Yellowstone College Prep, anticipated to open for the 2018-19 school year, will be a public, tuition-free charter school in Houston’s historic Third Ward, growing to serve students in 5th through 12th grade.

Growing to serve

Our innovative educational approach will be grounded in a unique private/public school partnership with Yellowstone Academy to leverage 15 years of educational excellence and established relationships in the community.

Yellowstone College Prep will be co-located with Yellowstone Academy in the former Douglass Elementary School building, an enduring Third Ward landmark that has served the  neighborhood since 1927.

Our goal is to serve three times the number of middle school students and, with a limited number of neighborhood high schools equipped to advance a career and college- bound curriculum, to open up high school grade levels at the existing campus.

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Proven best practices

At Yellowstone College Prep, we will build upon the proven best practices of effective community schools by connecting educators, families and community stakeholders for collective impact. Our program will include the following distinctions:

  • A rigorous, college-prep curriculum that will be enhanced by community classroom experiences for integrated hands-on learning and discovery.
  • A robust volunteer model that brings together volunteers from the local community and across Houston to provide resources and opportunities that would otherwise not exist for our students.
  • A high-impact parental engagement approach that positively contributes to student learning.
  • A comprehensive set of student support services and extracurricular activities to ensure students are successful both in and out of the classroom.

Yellowstone College Prep will be a source of pride for the neighborhood and for the City of Houston. We will hold our faculty, students, and families to the highest standards of educational excellence to ensure that students who graduate from Yellowstone College Prep are prepared to be transformative leaders in our community.

Interested in joining our first class?

Let us know!

Board of Directors

Lionel Jellins

Lionel Jellins

Lionel Jellins retired from ExxonMobil Corporation in 2015 after 38 years of experience in Engineering, Procurement, Contracting, and IT. He continues to serve as an active volunteer in the Houston community. He currently serves as Vice Chairman for the Sam Houston Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, which supports over 50,000 youth in the Greater Houston Area. He has led in other important roles, including being President of Crossroads Community Partnership for Youth (a United Way Agency) and being a member of the PTO for the University of Houston Charter School. He is also a graduate of Leadership Houston, Inc. 

David Lumpkins

David Lumpkins

Mr. David Lumpkins is a Houston businessman; he co-founded PetroLogistics LP, and worked in the investment banking industry for 17 years. He co-founded Yellowstone Academy in 2001 with his wife Kristi Lumpkins and has been an active, committed board member for the school. Over the past 15 years, David has donated a considerable amount of time and resources to provide a quality education to Third Ward students and families. 

Matthew Barnes

Matthew Barnes

Matthew has lived in the Third Ward Community for 17 years. His experience is in public health, business development, and nonprofit management. He has worked as the Director of Community Initiatives and Outpatient Services at Texas Children’s Hospital, a Program Officer at the Houston Endowment, and Executive Director of Families Empowered. His educational background includes 7 years on the board of a highly selective public university in Missouri, 7 years on the board of a Christian college in Houston, board membership on a PreK-12 Christian private school and a 22,000 student Head Start program. Matt spent 2 years leading an education reform nonprofit, and 8 years counseling families and students on improving their children’s educational and behavioral outcomes.  

Valerie Williams

Valerie Williams

In June 2016, Valerie Williams retired from Ernst & Young (EY). Previously she served as the Southwest Region Assurance Services Managing Partner. As such, she was responsible for managing the firm’s audit practice across nine states with more than 1,400 people in 14 offices. Valerie has 35 years of experience, including several leadership roles and a variety of client service roles in the energy, technology and telecommunications industries. Valerie received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Texas and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Houston. She was named University of Houston Bauer College Outstanding Accounting Alumnus and is a member of the University of Houston’s accounting advisory board. Valerie is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of CPAs. Valerie grew up in Houston’s Third Ward and graduated from Yates High School. Valerie’s husband, T.R., is the founding pastor of New Faith Church, where he has served for 39 years. 

Earl Cummings

Earl Cummings

Mr. Earl Cummings serves as the Chairman and CEO of BTS Team, a company that invests in a wide variety of industries to bring value to its investors. Earl’s leadership has demonstrated his expertise and knowledge of investments in a variety of markets, including real estate. He leads a team that manages over 2,000 properties per month. His leadership philosophy includes the development of talent and strategy within a team. Earl has also actively integrated community service into the BTS Team work culture.  Since 2002, he has served as the Chairman of the Board for C-STEM, an organization with the mission of bringing math, science, and engineering to inner-city youth.