21st century programs rebranded


Evan Kauffman, Reporter

Next year, new opportunities are revealing themselves for incoming freshmen and next year’s sophomores.

Transfer academies are appearing to completely recreate,  rebrand, and replace the 21st century programs throughout the district.

All of the new academies, with Computer and Software Engineering (CaSE) and Professional Careers Academy (PCA) being removed, are equipped with new curriculums, designed by the teachers and district officials.

The new academies being offered include BIOengineering, Computer Science and Business and Finance.

Jeff Witters, science teacher, leads the development and planning of the upcoming BIOengineering academy.

“Students will explore more every year about what it means to follow the bioengineering path,” Witters said.

Witters has worked closely with the district, Emily Halastik, and Nikki Hoffman, science teachers to create the new curriculum and work out schedules and staffing.

Although these academies are specific, they don’t force specific careers.

“We are looking to have kids with a variety of interests that will leave with a variety of interests,” Witters said.

Along with the BIOengineering academy, Tim Shipley, computer science teacher, is in charge of the Computer Science Academy.

The academy was formerly known as CaSE.

“I enjoy the name change,” Shipley said. “Lots of times people don’t understand what CaSE meant, unless they were in the program.”

The number of incoming students into the various academies being offered has increased over the past couple of years as well.

“I just finished enrolling 42 students, that’s eight more than last year,” Shipley said.

Along with these two academies comes the Business and Finance academy run by Cindy O’Brien and Ruth Ann Falls, business teachers.

“We all wanted unique academies,” O’Brien said, “and the district determined the focus of [the academies].”

The academies will be up and running at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.