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It All Starts Here

By | Industry

“It All Starts Here” emphasizes the critical role public education plays in the future of Texas. Produced in partnership with TASA, the message stresses the importance of a shared commitment to education, along with focus on key issues such as full-day pre-K, better pay for all school employees, safety and security, and innovative programs. It is a reminder that an investment in education is an investment in the future of Texas. To learn more, click here.

Zweig Group Trifecta Award

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For the second year in a row, Huckabee is one of a few companies to earn Zweig Group’s esteemed Trifecta Award. This honor recognizes companies that have won Hot Firm, Best Firms to Work For and Marketing Excellence awards within the same year.

The Hot Firm Award recognizes firms that are rapidly growing in the architecture, engineering and planning industry. Huckabee moved up the list this year, coming in at #7. See the full list of Hot Firms here.

The Best Firms to Work For Award recognizes outstanding work environments and company culture by utilizing employee surveys and corporate evaluations to determine rankings. This year, Huckabee proudly placed third in the architecture category – a testament to our dedication to being more for our team. We place great emphasis on excellence in everything we do, and this means investing in our team, our offices and our culture.

To round out the Trifecta, Huckabee also won a Marketing Excellence Award for our internal 50th anniversary campaign. 2017 was a year of celebration, togetherness, recognition and re-affirmation that the first 50 years were just the beginning! Some of our favorite components of the campaign included a swag-grab kick-off event, a series of “50 Flair” buttons for employees to earn through participation in 50th anniversary events, a “What’s Your 50?” mini-campaign allowing employees to elaborate on what this milestone means to them, special Huckabean anniversary beverages from our coffee bar, a “Be More” program that awarded $50,000 to employees for growth and professional development opportunities and a “Huckapalooza” anniversary bash with employees and their families.

We are excited to share this accomplishment with every member of our team as we embark on the next 50 years. Interested in joining our team? Visit www.morethanaworkplace.com to view our current opportunities.

Huckabee at TASA/TASB

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Team Huckabee is at TASA / TASB this weekend, sharing insights with our partners at three break-out sessions. Here’s when and where to find us:

Process not Product: Promoting authentic learning in elementary education
Kerri Ranney is joined by Dr. Benny Soileau and Dr. Joel Nolte of Huffman ISD and Tona Blizzard of Grapevine-Colleyville ISD at the TASA/TASB convention in Dallas for this session that focuses on how to leverage design, instruction and community to create a supportive and explorative learning environment. The team looks at Huffman ISD’s new elementary school and Grapevine-Colleyville ISD’s new STEM education campus.  The conversation explores the steps that were taken to fully adopt a culture shift at a campus and district level that promotes skills-based education and a love of life-long learning. A VR component and “Experience More” goggles are included.

The session takes place at 7:30 AM on Friday, October 6 in Room D172.

Top 10 Conversations and Aspirations Influencing School Design
Kerri is joined by Konrad Judd, Huckabee’s Chief Design Officer, for a light-hearted 30-minute discussion on the top 10 things school districts are asking for now. Think David Letterman meets public education with a design twist. Kerri and Konrad count down the 10 most requested items, spaces and cultural influencers that are topping out wish lists across the state. From power outlets and parking spots to adaptability and autonomy, they’ll answer: why these items are being asked for, how they’re being used and how they are changing the learning experience for students and teachers.

The session begins at 9 AM on Friday, October 6 in the exhibit hall at TASA/TASB.

Furniture as a Learning Tool: Drawing inspiration beyond educational portfolios
Konrad, Tami O’Neal, Huckabee’s furniture coordinator, and Amy Wood, Granbury ISD’s Director of Technology, explore a case study on Granbury ISD’s high school reconstruction and the impact furniture had on curriculum and design. GISD looked beyond typical K-12 furniture options and designed a solution that maximized instructional and economic value for their $49 million modernization. They gained square footage, increased utilization and delivered a 21st century environment for less than they had estimated.

