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Dr. Hicks and Mr. Lockett, Aristoi colleagues awarded Advocacy Leadership Institute Fellowships

Lockett and Hicks

If you have been around Aristoi’s Katy campuses for any length of time, you are certain to have seen the likes of two of its charming teachers.  Mr. Joseph Lockett has strolled the grounds of the Upper School for six years, spouting Latin phrases in Roman attire and headdresses during carpool.  Dr. Christi Hicks started her Aristoi journey at Aristoi’s Elementary Katy campus, working initially with the 1st grade scholars.  She now is at the Upper School and works with students as a dyslexia and reading specialist.

Both of these teachers are beloved by students and colleagues alike.  Both are stepping out and becoming charter school advocates, promoting Aristoi, its mission and vision, as well as boosting charter school awareness. 

Dr. Hicks and Mr. Lockett were selected by the Advocacy Leadership Institute (ALI), a program sponsored by the Texas Public Charter School Association (TPCSA), which engages teachers to become advocates for their schools and for Texas charter schools. Hicks and Lockett were chosen as part of the 4th cohort with 25 other fellows from around the state of Texas to advocate for school choice. Monthly training equips teachers to “elevate their voices and make a lasting impact”.  The teachers support each other, collaborate on strategies, and work together to create charter school awareness among officials, parents, and families.

Says Dr. Hicks, “Being in public and private schools for 31 years, you see what a charter school really is.  Aristoi really has a lot to offer.  Aristoi is my first foray in a charter school.  I didn’t know about charter schools when I had my kids.  I would have liked to have had the opportunity to choose, and I want other parents to have that opportunity.  That’s why I chose to do something about it.”

She goes on, “Being an advocate for charters is important because not every student falls into the script of a public school.  Being here at Aristoi has renewed my faith in the public education system.  We have a lot to offer.  We are charter, we are public, and we are classical.  It’s the whole deal.”

Mr. Lockett chimes in, “Dr. Cimpean (Head of Upper School) sent a notice to the teachers about this opportunity.  I wanted to know how the charter system functioned.  I wanted to know how to speak to our lawmakers.  I’m inspired by what we’re doing here and believe in it and its importance.  Charter schools typically get savaged by both sides - by the public system and private,” explains Lockett, “I want to have solid information and tell parents and our representatives what we do and what we do well.”

As part of the fellowship, the pair attend monthly ALI meetings, write editorials, and engage lawmakers with the goal of hosting State Board of Education and representatives on campus.  

Hicks and Lockett have engaged some leaders already.  Mr. Lockett wrote a State Board of Education member explaining the mission of Aristoi and issued an invitation to the upcoming Goblet of Apollo Tea and Poetry Competition.  “I hope he joins us and realizes the difference we make.  The Tea and Poetry Competition is the perfect event to showcase,” says Lockett.

Speaking out and advocating for what you believe in can be a bit daunting.  But, Hicks is not nervous, as she exhorts, “This fellowship makes us cheerleaders at our own school.  We are feet on the ground!”