TIA Student Gets A Book Published

TIA’s own 4th-grade student Waylee Minter gets her book published, The Lion Without a Roar. Mama and Papa Goose and their company Paidion Publishing sponsored a contest for young writers and Waylee was the winner, which resulted in her very own published book.

Dr. Jennifer Herrera

"It's really important that we acknowledge the giftings of our students. They are going to be taking who they are into the world and taking care of the rest of us. What we like to do at TIA is to look for the specific talent of each individual student and develop it to the maximum that we can. With the help of Mama and Papa Goose and their company Paidion Publishing, we were able to have one of our 4th grade TIA students Waylee Minter, be our first-time published author. It's very important that we do this. Becoming an author at a young age, think about what she will do next! What will her next accomplishment be? It was very exciting to see that they were able to acknowledge this young lady. To see it come all the way to a book is a wonderful thing! And it has a coloring book inside too."

Principal Valerie Enriquez

"We want to be able to show the kids that anything is possible. When they put something down on paper, the really see the end goal. If reading is their passion and they want to become a book author, firstly they need to really look at that end goal. Secondly, they need to apply that in the classroom. As an example, Waylee wanted to be a book author and was able to get her book published. Today she had the chance to read her newly published book to our school. Afterward, we had a little celebration in honor of that."

Mama Goose

"It is so important for our children to become life long learners. We want them to be smart and intelligent. In addition, we want them to be benefactors to our society. "

Waylee Minter

"My book is about a lion cub who overcomes his fears and he finds his inner hero."

Papa Goose

"We wanted to team up with a school system that was willing to commit to their students. TIA is that school. As a result, no matter where their students come from, they help them all graduate and get admitted to college."

Final words from Dr. J

In other words, we are really extremely grateful to Paidion Publishing for bringing this contest to TIA and publishing our student's book." Watch video here  

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TIA Student Gets A Book Published

TIA 2019 Star Party

TIA has a Star Party every other year. This event was held in October of 2019 and it was the fifth Star party that TIA has had. This Star Party was held at one campus therefore students from the other three campuses brought their projects to share with everyone at the East campus. 

2019 Star Party

Every two years the high school studies earth science so the whole K-12 school will do a unit study related to the universe and solar system. As a result, this allows each teacher to teach something age-appropriate in earth science. The students create presentations for their particular subject matter. Then they bring them to one campus to showcase them to everyone else. The reason TIA has the Star Party is it’s a great opportunity for the kids to display their work for the parents. Everyone learns new things by interacting with all the different projects. It also provides a good reason to get the parents, students, and TIA staff together in a fun friendly, learning atmosphere. 

Campus Star Party Theme

Each TIA campus has a theme. The West campus theme was the moon landing. The East campus theme was based on their curriculum science class. The Broadway campus was centered more on history. Therefore their curriculum included the Greek's study of constellations which made for a good cross-curricular study between history and science. The Midvale campus theme was the solar system.


In addition to the student projects, the Tucson Amature Astronomy Association was invited. The TAAA set up some of their high powered expensive telescopes so that everyone could observe Jupiter, stars, other planets, and satellites as they pass by. TIA loves having people that are knowledgeable visit the school to share their expertise with the kids. Hence this provides a way that TIA can get the community involved to help broaden the outlook of the students. Click here for more information about the Tucson Amature Astronomy Association. https://youtu.be/E9krcpVtuwI

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TIA Star Party 2019

TIA Record-Breaking Walking on Glass Event

World-renowned motivational speaker and Mastery Coach David Fabricius broke his own record for walking on glass (and running). His new record is now 1,122 yards in 15:38  which was a total of 34 laps. This event was held on July 27th, 2019 as a fundraiser put on by Tucson International Academy (TIA) charter school. This was the first time David walked or ran on broken glass blindfolded. Normally when he walks on glass he has to do it very slow but in order to set a new world record, he had to run on the glass at times. David set his mind and heart to this task so he could be an example of how to live his best self. 

Why Did TIA Do This Event Record-Breaking Walking on Glass?

