"Our Academy of Energy and International Business will be the first of its kind in the state and only the second in the nation, so Tomball ISD continues to be a destination excellence district," Superintendent Martha Salazar-Zamora said during the meeting.
The academy, created through a partnership with BJ Services, will open in August 2020 enrolling students from the class of 2024, according to a Dec. 10 news release from TISD. The academy will be located at BJ Services' corporate headquarters on FM 2920 in Tomball and allow accepted students to pursue two programs of study—energy and international business—with all courses completed at BJ Services’ state-of-the-art labs and facilities, according to the release.
“BJ Services is excited to partner with Tomball ISD,” said Warren Zemlak, the president and CEO of BJ Services—the leading provider of hydraulic fracturing and cementing services to upstream oil and gas companies in North America—in the release. “Together, we are providing a location and specialized resources for local students to prepare for a career in the oil and gas industry.”
The academy will provide rigorous job-embedded programs of study, according to the release, with students having the opportunity to prepare for careers in the oil and gas industry as well as the global market. Accepted students will take courses in the career pathway alongside their core academic classes. Students will stay assigned to their home high school, Tomball or Tomball Memorial, but have the option to earn at least 12 credit hours through Lone Star College-Tomball, according to the release.
“By implementing yet another innovative learning opportunity for our students, our commitment to offer real-world experiences coupled with our already-rigorous curriculum is of the utmost importance. We strive to challenge and inspire our students to dream big and explore new programs of study and we feel this academy will help prepare our students for our global society,” Salazar-Zamora said in the release. “We are extremely excited about the future success of this new learning opportunity.”
Incoming ninth graders from the class of 2024 will make up the academy’s first group of students. All incoming ninth graders are eligible to apply for the program, according to the release.
“With this one-of-a-kind partnership, our students will have unprecedented access to experts in the realm of oil and gas,” said Rick Fernandez, TISD's assistant superintendent of secondary schools, in the release. “I’m very proud to be a part of this opportunity and can’t wait for our first cohort of students.”