CFISD’s Brautigam Center swung open its doors to joyfully welcome students for the very first time August 26, 2019. The school’s namesake, Leonard Brautigam personally greeted students on that day alongside principal, Martha Strother.
Designed as a dawn-to-dusk campus, Brautigam Center serves students aged sixteen to twenty-one who are seeking to catch up on their graduation credits as well as students who are working to graduate in fewer than four years. Superintendent Mark Henry has been the visionary of developing this campus as a place that guides students to their future whether it be college, career, workforce, or the military, in the same way that a compass points a true north directionality!
Newly implemented at Brautigam are three work certification programs, a welding program, a plumbing program, and a culinary arts program offered to all CFISD students. Future visioning includes an electrician program and an HVAC certification program as well others to be developed moving forward.
Also newly implemented at Brautigam is the “Bridging To High School” program for overaged middle school students who can accelerate to high school status by mid-year through intense instructional support from caring teachers in small-size classes.
The Brautigam Center ‘s roots reach back to Windfern High School, launched in the fall of 1995, in the repurposed CFISD central office located on Windfern Rd., following the vision of Superintendent Rick Berry. Offices were converted to classrooms, the School Board Room became the auditorium, the curriculum department was converted into the library, and the superintendent’s suite was transformed into the daycare center. Principal Sue Heineman led a skeletal team of only fifteen teachers and staff, but because she chose mission-minded educators who cared deeply about guiding young adults with tough circumstances, she set a high standard of pushing through insurmountable obstacles to help them reach the goal of graduation.
A year later, Betty Anderson assumed the leadership role and worked to further develop the foundation of the campus. Three years later, Marvin Webster was named principal, a role he held for two years during which time he continued the process his predecessors had begun.
Martha Strother was named principal in 2001. Under her tenure, the school expanded to include fifty-five staff members and a student population that fluctuated over the years from 275 to 400.
Brautigam Center has followed the model of Windfern High School, a campus purposefully designed to be small with small-size classes. Brautigam continues to honor the “smallness factor,“ understanding that many students flourish in smaller environments.
All CFISD high school students are invited to visit the Brautigam website (https://brautigamcenter.cfisd.net). We also invite students to call (281.807.8684) and ask questions to help make decisions about educational options in CFISD. Once you review all information about the Brautigam Center, students are invited to complete the “Declaration of Interest” (DOI) which initiates the student’s program admission. Brautigam administrators carefully review DOI submissions, evaluating each student’s chances for success on a campus driven by high expectations for responsibility, respect, and commitment to graduation.
On August 12, 2019, Windfern High School was officially renamed the Leonard Brautigam Center and is housed in a fully renovated former elementary school located at 13102 Jones Rd. The school has been magically transformed into a sleek 21st century collegiate-like campus, appealing to young adult students focused on their goal of graduation and their future college, career, workforce, or military vision.
Brautigam’s cohesive family-like learning community is its signature feature. When asked why Brautigam Center makes a difference, many students share that they feel a sense of belonging. Others cite the small-size classes and the individualized attention they receive from their teachers. The common thread among all students’ responses is a newly found “whatever it takes” attitude!
The Brautigam Center guides students by pointing them to their “True North” direction… where they are truly meant to be… where they become the best version of themselves!
~ WHATEVER IT TAKES ~
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