MUNFORD -- Munford Middle School received STEM certification through AdvancED on Tuesday, joining Childersburg Middle and Winterboro High as the third school in the Talladega County system to reach that status.
“STEM” stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
In order to become STEM-certified, system officials note, a school must provide evidence it uses STEM strategies throughout the school and curriculum. The school must also meet 11 different AdvancED standards.
After a successful evaluation, including an on-campus visit, MMS was awarded its certification.
School officials note the team was significantly impressed with Munford Middle’s use of the fine arts.
“Munford Middle School is officially STEM-certified, but the team saw such evidence of art education they included it in their evaluation as well,” Talladega County Schools Deputy Superintendent Vicky Ozment said. “It’s not something they say about many schools.”
Ozment noted MMS joins approximately 150 other schools in the world to receive certification from AdvancEd.
“Science, technology, engineering, art and math education integrates different disciplines into a unified curriculum that prepares students for a world of rapidly changing technology,” MMS Project Lead The Way and STEAM teacher Jennifer Darby said. “Munford Middle School has embraced the STEAM teaching styles where learning is active and student-centered. Through this active learning process, we are preparing students for success in both higher education and a competitive, global workforce.
“We allow students complete creativity in STEAM projects and encourage them to take risks and think outside the box. We want our students to explore their creative side and understand their voice matters -- all while cultivating a desire to improve the vitality and business industry of their community.”
Added MMS Principal Angel Carter, “As you can see, Munford Middle School has an eye on the future with STEM educational practices. Our school is centered on developing positive student dispositions and soft skills together with rich content, learning experiences and knowledge.
“We would like to see all of our Munford schools linked in terms of a consistent skills framework, and we are well on our way. I can’t say enough about my dedicated, hard-working faculty. We are truly a family at MMS and are proud to be STEM-certified.”
Talladega County Schools Superintendent Dr. Suzanne Lacey also praised MMS for its hard work and dedication to STEM education.
“Munford Middle School offers an enriching curriculum grounded in project-based learning and environmental education,” Lacey said. “I commend the teachers for their work in embedding STEM standards in all content areas.
“The review showcased the success that students have attained through research, exploration and problem solving. Principal Angel Carter, Assistant Principal Amber Pressley, technology coach Blair Steffens and STEAM teacher Jennifer Darby provide excellent leadership and a passion for innovative learning.
“Much of the work is grounded in community partnerships coordinated by Kim Murray, environmental resource teacher at Munford schools.”
Lacey noted all 17 schools in the Talladega County system are working toward achieving STEM certification through AdvancEd.
According to the organization’s website, “AdvancED is the largest community of education professionals in the world. We are a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that conducts rigorous, on-site reviews of a variety of educational institutions and systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential.”