Tucson International Academy: Sculpting Future-Ready Intellectuals
Tucson International Academy

“Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world.”
– Nelson Mandela

Education is about instilling your child with the academic basis to grow into a responsible citizen and have a successful professional life. Finding a school that nurtures your child as an individual learner with his/her own strengths and interests, can often feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. A school promoting such education system is important, because it will aid the growth of the student to become a confident adult, ready to take on the world.

International schools are progressively providing this kind of a holistic education. Nurturing the students from all around the world, they offer an immersive experience where all children learn, play, and live together. Viewing education as the dynamic process of becoming the best person you can be, these schools extend their potential beyond academics. They encourage a curriculum that promotes sports, arts, and great outdoors. To know more, click here.

From teamwork, cooperation and healthy competition, to drama, dance and art, students revive their cognitive ability and build an innovative awareness. Lessons learned at international schools go well beyond childhood, as students grow into lifelong learners with a strong sense of community, and global responsibility.

Incorporating learning which elevates motivation, creativity, perseverance, and of course learning are deeply ingrained in Tucson International Academy (TIA). Starting from Kindergarten to Grade 12, the students of TIA are trained and nurtured to fulfill their dreams of college.

The Epitome of Excellence

For the past thirteen years, 100% of the students of Tucson are accepted to colleges, which has always been and continues to be, a stellar achievement for the school. TIA possesses four school campuses located in Tucson Arizona. It serves around 600 students, Kindergarten through Grade 12, 150 students at each school campus. Remarkably, TIA is a publicly funded independent school shining a positive light on kids belonging to economically weaker backgrounds.

Its principal focus is on helping students to break the cycle of negative mindset, and grow up to become entrepreneurs of their own. It wants to be a ray of shining light to the students, and change their attitude to say, they can accomplish the hardest turmoils.

The school provides students with all the essential skills they need, to become well-equipped, team-oriented, and effective leaders through outstanding facilities like sports, music, and drama. Moreover, from STATE testing, projects, study guides, to field trips, guest speakers, and clubs, students have a variety of ways to learn and educate themselves.

A face of Persistence and Adaptability

The Founders, Dr. Jennifer Herrera and Mr. Wences Herrera, have been unconventionally passionate in helping their students accomplish career goals, and helping them reach independent shores.

Dr. Jennifer Herrera, affectionately known as Dr. J., is a successful entrepreneur, bilingual educator, author, innovative businesswoman, a wife and a mother. She first began creating generational legacies with her four model K-12 schools by achieving the outcome of 100% of her graduates being accepted into college for the past 13 years, and 99% are the “First Generation” in their family to go to college.

Her success with the graduates has drawn news coverage by NBC, CBS and ABC for career exposure and goal setting and is celebrated in her book, “Making College Come True.” Dr. J. loves helping communities and loves preparing the families and kids to fulfill their dreams.

Recently, she was featured in the international business magazine, THE POWERFUL in 2018. In the magazine, she talks about her professional journey with TIA, her advice and opinions in the educational space. Notably, she has unveiled some secrets to overcome obstacles.

Her schools promote business entrepreneurship through the business programs. Her excellent contribution to TIA and leadership have resulted in student success in creating sustainable businesses.

In her role as the Superintendent of Tucson International Academies K-12, she ignites enthusiasm, passion and purpose for the lives of her past, present, and future graduates, helping them make their dream of college education come true.

Dr. J. holds a BA in Elementary Education from Ball State University. Moreover, she has pursued an MA in Bilingual Multicultural Education from the University of Arizona, and a PhD in Language, Reading, and Culture from the University of Arizona. She has set up challenging world records in rappelling, taking helicopter pilot lessons, walking on fire, running bare foot on broken glass. She strives to be a role model to demonstrate that ANYTHING is possible! And to Dream Big!

