Southwest ISD welcomes new CAST STEM Principal
San Antonio, TX – On Tuesday, June 16, 2020 Southwest ISD (SWISD) officially announced Ravae Villafranca Shaeffer as the new principal for the District’s CAST STEM High School. Through a rigorous selection process, SWISD maintained its commitment to students, parents, and staff by seeking input through an open-ended response survey identifying key priorities. “The majority of respondents identified the five most important issues facing CAST STEM that must be immediately addressed as 1) student college and career readiness, 2) teaching and learning, 3) learning opportunities provided for students at all levels, 4) teacher development, 5) and student achievement,” said Dr. JoAnn Fey, Assistant Superintendent of Administration and Human Resources. “We feel Ms. Shaeffer’s extensive experience will help our District meet those goals for our CAST STEM families.”
In partnership with the Centers for Applied Science and Technology, CAST is a regional network of college and career-focused high schools designed to maximize student opportunities for employment and college credit while in high school. CAST STEM focuses on the careers of engineering, advanced manufacturing, power and energy, and global supply chain logistics in partnership with Palo Alto College, Texas A&M-San Antonio, and more. CAST STEM students learn alongside industry mentors from companies such as Toyota, H-E-B, and CPS Energy, and apply their learning in hands- on settings and internships.
“Ms. Shaeffer has been a partner to CAST STEM since its inception; she is a leader who excels in multi-sector collaborations. We are thrilled to support her, Southwest ISD and the teachers and students of this amazing school as it becomes a prototype for career-focused project-based learning and student voice,” said Jeanne Russell, Executive Director of the CAST Schools nonprofit network.
“I am excited about Ravae Shaeffer joining CAST STEM, given her depth of knowledge about the STEM ecosystem in our region! The commitment of the educators in the CAST system is inspiring and incredible! #CASTProud,” said Lisa D. Lewis, Vice President, President & Culture, CPS Energy.
“We look forward to working closely with Ravae Shaeffer and the CAST STEM team to continue providing their students with opportunities to explore their career interests through real-world experiences,” said Stephanie Garcia, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas.
Shaeffer’s 23 plus years of experience includes facilitating professional learning communities and project-managing cross-sector design teams to create, implement and evaluate innovative education solutions, such as Future Ready SA Digital Badging and Guiding Pathways to Dual Credit Secondary/Postsecondary partnerships. She also facilitated multi-agency partnerships with PreK-12, Higher Education, and Workforce entities to achieve educational goals while designing and coordinating customized research-based, data-informed professional development for teachers and administrators. Prior to Region 20, Ravae served as both a high school and middle school teacher for nine years. She also served on the CAST STEM industry advisory board.
Shaeffer will collaborate with District administration to ensure that CAST STEM aligns with an integrated career and technology vision for SWISD. Her leadership will ensure that CAST STEM serves as a model for the high innovative standards of instructional service expected across SWISD, is connected to relevant District efforts, so that CAST STEM serves as a district and citywide prototype for internships and work-based learning.
“SWISD has nothing but gratitude for all CAST STEM staff and families. We are so excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for the students with Ravae Shaeffer joining the team as principal. Ravae’s STEM prowess in San Antonio is second to none and I’m confident it will open many doors of opportunities for the students who attend CAST STEM,” says Dr. Lloyd Verstuyft, SWISD Superintendent of School.
Source: Southwest ISD