Dr. J says, “The reason we are here talking about breaking records is that many times people say “Oh, I can’t. They don’t have enough faith or confidence in themselves to take some risks and really achieve their big goals. So by doing a few crazy things, like walking or running on glass, the hope is we can say Hey if someone can run and walk on glass in that amount of time blindfolded, then how much more can you do in your personal life? It is possible to do much, much more than any of us think we can do.”

David Fabricius

“Have faith in yourself and in your God-given talents. Have faith in your team because, without the support of the crowd or the TIA team, I could not do this today. It’s all about having belief in yourself. If you want to be extra-ordinary in life, always do something extra! I only wanted to do 1000 yards but after 1000 yards, I decided to go a little bit more. I wanted to make the point that if you want to be an extraordinary person, you have to always do something extra!”   Before making this world breaking event, Mr. Fabricius was one of the guest speakers at the 30-60-90 Day Plan seminar. He shared his views about positive habits and how they will change the way you perform in life. Click here to watch the video on TIA's YouTube Channel  

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TIA Record-Breaking Walking on Glass Event

2019 TIA’s Chinese New Year Celebration

Every year all four campuses come together for TIA's Chinese New Year celebration. The students put on a performance in Mandarin Chinese for family and friends to watch.

Xiuqing Sun - Chinese Program Teacher

”TIA’s very own students perform at the Chinese New Year celebration. Most of the students have no Chinese experience whatsoever prior to attending TIA. We take all students, even Kindergarten, and teach them how to speak Mandarin, pronounce the words correctly.  We teach about Chinese culture and the difference between American cultures and also the similarities. All the students will sing or rap in Chinese, dance Chinese dances while wearing traditional Chinese clothes. Our Schools mission is to prepare students to be global citizens. If you can speak English, Spanish and Chinese, you can communicate with 70% of the entire world population. I try to make the show as exciting as I can. Also, I hope the audience can get a taste of Chinese culture and language, how we speak, how we pronounce words. I hope that the audience can get interested in the Chinese language.”

Dr. Jennifer Herrera - School Superintendent

“This is an annual Chinese New Year’s event. This is a chance to showcase the Chinese Mandarine language that is taught in our classes from kindergarten through 12th grade. The kids are very excited. They get to dance, sing, recite poetry. Sometimes they get to share information that they have learned about in their Chinese class. It’s a very exciting event for our whole community! All four of our campuses are represented here tonight to perform a dance, song, and poem all in Chinese and even to share historical information they are learning in their Chinese classes. We are Tucson International Academy. The reason we put “International” in there is because the world has become a smaller place. With the internet, businesses, and the sharing of ideas - it’s all global now. So it’s very important as we educate the kids, that we constantly give them the global perspective through history, math, and in every subject that we teach. By offering foreign languages of Spanish and Chinese, the students are able to understand foreign concepts that only the language supports. It teaches them how to get along in this world and appreciate the diversity that we have.” Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUnYDyoAad0  

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2019 Chinese New Year Event at TIA

2019 College and Career Fair

TIA held it’s twelfth annual 2019 College and Career Fair. This event included booths from 35 local businesses who's representatives shared with the curious students what it takes to work in their industries. For the afternoon session, students were able to visit 10- 15 different booths with representatives from Arizona colleges.

Speakers at the 2019 College and Career Fair

Guest keynote speakers at the morning opening event were Steven C. Shell - architect & musician and Jonathan Rothschild - Tucson Mayor.  The guest speakers were there to inspire and ignite the student's passions and help them pursue their dreams.

Architect and Musician Steven C. Shell

Mr. Shell said, “I hope that you will discover that your passions and desires are one and the same. Passions can lead to your dreams. You don’t have to give up one for the other. Passion will fuel your disciplines, which will then fulfill your dream. So with the proper inspiration, motivation, discipline, and hard work, you actually can have it all.”

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild

Mayor Rothschild said, “It’s great that Tucson International does a College and Career Fair every year. The school has such a great reputation for getting young people through high school and onto their next step. You do that by having a career and college fairs like this. I just really want to congratulate the Academy for putting on this event in such an organized fashion. The payoff is seeing those kids get their high school diploma and going on to college.”

