Awards & Milestones

The Branch School, established in 1977, has received many awards and reached exciting milestones.  The school, among the best private schools in Houston, has been recognized for outstanding teaching, our nature program, as well as having students place in various competitions. 


Teacher of the year awards

2006 Houston West Chamber of Commerce - The Christa McAuliffe in Search of Excellence Award (first private school to receive this award in the 16-year history of the award)

2003 WalMart-Westview award

Writing and Mathematics

Each year kindergarten through third grade students enter the PBS Kids Writers Contest. Most years students place in the city-wide competition and along the way learn new writing skills and the joy of writing.

Elementary and Middle School students participate in the Private Schools Interscholastic Association (PSIA) competition and place in many academic categories including Ready Writing, Spelling, and Vocabulary as well as Mathematics and Number Sense.

Outdoor Classroom - Environmental Education Awards and Grants

Since 2010 Invitations to speak at Preschool Teachers Adventure conference and workshops

Since 2005 Annual invitations to speak at the Presbyterian Ministries Weekday Conference for environmental education

2005 Toyota Tapestry Grant for Science Teachers - Comparative Habitat Study Grant; Lucie Wray Todd Environmental Education Award - Houston Audubon Society

2004 Best of Texas Backyard Habitat site by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and National

Wildlife Federation

2003 Substantial grant from the Susan Vaughan Foundation to develop a wildlife habitat

Community Service

Hightower West Wing students plus staff go to Houston Food Bank to prepare 3,336 bags of rice that provides 13,344 meals

Hightower West Wing students volunteer at Memorial Park cleaning up over 2,000 pieces of trash two years in a row

Roots & Shoots, Heifer International, Pennies for Peace, CARE, homeless shelters, animal shelters, and other local charities



School acquired Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) accreditation


School had successful reaccreditation with AdvancEd

2018 The school purchased an additional 2.5 acres of land, doubling the school's property.

School hosts first Chinese exchange students for two weeks in Spring 2018.


The school inducts first group of Middle School students into new chapter of National Junior Honor Society.

2017 Hightower West Wing elects its first Student Council.
2015 Launched Hour of Code event for K-8th grade students as part of international event to promote teaching Computer Science.
2014 Head of School, Emily Smith, presents at 2014 Women's Global Leadership Conference in Energy - She represents the field of education/academia as a participant in the Panel Discussion on STEM education: Bridging the Future Crew Changers.
2013 Dedication of the Hightower West Wing building for Middle School students
2011 Ribbon Cutting Event with Houston West Chamber of Commerce for the completion of the Middle School with the addition of eighth grade
2010 Construction of Middle School begins
2009 Expanded program to include the Sixth Grade; Junior Achievement began
2007-2008 Reaccredited by SACS/CASI (Council on Accreditation and School Improvement); received numerous commendations; Head of School chosen to be on 2008-2009 reaccreditation team; The Branch School Endowment established
2003 Received 19 commendations at reaccreditation; Head of School chosen to be on 2004 reaccreditation team
1998 Accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
1994 Building of 15,000 sq-foot building through the generosity of Lucile & LeRoy Melcher and a Capital Campaign
1988 Introduced Peacemaking (Character Education) into the curriculum; now includes critical thinking, problem-solving, ethics, manners

Learn More

The Branch School, established in 1977, has accomplished many milestones.  Please feel free to request additional information about The Branch School or  schedule a tour.