Last year, the Aldine Independent School District (AISD) launched its all-girl school called Aldine’s Young Women’s Leadership Academy. This fall, AISD will be launching the all-boy school called Impact Leadership Academy (ILA). According to Jonathan Kegler, who will serve as Principal of ILA stated that, “The purpose of ILA is to provide more choices and opportunities to families in AISD.” Most schools in an all-boy sector start their students in all gender schools in middle and high school. What makes ILA unique is that they’re providing this opportunity for students starting in first grade.
The exciting part about ILA is that any student who wants to attend can enroll. They are currently accepting students from AISD as well as students from the greater Houston area. The staff of ILA are diligently calling prospective parents and letting them know about the campus and what they can expect from the academy. There are already a few students outside of AISD that are expected to attend in the fall.
One of the elements that students will learn from ILA is leadership. Principal Kegler stated, “We want to provide an opportunity for people to be leaders. We truly believe that everyone has a leader within them, and we want to provide the environment that’s going to be conducive for that to happen.” Students of ILA will also be exposed to the college environment as ILA has partnered with Prairie View A & M University (PV). Students will have the opportunity to visit PV, sit in a classroom, “and begin with the end in mind.” Principal Kegler wants them to see the end result of where they want to be.
Additionally, one of ILA’s leadership strands is entrepreneurship, so aside from college, students will be exposed to the different aspects of entrepreneurship. “You get to pick and choose what you want to do, and we’re going to supply you with the skillset so that you can choose wisely.”
Since the school is launching for the first time, students will be able to attend first, second and sixth grade for year one, and by 2025-2026, the academy will serve grades one through eight. “We are projecting 125 students per grade level, however, if we have more than that, of course we are going to take them in. Our campus can hold 1400 to 1500 students…As they come, we’re going to build it,” he mentioned.
One thing that parents, students, and the community can expect from Principal Kegler is “dynamic leadership,” and how he believes in “no box thinking.” He stated, “A lot of times we think outside the box, but when the conformity of the world and the pressures come, and it doesn’t’ work, we’re forced back into the box. We struck the match threw it in the box and burned it a long time ago.” Principal Kegler made it clear that they’re going to find the method and the solution that works for each student. Having a son who is a rising sophomore gives Principal Kegler the great advantage of knowing what students may need.
Impact Leadership Academy will be a great opportunity for our young men. They will learn important universal skills that they will be able to rely on long after they leave the academy. Principal Kegler wants this new opportunity to be a collaborative effort between students, parents, and the entire community. “It’s about us, not about me, or the staff, but all of us coming together.”
Impact Leadership Academy will open its doors on July 22nd from 4-7pm for uniform fittings for those enrolled, and there will be an enrollment fair for those who would like to enroll. On August 5th, there will be a block party where everyone can have a good time and celebrate the new school and the new school year. This will also be another day where students can enroll.
Principal Kegler and his staff are ready to get the school year started and are excited to work with their students. For the first day of school, Principal Kegler has a vision of 100 men. He wants to have 100 men to be present at ILA to greet students on the first day of school. He sends this challenge to men from all walks of life so the students can see what the end looks like. In closing he said, “We want to create a positive impact so they can in return change the world.”
For more information about Impact Leadership Academy, you can visit https://ila.aldineisd.org/.