Internal Speakers

Atila Akyurek

Atila Akyurek is the principal in Harmony School of Fine Arts and Technology, Houston. He has bachelor degrees in Physics and Teaching Physics. He earned his master degree from UT Tyler in Educational Leadership. With a passion for teaching and learning, he started his graduate studies in Physics and was employed by Computer Education Department as teaching assistant. He has worked since 1999 in secondary education and higher education as a teacher, coordinator, and administrator. He taught IB and IGCSE physics in international schools before moving to the US.

Atila has worked in different charter school systems in different states. He was the founder principal in Queen City STEM School, Charlotte, NC. He had worked as Assistant Principal and Principal in School of Science & Technology schools, San Antonio. During his leadership, SST High School was recognized as bronze, silver and gold schools respectively in US News Best High Schools Ranking.

Agam Altyyev

Agam Altyyev moved to El Paso from country of Turkmenistan a decade ago. He studied BS in mathematics and Master of Art of Teaching Mathematics at the University of Texas at El Paso and has been teaching math at Harmony Science Academy – El Paso by assuring student success with student commitment. Passionate of teaching and learning math, Agam’s success is based on his trust to students’ potential performance in classroom and at home.

Imagine your lowest students demonstrate high performance on homework and Aces your next chapter test. Imagine a class with 90-100% homework submission rate without a hassle. Or imagine that you can communicate your concerns with students and parents without conference, phone call or email at any time and place. These initiatives became reality in classrooms with supporting data in research paper including student surveys, graphical illustrations of both paper-based and online homework.

Alan Burke

Alan Burke is a former Gates Millennium Scholar and veteran educator who just completed his eleventh year in education. He currently serves as Dean of Academics for Harmony School of Innovation - Fort Worth. Although his original educational passions included History and Political Science, his transition to the administrative world has been aided by a fondness for web tools that aid efficiency and productivity. Google Apps for Education provide a wide range of possibilities for educational tracking.

Brittany Carrone

Brittany Carrone is a 5th Grade Science Teacher at the Harmony School of Innovation in Carrollton in the Dallas-Fort Worth District. She is a Level 1 and 2 Google Certified Educator with a passion for integrating technology in a meaningful way into her classroom. She was also named the Dallas-Fort Worth Elementary District Teacher of the Year. Creativity and innovation are at the heart of her teaching practices, and she is always looking for ways to improve the educational experience of her students. During her seven years as an educator, she has successfully created a highly engaging learning environment where students are empowered to take ownership of their own learning.

Clinton Barnes

Clinton Barnes is the principal at Harmony School of Innovation in Carrollton in the Dallas Fort Worth cluster, and he is commonly known as the guy that asks a lot of questions. Mr. Barnes is not satisfied with the status quo! His uncompromising mission to make his school the most significant educational institution it can possibly be is driven by his singular focus on growth and mastery for all students. During his five years of teaching experience and seven years of administrative experience, Mr. Barnes has successfully created a collaborative and positive school culture on each of his campuses, fostered a thriving PTO and increased parent involvement, and creatively integrated technology on his campus, including weekly video announcements, student news reports, augmented reality, high-tech intervention stations, and even a “wall of movery”! Additionally, he is highly engaged in the broader educational community through Twitter and professional organizations, and authors the Principal in Progress blog, which can be found here.

Meredith Marchante

Meredith Marchante is the principal of HSA Katy. She holds a bachelor's degree in English and Spanish from Sam Houston State University, as well as a master's degree in psychology, also from SHSU. This school year is the beginning of her 10th year with Harmony Public Schools. In that time, Ms. Marchante has served as an ELA teacher, Dean of Students, and ELA curriculum instructional coach. As an educator, she believes that it is important to educate the whole child by recognizing skills outside of traditional academics, and that it is the school's responsibility to work with students to identify their areas of strengths, both academic and otherwise, and support them in developing those interests.

Nora Morales

Nora Morales is currently the principal at Harmony School of Exploration, located in the South Houston District, and has been the campus leader since 2015. Previous to leading the Exploration campus, Nora served for 3 years as the Elementary Principal at HSA-Katy, formally known as Harmony Science Academy- West Houston.  Since 2008 Nora has served HPS as a KG teacher, Elementary Director of Curriculum, Dean of Academics, and Principal. She received her B.S. degree in Child and Adolescent Studies from the University of California, Fullerton, and holds a M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in technology from Houston Baptist University. Her personal experiences in education have shaped the educational views Nora has in regards to how teachers and school life impact students in and out of the classroom. She is a firm believer of the WSCC model (Whole School, Whole Child, Whole Community) and is currently piloting a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports System at Exploration in hopes of shifting the way we think about student discipline and equity.

Claudette Van Ravenstein

Claudette Van Ravenstein is currently the GATE (Gifted And Talented Education) District Coordinator for both Houston North and South districts. She holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin.This is her second year serving in this position full-time. Prior to this assignment, she was the Campus Coordinator for the Harmony School of Excellence - Houston campus, which has had the largest GT population in Harmony system (around 230 students) for many years now. In 2011, she was hired on as the Technology K-3 Teacher as well as the After School Program coordinator. Due to her natural affinity to this population of students, she started providing additional GT services in 2011. In 2012, she was put in charge of the GT program at her school. She has loved every minute working with GT students. She finds inspiration in their curious and interesting minds and is passionate about advocating for their needs. She hopes to continue her impact in growing the GATE program. Her ultimate goal is to develop the whole child so they may reach their full potential in life.