The session takes place at 1 PM on Friday, October 6 in room D172 during the TASA/TASB convention in Dallas. The session will be repeated at the EdSpaces conference in Kansas City at 3:30 PM on October 25.

VOTE UP Huckabee for SXSWedu

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“Vote Up” Huckabee for the 2018 SXSW EDU Panel Picker!

SXSW EDU empowers teaching and learning as part of an immersive four-day experience. Huckabee was thrilled to present at the event in 2017, where we explored the planning and design process and its value on the development of customized learning environments. We’re taking it a step further in 2018 to engage in conversation about the next generation of learning environments and the constantly evolving nature of education. Visit the SXSW EDU Panel Picker site, now through August 25, to cast your vote for “Relevancy of Classrooms to 21st Century Learning.”

Relevancy of Classrooms to 21st Century Learning
Presented by Kerri Ranney and Konrad Judd
Learning is constantly evolving. It has the power to change minds and lives. It has no restrictions except for those we assign it—time, expectation and space. As learning ingratiates into technology, becomes more accessible and takes on a kinetic persona, classrooms are dissolving. Session leaders facilitate a discussion about the viability of classrooms; the intersection of next-generation educational leaders and professional development; and the rise of non-restrictive learning environments.

#1 Best Firms to Work For

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Huckabee was named the #1 Best Firms to Work For by Zweig Group—a ranking that recognizes outstanding work environments and company culture. Huckabee is dedicated to workplace excellence and our firm is excited to share this honor with our entire team! 

“This recognition is about our people and our shared passion for design, engineering and education. We place great emphasis on excellence in everything we do, and this means investing in our team, our offices and our culture,” said Chris Huckabee, Chief Executive Officer. 

Chris often works in the coffee bar or common areas of each office, using the time as an opportunity to engage with employees and enjoy the vibrant work environment. Over the past few years, Huckabee opened offices in live-work-play communities and transitioned to a more open, collaborative and flexible work space that better reflects the culture. Sit-to-stand desks, soft seating, technology-friendly meeting spaces, informal lounges, focus rooms and coffee bars are a few of the features employees enjoy.

“We’ve put a lot of thought into what our team needs to succeed. Each of our offices reflect our corporate culture as well as local personality. When you walk in, you know you’re in a Huckabee office,” he said.

Kim Hopper, Huckabee’s Chief Human Resources Officer believes our firm is consistently recognized as a best place to work because of our ongoing commitment to opportunity and family. “I knew from day one this was a special place. Opportunity is everywhere, and we have so many inspirational people on our team that provide ongoing mentorship to their colleagues each and every day.”

Family is key to Huckabee’s culture of excellence—whether at work or home. Our employee engagement coordinator plans culture-focused activities that bring small and large groups together in meaningful ways. An emphasis on work-life balance is also prevalent. Other programs and perks include professional development; wellness initiatives; employee-driven committees focused on culture; and great coffee.

Notably, Huckabee is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and is commemorating the occasion with several employee-focused programs, including an employee scholarship program for personalized professional development; a limited-edition flair / swag program; and a firm-wide family day and anniversary party. 

“There is so much opportunity at Huckabee for any number of professionals in the architecture, engineering, design and support fields,” said Chris. “Huckabee’s culture is the result of 50 years of practice and focus in the educational market. We are life-long learners, and we hire people who bring passion, innovation and integrity to our team. We are proud of our firm and the reputation we’ve established as a great company to work for and with.”

For more information about Huckabee’s culture or career opportunities, visit www.morethanaworkplace.com.

We are Huckabee Texas
happy hour Huckabee Texas

Zweig Group’s Best Firms to Work For honors outstanding workspaces in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, geotechnical, environmental and civil, structural, and multi-discipline engineering firms. Firms are ranked based on ability to create amazing workspaces through design, teamwork, benefits, amenities and work culture. They are scored on employee surveys and corporate evaluations. To view the full list, click here.

