The Advanced Science and Technology Education
Charter (ASTEC) Schools became Oklahoma’s first start-up charter school in
2000, founded by awarding-winning educator Dr. Freda Deskin. This charter is a public school that began
with just 100 middle school student scholars and quickly grew to include a high
school with a combined enrollment of 850 scholars, plus a waiting list of several
hundred. ASTEC Charter Schools serves a highly diverse, low socio-economic,
inner-city population of middle and high school scholars.
ASTEC is the official lab school of its authorizer, Oklahoma State University College of Education.
ASTEC’s approach is research-based with an understanding that each child has unique talents and abilities that need nurturing and support. Our teachers are experienced in facilitating and fostering every scholar’s personal development. ASTEC is committed to the whole student scholar. This includes academic excellence, cultural and social growth, health, mental and physical resilience, as well as the development and the practice of honesty, civility, public service and respect for others.
ASTEC Charter Schools has created a school culture that prepares students for college, specialized training and careers by offering course electives in entrepreneurship, work ethics and careers, exposure to the workplace, personalized schedules and one-on-one student counseling and peer mentoring.
We believe that the best environment for learning is one that is safe and one that provides an expectation of success, regardless of background or ability. We share an expectation for scholars to reach their highest potential and experience a meaningful life while practicing personal accountability.
In addition to these core subjects, including technology, ASTEC values character, manners, proper etiquette, social and cultural awareness, a strong work ethic, problem-solving and entrepreneurship skills.
All scholars who enter ASTEC Middle School are required to take 9-weeks of character education, manners and etiquette. These values are rewarded and reinforced daily and throughout the year by administration, faculty and staff. The results of this practice are profound. One of the first things visitors notice: well-behaved, polite and respectful scholars.
ASTEC has created a community for its student scholars by providing wrap-around services as needed. For example, we know that student scholars who are healthy perform better in school. That is why we provide a food pantry, a clothes closet, therapy and other student scholar needs. ASTEC Charter Schools was proud to be the first school in the Midwest to become a HealthCorps school, a program founded by Dr. and Mrs. Mehmet Oz that provides our school with curriculum designed to foster physical and mental resilience and a full-time HealthCorps coordinator trained by Dr. Oz. This program could never have come to ASTEC Public Charter Schools without the support of Mr. Harold Hamm and Continental Resources.
ASTEC is a different kind of school experience. I encourage you to learn what makes us unique. Learn about our academic, social and cultural offerings, our accomplishments and our goals. The best way to get to know ASTEC is to visit us in person. All who do, report their amazement of what they see and hear in our schools.
Explore ASTEC! is a one-hour, get-acquainted tour of ASTEC Charter Schools that allows the business and civic community a behind the scenes look at our school. Morning tours include breakfast with me in our Central Office Conference room. These tours give visitors a first hand look at how children in a public school setting can thrive through innovations in education. You will witness ASTEC’s technologically-advanced, hands on classrooms where students are engaged and respectful, along with our HealthCorps wellness and nutritions program and our fresh food approach to student dining and I’ll share our unique leadership structure, our employee merit and bonus pay plan and how our faculty are engaged in weekly professional development and coaching sessions. We always allow time for your questions.
We hope you will further explore the strong sense of community and ASTEC’s “family” culture, where our accomplished and dedicated employees share a common commitment to provide students with the individualized attention they need to maintain a passion for learning.
Dr. Deskin earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Central Oklahoma and a master’s degree in secondary education and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Oklahoma (OU), where she was a National Collegiate Scholastic All-American. She holds a certificate in strategic management from Harvard University and has completed additional coursework in finance at Oklahoma City University (OCU).
Dr. Deskin has been an education leader for over four decades. She taught for fifteen years at the pre-collegiate level and nine years at the University of Oklahoma. She served for six years as a university dean at Oklahoma City University until founding ASTEC Charter Schools in 2000. Dr. Deskin has been honored numerous times at every level for her teaching and leadership skills and for her community commitment. In 1985, Deskin was selected as a finalist in NASA’s “Teacher in Space” project, becoming one of only 100 individuals in the world with the official title of “U.S. Space Ambassador.”
Dr. Deskin has developed programs, curriculum guides and books for national educational organizations such as the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, NASA, Disney’s EPCOT Center and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).
Dr. Deskin has been featured in a number of national publications including Education Week and various educational videos. She is a member of the National and State “Women President’s Organization” (WPO) and the International Women’s Forum. She served on the State Individual’s with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Advisory Panel and is the chair of the Red Earth curriculum committee. Dr. Deskin is a member of Leadership Norman and Leadership Oklahoma City and Leadership Oklahoma. She has been inducted into the Women in Aerospace Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C. and the Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame.
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