Monday is the first day of the new school year for students in Georgia's largest school district, Gwinnett County. For the first time in the district, students in one attendance zone will have a choice as to which high school to attend.
Paul Duke STEM High School -- named for the late Georgia Tech football player who went on to become a prominent developer and proponent of public school technology training -- was built in part to relieve overcrowding at Norcross High School.
At the school, technology is the primary focus. Each student will take introduction to digital technology.
“The cool thing about this school is it really gives students the opportunity to see computer science, to see engineering, to see graphic design in all different ways that they could use it before they even get to college," said digital technology teacher Philip Peavy.
Ashley Wright, a graphic design teacher, said the school’s cross-curricular learning will get students ready for the real world without even having to go to college.
“They could even be their own boss, start their own little business, get a little Etsy shop, start making things and start selling them online," said Wright.
By the time students graduate, some will have certifications in fields like high-level cyber security and Web development.
At Paul Duke, Friday attendance will not be required. Students will have the option of working on assignments at home via cyber-learning.
Dr. Jonathon Wetherington is the principal of Paul Duke STEM High School.
“As you think about the future for our students, training them for the jobs and the careers that are coming in the future, we need to do a great job of that so that they’re ready to leave high school and go into college or go into the workforce and be ready to do that work," Wetherington said.
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