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About Us

About ASA

Prior planning prevents poor performance, and prior to beginning any job, you need to gather the tools that will help you complete your task successfully. Alexander-Smith Academy equips its students with all the right tools to help them begin the building process of a bright and promising future.

Founded in 1968, ASA has helped young adults expand their minds and challenge their thinking for over four decades. At Alexander-Smith Academy, we believe our purpose, our primary goal is to nurture young minds, providing the tools and tests necessary to help students develop intellectual maturity. We've helped students learn about history, English, science and math. We've helped them learn more about themselves, who they are and what they're capable of accomplishing. And they have responded.

Accreditation and Authorization

ASA is a fully accredited college-preparatory high school. In 1976, ASA earned accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and, in 1984, we gained accreditation by the Texas Education Agency. In 2006, ASA also became accredited by Texas SACS CASI and AdvancED.  Most recently, this school has been authorized under Federal Law to enroll nonimmigrant students. Accreditation and authorization by these premier entities ensures ASA's continuous dedication to our program's quality and effectiveness.

An ASA education stresses concentration on the individual and development of a personal sense of values. It provides clear-cut guidelines and boundaries within which students are given flexibility of action. Dedicated to the philosophy of individual educational instruction, ASA challenges students and enables them to realize their innate potential.

From the remarks of The Honorable James A. Baker, III, 61st U. S. Secretary of State

Alexander-Smith Academy Commencement
Sunday May 24, 2009

James A. Baker

Dare to be a Revolutionary

"I have great admiration for the Alexander-Smith Academy, which in my book provides a revolutionary brand of education. The academy has successfully broken from the traditional cookie-cutter school format where students are required to fit the system. Instead, the dedicated faculty and staff here at Alexander-Smith treat students like individuals with unique educational needs -- and that’s as it should be. . . ." "Indeed, all of us are here tonight because Alexander-Smith has had the foresight and courage to shake up the status quo in an effort to respond to the challenge of how to best educate students."View the entire speech »

Mission Statement

Alexander-Smith Academy’s mission is to offer a college-preparatory high school education in a relaxed, safe and comfortable environment. Students, teachers and advisors achieve an optimum learning atmosphere by working together. Treating students as young adults fosters graduates who are equipped to lead productive lives in a complex, pluralistic society. ASA’s primary goal is to create an environment in which each student can acquire the knowledge necessary to develop intellectual maturity. A structured curriculum, which includes honors and advanced placement course levels, as well as modified courses when necessary, is fundamental in achieving this goal, as is the unique class size of five to seven students, and daily tutorials.

  • Guest Speaker: The Honorable James A. Baker, III
  • 61st U. S. Secretary of State

The following speeches were given on Sunday, May 24, 2009 @ The Houston Marriott Westchase Hotel. Class of 2009 Graduation Ceremonies.

David Arnold, Maggie De La Garza, and James A. Baker, III

"Dare to be a Revolutionary"


Alexander Smith Academy Commencement
Sunday May 24, 2009
Houston, Texas

Ladies and gentlemen, let me start by offering my sincerest congratulations to those of you who have made tremendous sacrifices in order to reach this exciting moment in your lives. And I am, of course, including in that you parents out there whose support has made it all possible. I have great admiration for the Alexander Smith Academy, which in my book provides a revolutionary brand of education. The academy has successfully broken from the traditional cookie-cutter school format where students are required to fit the system. Instead, the dedicated faculty and staff here at Alexander Smith treat students like individuals with unique educational needs -- and that's as it should be. Our family, as I am sure is the case with every family here today, is very proud of our graduating senior. Today, all of we Bakers admire the intellectual maturity and academic curiosity Mary Baker has acquired here. And I know that Mary's story is not unique. It has been repeated time and time again by the other members of the senior class. Indeed, all of us are here tonight because Alexander Smith has had the foresight and courage to shake up the status quo in an effort to respond to the challenge of how to best educate students. And so today, I would like to present each of you graduating seniors with a challenge. Dare to be a revolutionary! It is your American heritage. Carry the values of liberty and justice forward as you tackle the challenges of the 21st Century. Am I exaggerating when I tell you that you can be revolutionaries? I don't think so. You are the children of the world's greatest democracy, one born from revolution. As disciples of democracy, you can build a future that is just and right. Listen to what Samuel Adams wrote in a letter to a friend 40 years after America won its independence. "What do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? No. The revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people." Adams captured the essence of the American spirit. American history has been an attempt to secure the rights and dignity of the individual. And we've done pretty well. What country has provided the greatest degree of freedom? What country has been the most generous with its resources? What country has been the most willing to defend liberty around the world? You graduates will inherit the answer to those questions. So today, I ask that each of you respect the heritage of the American experiment by dedicating yourself to its revolutionary spirit -- the effort of a united people who tirelessly strive to build a better world. Thomas Jefferson understood this spirit when he said this about Americans: "Every generation needs a new revolution" because "a little rebellion now and then ... is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government." Indeed, a revolutionary spirit is encoded in our DNA. This birthright that is passed from one generation to another makes our country and our citizens special. We rebel against the status quo when the status quo is wrong or evil. (Or, even when it just needs a little fixin'.)

