| Amarillo Globe-News
As of Thursday morning, the Amarillo Independent School District’s career center has its official name: AmTech Career Academy. The district’s Board of Trustees approved the name during a special meeting.
According to previous Globe-News reports, officials with the academy presented the board with the possibility of a name and a shield logo for the facility during the Oct. 19 regular board meeting.
The academy will be an expansion of the Amarillo Area Center for Advanced Learning (AACAL) and will be located at 3601 Plains.
During the meeting, AACAL Principal Jay Barrett said more than 1,500 emails were sent to students, teachers and community members, seeking input for a potential name. More than 800 responses were received, ranging from keeping the AACAL acronym to other career and technology-centered names.
But Barrett wanted the name to stand out among the pack, representing the stature he said he believes the campus is going to hold in the community and throughout the region. He said AmTech fulfills that purpose.
“We aren’t going to be a typical high school so we wanted to have a name that reflected the kind of school that we will have and the kind of breadth of service that we prepare to offer our entire region, starting with Amarillo, of course,” Barrett said. “…This will be one of the most innovative high school campuses, certainly in the Panhandle, if not Texas, if not the country. We want innovation to be what we are all about. We never want to stop growing. We never want to stop learning. We want to make sure we are doing everything we can for the success for our students.”
According to a news release, additions to the new career academy not found in typical high schools will include a 3,500-square-foot robot and drone coliseum for classwork and competitions, an audio-visual and video production studio where students will produce content and an auto tech and collision repair center.
Because the facility now has an official name, Barrett said officials can move forward to getting the name out there, recruiting students for when the campus opens in the 2021-22 school year and recruiting companies to be a part of the project.
The message of the academy is evident to Barrett through its shield logo and its four sections, he said. The compass offers students direction. Keys represents how education opens doors for students. The flame represents the burning passion students will have for their careers and the scroll represents that final graduate and/or certification.
But the overall shield also represents something very important to Barrett, he said.
“When you think about a shield, you think about protection. You also think about something traditional and our shield is a reflection of tradition because we want success and we want career development to be a tradition in our community, starting really as early as pre-kindergarten,” he said. “We want to start kids on that pathway of thinking about ‘what do I want to be