Principal's Message

  • It Principal Photo is indeed an honor to serve as principal of High School Ahead Academy, a campus whose students have held a dear place in my heart for several years now.  Our non-traditional setting is infused with  an abudance of positive energy and we have recruited an all-star team of passionate, caring adults who are eager to carry this work forward! I am excited about the bold vision for our program and it is my pledge to work relentlessly daily to ensure the success of every WARRIOR scholar.

    Goals for the 2020-2021 school year include: 

    • Engaging our students through a balanced blend of in-person and virtual learning
    • Supporting the Social & Emotional needs of all students and staff through a structured, routine, and nurturing approach
    • Continuing to build upon the tremendous success of the 2019-2020 school year to meet future state accountability goals   


    Along with Team HSAA, I am prepared to lead the work of wrapping around the social and emotional needs of every student while getting them academically prepared for their transition to High School.  Success for our students is indeed possible and opportunity is here for all scholars deserving of a second chance to get caught up and get back on track. 


    Ericka L. Austin




    Ericka Austin began her career as an Executive Director in the non-profit sector supporting school improvement in Haiti and designing outreach programs for students living in group homes.  From there she gained national recognition for her success as Center Director in the supplemental and enrichment education industry.  As a 5th grade math and science teacher and grade level chair, Austin brought several new initiatives to her school in Arlington, TX incluing the implementation of PLCs and data protocols while producing consistently high TAKS/STAAR results for five years.


    Austin joined HISD in 2014 as a Teacher Specialist at Thurgood Marshall Elementary and was instrumental in the turnaround work there.  While serving as a Teacher Specialist at High School Ahead from 2015-2018, she was the instrucational leader charged with overseeing curriculum, instruction, and assessment for the campus.  Most recently, Austin served in the role of Data Driven Instructional Specialist supporting Booker T. Washington High School in its efforts to meet state accountability standards.  


    Austin earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree at the University of Central Arkansas and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Arkansas.