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7 prestigious Houston-area high schools rank among best in Texas for 2021

St. John's School is ranked the No. 2 private high school in Texas. St. John's School.org

Several Houston-area school are among the top of their class among public and private high schools in Texas.

New rankings from education website Niche put three local institutions among the top public high schools in the state and four among the top private high schools in the state.

Carnegie Vanguard High School (in Houston ISD) leads the area best public high schools, while our prestigious St. John's School leads the private academies.

Niche ranks public high schools based on factors such as state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, and Niche user ratings.

Meanwhile, Niche ranks private high schools based on factors like SAT/ACT scores, quality of colleges that students consider, student-teacher ratio, and Niche user ratings.

"Our 2022 rankings come at a time when so many parents are curious about the different options for their children's education, including some they may never have considered before," Luke Skurman, founder and CEO of Niche, says in a news release.

Other local schools also ranked well:

  • Top-ranked School for the Talented and Gifted (Dallas ISD).
  • Second-ranked Liberal Arts & Science Academy (Austin ISD).
  • Third-ranked School of Science and Engineering (Dallas ISD).
  • Fourth-ranked Westlake High School (Eanes ISD).
  • Fifth-ranked Carnegie Vanguard High School (Houston ISD).
  • Sixth-ranked DeBakey High School for Health Professions (Houston ISD).
  • Seventh-ranked Carroll Senior High School (Carroll ISD).
  • Eighth-ranked Westwood High School (Round Rock ISD).
  • Ninth-ranked Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (Houston ISD).
  • 10th-ranked Vandegrift High School (Leander ISD).

The top private high schools in Texas are:

  • Top-ranked St. Mark's School of Texas in Dallas.
  • Second-ranked St. John's School in Houston.
  • Third-ranked Greenhill School in Addison.
  • Fourth-ranked The Hockaday School in Dallas.
  • Fifth-ranked St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Austin.
  • Sixth-ranked The John Cooper School in The Woodlands.
  • Seventh-ranked The Awty International School in Houston.
  • Eighth-ranked Keystone School in San Antonio.
  • Ninth-ranked Cistercian Preparatory School in Irving.
  • 10th-ranked The Kincaid School in Houston.

As for the best school districts in Texas, they are:

  • Top-ranked Eanes ISD in Austin.
  • Second-ranked South Texas ISD in Mercedes.
  • Third-ranked Highland Park ISD in Dallas.
  • Fourth-ranked Carroll ISD in Southlake.
  • Fifth-ranked Coppell ISD in Coppell.
  • Sixth-ranked Lovejoy ISD in Allen.
  • Seventh-ranked Frisco ISD in Frisco.
  • Eighth-ranked Argyle ISD in Argyle.
  • Ninth-ranked Grapevine-Colleyville ISD in Grapevine.
  • 10th-ranked Allen ISD in Allen.
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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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Building Houston

 
 

Ty Audronis founded Tempest Droneworx to put drone data to work. Photo courtesy of Tempest Droneworx

Ty Audronis quite literally grew up in Paradise. But the Northern California town was destroyed by wildfire in 2018, including Audronis’ childhood home.

“That’s why it’s called the Campfire Region,” says the founder, who explains that the flames were started by a spark off a 97-year-old transmission line.

But Audronis, who has literally written the book on designing purpose-built drones — actually, more than one — wasn’t going to sit back and let it happen again. Currently, wildfire prevention is limited to the “medieval technology” of using towers miles apart to check for smoke signals.

“By the time you see smoke signals, you’ve already got a big problem,” Audronis says.

His idea? To replace that system with real-time, three-dimensional, multi-spectral mapping, which exactly where his company, Tempest Droneworx, comes in.

When asked how he connected with co-founder Dana Abramowitz, Audronis admits that it was Match.com — the pair not only share duties at Tempest, they are engaged to be married. It was a 2021 pre-SXSW brainstorming session at their home that inspired the pair to start Tempest.

When Audronis mentioned his vision of drone battalions, where each is doing a specialized task, Abramowitz, a serial entrepreneur and founder who prefers to leave the spotlight to her partner, told him that he shouldn’t give the idea away at a conference, they should start a company. After all, Audronis is a pioneer in the drone industry.

“Since 1997, I’ve been building multicopters,” he says.

Besides publishing industry-standard tomes, he took his expertise to the film business. But despite its name, Tempest is a software company and does not make drones.

That software is called Harbinger. Audronis explains that the real-time management and visualization solution is viewable on practically any device, including mobile or augmented reality. The system uses a video game engine for viewing, but as Audronis puts it, “the magic happens” on the back end.

Harbinger is not just drone-agnostic, but can use crowd-sourced data as well as static sensors. With the example of wildfires in mind, battalions can swarm an affected area to inform officials, stopping a fire before it gets out of hand. But fires are far from Harbinger’s only intended use.

The civilian version of Harbinger will be available for sale at the end of 2023 or beginning of 2024. For military use, Navy vet Audronis says that the product just entered Technical Readiness Level (TRL) 5, which means that they are about 18 months away from a full demo. The latest news for Tempest is that earlier this month, it was awarded a “Direct to Phase II” SBIR (Government Small Business Innovation Research) contract with the United States Department of the Air Force.

Not bad for a company that was, until recently, fully bootstrapped. He credits his time with the Houston Founder Institute, from which he graduated last February, and for which he now mentors, with many of the connections he’s made, including SBIR Advisors, who helped handle the complex process of getting their SBIR contract.

And he and Abramowitz have no plans to end their collaborations now that they’re seeing growth.

“Our philosophy behind [our business] isn’t keeping our cards close to our vest,” says Audronis. “Any potential competitors, we want to become partners.”

The company was just the two founders until five weeks ago, when Tempest’s size doubled, including a full-time developer. Once Tempest receives its SIBR check, the team will grow again to include more developers. They are currently looking for offices in the city. As Audronis says, Tempest Droneworx is “100-percent made in Houston.” Paradise may have been lost, but with Harbinger soon to be available, such a disaster need never happen again.

Dana Abramowitz and Ty Audronis co-founded Tempest Droneworks. Photo courtesy of Tempest Droneworx

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