Harmony Public Schools Board of Directors serve as unpaid volunteers to guide the policies and direction of the organization.
Potential members can be nominated by anyone and are selected by the existing board, which seeks individuals who have expertise, experience or leadership abilities that will contribute to maintaining Harmony’s standard of excellence in education.
FATIH AY (CEO)
Fatih Ay, the CEO of Harmony Public Schools (HPS), has been devoted to empowering students since 2004. With an impressive 23 years of educational experience, he brings a wealth of knowledge to his role. Previously, Mr. Ay served as the esteemed Dallas Area superintendent of Harmony Public Schools for 9 years and was the founding principal of Harmony Science Academy-El Paso. Throughout his career, he has held positions as an assistant principal, science teacher, and coach, contributing to various curricular teams.
Mr. Ay holds a master's degree in education, specializing in instructional technology, and a bachelor's degree in Physics. As the CEO/Superintendent, he is deeply committed to several key initiatives that drive student success within HPS. His focus lies in the advancement of instructional technology, STEM education, college and career readiness initiatives, as well as providing post-secondary support for students.
In addition to his dedication to education, He is highly engaged in community service. He actively serves as a Board member at Texas Public Charter Charter School, where he contributes his expertise to further the mission of providing quality education to students. Furthermore, he holds the esteemed position of a senior fellow at the American Leadership Forum, where he leverages his leadership skills and knowledge to foster positive change within the community.
With his strong commitment to both education and community service, Mr. Ay exemplifies the values of Harmony Public Schools and continues to make a lasting impact on the lives of students and families throughout the Lone Star State.
Harmony Public Schools, a Texas-born public charter school, serves as a beacon of education for over 40,000 students and their families across the Lone Star State. With a strong emphasis on academic excellence and community involvement, HPS continues to make a positive impact in the lives of its students and the communities it serves.
DR. ONER ULVI CELEPCIKAY (Board Chair)
Dr. Oner Celepcikay teaches Data Science and Data Management courses at Rice University. In the past, Dr. Celepcikay taught at the University of Houston System and Texas A&M System. His main teaching and research fields are Data Science, Data Mining, Machine Learning and Regional Regression Analysis.
Dr. Celepcikay was among the group of academicians who helped open the first Harmony Science Academy in Houston in 2000 and has been with Harmony Public Schools since then, serving Harmony in various volunteer positions including student recruitment, after school program, grant writing for the first Harmony school, board member, secretary and the board chair.
Appointed by the Texas Education Commissioner, Dr. Celepcikay also served as a board member at the Region 4, which serves a seven-county area composed of 50 public school districts and 45 public charter schools, representing more than 1.1 million students and 1,500 campuses.
Dr. Celepcikay is strong advocate of STEM education. He is the Founder & CEO of CyberSecurityED.com, an educational technology company that focus on cybersecurity education and coding camps and curriculum development.
He received his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Istanbul University and his master's and doctorate degrees in Computer Science specializing in Data Mining both from University of Houston. Dr. Celepcikay worked at the University of Houston Educational Technology Outreach Department from 2000 to 2007, which is the department oversees all online education components at the University of Houston.
MRS. HELEN SHERWOOD (Second Vice Chair)
Ms. Sherwood brings a track record of knowledge and community involvement to the Harmony Public School Board. Spending 10 years at Texaco, Ms. Sherwood held the position of Senior Research Librarian. During her tenure, Ms. Sherwood served as Co-coordinator of the Adopt-A-School STEM Program, as well as an initiative that teaches scientific methods through an invention process called, “Create SE Texas.”
As a parent, Ms. Sherwood was an active volunteer for Harmony Public Schools, serving as a PTO member and science fair coordinator, among other roles. Ms. Sherwood also volunteered for 15 years with the Boy Scouts of America as a Cub Scout Pack Den Leader, Pack Committee Chair and additional roles within the organization. Ms. Sherwood is currently a Youth Religious Education Administrator and teacher with Tapestry UU Church and volunteers with the Harris County Election Services as an Election Clerk.
She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University and Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
DR. HAKDURAN KOC (Secretary)
Dr. Koc is currently chairman and associate professor of Computer Engineering Program at University of Houston - Clear Lake. After receiving his B.S. degree in Electronics Engineering, he worked in the industry for two years. Then, he joined Syracuse University where he received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Engineering.
During his graduate study, Dr. Koc was at The Pennsylvania State University as visiting scholar. His research and teaching are in the areas of digital system design, embedded systems, and computer architecture. His research work is published in prestigious academic conferences and journals.
Dr. Koc is also very active in professional service. He regularly reviews scientific papers for several academic journals and conferences. He has served as executive committee member for Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Galveston Bay Section at various capacities including chair, vice chair, and secretary; and he has been the counselor of IEEE Student Brach at UHCL.
He regularly serves in science fairs for middle and high school students. Dr. Koc is the recipient of several teaching and leadership awards including IEEE-USA Professional Achievement for Individuals Award, UHCL Piper Nominee Finalist, IEEE Outstanding Student Branch Counselor Award and IEEE MGA Outstanding Small Section Award. He is a member of IEEE and ACM.
DR. OSMAN KANLIOGLU
Dr. Kanlioglu is a research and development engineer at L3Harris Technologies. He has 20+ years of experience in engineering and education. He had a chance to work in diverse settings such as in industry, public schools and universities with different roles. He taught courses mainly in the STEM area and worked as a dean in a university administration where he specialized in student retention and success.
He received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara. He received his Ph. D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Houston. His research interests include Applied Electromagnetics, Wave Propagation and Antenna Design. Dr. Kanlioglu’s passion is using his expertise from higher education and industry in helping public education system to better prepare students for college.
MS. LAURA GONZALEZ
Ms. Laura Gonzalez is the first HPS alumni to serve on the board. She graduated from HSA High in 2017, after attending Harmony schools for nine years.
Ms. Gonzalez became a recipient of the Rice Investment Grant, which covered all tuition, room, and meal costs while she earned her degree. In 2021, Ms. Gonzalez graduated from Rice University, debt-free with a Bachelor's in Kinesiology with a concentration in Sports Medicine and Exercise Physiology.
While working on her undergrad, Ms. Gonzalez worked on research involving health in Latinx populations. She worked with Dr. Daphne Hernandez at the University of Houston's Health and Human Performance Lab, where they focused on nutrition and exercise for school-aged children in predominantly Latinx schools. She also worked with Dr. Simon Fischer-Baum at the T.L.L Temple Foundation Neuroplasticity Laboratory, where they examined the adverse effects of various stressors on cognitive function in Latinx immigrants. Additionally, Ms. Gonzalez served as a nutrition educator and graphic designer with the Child Nutrition Department at YES Prep Schools.
Currently, Ms. Gonzalez coordinates daily operations at C2 Education. She is happy to work with the Academic Committee on the HPS Board to provide her perspective as a former HPS student.
DR. MEHMET ARGIN
Dr. Argin is currently dean of the Center of Excellence at the Houston Community College. He received his Ph.D. degree from Arizona State University in Electrical Engineering. Towards the end of his Ph.D., he joined the practice of K-12 education at the STEM-focused charter school system in Arizona. He continued to work in charter schools in Arizona and California until 2015. During his time in K-12 education, Dr. Argin developed and led many STEM activities and secured competitive grants for his schools.
Dr. Argin is active in professional service. He serves as a member of North American Process Technology Alliance (NAPTA) Outreach committee and Economic Alliance Houston Port Region – Workforce Task Force. He is also a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).
In addition, Dr. Argin has been teaching engineering and electronics classes for the Houston Community College since 2017.