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Ivey named first Cognia “STEM champion”

Gov. Kay Ivey in 2020 created the Alabama STEM Council to expand STEM education opportunities in the state.

Dr. Andre Harrison of Cognia presents the STEM Champion award to Gov. Kay Ivey Wednesday during the company's IMPACT conference. (Governor’s Office/Hal Yeager)

Gov. Kay Ivey was named the first ever STEM Champion Wednesday by Cognia, a nonprofit accreditation organization responsible for accrediting many of Alabama’s public schools.

Dr. Andre Harrison, vice president of accreditation services at Cognia, said Ivey promised at Cognia’s 2018 Impact conference to expand STEM education, and has since delivered on that promise.

“On September 21, 2020, by executive order, Gov. Ivey formed the Alabama STEM Council, a stem council that represents the leaders of Alabama for businesses, education and state government,” said Harrison, who also serves on the STEM Council. “They have worked so hard to advance the work of STEM under her leadership.”

Ivey told the members gathered at the conference that she’s calling on Alabama to be a “trailblazer in innovation” in these challenging economic times.

“And a big component of making sure that happens is the work of the Alabama STEM Council,” Ivey said. “Since the launch of the STEM council in 2019, Alabama has made great strides in improving STEM-related education, career awareness, and workforce development opportunities across the state. The thing about education though, is there’s no such thing as perfect. There’s always more work to be done, even some of the highest-performing schools have room for improvement. I can promise you that we’ll continue to think big and take on the challenges facing our state with a team-centered market mindset.”

In addition to recognizing Ivey’s efforts to expand STEM education, Cognia also recognized 19 Alabama schools for excellence in STEM education during the program.

STEM education has been a focus as well for the Alabama Workforce and Wage Gap task force as it seeks to prepare girls for higher-paying careers and break barriers in male-dominated fields.

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Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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