Mr. Wences Herrera loves to see students’ living conditions improved. He values hard work and encourages students to find their purpose in life. He helps students connect to the community by volunteering in community food programs such as the GAP.  Mr. Herrera is chairman of the Language Department at TIA. He has a love of music and has toured with bands as well as learning the art of being a luthier. Both Dr. J. and Mr. Herrera have traveled to more than 35 countries around the world, and they enjoy taking small groups of students and teachers on international trips.

(Here is a YouTube video of one of the trips in Japan and Australia)

A Diverse Community

TIA, regardless of its specific culture of origin, strives to provide the best it can for its students. It promotes multicultural programs celebrating foreign festivals such as Mexican Independence Day, Chinese New Year, and Cinco de Mayo. Students participate in Dance, recite poems, perform dramas and sing at the events, which makes the school a peaceful and a harmonious place. All students from grades Kindergarten through Grade 12, take formal foreign language classes in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese languages.

(Watch more in this video here.)

Academic Productivity

The school’s philosophy is well summarized in its school-wide learning results. Students are prepared for college acceptance using a rigorous and challenging curriculum. The school organizes contests like National Spelling Bee, International Geography Bee, Debate Teams, and Math Bee, with varying degrees of difficulty. The championships and quiz competitions increase focus and accuracy in learning and are excellent motivational experiences to be the best one can be. It prepares the students to become responsible citizens, critical thinkers, technologically literate individuals, effective communicators, and life-long learners.

The high-quality holistic education ensures that the students make themselves well equipped for life. It is not surprising that TIA students are in demand across the world and are sought after by the world’s best colleges.

The TIA graduates that have gone on to colleges and universities, are now Computer Scientists, Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, Teachers, Administrators, Accountants and many such professionals.

(Watch more videos about this here and here.)

A Journey that Boosts Success

If you want best for your kids, then you must want a personalized experience wrapped in a sense of community that helps develop a global perspective. Well, it can be found at the TIA. Students are invited to travel abroad with parents and teachers. This broadens the world views and ways of thinking by experiencing different culture firsthand. The skills and experience they gain by traveling abroad, give them life-long personal benefits as well as a leg up in the professional world.

TIA, till date, has organized school tours to China, Mexico, Spain, England, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Japan, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Belgium, Netherlands, and many more countries over the past eighteen years.

(Watch more about the school’s journey, here)

The Love of Reading Week

It is a wonderful thing to love reading, and crucial to a child’s cognitive growth. It is at the core of his or her education, alongside building strong skills. Also, it is a joy to see a child’s face light up when he/she reads their favorite book aloud. Or to see the kids so immersed in a novel where they lose all track of time. Children who love reading perform better in school. The more they read, the more they do it, and the better they become at reading.

And, when reading is fun and easy, kids like it even more. It’s a positive cycle that pays off in some really important ways. To instill the skill of reading into the students, the school has a unique approach. At TIA, authors of different books are invited to come over and share the stories penned in their books. This captures the kids’ attention, making the whole story come alive, bring entertainment, and promote the skill of reading. (To know more, click here)

This year, TIA produced its first book author Waylee Minter, age 10,  who was recently published by Paidion Publishing for her book, “The Lion Without a Roar,” (available on Amazon). 

The Steps Ahead

TIA, for the last ten years has been bringing magnificent business programs for students. It is an opportunity for students to experience the corporate world. TIA’s business program encourages students to explore entrepreneurship, and start their own businesses. Students work in teams to create a business including products, services, website, sales, and branding. Some of these businesses turn into long term businesses.

(Watch videos of TIA student’s businesses here and here)

Business Week is the event organized by the school where students wear suits and office attire for the week, giving presentations about their business in English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Local businesses approach the schools and conduct mock interviews so students learn how to best answer questions about their businesses and about their abilities.  TIA also created and hosts an exclusive Business and College Fair in which 35 local businesses come to share their professions and 15 college and universities come to introduce the education they offer to qualify for their desired profession.

For more information on the school, visit here.

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