Sequoyah High School has been designated as a S.T.E.M. destination.
The STEM is a cross curricular platform that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
The transition for the school to be acknowledged as a STEM site was lessened due to the school already hosting STEM classes and curriculum.
“There was a lot of paper work and we had to go through certain steps to show what we were doing in class,” said Sequoyah High School Principal Debi Tipton, who described the application process to be recognized as a STEM site. “The kids set up all their displays and they explained everything and how it is cross curricular and (the STEM members) were impressed.”
Only 48 schools in the State of Tennessee have been recognized as a STEM designated site.
The school also received a $10,000 grant that they wish to use to create a STEM Lab.
“We were over the moon. It was a lot of really hard work and we were really excited to receive this,” said Tipton.
She believes having the school recognized as a STEM designated site informs the community that her students are ready for college and careers.
“We have a STEM pathway, all students can go through this ... as they go through that they can pick up early post secondary opportunities,” said Tipton. “They will graduate with STEM designation on their diploma. They go through all of this to be career and college ready and that is one of our goals.”
She stated it is a major accomplishment that her students are able to achieve what most schools in the area do not offer.
“Our teachers worked really hard to accomplish this and our students did a great job,” said Tipton. “We were already doing this but they just didn’t call it this. We had to package it and use different terminology, so I thought it would be somewhat easy for us to get (the recognition by STEM) since we were already doing it.”
Monroe County School Director DeAnna McClendon stated that Tipton has wanted to obtain the STEM designation for a long time.
“When I was interviewing for this position I spoke with several of the principals and Mrs. Tipton was very passionate about wanting to be a STEM school,” said McClendon. “They had started to work, prior to me coming on board, to put things in place to reach that goal.”
She believes this proves that Monroe County Schools is just as good as schools in larger counties.
“It is phenomenal,” said McClendon. “There are not many schools in the nation that have that honor and it is truly phenomenal that Monroe County has one of those schools.”