Learning Together. Leading Tomorrow.

Posted by Jonathon Wetherington on 4/7/2019 4:00:00 PM

Over the last six months, the students, faculty, and staff of Paul Duke STEM High School have successful blazed new trails together.  Together, we launched the first school of its kind, a cluster-based theme school focused on STEM with an emphasis on technology, and in our inaugural year, we experienced challenges and celebrated successful milestones.  The sense of community and pride that has developed is inspiring and uplifting for all those involved. We have worked together to build the foundation of a truly great school, and we are just getting started.


As we look back over the last few months, our teachers and staff have used technology and project-based learning to bring our vision to life each and everyday.  Each week on Fridays, we learn more and more about using blended learning, flexible learning, and digital learning to insure all students learn and succeed. As the year has gone on, our partners have worked with us to set our course and push our thinking, so that all students are ready for opportunities after high school.  Due to the commitment of both our faculty and community partners, students were able to compete in academic competitions, develop their leadership capacity, and excel academically. We have learned a great deal together, which will help us lead tomorrow!


With six weeks left in the school year, we still have much to learn.  However, our learning does not occur in isolation. We have established a unique and supportive community that promotes and encourages learning for both students and adults.  This community of learning is our most unique and special characteristic, and it will serve us well as we look to the future. One day, I know that we will all look back on this year with great pride for what we accomplished and the future that we unlocked together.  As Trailblazers, we pursued a “moon shot” vision because we believed that our students deserved a unique experience that prepared them for their future….a future that is worth the challenges and the work. As President John F. Kennedy said in his moon shot speech at Rice University, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”


At Paul Duke STEM, we chose to chase our own big, hairy, audacious goal because it is hard and because this goal will serve to lead the future for our students and countless others.  As principal, I am honored to be a part of a school that learns together, so we can lead tomorrow!