student participation.

Among the best-known charter schools is ASTEC in the state's capital city.

Carlos Sanchez is the latest senior student student from Oklahoma City's ASTEC Charter School to
earn a Clara Luper Scholarship from Oklahoma City University. The scholar program presents opportunities for accomplished students from underrepresented areas to attend OCU.

Also at ASTEC, Bryan Sandoval is a winner of the Aspiring Americans Inititiave Spring scholarship, one of the first such awards presented. The new ASTEC program will reach four students this year (instead of the orignally-envisioned three) because interest among students was so high. Winners will each receive a $3,000 scholarship toward attendance at the college of their choice in the 20-15-2015 school year.

Reggie Trevino, another ASTEC student, was chosen in the Young Rowing League to teach membes of the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team about rowing. The popular joint venture is held at the Chesapeake Boathouse on the Oklahoma River.

Two films developed by ASTEC students ("Rosa de Guacamole" and "The Jokester" were selected to be part of the "Clean Shorts Film Festival" held at the Eastern Oklahoma County (EOC) Technology Center early this month.

School officials said students will participate in National Junior Honor Society and Honor Society inductions on April 9. The annual spring play, "Almost Maine" is planned for April 10 and 11. In a fine example of outreach and support, Skyline Urban Ministries announced plans to provide new and "gently worn" Prom dresses and accessories for interested senior girls.

ASTEC is one of a handful of innovative Oklahoma public charter schools that have emerged over the past 15 years in the Sooner State in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Legislative authorization for operation of public charter schools remains limited to the state's two major metropolitan areas, Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Public charter schools in Oklahoma emerged in the late 1990s due to a bipartisan effort guided by then-State Schools Superintendent Sandy Garrett, and state Rep. John Bryant, R-Tulsa, among others.

Earlier this year, three ASTEC Charter School's board members were honored for their support of quality education, including Dr. Tom Friedemann of Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Gary Allison from Tri-State Industrial Group and Ann Simank from the Metro Alliance.

ASTEC's founder, CEO and superintenent is Dr. Freda Deskin. With a new main facility envisioned in the next couple of years, ASTEC is poised for further growth. ASTEC (Advanced Science & Technology Schools) is a public charter school system based in Oklahoma City. Offices are located at 2401 N.W. 23 Street, Suite 30a, Oklahoma City, OK 73107, telephone 947-6272.

Jenny Gehay is ASTEC's communications director.

NOTE: Editor Patrick B. McGuigan contributed to this report. In addition to his work in journalism, he teaches history at a public charter alternative school.

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