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Ivey announces Alabama Bicentennial Schools of Excellence


Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced the twenty-one schools selected as Alabama Bicentennial Schools of Excellence.

The announcement was made at the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH), where Governor Ivey was joined by superintendents, principals, and teachers from the selected schools, along with legislators and other dignitaries from across the state.

Each school also received a $5,000 Governor’s Award grant to support its continued commitment to student-led community engagement.

The Alabama Bicentennial Schools Initiative was launched by Gov. Ivey in December 2017. Ivey encouraged all public, private, and homeschool students and teachers to participate in the celebration of Alabama’s 200th anniversary of statehood.

In early 2018, all Alabama schools were invited to submit proposals for community service and engagement projects connecting classrooms with their local communities. In August 2018, 200 schools were selected as official Alabama Bicentennial Schools and received $2,000 grants to support the implementation of their projects.

“As Alabama nears 200 years of statehood, it is important to engage our students. After all, our students are the future of our state and the ones who will lead generations to come into the next 200 years and beyond,” Governor Ivey said. “I am proud to award grants to twenty-one schools to carry out their community service and engagement projects. This is an exciting time for our state, and I am glad to see our young people taking initiative.”

Over the last year, Bicentennial Schools in every corner of the state developed projects that made meaningful contributions to their local communities. These projects ranged from oral history projects to community gardens to mentorship programs.

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“Economic development is a team effort,” economic developer and historian Nicole Jones told the Alabama Political Reporter. “We are making history in the state of Alabama. When members of a community have the opportunity to collaborate, cities and towns are built. Young people are part of the team. It is important for students to be engaged because they will be more likely to continue to serve their communities as adults.”

These student projects fostered new relationships between schools, students, and local citizens that will extend well beyond Alabama’s bicentennial celebration.

After Alabama’s 200 Bicentennial Schools submitted their final reports in August 2019, a committee of community leaders from across the state were tasked with evaluating each project and selecting twenty-one schools, three from each congressional district, to receive the additional designation of Alabama Bicentennial School of Excellence.

The winning Schools of Excellence will be invited to participate in commemoration ceremonies in Montgomery on December 14, 2019, the culmination of Alabama’s bicentennial celebration.

“The 21 Alabama Bicentennial Schools Excellence embraced the spirit of the bicentennial in inspiring ways,” Steve Murray, director of the ADAH and co-chair of the Bicentennial Education Committee, said. “The combination of innovation, hard work, and community service seen in these projects serves as a model for building a bright future in Alabama’s third century.”

“Congratulations to all of the schools who received grants from Governor Ivey,” Dr. Nicole Jones said. “Schools will use the funds to facilitate student-led community engagement projects, which will take place throughout our state. What a special way and time in our state’s history to showcase the heart of Alabamians.”

The Alabama Bicentennial Schools of Excellence include:

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1st Congressional District
Clark-Shaw Magnet School, Mobile
Phillips Preparatory School, Mobile
Rachel Patterson Elementary School, Atmore

2nd Congressional District
Headland Middle School, Headland
Montana Street Magnet School, Dothan
Webb Elementary School, Webb

3rd Congressional District
Auburn High School, Auburn
Cedar Bluff School, Cedar Bluff
Springville Elementary School, Springville

4th Congressional District
G. W. Trenholm Primary School, Tuscumbia
Hamilton Elementary School, Hamilton
Walker Elementary School, Northport

5th Congressional District
Athens High School, Athens
Kilby Laboratory School, Florence
Moores Mill Intermediate School, New Market

6th Congressional District
Chelsea Park Elementary School, Chelsea
Vestavia Hills Elementary Cahaba Heights, Vestavia Hills
Pinson Valley High School, Pinson

7th Congressional District
Myrtlewood Elementary School, Fosters
George W. Carver High School, Birmingham
Oakdale Elementary School, Tuscaloosa

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The Alabama Bicentennial Schools Initiative is presented in partnership by Alabama 200, the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH), and the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE).

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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