School of Excellence in Education charter school district


TEA TAKES CONTROL OF CITY'S LARGEST CHARTER SCHOOL DISTRICT, March 3, 2010, Brian Collister blog, San Antonio Express-News
…The city's largest charter school district is now under the control of the Texas Education Agency.

Dr. Jack Cockrill began work Monday as the state appointed conservator and will oversee the troubled district to make sure it spends your tax dollars properly.

I first uncovered problems at the school back in 2008 when I interviewed then Superintendent Ricky Hooker about his misuse of district funds (your tax dollars) for his personal use.

I uncovered Hooker was using his district-issued credit card to buy airline tickets for him and his wife for a personal trip, to purchases self-help books for an outside business he was involved in and a slew of other questionable expenses that appeared to have nothing to do with educating disadvantaged children…

Because I questioned those expenses, Hooker quickly coughed up a check for several hundred dollars to reimburse taxpayers for those expenses we could prove were not school related.

After my report, the TEA released an audit of the school's finances and confirmed what we found. It showed Hooker used the charter school's credit card for himself and a relative to travel, and for other questionable charges.

Hooker was fired by the board last June, the same board members who turned a blind eye to his misspending despite complaints from some within the district.

Now the TEA should look at canning the school board members that allowed the School of Excellence to fail taxpayers and students.
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SUPERINTENDENT OUT, SCHOOL FUNDING ON HOLD, June 19, 2010, News 4 WOAI
A San Antonio charter school superintendent was forced out of his position, partly because of what the News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooters first uncovered.

Ricky Hooker was the head of the city's largest charter school, The School of Excellence…

"There has been a separation between the School of Excellence and Mr. Hooker," said interim Superintendent Ernesto Tijerina. "Effective Friday, June the 11th. It is a personnel matter between the board and Mr. Hooker."…

But school board members who initially fought to keep Hooker, despite the problems, tried to spin the fact that they eventually had to show him the door. They released this statement:

"The Board of the School of Excellence appreciates the years of service from Mr. Hooker and wishes him well in his future endeavors. The TEA audit is ongoing, and consequently, we are not at liberty to comment until the audit is completed. However, we do want to make it clear that Mr. Hooker's departure is not related to the TEA audit."

Well, that may be somewhat true, because misspent money is not the only problem Hooker left behind.

The TEA also sent the School of Excellence this notice that its funding has been put on hold.

Turns out, the district has not filed its annual financial audit with the state. A move that could close the school…
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SUPERINTENDENT MISSPENT $139,000 AT SCHOOL OF EXCELLENCE, July 31, 2009, News 4 WOAI
SAN ANTONIO -- A year-long News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooters investigation comes to this -- more than $100,000 of your money was misspent at the School of Excellence in Education by then superintendent Ricky Hooker…

That's what an audit released by the Texas Education Agency found.

The audit also shows Hooker used the charter school's credit card for himself and a relative for travel and other questionable charges…

He paid back some of those charges after the News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooters caught him.

Also in the report, he used his district-issued cell phone for his personal business.

When we spoke to him last year about the allegations, he denied doing anything wrong.

"What I do know is this: There was never any intent to defraud anyone. I am trying to run a school, do I know everything about finance on the other side? No, I do not," said Hooker.

Hooker was eventually fired…
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Ricky Hooker is now the principal at the E.L. Broady Academy.

After six years at the School of Excellence, Hooker believes God has placed him in a position to have an impact on the 13,000 high school dropouts in San Antonio and the hundreds of thousands nationwide. He is now principal of the San Antonio campus of private school, E.L. Broady Academy.

This private school is able to help students get a high school diploma without taking the TAKS test, which private school students are exempt from. They also fill out all of the college paperwork and assist with career development as a means of changing the trajectory of young people’s lives.

More about the E.L. Broady Academy: "Earn Your Private High School Diploma From Home!"

E.L. Broady Academy wants to help you unlock your ability to earn a higher wage and achieve financial freedom by providing you an amazingly low-priced private school education that will earn you your high school diploma.

For $275 dollars or less, you can begin a personalized course of study that will put you back on the road to success.
  • If you dropped out of high school, we want to help you.
  • No matter how many credits you have, we can help you.
  • If you failed your state mandated test, we want to help you…
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Pastor Rick Hawkins is the founder of School of Excellence in Education and Rick Hawkins High School. He and his schools have been embroiled in a series of scandals.

SAN ANTONIO PASTOR ACCUSED IN SEX SCANDAL, November 7, 2010, News 4 WOAI (San Antonio, TX)


21 comments:

Anonymous said...