Kayla Gregory

Kayla Gregory is Dean of Students at Harmony Science Academy in Beaumont, TX. She has been Dean of Students for four years. Implementing PBIS was her action research project while completing her Masters of Administration from Lamar University in May 2017.

Travis Lovett

Travis Lovett is a Discipline Coordinator and K-12 Fine Arts teacher at HSA-Beaumont. Travis has been with Harmony Public School for almost a decade and graduated from Lamar University with a Bachelor of Science in Fine Arts. He was instrumental in getting PBIS running on the Beaumont campus.

Michele Bhagat

Michele Bhagat is a general education behavioral counselor for the Dallas/Fort Worth Cluster. She has worked for Harmony Public Schools for seven years in many roles. Before becoming a counselor she taught 2nd and 3rd grade. Michele has a Masters of Arts in School Counseling and Professional Counseling. She is currently pursuing her Professional Counseling License.

Meredith Millspaugh

Ms. Meredith Millspaugh currently serves as the Dean of Students at Harmony School of Advancement-Houston, where she has held that position for the last 5 years. She did not start off in education but has found her passion working with teenagers and young adults.

Over the past years, Ms. Millspaugh has been a passionate advocate for Youth Mental Health First Aid, working to train the staff to recognize signs of mental health issues, as well as educating both students and parents of the importance of emotional and mental well-being. After a series of tragedies that hit HS Advancement-Houston, the Administration Team dealt with crises on campus, seeing the effects it has on the students and staff alike. That is what inspired her to research and identify needs within her own campus and the Harmony Public School system.

Michael Morales

Mr. Michael Morales is the Biology Teacher at Harmony Science Academy-San Antonio. Prior to that, Mr. Morales taught middle school science at Edgewood ISD in San Antonio. He attended the University of Texas at San Antonio where he received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology. He is an avid user of technology in his classroom, and eager to learn and share about classroom strategies.

Mehmet Emin Yetis

Mehmet Emin Yetis is an enthusiastic and dedicated international educator, he is involved in education for over 20 years. He grew up in Turkey and attended primary and secondary schools in Turkey. He received his undergraduate degree from Gazi University College of Education in Physics in 1997. His career began as an educator teaching high school Physics for 10 years in private school.

In 2007, he joined the Harmony Public School Family as a science teacher and next year he became an Assistant Principal. Later on he held many different admin roles as Dean of Discipline, Campus Principal and District Director of Operation. Mr. Yetis currently is a campus administrator at Harmony School of Innovation Sugar Land.

Mr. Yetis believes that all children can learn, but that each learns in a different way and at different rates.  He also believes that educators should be the "3Fs": Firm, Fair and Fun. He currently holds a Texas Educator Certification in the areas of Special Education, Math, Science, Physics and LOTE.

He looks forward to continuing his career at Harmony Public Schools for many years!

Robert Thornton

Robert Thornton is the current Social Studies Instructional Coach for the South Houston Cluster (as well as IM & AP Coordinator). He began working for Harmony in 2007 at the original Braeswood campus and taught AP World History, AP Comparative Government, US History (both parts) and world history at Harmony Science Academy-Houston where he served as department chair. Mr. Thornton is an avid supporter of data-driven decisions and student-centered learning in his work with new and experienced social studies teachers in Houston.

He was the fourth generation of his family to attend Texas A&M University and strongly believes in using social privilege to give back to the community and state that he was raised.

Kari Lockhart

Kari Lockhart is the GATE District Coordinator in DFW. During her eight years with Harmony Public Schools, she has also served as an English/language arts instructional coach, campus assistant principal, and ELA teacher for elementary, middle, and high school students. Kari holds an undergraduate degree in psychology, a graduate degree in educational psychology with an emphasis in gifted and talented studies, and is currently a doctoral student in the field of educational psychology (GT). She believes in cultivating practices that serve the whole gifted child: intellectually, socially, and emotionally. Kari's mission is to support the needs of gifted and talented students so that they thrive and flourish within the Harmony school system.

Kari is a member of both the Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented and the National Association for Gifted Children.

M. Atay

M. Atay received a B.A. in Chemistry from Malatya University, M.S in Chemistry, M.Ed. in Leadership and is currently doing his Master in Counseling and coaching 6 - 12 science teachers at Harmony Public Schools Austin. A strong advocate of hands-on, inquiry-based learning, he involves his teachers in a variety of ways such as problem-solving, and technology-infused strategies that provide them with opportunities to use their teaching skills to help others. His professional interests focus on partnership approaches for coaching the science teachers. His current projects include the organization of a self-reflection program and the development of a self-assessment procedures for all level teachers. In addition, he is a member of Texas Math & Science Coaches Association. He was recently honored with the being presenter at Leadership Summit for his contributions to Swivl Self Reflection Program.

He looks forward to continuing his career at Harmony Public Schools for many years!