TIA Principal Miguel Montemayor

Mr. Montemayor said, “We have a lot of businesses that come out every year to help our students decide what career they are more interested in. This helps them form an idea of what career they want. In the afternoon we have 15-20 different colleges and volunteer opportunities for our students. This helps them connect the dots where they choose a career in the morning and then talk with the colleges of their choice in the afternoon. TIA is committed to getting every graduating senior into a college or university. By choosing their career and getting more informed about that career, then tying it down in the afternoon with a college or university that they can attend to study for that career.”

TIA School Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Herrera

Dr. J said to the TIA students, “We are very proud of you! We believe in you and know that you will have an outstanding future. We are here to support you.”     Link to video on TIA's YouTube Channel  

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2019 College Career Fair

Facing Dragons 2019

Coach Brodie returns for the fourth year to TIA charter school, helping motivate and train TIA high school students to face their fears and move forward when dealing with challenges. This is a two-day event. On the first day, all high school students are involved in the training session. The second day focuses on the seniors, helping them better prepare for graduation, college, and work.

New Theme Each Year

Every year there is a new theme. Previous year themes were Purpose, Success, and Leadership. This years theme was “My Story Quest.” TIA staff is committed to getting all seniors accepted to a college after they graduate. TIA prepares them academically. But many of the students were having issues once they were in college with remaining in college, getting a good GPA, attending their classes, and dealing with the temptations around them. Coach Brodie gives them the life tools that are necessary to succeed in college, maintain a good GPA and college life, so that way they can finish college with a degree and go on to a successful career

What Is My Story?

For each person, it will be different. "Story" is another word for beliefs and the identities that we’ve taken on, who we are and who we are not. Stories can change. It’s a decision. You can commit to a new story today. Any great story includes trials, challenges, and crisis. That’s what often times help us grow to the next level. You need to pursue your dreams by getting out of your comfort zone.

What is “Facing Dragons” About?

Everyone has problems. As we all know, dragons don’t exist. Our problems are tribulations that we go through from time to time. Our problems are the “dragons” in our life. They are here to challenge you and make you grow so that you can reach the next level in your life. In order to slay your dragon or solve your problem, there’s a method to do that. Your dragon might be fear of public speaking, fear of failure, fear of what others think about you, fear of getting through college, etc. The first day of Facing Dragons includes all TIA high school students. The second day focuses on TIA seniors. It’s their grad year and they need to make some decisions. On this day there is more one-on-one work being done with the students because it’s a smaller group. Ninety percent of the TIA student population is Hispanic. Many of these students will be the first in their families to graduate high school, let alone go off to college. They don’t have a clue what college will be like. They are concerned about money, the ability to pay for their schooling, what is college life really like and more. TIA staff helps prepare them for as many of these things ahead of time. Training with Coach Brodie helps in other areas by helping them learn to be mindful, dealing with stressful situations and how to deal with making the best choices.

Creating a Right of Passage

We as a society are soft in many areas when it comes to raising our kids. A thousand years ago people lived in tribes. There was a right of passage into adulthood for each person. In many cases, that person was faced with their mortality. In many ways, Coach Brodie is creating a right of passage for the seniors here at TIA. Last year they started the “Ice Bath Challenge.” The students are asked to jump into an outdoor dunk tank filled with water and 50 bags of ice. Many say, “There’s no way I’m going in!” This year it was 46 degrees on the day they had this challenge. They were all shivering even before they got into the water. But one by one they started jumping into the tank. Why? Because we trained that fear is actually fuel for your purpose. Fear is growth.

How to Confront Your Fears

Coach Brodie says, “The world is going to show up and help you get what you’ve been praying for but it’s not going to be in the most convenient package that you hoped it was going to be. It isn’t going to be easy. It will show up as some sort of challenge or fear. So we are creating an experience where they confront a fear or discomfort and willingly say “yes, I’m going to do this because I know I want to grow and face these challenges.” It’s no longer about other people taking them out of their comfort zone and putting them through a right of passage. Now it’s in their own hands to create this for themselves.” Mr. Montemayor says, "It’s a mentality break through more than anything. It’s thinking outside the box. Sometimes goals seem impossible. But we give them the tools to help them hit those goals."

