NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin State University Charter School will celebrate its 10-year anniversary at 3 p.m. May 22 with a meet-and-greet outside the Janice A. Pattillo Early Childhood Research Center on Raguet Street.

Named the No. 1 charter elementary school in Texas by Niche in 2018, the SFA Charter School has set a standard of excellence for its students and educators throughout the decade.

The institution serves both the public and university by existing as a free public school and learning environment for SFA students studying elementary education.

"The SFA Charter School has been an important and successful endeavor these past 10 years. Not only has its teachers and administrators been successful in bringing high-quality education to children, but also the school has been recognized for its fiscal responsibility and its clear audit findings year after year," said Dr. Judy Abbott, dean of the James I. Perkins College of Education.

During the school's anniversary celebration, guests can visit with other SFA Charter School teachers, students, families and friends who have been part of the school's community. Photos, yearbooks, memory book notes and questionnaires will be on display. Cake and punch will be provided. The event is free and open to the public.

"During this milestone, we pause to bring all of our SFA Charter School family back to campus for this celebration," said Lysa Hagan, director of the SFA Charter School. "Our families know, once you are an SFA Charter kid, you are always an SFA Charter kid."

It's the school's mission to create a responsive social learning community that inspires autonomy, integrity and deep critical thinking.

"Our school environment has been nurtured and supported throughout the years by the work of Dr. Janice Pattillo, a local early childhood educator," Hagan said.

The SFA Charter School has garnered recognition from several agencies and organizations, including the Texas Comptroller's Award, which recognizes districts and campuses that achieve academic success through cost effective operations and an "A superior" from the Charter Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas. Also, it met the Texas Education Agency Accountability Rating for the STAAR performance with distinction in English and language arts/reading, mathematics, science, comparative closing the gaps, comparative academic growth, and postsecondary readiness.