You will not be able to join the military. We spoke to several different military recruiters and they consider the diploma from E.L.BROADY ACADEMY to be lower that a GED. We paid 275.00 for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Yep. Its a rip-off, and here is Ricky passing as he is a pastor! He ripping you off. He tried to sale me some Internet service and told me I wasnt going to be nothing if I didnt go to his school. He was a a-hole when he was at School of Excellence and he is a a-hole now ripping you off. Save your money. This is a scam!

Anonymous said...

Can't believe ANYONE would be associated with Ricky Hooker. He is all about self, and has NEVER did anything to benefit others. WARNING: Run as far away from this guy as possible. If not, you will be sorry!!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks for the info guys. I almost got suckered into applying.

Anonymous said...

Is this the same guy that was caught up in the scandal where he was stealing from the last school that fired him? If it is and I beleive so, why isn't this guy in jail where he belongs? Shame Shame Shame that society has stooped so low as to take advantage of folks that are only trying to get their HS diploma.

Anonymous said...

He is now in Kirby Texas with a new "school" for home schoolers. It is under his moms name.

Anonymous said...

Under his mom's name? What a low life! This guy calls himself a pastor, and he's nothing more than a fraud. I am a former educator at school of excellence, and all of the comments here so typify Ricky Hooker. I remember well his exploits of selling, "Get Rich Quick" schemes, and while on the school's time. I am never surprised when I uncover a rip-off, and it has his name associated with it. I fully agree with the person that said, "run far away from Ricky Hooker!"

Anonymous said...

I see some things NEVER change, and Ricky Hooker is one of them. He was scamming employees while at School of Excellence. He tricked young African American students into buying totally useless get rich quick books. He ruined careers of those that rightfully spoke out against him. This guy is truly a jerk that should be nowhere near kids, or honest hard working people. Repent Ricky, for you are no PREACHER - YOU'RE JUST A LEACHER!

Anonymous said...

Ricky The Rip-off Scam Artist! This guy is a joke! He tricked me into buying a useless cell phone package, and then ditched on us when we needed him to help us. I was searching the net, and voila! Here he is again at the same old trickery. Somebody please tell me that this clown is not trying to further rob people by posing as a preacher! SMH - What a POS!

Anonymous said...

This is surely what you get when you allow the fox to run amok in the hen house. I personally know the guy, but always knew he was a slimy character. He supervised me when I was over at School of Excellence. He was the key reason for that place being a hostile work environment, as well as the unjust dismissal of many good faculty. I would say to anyone trying to re-capture their High School diploma; STAY AWAY FROM SUCH METHODS AS EL BROADY!!! THERE ARE MANY FREE, AND LEGITIMATE ALTERNATIVES. Ricky Hooker is nothing less, and everything more than a PURE CON ARTIST!

Anonymous said...

Rick Hawkins and Ricky hooky are two different people no? Rick Hawkins is a pastor a DAMN good one at that..I can't imagine him playing a part in this... ?

Anonymous said...

Yes, Rick Hawkins is not connected to Ricky Hooker. this guy Hooker is just a sleazeball that was caught stealing from school funds while he was the principal of an inner-city school. He was fired, and now surfaces as a preacher (Hahaha). He's also a used car salesman of all kinds of useless, overnight rags to riches BS! This guy leaves a trail of victims wherever he shows his scumbag face! Having known the guy, I honestly look to see him on America's Most Wanted one day, and for bilking a lot of people out of their life savings.

Anonymous said...

LOL and to think I almost signed up for the school! Thank goodness I did my research. just another boob trying to steal money!

Beat within a beat said...

I am deeply saddened at the comments that have been posted by obviously disgruntled individuals. Let me be the first to say that Ricky Hooker is not perfect. But why should we expect him to be when we certainly are far from it ourselves! Yes Mr. Hooker is always looking into ways to make money. I emphasize legitimate ways. And the crime in that is what? What I know without any doubt is Ricky Hooker loves children and tries to help them in any way he can. Have any of you ever looked at the rationale behind Broady Academy? Well you should and you will be shocked at the amount of people it has helped. So to all those casting stones i say you have the wrong person and you should be ashamed that you would subject an individual to this ridicule without knowing the truth. And by the way the news stories that were reported were sensationalized and not accurate. I know this for a fact!!

Anonymous said...

LOL. The guy closed shop, and jetted off with people's documents and without telling them a thing!!! And you say he's a good person?? PLEASE! He's as guilty as SIN!

Anonymous said...

You're delusional! This guy is a crook, and you're trying to defend him??? Perhaps you've been, "beat" over your head a few too many times��

Anonymous said...