If you want proof of this revolutionary spirit, look at what has occurred during only the past 20 years. We helped lead revolutions of thought, technology, and action that have changed the world for the better. We led an ideological revolution that brought a peaceful conclusion to the Cold War. We led a technological revolution that changed the way we communicate, work, and entertain. And we have supported democratic revolutions in many countries of the world. As you sit here today, consider how you might answer Jefferson's call. What will be your generation's revolution? What will be your individual revolution? Will your ideas alter today's paradigms about the way things work? Or should work? The answers to these questions are important because to solve the daunting challenges that lay ahead of this country will require revolutionary ways of thinking. Your generation will be asked to find ways to satisfy our energy needs at the same time that we improve the environment. You will be asked to craft a legal system that protects the rights of individuals at the same time that it limits the evil intentions of terrorists. You will be asked to lead the world into a new era of globalization.

Give vent to the revolutionary spirit in every aspect of your life. There are great revolutions to be accomplished in art as well as agriculture. In literature and law. In music and medicine. And in poetry and politics. This all may sound overwhelming. Great accomplishments often are. But your generation has the potential to make the extraordinary commonplace. Take comfort in knowing that throughout our history, Americans have seized the moment. We draw strength from our revolutionary spirit when times are tough. As you embark on your revolution, please remember three things that can help you accomplish it. First, remember that each revolution starts with small steps -- the steps of learning. The inspirational writer Margaret Lee Runbeck said that "learning is always part rebellion. Every bit of new truth discovered is revolutionary to what was believed before." Therefore, think of your education not as a hectic dash, but as a long marathon with no finish line. Today, you conclude an important step in that direction by graduating from high school. But don't stop now -- or ever, for that matter. At this moment, quietly make this promise to yourself: "Each day will bring a learning experience." Second, remember to be a willing leader of your own revolution and be not afraid to proclaim it. Never surrender to the fashionable type of pessimism that expresses itself in a cynical or sarcastic spirit. Or the pessimism disguised in the perverse theory that we are all governed by vast historical forces -- so why bother? Do not allow yourself to accept a world in which right and wrong have been boiled down to a shrug of the shoulders. "Whatever." Instead, focus on your possibilities. Lead your journey with a confident optimism that empowers you to better yourself and the world around you. And third, remember that a lot of people have good ideas. But the person who conducts a successful revolution is the one who wakes up in the morning and does something about those good ideas. There's a lot I could say here about dedication and hard work. But instead, I'm going to give you one very specific piece of advice. If you forget everything else I say today, I hope you will remember this. My father was a lawyer, and a very good one. When I was a boy, he taught me something he called the "Five P's." "Prior preparation prevents poor performance." Does it surprise you that I would mention something this simple to young adults like you? If it does, I'm sorry because I am completely serious. I have had many opportunities in my life, including the chance to serve my country in high office and to work for four great American presidents. And those opportunities came to me, I believe, because my father taught me to get up a little earlier in the morning, to work a little harder all day, and to stay up a little later at night to be sure I was ready for the challenges I would face.

And so, ladies and gentlemen (and particularly you graduates) let me conclude by saying what commencement speakers always say -- a "commencement," is by definition a "beginning." I encourage each of you not to view this ceremony as an end of one experience, but rather as the start of new opportunities. As you close the door today on one important part of your life, another door opens. It's the door to the future. As you go through that door, remember to accept your responsibility as apostles of the American spirit and as members of the human family. Keep that spirit alive through a personal revolution that will carry you until you are my age and, hopefully, longer. To you -- Alexander Smith graduates of the Class of 2009 -- dare to be a revolutionary! It is your American heritage. Good luck to you on your journey into a waiting and hopeful world.

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