Create A New Story

Coach Brodie says, “I believe life is actually a game. We signed up for it. Number one challenge, just like a video game, is to remember who we really are. Second is to identify our purpose. Why are we really here? Third, it to take that and live it and put it into action. What is the story they’re telling themselves about college, for example? Or getting into a relationship, their health, grades, what job they want to get or start their own business? Or around things like drugs, addiction, suicidal thoughts, depression. These are all stories, patterns, and identities. So one of the exercises we do is to identify the old story they’ve been telling themselves and believing. The second part is to create a new story. Who they really are, why they are really here, what they are committed to. They are already taking action on some uncomfortable things in this class so we’ve conditioned that. We’ve got them connected to each other in that way versus feeling alone or feeling that no one really gets them. Now we have true accountability. They are coaching each other. They are making commitments and following through on them. So success is really about having a new story about who they are and putting that into action.” Click the link to watch the video on YouTube here  

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Mama and Papa Goose – Love of Reading Month Event

During our Love of Reading Month, the husband and wife team of Mama and Papa Goose, book authors and publishers, came from Houston, Texas, to Tucson to help inspire and motivate the students at TIA to be avid readers. Avid Readers Translates to Avid Learners Mama and Papa Goose, both first-generation college graduates, refer to themselves as the “Literacy Parents of the World for Children.” They would like to inspire children to become avid readers in their formative years which then translates to avid learners throughout their lives. Their events target children who are reluctant readers. Then they get them excited about reading books by sharing Mama Goose stories, which are books that kids can imagine themselves in. They are fantasy and fiction books such as Ka’Myrah: The Mermaid Princess, Sammy Please Behave, Chocolate City and Daddy Dinosaur. Bringing Stories to Life When authors share their books with others, they can bring to life the stories they’ve created. This captures the kids’ attention and makes it very entertaining. Mama Goose feels that being able to share her books this way brings a special message to the children. She encourages the students to read as many books as they can and to write their own stories, too. Mama Goose - Book Concert at TIA Mama Goose came dressed in a costume as a character in one of her books. She gathered the younger TIA students for a “book concert” where she read her books out loud to the kids and sang songs that go with the stories. She also asked questions and engaged them in multiple ways to help foster the love of reading and writing. Papa Goose - How to Get All A’s at TIA Papa Goose, who was also dressed as a fictional character, spoke to the older students about how to get A’s all through school and college. He shared seven steps to follow to help remember information better, and how much time they should invest in studying to maximize their study time. He shared strategies to accelerate their reading based on memory science, which explains how to engage the brain to remember various types of information easier.  

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Why Are Businesses Interviewing TIA Students During Business Week?

Business Week is a major part of the TIA Business Program. On Friday of Business Week, students 8-12 dress up in professional clothes and interview with local companies. We have Chef Mateo Otero from Rollies Mexican Patio, plus representatives from Raytheon, Pima County, nurses from local hospitals and clinics, and many others. This is the students’ best chance to practice an interview that may eventually lead to their dream careers. It’s an opportunity to identify and correct mistakes--much better than interviewing for a job with no practice at all. During these interviews, many of the local companies also offer internships to TIA students which is great work experience and can lead to college scholarships.

Jonathan Basurto, Vice Principal

“Every year we have students that are offered internships. The biggest ones at the beginning of the program were from Jim Click Automotive, where students would work as service managers and technicians. Then they would get scholarships from Jim Click to go to U of A or other schools. We just had a student get offered an awesome internship to the University of Arizona’s pharmacy program. This student wants to be a doctor in the research and development field. Several of our students are really getting into engineering. So we are trying to work as best we can with engineers to get them internships during the summertime.” 

