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A CEO Who Believes in Educational Opportunities for Everyone


Sunday, May 19, 2019
The Ballroom at Bayou Place

Dr. Soner Tarim is the former CEO of Harmony Public Schools and the current CEO of the Royal School System. He has been an educational advocate for more than 30 years, encouraging students from the beginning to pursue learning in STEM fields. He is an early initiative creator of American STEM education and a driving force for the charter school movement throughout Texas and the United States. Dr. Tarim brought decades of experience developing innovative educational programs for K-12 schools to Texas by establishing Harmony Public Schools in 2000, with the first school of 200 students.

By 2018, under his leadership, Harmony Public Schools has developed and expanded into 56 campuses throughout Texas, with 36,000 students, with a strong focus on science, technologies, engineering, and math (STEM), which provides opportunities for children in underserved communities. In addition, Dr. Tarim has created over 4000 jobs, and countless business opportunities, for local communities in Texas.

During Dr. Tarim’s 18-year leadership, Harmony has received numerous outstanding awards and recognitions, including the National Title I Distinguished School Award for closing the achievement gap.  In 2017, Harmony was a finalist for the Broad Prize, a prestigious award that is given annually to districts and charters for closing the achievement gap by improving the academic performance of low-income and minority students.

Dr. Tarim himself has been the recipient of many honors and awards, one of the most notable is the 2017 Leader of the Year Award from the Texas Charter School Association. Dr. Tarim is a luminary in the charter school community. His leadership philosophy recognizes the need to develop meaningful partnerships; maintain open, collaborative lines of communication; and leverage relationships with high-level corporate, business, civic, and legislative leaders to advance the choice in public education and to provide opportunities for families and students. During the past three decades of his professional career, Dr. Tarim has developed innovative educational programs geared to K-12 schools. He is highly sought after as a consultant, and as a speaker, at STEM conferences.

Dr. Tarim has distinguished himself as a results-oriented education leader with unrivaled expertise and knowledge in developing and managing innovative charter schools. Currently, Dr. Tarim is a Pahara-Aspen Fellow of the Pahara Institute, an educational think-tank whose mission is to “identify, strengthen, and sustain diverse high-integrity leaders who are reimagining public education, so that every child in America has access to an excellent public school.” Dr. Tarim is also a Broad Academy Fellow.

In 2018, Dr. Tarim established the Royal School System, a new nonprofit K-12 school charter organization to replicate his new STREAMS°360 education model nationally. As the founder and CEO, Dr. Tarim continuously works toward building meaningful partnerships with corporations and nonprofit entities to advance high-quality rigorous STREAMS°360 models throughout the state and the nation.

Dr. Tarim holds a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University and is a trained biologist and ecologist. He has taught courses in biology, ecology, general science, and physical education at the high school, college and graduate school levels. Dr. Tarim has also spearheaded scientific symposiums and the International Science Olympiads.

Ensuring every child, no matter their walk of life, has access to valuable STEM education, has been Dr. Tarim’s life mission. By founding and leading Harmony Public Schools and Royal School Systems, he has made that dream a reality for many children in Texas and the United States.

CKW LUXE would like to congratulate Dr. Soner Tarim for being a CKW LUXE Top 20 CEOs and Entrepreneurs Awards recipient for 2019.

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