Leadership changes, STEM Academy coming to CCHS

Published 2:02 pm Friday, June 9, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Chilton County High School will see a change of leadership and course options in the fall.

Former principal Cynthia Stewart has announced her retirement, effective Sept. 1. She is working at the Chilton County Schools central office until then. Former vice principal Ron Pinson will serve as interim principal.

The school system has not posted the position to begin the process for hiring a new principal. Pinson said the school system is waiting until Stewart retires to find a replacement.

“Everything we are doing this summer is gearing toward having a real strong start to the school year. There are a lot of changes going on,” Pinson said.

On the interim principal’s immediate to-do list is hiring a new band director. The interview process has already begun.

In addition to personnel changes, Pinson said the school is establishing a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Academy.

“We have several teachers here that are spending their summer training for this, preparing for this to offer these classes in the fall,” Pinson said.

There are approximately 100 students signed up for the classes thus far. Courses will include robotics, biomedical science, entry level engineering, computer science and introduction to engineering design. Pinson said none of these classes have been offered before. plans are being made for the robotics class to compete with other high schools. Each of the classes will be offered as an elective. Some of the classes may fill part of a student’s science requirements.

“One of the reasons we are offering this is because where we are going globally,” Pinson said.  “By the year 2020, … it is estimated there will be 16 percent growth in mathematics field, in the computer system analysis 22 percent, 32 percent in the system software developers and medical scientists 36 percent, 62 percent in biomedical engineers.”

He said the goal was to have students prepared for the jobs that will be in demand when they graduate.

“Jobs are changing all the time. Within five years you are going to have … new jobs that aren’t being offered today,” Pinsion said.

Robotics and biomedical science have the most students registered at this time.

The STEM Academy will also be open to other Chilton County Schools students.

“If there is a student at another school in the county that wants to come and take this class, they are going to be bused here to take these classes,” Pinson said.

Students at other high schools were given the option of signing up for these courses.

Other plans include establishing a parent teacher organization, team to help students contemplating dropping out, credit recovery, an athlete handbook and student lead conferencing for seniors.

An open house will be held in August for students to get their schedules and meet teachers. parents will be notified when a date is set. Freshman orientation will be held July  31 from 5-7 p.m.