So sad that schools like this are only producing useless and false degrees not worth the paper it's printed on. The guy sounds like a run of the mill scam artist!

Anonymous said...

Going through a nightmare since my Grandson enrolled to get "High School Diploma" from Emma Lee Broady Academy of San Antonio, TX. The school is now supposedly closed and Ricky Hooker was the President. I did find an article and this is what was stated
MIDLAND, TX - Orion High School will welcome over fifty new learners from the Emma Lee Broady Academy of San Antonio, TX during the second half of October 2015. In addition, Orion High School will also be welcoming two new mentors, and a new Director of Adult Learning to the Orion team. Together, with the combined resources of Orion and the Broady Academy, this will mark a milestone for the school as we continue to empower the learning of these learners and to continue renew hope (Orion's motto).

The Broady Academy held two "pre-orientations" to serve as an open-forum for learners and parents to address concerns about the transfer. Learners were welcomed through a personalized letter this week, and have been placed into the Orion Demonstration Course starting October 16, 2017. Broady students are currently completing their current courses at Broady, and those credits will be transferred to Orion later this week.

The move comes because E. L. Broady Academy's accreditation status changed in September of this year. Broady's students will be welcomed to Orion, and will be supported through our state-of-the-art learning system; our amazing teacher-mentors; and our own style for teaching and learning. Broady students will participate in one of many orientation sessions that will be offered during the week of October 19, and those sessions will continue until all learners have been oriented to Orion.

Orion High will welcome Mr. Anthony Swann and Mrs. Kimberly Robinson to its host of mentors to provide familiarity to Broady's learners while providing another mentor for its current learners to choose from. In addition to these new mentors, Orion will also welcome Mr. Ricky Hooker, Broady Academy's former President, as the new Director of Adult Learning. This team from the Broady Academy has been selected by Orion for showing extraordinary dedication to learners' success and for surpassing Orion's criteria for mentors.

Adult learning at Orion will be transformed to become more robust and will support adults as they make the transition into trade schools or other certificate programs. Rev. Ricky Hooker's experience with adult learning will be a welcome facet to Orion, as we have worked to strengthen the adult program over the past six months. Orion values the experience that Ricky brings to our organization, and we look forward to his work with us toward our recovery and graduation efforts across the country.

The transfer process between the Broady Academy and Orion High School will be completed by October 31, 2015, and new learners will start their first courses on November 1, 2015. Learners may contact Orion High School at 877-647-1337 extension 701.

I have had two people contact me from Orion High School finally but was given two different prices to get his Dip;oma andtfranscripts.

It does seem to me that anywhere this Ricky Hooker appears the wall start tumbling down. You can see in this article that he is now at this school.

Wish I would have know all this prior. Live and learn


Anonymous said...

Ricky Hooker and Anthony Swann are both at the heart of many problems. Orion obviously did not do it's due diligence in hiring either of them. Both attended the same church where Ricky Hooker was a "pastor". I suspect one upholds the other. Ricky Hooker has his obvious problems and Anthony Swann was released from the same school Ricky Hooker was much later. I am still friends with a few teachers there. My son attended for ONE year. It was not a healthy environment. I don't know the reasons why Mr. Swann was released, and I suspect to keep their names from being attached to any additional scandals, that heo was let go during mass layoffs, however it is widely known throughout the school that his children were removed from his care temporarily as he was involved with drugs and his release was immediately after the close of that same year. I don't know if CPS records can be requested or not but if anyone is able to request his, you'd better have a very large binder prepared. I don't have any reason to but I am certain beyond a doubt that there are a multitude of complaints that have been filed against him, including another earlier that year for indecency with a student that was closed and I have no additional details. Birds of a feather!

Anonymous said...

Just took a look at the Orion site, and you're correct-- Ricky Hooker is associated. While I don't know Swann, everyone knows that Hooker is a con artist! I would trust a bag of poisonous snakes, before I ever trusted 1 Ricky Hooker! Orion definitely did not do its homework, or perhaps Hooker concocted Orion, and as an affront to his failed Broady debacle? In either case, I would stay away from anything having to do with Ricky Hooker. Warning!!!

Anonymous said...

THE EL BROADY ACADEMY WORKS IT HAS HELPED ME RECIEVE A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA INSTANTLY AFTER MY FATHER DIED I HAD NO TIME FOR SCHOOL FOR I WORK TAKING CARE OF THE LIVESTOCK AND HIS FARM ALONG WITH MY FAMILY AND THEY TOLD ME TO GET MY HSD INSTANTLY AND I DID. I NOW AM A STUDENT AT THE OU UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA IN NORMAN OKLAHOMA THANK YOU