Meadowview Magnet Middle School students and principal Dr. Shelley Goins, along with other Surry County Schools officials, were recently recognized by several statewide agencies for the school’s work.
The group was honored as a North Carolina STEM School of Distinction by the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center (NC SMT), the North Carolina STEM Center, and the Public Schools of North Carolina. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The Surry County contingent was formally recognized with the achievement during a visit to the State Board of Education in Raleigh earlier this month.
The STEM Schools of Distinction program was created to establish criteria to recognize exemplary STEM schools for their leadership and learning in science, technology, engineering, and math, according to the Surry County Schools.
”This recognition is a process that does not happen by chance. It happens through systematically and purposefully integrating these content areas in such a way that it becomes a natural part of instruction,” the school system said in a statement announcing the recognition. “Schools receiving the STEM Schools of Distinction honor undergo a rigorous application process to demonstrate the application of STEM attributes are interwoven throughout the school setting.
Meadowview applied for the distinction during the 2017-2018 school year. As part of its ongoing work, Meadowview has been implementing Project Based Learning as an instructional strategy to help students solve real-world problems over an extended period of time.
Teachers and administrators have also been building and fostering relationships with business partners to support programs such as the Mustang Scholars program, which is designed to help underrepresented students explore careers in the biomedical and biotechnology fields.
Students shared what it is like to attend Meadowview Magnet Middle and how the STEM program works at their school. “One student, Zamaya Strickland, a residential student at Meadowview, is working very hard and progressing extremely well due to the STEM opportunities afforded her by the school,” the school system’s statement said. Zamaya also serves on the Principal’s Advisory Council.
Principal Goins, shared, “Give Zamaya a task and the tools and she will figure it out.”
Ashley Flores, another member of the Principal Advisory Council, shared her experiences as a Mustang Scholar and how that was just one example of students at Meadowview participating in out-of-school learning programs. Other students in attendance were Mustang Scholar participants Jay Eades and Kole Bryant.
“We are getting it right at Meadowview Magnet Middle,” Dr. Shelley Goins said to the State Board of Education. “I am proud of my staff for their commitment to providing opportunities for students and striving for continuous improvement.”
Dr. Travis L. Reeves, superintendent of Surry County Schools, Dr. Jill Reinhardt, assistant superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, and Alicia Ray, media specialist and digital learning leader at Meadowview Magnet Middle, were also in attendance.
“I am extremely proud of the hard work and effort by the Meadowview Magnet Middle School staff and students to achieve this high level of recognition for their work with STEM,” Reeves said. “Meadowview Magnet Middle School is an example of what is right with public education. This recognition for Meadowview is one example of many where employable skills are being developed on a daily basis for students, which benefits them and their families. Today we celebrate the students and staff at Meadowview for a job well done.”
In addition to attending the State Board of Education meeting, students and principal Dr. Goins were also recognized and celebrated with an awards luncheon. Ray told attendees at the awards luncheon, “After being at Meadowview Magnet Middle for three years, I’ve seen students transform in their leadership. What we are doing with STEM is truly making a difference.”
Twenty schools began the application process with 15 schools completing it and submitting their applications. Five schools were awarded a site visit and Meadowview was among three were awarded the designation of NC STEM School of Distinction.