This visit is a continuation of the school’s efforts to bring state and local leaders into the school so that they can see how the school is educating students in a 21st Century learning environment and preparing students for life beyond their high school graduation.
In addition to having Alabama Lt. Go. Kay Ivey, State Treasurer Young Boozer, and EDPA leaders recently tour the school, Gov. Robert Bentley will be at the school on December 19.
“We are in the business of preparing the future workforce of this city. It is incumbent upon us to do all that we can to showcase how we are preparing students for the present and future employers of this region. It is vital, for the future of all of my students, that we showcase Piedmont’s progress with the hope that these leaders who are visiting our school will talk about Piedmont when they are recruiting businesses to come to Alabama,” stated Adam Clemons, principal of Piedmont High School.
Former Mercedes Benz CEO and EDPA President Bill Taylor applauded the innovation in technology at Piedmont High School that provides students with online instruction that transforms traditional teaching.
“I was most impressed by the courses, especially the multiple language courses they were taking,” stated Taylor.
Greg Knighton, an EDPA vice president who accompanied Taylor on the tour, lauded the system’s leadership and insight for innovative, school-issued laptop learning.
“It was really super impressive,” Knighton said. “To see what had been put together at the school, you realize there had to be a vision and many partnerships among the leadership to make that a reality. They were able to pull a variety of programs together that were very out of the box. For any community that would be impressive but even more so with a smaller, rural community.”
Both Taylor and Knighton recommend the system incorporate a three-to-five year regional plan to take the successes at the school to the next level and to sustain and grow the program.
Taylor suggests the school system develop an inclusive, long-term plan that would include business, elected officials and the two-year college systems in the region.
“In addition to hosting elected leaders, candidates, and EPDA leaders, our next phase of showcasing PHS will be have business leaders from the suppliers of our regional businesses to come to Piedmont to see what we are doing and the benefits they would receive if they relocated to our region,” stated Clemons.
PHS is recognized throughout the state and nation for their academic innovation and excellence in extra-curricular activities. The school has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School, a National Blue Ribbon School, a Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools Banner School, as well as being recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the second most technology connected school in the nation.
In 2009, under the visionary leadership of Superintendent Matt Akin, PHS became the first school in Alabama to adopt Apple’s One-to-One technology initiative. Today, as a result of this vision, every student at PHS is provided with a MacBook Air, takes online courses, can learn up to five different foreign languages, is provided internet connectivity at school and home, and is instructed in a 21st century learning environment.
The school’s technology innovation has expanded our curriculum allowing them to now include an array of individualized classes such as robotics, film studies, digital media, digital applications, instrumental music, Advanced Placement (AP) Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Biology, AP Calculus, AP English Literature, AP English Composition, AP Government, and AP United States History.