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North Forest and Southside Elementary opening

As YES Prep Public Schools continues its expansion for Houston families seeking more options for their children’s PK-12 education, I’m thrilled to announce our plan to open two more YES Prep elementary campuses— in the North Forest and Southside communities.

YES Prep Southside Elementary and YES Prep North Forest Elementary are scheduled to open for the 2021-2022 school year—one year after the openings of YES Prep Southeast Elementary and YES Prep North Central Elementary.

Rigor and attention starting sooner

For more than 20 years, YES Prep educators have worked hard to increase the number of middle and high school students from underserved communities who graduate from college prepared to lead. YES Prep students work closely with caring teachers to make academic leaps year to year and earn college degrees at four times the rate of their peers.

Parents frequently tell us they wish their children could have had YES Prep’s level of rigor and attention sooner. It’s our goal to have 10 elementary schools to serve 10,000 Houston children in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade by 2025. 

Our elementary expansion comes as YES Prep reaches record enrollment numbers. In the 2020-2021 school year, we expect to serve more than 15,400 students at 21 campuses, and our waitlist numbers remain in the thousands.

New schools' founding principals

The leaders of our new schools will be Andrea Citchen, founding principal of YES Prep Southside Elementary, and Johnie Flores, founding principal of YES Prep North Forest Elementary. Andrea and Johnie both have extensive backgrounds in elementary and secondary education and several years of YES experience that position them well to be YES Prep founding elementary principals. For their full bios, click here.

Hiring extraordinary staff for elementary

We are on the lookout for more excellent, certified school-teachers and extraordinary staff who will work with families to determine each child’s goals and areas of support. If you know of a caring teacher, administrator, or professional who is seeking their next opportunity and who is ready to provide students with a college-ready education, please refer them to us. YES Prep students and staff are ready to welcome and support them.

Founding Principals

Andrea Citchen, YES Prep Southside Elementary

Andrea Citchen

Andrea Citchen returns to the elementary world and takes on this next chapter of her career as a principal and the next phase of YES Prep elementary. Andrea is well-positioned with previous experience at the elementary-level and her experience as an excellent teacher, Director of Student Support at Northside, Resident Principal, and most recently as the Principal of YES Prep Eisenhower. Andrea is looking forward to collaborating with the Southside community and engaging with families, students, and staff to successfully launch Southside Elementary. Andrea will transition out of the YES Prep Eisenhower principal role effective this summer.

Andrea is a proud native of St. Louis, MO as well as a proud graduate from the University of Missouri where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership.

Johnie Flores, YES Prep North Forest Elementary

Johnie Flores

Johnie Flores is a native Houstonian, a proud member of the Chickasaw Nation, and a first-generation college graduate. She joined the education movement in 2007, after working in fashion and retail. From 2007 through 2012, Johnie taught a variety of subjects to diverse student populations at García Elementary and Herod Elementary; both of which are part of Houston Independent School District.

Johnie joined YES Prep Public Schools in 2012 as an Instructional Coach for Teaching Excellence. She supported teachers from Pre-K4 through 12th grade at various YES Prep and KIPP Houston campuses. In 2013, Johnie transitioned back to campus life and served as a Dean of Instruction and Director of Academics at YES Prep Brays Oaks for six years. 

Johnie accepted the Resident Principal role with YES Prep in June of 2019. In her Resident Principal role this school year, Johnie served as Interim Principal at two different campuses and as Interim Director of Student Support at a third campus.

Johnie obtained a Bachelor of Science in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, Master of Education from the University of Houston, and holds a Texas Principal Certification.