With decades of experience in the classroom and at the helm of high-performing schools, Dr. Melissa Alcala is helping to ignite the next generation of entrepreneurs and techies. Dr. Alcala has a background in math and computer science, and a demonstrated history of STEM integration and project-based learning. Prior to founding CAST Tech, the network’s flagship school, Dr. Alcala led STEM Academy, a grades 6-12 magnet school, in the North East Independent School District. She is passionate about student voice and works to infuse student participation into every aspect of CAST Tech. Students regularly participate in industry advisory groups, establish school clubs, and give feedback during annual focus groups. As Dr. Alcala works to create an engaging and dynamic learning environment connected to industry and higher education partners, she values the personalized learning approach with real-world projects that CAST Tech students can pursue. “It helps students stay engaged and ensures that learning is relevant.” Dr. Alcala earned her Doctorate of Education from the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she focused on educational leadership.
CAST Schools are partnership schools, co-created by industry, civic leaders, and other external partners, who participate in decisions about curriculum, budget, and school governance. In addition to their critical role in the school design, our partners provide mentorship, real-world work experiences, internships, and job opportunities, shaping the career readiness of students and helping them seamlessly transition into college or the workforce while nurturing a homegrown and committed source of talent.