The community had the opportunity to visit first hand the Cherokee County School District's newest facility: Clark Creek Elementary School STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Academy in southwest Cherokee.
The district held a ribbon cutting for the facility Thursday evening. The school, located on Hunt Road in southwest Cherokee County, is 134,824 square feet and includes 77 instructional units/classrooms and already has more than 900 students enrolled in grades kindergarten through fifth-grade.
The facility, which was designed by JKH Architects and constructed by Evergreen Construction, is equipped with computer labs and music, art and family living classrooms, a media center, cafetorium and gymnasium and can accommodate 1,250 students.
Clark Creek is one of the district's six new Cherokee Academies, which opened this school year to continue increasing the academic choices available within our system.
“Clark Creek STEM Academy is what students and parents should receive when they’re promised ‘choice,’ as this school truly offers unique, challenging curriculum in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, which are the fields for our world’s future careers,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo said. “We’re thrilled to see the STEM Academies already exciting students about these subjects, and we’re delighted that families are choosing to transfer to Clark Creek ES STEM Academy to be a part of this new initiative.”
The ribbon-cutting ceremony included the presentation of colors and Pledge of Allegiance by local Boy Scouts; the singing of the National Anthem by first-grader Miranda Crespo; the recognition of special guests including School Board members, School District staff, Principals and Cherokee County Manager Jerry Cooper; dedication remarks by Assistant Superintendent for School Operations Dr. Brian Hightower; a presentation by Georgia PTA Second Vice President Debbie Rabjohn; and a student musical interactive slate presentation.
Following the ceremony, the school presented its first-ever Fall Expo to raise awareness among parents/guardians and the community of the ongoing activities and student accomplishments associated with its STEM Academy.
Bi-annual expos will be presented at each Academy every fall and spring semester. During the Expo at Clark Creek, students and parents participated in STEM-related activities and labs and experienced how video conferencing can link classrooms to global learning opportunities.
“The grade-level teachers hosting these lab classrooms were very enthusiastic and engaging, and the students and parents all seemed grateful for the opportunity to see STEM in action,” Dr. Hightower said. “It was a great evening, as the Clark Creek ES students, parents and staff represented their new facility with pride. The staff, local PTA Officers and community clearly communicated their appreciation to the School Board and School District staff for their new building and the unique opportunity of housing one of the School District’s new STEM Academies!”
The times and dates for upcoming Fall Expo 2012 events are:
- 7 p.m. Tuesday Oct. 9 at Ball Ground Elementary (will also include a ribbon cutting for the new facility).
- 7 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 17 at Hasty Elementary.
- 6 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 8 at Canton Elementary.
These events are open not only to students and their families, but also to anyone from the community who wants to learn more about the Cherokee Academies initiative.