Award Year: 2017

Dallas Environmental Science Academy

3531 N. Westmoreland
Dallas, TX, 75212-3747

(972) 794-3950

Ms. Diana Vega Nunez, Principal at time of Nomination

Mr. Arnoldo Zuniga, Current Principal

Title I School, Magnet School

Dallas Independent School District

School Website


Our mission is to develop the foundation of a scientific workforce that will protect and sustain our environment today and for future generations.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 14%
  • White: 3%
  • Hispanic: 79%
  • Asian: 2%
  • Two or more races: 2%
  • ELL: 38%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: 88%
DESA Eagles Soaring towards Excellence

DESA Eagles Soaring towards Excellence

Dallas Environmental Science Academy (DESA) is a high-achieving magnet school located on the west side of Dallas, Texas. DESA serves a population, primarily bused from all over the city, that is 87% economically disadvantaged but 73% gifted and talented. This sets an annual challenge to surpass the prior year's growth. DESA's growth mindset ensures this accomplishment.

Familial relationships are essential to DESA's success. Clear communication is maintained through newsletters, technological avenues, and family-focused opportunities. The DESA PTSA supports numerous high-yielding activities on campus.

DESA's rigorous academic programming is student-centered, developed by distinguished educators who continuously collaborate and grow professionally. Data is foundational and drives the instructional decisions made to address the needs of DESA students. DESA uses an online aggregation platform, generating immediate assessment data reports that facilitate individual learning plans and shape the data conversations during professional learning community meetings, assisting in instructional planning. Students consistently seek improvement and monitor their individual academic progress, consequently achieving higher levels of mastery each year on local and state assessments in nearly every content area.

DESA offers high school courses for eighth grade students, including Physics, Astrology, Algebra, Gateway to Technology, and Environmental Systems. Students are immersed into the world of science with a strong emphasis on "green" through several tailored, curriculum-aligned field experiences, and participate in two science courses at each grade level. These thoughtful actions support DESA's mission "to develop the foundation of a scientific workforce that will protect and sustain our environment today and for future generations."