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Freshman Academy Profile

Mission 

The mission of the Union Freshman Academy is to empower students to embrace the challenges that come with the foundational first year of high school by providing an experience that intentionally transitions students from middle school to high school.  

Vision

We envision each student in an inclusive environment that promotes student engagement while providing a safe atmosphere that enables students to strive for credit sufficiency in a setting that is functional as well as inspirational in the pursuit of 100% Graduation, College and/or Career Ready.

UFA Core Values

  • Empowerment
  • Engagement 
  • Inclusion
  • Inspire 
Logo For Union High School Freshman Academy

The Union Way

The Union Way is exemplified at the Union High School Freshman Academy by a dynamic staff that consistently makes significant contributions to the lives of our students.  We work every day to ensure that our students will have a string academic foundation so they may take full advantage of all Union has to offer.  Our goal is that every ninth grader in our building will earn their degree from Union High School.  We have a public and private commitment to making 100 percent of our students college and career ready

We are taking powerful steps to eliminate anonymity and isolation and create a culture where collaboration is highly valued and student achievement is the primary focus for all stakeholders. Teachers meet together every Friday morning to continually refine instructional methods, review student work, and evaluate learning. This built in collaboration time allows teachers to be innovative and to constantly enhance our pyramid of intervention for students.

Accreditation

The Union High School Freshman Academy is accredited by the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

U-Time

Students at the Union High School Freshman Academy have an incredible learning opportunity every Wednesday called U-Time. This time is built into our schedule as a provision for students to receive instruction in areas such as Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) aspects, learning how to calculate GPA, goal setting, time management, and working towards developing an Individual Career Academic Plan (ICAP),  a process that helps students engage in academic and career development activities and a product that is created and maintained for students’ academic, career and personal advancement.

Research clearly shows that students involved in co-curricular activities have a much greater chance of attaining high test scores and graduating on time. So, in addition to a relevant, rigorous academic curriculum, Union’s ninth graders are exposed to fine arts and athletic programs that are consistently recognized as the best in the state. Students have the opportunity to participate in performing arts such as band, orchestra, and drama, as well as visual arts such as drawing and ceramics.  Union’s twenty-three athletic programs are in contention for state titles on a yearly basis and ninth graders are able to participate on competitive teams at the varsity, junior varsity, and ninth grade levels. There is also a comprehensive intramural sports program.

The Next Generation

It is vital that Union students begin their high school careers on a positive, successful note. We know that our freshmen have incredible potential and will go on to unparalleled academic, athletic, and artistic success.  It is our imperative to never be satisfied.  It is our job to produce scholars and citizens that will lead the next generation. It is our job to create champions with character. It is our job to show our students the Union Way.

 

Teacher helps student man a drill in construction class at union Freshman Academy

The Freshman Academy prepares students for life after high school.

History and Features

The Union High School Freshman Academy building was built in 1989, and was designated the Union Junior High at the time of opening, then housing the district's eighth and ninth grades. With a change in Union's secondary school education delivery configuration in 1993, the building was renamed Union Intermediate High School, and served ninth and 10th grade students.  The Intermediate instructed 2,300 students daily at the time, and added eight new classrooms in 2007. Union reconfigured classes in 2011, and the building became a 9th Grade Center in the fall of 2012 after sophomores moved to the High School campus. It was renamed the Union High School Freshman Academy in 2019.

The Union High School Freshman Academy is a beautiful building and campus which is in constant demand as a site to host special activities for the Union community. Huge craft shows and large athletic tournaments are the norm throughout the year.

The school site features a modern baseball/softball complex, two gymnasiums, a drama theater, a renovated media center, special driver’s education classrooms and other amenities.

Freshman throws the 'U' hand signal to signify Union Public Schools

Freshmen show Union spirit!

Principals

Principal

Beau Brannon

Beau Brannon

Beau Brannon was named principal at the Union High School Freshman Academy in the summer of 2022. He had previously served the school as assistant principal, a position he held since 2018. He is a 2008 graduate of Muldrow High School and spent a year at the University of Tulsa playing football. 

He finished his bachelor’s degree in middle childhood education at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith in 2012, obtained a master’s degree in educational leadership at Arkansas State University in 2016, and completed the Superintendent certification program at Northeastern State University in 2020. 

Brannon began his career in education in 2012 at Alma Public Schools in Alma, Arkansas, teaching science and coaching football.  He spent the next 3 years teaching math and coaching at Keys High School in Keys, Oklahoma, where he was named their District’s teacher of the year in 2015.  He joined Union Public Schools in 2016, where he taught Geometry at the High School and was a part of the 2016 State Championship football team. Brannon and his wife Caitlyn have been married since May 2013 and have two children, Baker and Collins.

ssistant Principal

Estella Evans-Hamilton

Estella Evans-Hamilton

Estella Evans-Hamilton joined Union in 2009 as an administrative intern at the 6th/7th Grade center. She was named assistant principal of the now Freshman Academy in 2011. 

Evans came to Union with more than 15 years of experience in public schools at both elementary and middle school level. Evans received an undergraduate degree in elementary education from Oral Roberts University and a master’s degree in Teaching, Learning, and Leadership from Oklahoma State University.

Evans has more than two decades of experience in the field of education as both an elementary school teacher as well as a middle and high school administrator. As an assistant principal, Evans engages students from the perspective of academic aspirations within the framework of the district’s overarching goal of 100 percent graduation, college and career readiness. Evans strives to create a culture of students who are engaged, empowered, and individually equipped with the necessary knowledge, tools, and practices to achieve graduation.   

Evans ensures that staff members, parents and students retain a focus on the importance of grade point average and the impact it has on students’ lives. She consistently seeks new and innovative ways to advocate for students and intervene on their behalf.

Assistant Principal

Greg Kelly

Greg Kelly

Greg Kelly was named assistant principal at the Freshman Academy in 2023.

He previously served as an assistant principal at the 9th Grade Center and earlier at the Union 6th/7th Grade Center since 2017.

Kelly has been with Union since 2007 as a teacher and is proud to say he is a graduate of Union himself. During his previous years with Union, he taught both on level- and pre- Advanced Placement classes in American history, American government, and Oklahoma history and coached volleyball. Additionally, he has taught in Texas and Tulsa Public Schools. Kelly received his bachelor’s degree from Abilene Christian University in west Texas and his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Arkansas State University.

In his spare time, Kelly enjoys spending time with his wife, Lisa, and his children, Wade and Allyson, playing golf, watching movies and reading.

UFA In Photos

Freshman art teacher and student
Freshmen play in pep assembly scooter game
Freshman soft seating area in the front of school
math class at Freshman Academy
Freshman girl throw U hand gesture
Freshman Academy marquee
Freshmen mug for the camera at pep assembly
Principal Beau Brannon
Freshman boy and girl in class
Freshman teacher helps students at their desks
Principal Beau Brannon works the front desk
3 Freshman teachers mug for the camera at a pep assembly
exterior view of the Freshman Academy
tree blossoms at the Freshman Academy
two sets iof boots and the UFA logo
Teacher and student in the Freshman construction class
4 Freshman spirit members in front of the U-shaped window
Freshman boy throws the U hand gesture