CAST Schools » CAST Schools » CAST Teach » The Firstmark Foundation pledges ,000 in support of CAST Teach High School
The Firstmark Foundation pledges $80,000 in support of CAST Teach High School


Funds directly benefit Northside ISD’s first-of-its-kind teacher prep model classroom and library.


San Antonio, TX (May 19, 2022) – The Firstmark Foundation is pleased to announce its inaugural grant award of $80,000 to CAST Teach, a new high school in Northside ISD—built in partnership with the CAST Schools Network—dedicated to preparing future teachers and elevating careers in education. The grant will help support the school’s early infrastructure costs by funding the construction of an innovative model classroom and a professional resource library.

“We are honored to support CAST Teach in their efforts to develop future classroom teachers,” said Marisa Perez-Diaz, executive director of the Firstmark Foundation. “Because our roots are deeply embedded in education, we are delighted to sponsor this exciting, innovative school that will ensure students develop a strong foundation in education practices and gain authentic experiences to propel their careers in teaching.”

This unique teacher preparation program will provide real-world exposure to high school students interested in the field of education, foster a love for teaching and present a career pathway for students who aspire to shape the future of public education.

“This generous donation by the Firstmark Foundation will allow us to collaborate with students in hands-on learning environments as we shape the future of public school education.” Ericka Olivarez, principal of CAST Teach High School.

The Power To Make an Impact Together

Firstmark recently introduced the Power of the Dollar™ checking to include a $1 impact fee. The monthly impact fee goes directly to the Firstmark Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to making a tangible, positive impact in the education community through the collective support of the membership. To join the movement and share in this collective cause, visit

To learn more about the Firstmark Foundation and ways Firstmark Credit Union supports the education community, visit the Give Back tab at

ABOUT Firstmark Credit Union

Firstmark Credit Union has been helping people for almost 90 years. The Firstmark story began in 1932 at Fox Tech High School where ten teachers signed a charter to form the San Antonio Teachers Credit Union. Firstmark has grown the ten teachers’ original $475 investment to almost 100,000 members and over $1 billion in assets. Firstmark is a not-for-profit, member-owned financial institution offering products and services that stimulate savings, provide a pathway to home ownership, and promote financial wellness. For more information, visit or call 210.442.0100.

ABOUT CAST Schools Network

The Centers for Applied Science & Technology (CAST) is a San Antonio-based network of tuition-free, public schools with a mission to reinvent schooling in order to maximize options for students while preparing them for college, career, and life. Open to all Bexar County students, the network includes high schools CAST Tech, CAST Teach, CAST STEM, CAST Med, CAST Lead and the Advanced Learning Academy. Schools are co-created with industry, and partner with area public school districts, including Northside, San Antonio, Southwest, and East Central ISDs. For more information, visit Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

ABOUT Northside Independent School District

The Northside Independent School District (NISD) is a San Antonio’s premiere school district of choice with a mission to transform the learning experience for all students.  We work to ensure every student grows in confidence, curiosity, and capability as we serve more than 101,000 students at our 125 schools, providing them opportunities for success inside and outside the classroom.  For more information, visit or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.






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501(c)(3) Tax Exemption Number: 82-5253554

The Centers for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) Network is a tax-exempt organization as described in Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Service code. CAST Schools are partnership schools with a focus on STEM careers, project based learning and work-based learning. Key partners include public school districts, higher education institutions, and local employers from target industries.