Huckabee honored by Midway ISD

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Midway ISD named Huckabee a 2017 Friends of Midway recipient. We are honored by the designation and proud of our 15+ year partnership. Here’s an excerpt from Midway ISD’s announcement:

Suzi Pagel, Executive Director of the Midway Education Foundation, says, “Huckabee has donated to the Midway Education Foundation each year since the nonprofit organization held their first annual campaign in 2001. We appreciate the faithful support that Huckabee has provided us. To date, seven grants have been named in honor of Huckabee. These grants have provided district-wide programs such as Midway Reads as well as elementary and high school level grant.”

In addition, Huckabee Architects have been instrumental in the successful launch of multiple recent large-scale, creative projects at Midway ISD. The Studio, a renovation to the 30-year old Midway Middle School library, has tremendously impacted the life of the campus. The Studio has also served as a best practice example to multiple other school districts interested in makerspaces and flexible arrangement spaces. Huckabee experts have also been crucial to the partnership between Baylor University, Spring Valley Elementary, Education Service Center Region 12, and Huckabee to study how the learning environment affects student engagement.

Read the full story here.

Huckabee presenting at SXSWedu

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Kerri Ranney, Huckabee’s Director of Learning & Strategic Development, and Konrad Judd, our Director of Design, are slated to present at SXSWedu 2017. Their topic, “Planning and Designing Learning Experiences” explores the planning and design process and its value on the development of learning environments that meet the needs of students and educators. It will cover important topics about the future of education and the roles of both students and educators in that shift. In addition, it will include the many layers of student choice and its impact on the overall learning experience.

The presentation will take place at 5 PM on Wednesday, March 8 at the JW Marriott in Austin in Salon C.

Kerri and Konrad are working with school districts to design some of the most progressive learning environments in Texas. They are helping clients meet the needs of 21st century learners and educators, as well as contributing to research at the classroom level that explores agility in education.

Huckabee presenting at TASBO

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Huckabee joins Granbury ISD to present “Furniture as a Learning Tool: Drawing Inspiration Beyond Education” at this year’s TASBO conference. The presentation will take place at 10:15 AM on March 2 at the Austin Convention Center. Our speakers include Amy Wood, Director of Technology Granbury ISD; Konrad Judd, our Director of Design; and Tami O’Neal, our Furniture Coordinator and Interior Designer.

Furniture as a Learning Tool: Drawing Inspiration Beyond Education

Furniture can make or break a learning environment. Its selection and use is key to creating an environment that engages learners, supports the profession of teaching and informs the use of the space. Looking beyond a traditional K-12 catalog, and seeking inspiration outside of education, increases value for students and teachers.

In Granbury ISD, the district used this approach to create huge impact for a major reconstruction of their high school—utilizing furniture and design to increase capacity, inspire collaboration, improve the professional environment for teachers and maximize the experience for students.

The district and design team discuss their approach and how they leveraged furniture and design choices as part of the renovation to deliver a 21st century educational environment for under $50 million.

Investing in a Better Texas

By | Industry

The realities of school funding, needs and debt are complex. To shed light on the necessity of debt in the financial management of our schools, Huckabee researched and developed a report entitled, “Investing in a Better Texas.”

The report light-heartedly explains the multi-layered topic of public school finance. It demonstrates that the revenue generated by the federal government, state government and local communities is not enough to meet the needs of the more than 5 million students in the Texas public school system. The report also touches on how Texas’ funding structure makes it difficult for our fastest growing school districts to utilize debt effectively, further compounding their challenges to providing a quality education to every student.

Click here to download, “Investing in a Better Texas,” and its companion report, “Texas Schools Aren’t Average,” also published by Huckabee.

Best Companies to Work For

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Huckabee is more than a workplace. Our work community means many things to many people—from opportunity, integrity and growth to friendship, family and fun. It’s why we’re excited to be named to FWinc’s 2016 Best Companies to Work For! Of the many things Huckabee employees noted about why it’s an excellent place to work: our barista, our coffee, our employee events coordinator, our focus on professional development and growth, our culture of excellence, our wellness program, our team building activities and our mission. Click here to read to the story. And visit our careers page to learn more about opportunities at Huckabee.