Last week, I shared about our new EAST Core program. This week I want to share a view from the classroom. Our Senior Director of Curricular Integration, Dondi Jackson, was able to be present for the first day in the CLC for one of our pioneer school’s students. Here’s her report:
Danny Ketcherside, principal of Morrilton High School in South Conway County School District, is not missing his desk. The formal, highly polished, dark wood furniture that once graced his administrative office now has a distinguished position in the school’s new EAST Core Coordinated Learning Center (CLC). Their new EAST Core Pioneer School banner is suspended proudly in the hallway entrance to the facility; hung personally by Mr. Ketcherside. But you don’t need to know either of these indicators to see and hear the level of commitment and enthusiasm for EAST Core implementation throughout the entire school.
Though it was just the first few hours of use in the CLC, students were hands-on for the entire day, exploring Sketch-Up and iMovie software. This technology rich destination for math and science classes looks nothing like it did just a few months ago. Two rooms have been combined into one very large, bright, expansive space that simply sparkles. Sounds of delight, humor, and amazement can be heard from one end of the space to the other, as students clamor for the attention of classmates to show off a newly discovered wonder. After visiting with Geometry teacher Jacob West, and observing Environmental Science Teacher Emerson McBride work with students on technology orientation, it is apparent that these educators have already claimed their own professional ownership of the CLC and their local EAST Core program. In the near future, conference tables will be added to the CLC for group work and a Devil Dog, the school mascot, will be placed on a prominent wall.
After spending a few hours visiting with faculty members, talking to students, and admiring the evolved culture of Morrilton High School, I stopped by Mr. Ketcherside’s office on my way out. He invited me to sit and visit for a few moments before I left; Ms. Beth Stewart, Assistant Superintendent, joined us. Though we eagerly shared our collective enthusiasm for a new beginning in education, I couldn’t stop looking at the simple, humble, desk that he sat behind, and smiled.