Atkins named N.C. Model Magnet School

Atkins named N.C. Model Magnet School
October 22
00:00 2015

High school has improved drastically over the years

By Tevin Stinson

The Chronicle

The start of the 2015 school year marked the 10th-year anniversary of the opening of Atkins High School at 3605 Old Greensboro Road.

The school was named after the original Atkins High on Cameron Avenue, which is the home of Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy.

Over the years, Atkins has had its ups and downs, but recently the school reached an all time high when the school was named a N.C. Model Magnet School.

During the first few years of existence, Atkins was at the bottom of barrel when it came to test scores in the county and state. In recent years, those numbers have improved drastically. Since 2011, the student growth rate at Atkins has exceeded expectations.

Joseph Childers, principal at Atkins, has seen the school and its students grow since he took over in 2010. During a recent school board meeting, Childers said he was very proud of his students.

“It’s a real honor to be presented with this award,” said Childers. “I’m very proud of our students as well as our teachers, and other faculty members. Winning this award was a real team effort.”

The award was created in 2014 by the Science Mathematics and Technology (SMT) Center in Raleigh and was only given to 17 schools in the entire state.

According to Kimberly Marion, program manager of magnet and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, the award is a joint collaboration between the SMT Center, N.C. Department of Public Instruction, the Golden Leaf Foundation, and the William and Ida Friday Center in Chapel Hill.

Before presenting the award, Marion discussed the long process Childers and his faculty had to go through before being nominated. Even before they were nominated, they had to submit an application, lesson plans and a letter of recommendation among other things.

“The process was very rigorous,” Marion said. “They had to submit an application, lesson plans, videos, samples as well as a letter of recommendation from a community leader.”

“The schools that were nominated for the award represent the best magnet and STEM programs in the state,” she said. She added that they are models for other states as well.

Dana Jones, chairwoman for the school board, said she was proud of the leadership at Atkins from the teachers as well as the students.

“We recently did a walk through the school and you can see the excitement, and innovation that is happening in the classroom,” said Jones. “I am proud of the leadership at Atkins from the teachers, faculty and administrators as well as the students.”

Atkins High School will be honored before the N.C. State Board of Education and the state superintendent during the scheduled meeting in November.

“As a former English teacher, I never thought I’d be the principal at a STEM school, but it’s a real honor to be the principal at Atkins,” Childers said.










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