YES Prep Public Schools
Aaron Jay Ledesma

On October 27, YES Prep continued celebrating #25YearsOfYES and redefining what is possible in public education by hosting the Silver Stars Celebration. 

Our success and the standards we set for our students and communities would not be possible without our Silver Stars—our most tenured staff who have served our schools for 10 years or more. These dedicated educators and administrators remind us that when we pull together, we can move mountains. 

To honor our Silver Stars, we gathered atop POST Houston, the transformed Barbara Jordan Post Office, with the Houston skyline surrounding us. More than 110 YES Prep staff joined in the festivities. The celebration was vibrant with music, 360 photo booth, and a slideshow highlighting each of our nearly 200 Silver Stars. 

Chief External Officer Nella Garcia Urban opened the event by expressing gratitude to our Silver Stars for their impact on Houston students. 

“We've become one of the largest, most successful, and prolific charter organizations in the country, and that's because of you! The source of our strength has been and will always be our people.” 

CEO Mark DiBella also took the stage to share his appreciation for our Silver Stars, many of whom he considers his closest friends throughout his 23-year tenure at YES Prep. 

“Over the past 25 years, the world has changed a lot. We have changed a lot. What hasn't changed is that the people in this room are the heart and soul of YES Prep. There is no YES Prep without you. Thank you for your decade-long, some of you even decades-long, commitment to YES Prep!” 

Closing the celebration, Chief Schools Officer Phil Wright emphasized the importance of building relationships, a core value at YES Prep. 

"It’s the relationships that you all have with each other, with your students, and with our community that have gotten us to 25 years. It is these relationships that will propel us into the next 25. We have worked hard and enjoyed countless memorable moments together, making this journey truly incredible.” 

View and download photos from the Silver Stars Celebration.


During the 2023-2024 school year, YES Prep will be celebrating its 25 years of impact. Visit our 25th anniversary webpage to view more stories and videos commemorating 25 years of YES! 


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