Mary Ann Shadd Cary was a young educator who became the first Black woman to vote. Fanny Jackson Coppin was the first African-American woman to head an institute of higher learning as principal of the Institute for Colored Youth in 1869.
View their stories and reflect: What are important goals for K-12 schools to set — whether for their administration, their educators, their student body or their community?
In the Spring of 2002, I had the privilege of being the Advanced Communications and Networking Technology Curriculum Planner for starting a new high school in Danville, VA. We had 4 million dollars in grant funding to develop a school with an entirely different focus from the only other high school in the city. It was an exciting and awesome challenge!
The School Board purchased the old Sears building and an architect drew plans that resembled more of an office building than a school. In two years, Galileo Magnet High School became fully accredited with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as well as authorized to award the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. We also offered the IB Middle Years Programme. Throughout the last nine years, the students have continued to take ownership and pride in their school. The faculty, staff, and students maintain a family atmosphere where everyone's talents are encouraged and achievements honored.
The mission statement of the school includes the following:
"The school’s program allows for expression of self, critical thinking, and personal development that can assist students when they enter the world after high school. Galileo's technologically-focused study programs are on the cutting edge of the constantly evolving technological world of the 21st century. As an InternationalBaccalaureate school, Galileo is part of a world-wide academically challenging program whose rigorous courses provide aspiring students with avenues to pursue a more in-depth education that is recognized across the world. A thematic-based curriculum offers three strands of study--Advanced Communications and Networking Technology, Air and Space Technology, and Biotechnology--from which students can choose. After being listed in national magazines as one of the best high schools in America, Galileo faces the future with a history of proven accomplishments and many exciting challenges."
We partnered with Virginia Tech University and NASA to write the curriculum for the strands. Having begun with about 100 freshmen, sophomores, and juniors in the Fall of 2002, the school now has an enrollment of over 250 and will hold its eighth commencement ceremony June 16, 2011.