Arthur Basurto - AZ Workforce Development/SER Youth Coordinator

“We’re here today to look for some interns. I’m looking for interviewing skills and, students with a good GPA. We look at the way they are dressed, how well they speak for themselves, and what type of vocabulary they have. We listen to their stories and where they came from and looking towards their future--where do they see themselves in the next 5 years. TIA is probably one of the best schools I’ve seen. Being a teacher for 35 years prior to what I’m doing now, I would come to TIA back then if I could be here to be part of this. This is a really good school. It’s a college-bound school. It’s a true career path school. ” 

Minette Mercado, TIA student

“I learned a lot of great things today! This helped me overcome my fear of doing interviews and gave me more experience. You learn how to ask good questions during the process to show that you’re interested.” 

Unice Reyes, Senior Class President

“Today we have interviews with the professions that we are interested in. Most of us got internships from one of the companies represented here today. This is a great opportunity for us to explore before we go off to college. I got an internship from the U of A for pharmacy. I’m excited because my future is just beginning. So this is a good opportunity for me to start that way.” 

Jose Diaz, TIA student

“Today I was offered a potential internship for mechanical engineering at Raytheon.” 

Luan Ojeda, TIA student

“Today we are doing our interviews. I had an interview with Raytheon. The career I’d like to have is an aeronautical engineer. The potential internship I have is at Raytheon for aeronautical and mechanical. The most important thing to learn today was that you could get over your fears of talking to people and things will get easier. ” 

Ray Donovan, Raytheon

“There’s a lot of opportunities. You’ve got a lot of runway ahead of you. Raytheon is going to focus on the best and brightest. They are on the right path. This is a group that is really putting in a lot of effort. This is my fourth year here. It’s been really really fun to watch and see the progression of skills. If you want to be competitive, you want to intern at Raytheon. There’s a lot of benefits. I did it for a couple of years. You will get paid much better than you will sitting in one of the areas at the university that you are going to. You will get skills and networking. But you have to keep that GPA up. I don’t care at all if you fail at something. In fact, failing is usually a big plus. Engineering is all about trying something, making mistakes, learning from those mistakes, and reiterating until you get something that works. We need the best and brightest. And we’ve got some of the best and brightest here. The key is to make sure they are aware of the skills and decisions they can make tomorrow that will help them work with us in the future.”   

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TIA Business Week - Student Interviews

Senior Day at TIA

Senior Day is one of those special days at TIA. The current seniors from all four campuses meet together at Pima College, where TIA staff helps prepare the students for their senior year. The staff members explain how they will help each student get into college after graduation. The seniors learn what expectations and goals they should have for themselves. This helps prepare them to focus on achieving those goals. TIA staff members let the students know that they will be there to help the students not only through their senior year but also when they are in college.  https://youtu.be/G7SB5pZ0E3s

Advice From Their Peers

TIA invites previous graduates to come to this meeting to share what it was like for them in college and what challenges they faced in their first year. The alumni answer any questions the current seniors may have. They share their own goals, where they are now in this process and share their advice about what they’ve learned along the way. When this information is coming from their own peers, it tends to have a bigger impact on the students than hearing it from parents or staff.

Senior Evening Session

In the evening, TIA staff invites the parents of the current seniors to come and participate in this event. This helps the parents know what to expect for the upcoming year and also what help TIA is offering to make sure each student gets into college. The parents can ask questions and be on the same page with their child, which will help the year go smoothly for all involved.

We Make College Happen

“The world is their oyster. The students can get into almost any college, all over the world,” says Dr. J Getting the students into college is a team effort, between the students, TIA staff and the parents. TIA understands that it is very difficult to do this alone, so they are providing the help that every senior needs to make sure college happens for all of the students. Help can come from many different areas, including extended family members and the colleges themselves via financial aid. The staff members at TIA may have to spend extra time helping students, even while they’re in college, but the return for these efforts is well worth it. The alumni students come back to TIA with thanks for helping them succeed. These students become productive members of their community, which is a win for everyone involved. TIA is a team that surrounds the students and helps them see that college is a reality for everyone, and that hey will be supported throughout that process.

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