Building Excellent Schools (BES) is a national nonprofit organization committed to improving the academic achievement of underserved students in our nation's urban centers.  They accomplish this by training leaders to take on the demanding and urgent work of leading high-achieving, college-preparatory urban charter schools. The headquarters for the organization is in Boston, MA and a wealth of information is contained on their website, www.buildingexcellentschools.org

With an emphasis on entrepreneurial leadership, the BES approach equips school leaders with the skills they need to effectively manage instruction, operations, student and adult culture, and external relationships in a high-performing, urban school. BES-trained leaders are demanding of themselves and others. They sweat the small stuff because they know every detail matters – every minute matters – when it comes to closing the achievement gap.

Kayleigh Colombero is the Chamber contact and is the first BES Fellow for Houston and only the second Fellow to come to Texas. She is working to open a college-preparatory, tuition-free charter school serving students in grades five through eight. Colombero has already visited 36 high-performing BES schools nationwide to analyze their work as part of her BES Fellowship. She also recently completed a leadership residency at Excel Academy in Boston where she worked alongside the school leader and learned from a school consistently ranked in the top five of all Massachusetts schools.


Etoile Academy’s proposed location is Southwest Houston. The school’s mission is to ensure that every student in grades five through eight has the academic and character foundation necessary to succeed in high school, graduate from college, and pursue ambitious life goals. Colombero and her Houston-based Board of Directors applied to the Texas Education Agency in December in order to hopefully be authorized to open the school in August of 2018. Etoile Academy is currently operating out of 230 T.C. Jester Boulevard, Suite 242.

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