McClure Health Science High School
In 2019, McClure Health Science High School opened as a second high school within the Meadowcreek Cluster. In addition to offering relief for Meadowcreek High School’s growing enrollment, the school offered students unique opportunities to explore a health sciences curriculum while in high school. As a theme school, McClure offers unique learning experiences through a particular lens... in this case, the lens of health science. The school’s curriculum focuses on three primary areas - Clinical Care, Medical Support, and Health Information and Technology.
McClure offers its students a rigorous and engaging health science curriculum intent on developing students as criticalthinkers, collaborators, well-rounded, problem solvers who are ready for college and career. While at McClure, students may earn health science certifications to support their transition to college and/or work. They also may choose to begin their college work, including the option to begin or even complete an associate’s degree by the time they graduate from high school.
As part of the preparation for this new type of school, Principal Nicole Mosley worked with an advisory board that included curriculum and instruction experts as well as medical professionals and others who work in the health sciences field. In addition to creating a program of study, steps were taken to create an identity for the new school. School colors were selected and a school logo, featuring the cross associated with many health science fields and a healthy EKG, was adopted. School leaders also determined that it was appropriate to name the student body of the new school, The Pulse, as they would be the heartbeat of this new facility.
In its first year, McClure served just over 600 students. These students and the inaugural staff members played an integral part in creating a culture that awakens the wonder of learners, a phrase coined by the man the school is named for, Dr. Robert McClure. Dr. McClure was no stranger to the school district as he served as the District IV representative on the Gwinnett County Board of Education for 24 years. Elected in 1994, Dr. McClure had strong ideas about how the district could provide a high-quality, cost-effective, and accountable educational program, which he believed was essential to serve all students well and meet the community’s expectations.
The Board race was Dr. McClure’s first run for public office. He wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, believing that the solid education his own children had received is what every child deserves. He served on the School Board with exemplary leadership, integrity, and dedication for 24 consecutive years and was elected chairman five times.
During Dr. McClure’s tenure, GCPS experienced dramatic changes. Enrollment soared from just over 80,000 students to almost 180,000 between 1995 and 2018. The student population became increasingly diverse, and the poverty rate steadily increased, reaching 56% by 2018. GCPS built 82 new or replacement schools in those 24 years as voters overwhelmingly approved seven capital campaigns funded by bonds or the sales tax.
At the same time, the school district grew and improved in student achievement, fiscal stewardship, and national reputation. A finalist for The Broad Prize for Urban Education in 2009, GCPS won the prestigious national prize in 2010 and 2014. The district earned and still maintains triple-A bond ratings from the major investor services, and gained state and national distinction for holding schools accountable for their student achievement results.
From his first day on the Board, Dr. McClure was committed to ending “social promotion” and implementing a measurement system that would prove a child was ready to move to the next level. He pushed for more effective communication with the public and higher levels of civic engagement in the work of the schools. He contributed to the successful rollout of significant GCPS initiatives, including the Academic Knowledge and Skills curriculum, Gateway Assessments, Results-Based Evaluation System, Quality-Plus Teaching Strategies, Quality-Plus Leader Academy, theme schools, academies, and communitybased mentoring programs.
Dr. McClure proudly served on a School Board widely respected as a model of effective school governance according to national “Reform Governance in Action” standards. That view was affirmed by the state in 2018 when Gwinnett’s Board and Superintendent were named Georgia’s first “Governance Team of the Year.” In addition to sharing in these accolades for the collective Board, Dr. McClure was honored personally by the community as a recipient of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce “Public Service Award” and the Northeast Georgia Council of Boy Scouts of America “Scott Hudgens Distinguished Citizen Award.”
A native of Birmingham, Alabama, where he attended public schools, Dr. McClure graduated from Birmingham Southern College and the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham. He began his dermatology practice in 1980 in Lilburn, where he and wife Jan continue to live, enjoying their 18 grandchildren and worshipping at Cornerstone Bible Church.
Throughout his Board service, Dr. McClure believed education could transform lives and open doors to a future filled with promise. When his name was chosen for the Meadowcreek Cluster’s new health science-themed high school, Dr. McClure said he hoped it would be a place that “awakened the wonder” in its students. Today, “Awaken the Wonder” is a major element of the school’s brand, and the commitment of all who teach and work there. Inspired by his legacy, McClure Health Science High School will be a lasting testament to the power of education and the immeasurable contributions of Dr. Robert McClure— physician, philosopher, patriarch, and outstanding public servant.