01/10/11 As the vision of a New Tech High School within Plymouth High School continues to become a reality, those involved are grateful for the interest and support from the community. The School of Inquiry will be up and running at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, according to Director Ken Olson. In the first year, only 100 students will be enrolled in the project-based learning center and 100 more will be added each year until the enrollment reaches 400.
When applications were opened for the first time on January 4, there were a number of students lined up to be the first to apply. Applications are open to current 8th grade students. Applications are available online, but both students and their parents/guardians must sign commitment papers to complete the application.
On Friday, yet another community partner stepped forward with a donation to help fund the project. TCU has been a supporter of education for area schools for decades. Now, to show their support for the project, TCU has pledged $25,000 to be paid in $5,000 installments over five years. Randy Lemert, district manager of TCU, said, “This is definitely something that TCU wanted to get involved in.” The donation from the TCU Foundation that extends a percentage of the assets to the community each year was termed another investment in our community by Lemert. He said, “We have had a long relationship with schools.” Currently, there are students from LaVille Jr.-Sr. High and Argos Jr.-Sr. High School using co-op opportunities to learn about the work of TCU in the Plymouth TCU locations.
Presenting the donation t o Plymouth Schools Superintendent Dan Tyree and Olson were Lemert, Beth Styers, manager TCU east and Tammy Boys, manager TCU west. Styers said, “Our kids are our future.” She added, “It’s just amazing what you are doing in thinking outside of the box.” Boys echoed Styers comments saying, “I believe other schools will be patterning after you.”
The donation from TCU brings the total monetary donations earmarked for the School of Inquiry to $391,000 or over one-half of the $750,000 goal. Other donations have been received from Treat's Squire Shop, Wiers International, US Granules, Bill and Esther Thompson, Mike Anderson, Zentis Foods, Dave and Ginny Gibson, Century Link, and First Source Bank. The project is also being funded, in part, through a New Tech Grant and a New Tech Challenge Grant.
Tyree accepted the TCU donation saying, “Before we started this, I was told the community wouldn’t support it. We are very thankful.”
Carol Anders Correspondent