Patricia Montoya first heard about Vista Academy of Pasadena from a teacher at a nearby school. The teacher’s strong recommendation piqued Montoya’s interest. She enrolled her daughter, Candelaria, and now two years later she is settling into fifth grade at Vista Academy.

Montoya said she most appreciates the small size, the personal attention and emphasis on character.

“If I was to come across a young mother the first thing I would tell her is that she should send her children to a small school.  You know the teachers and it creates a great community,” she said.

Montoya says Candelaria is learning more at her age than she expected and is developing character.

“My mother loves the school because she has noticed how polite and well-mannered my daughter is,” said Montoya.

Denise Salazar has three children at Vista Academy of Pasadena. She started her daughter Ella at the school when it first opened and noticed a significant improvement. Ella started at the school with a speech impediment, and Salazar said the individual attention she received from her teachers made a significant difference.

Salazar particularly appreciates the atmosphere of the school.

“They are good people who invest in the lives of their kids. The teachers correspond regularly with parents. As a parent, it is great to have that one-on-one contact with teachers. It has been great for my kids and they love this school,” she said.

This year, Tiffany Trout took over as the new school director. She has experience teaching for fourteen years at the elementary and secondary levels as well as serving as a business manager and assistant principal.

“My goal for this year is to help my teachers and students achieve their maximum potential by amplifying their strengths and transforming their weaknesses through hard work, dedication and teamwork,” she said.

With the change of directors this year, Salazar prepared herself for some confusion, but she said the school year is going well.

“I had anticipated some changes, but it has been great, and everything is running smoothly. Ms. Trout has a lot of experience,” she said.

In addition to strong academics, Trout wants to instill character in her students as well.

“Strong character development is an important part of education at our school. We have a strong Character First program which allows students to grow and learn virtues that will help them understand their responsibility to add value to their community by being respectful , responsible members of society,” said Trout.

Trout believes the school’s strong academics are made possible by the small size of the school.

“Our teachers know each of their students and spend extra time tutoring the students that need additional attention. I believe the personalized attention the teachers give their students enables them to meet the unique needs of each student,” she said.

Marenie Chapman, a second grade teacher at Vista Academy of Pasadena since it opened, said she appreciates that the size of the school allows her to get to know the parents.

“I personally contact the parents. If I am going to help your child, it is important to understand their life outside of school,” said Chapman.

Justin Banks, the new assistant director, has been at the school since its start. He believes the school’s smaller size, and atmosphere encourages students to develop character.

“We know each other across grade and staff, and everyone is respectful of each other,” said Banks.

Trout said character development will be one of the focuses of the 2015-2016 school year.

The school is still enrolling. To apply, call 281-372-8999 or visit the campus at 6109 Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena, TX 77505. Vista Academy of Pasadena is run by charter school operator Responsive Education Solutions (ResponsiveEd).

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