Through an arc of pompoms and high-fives from an oversized panther paw, Montlieu Academy of Technology students kicked off their academic year in High Point University style.
This ultimate back-to-school bash organized by HPU cheerleaders, Pep Band and Prowler the Panther for the second year in a row for the elementary school that’s just down the street from campus.
In the last decade, Montlieu Academy students have become more than just a neighbor through proximity. A deep, meaningful partnership has developed between the university and the children who live and learn nearby.
The partnership continues to strengthen this year as two High Point University alumni take the helm.
Kimberly Scott first joined Montlieu in 2008. She spent the past two years as assistant principal before moving to principal this past summer.
She’s seen firsthand the transformational growth of HPU over the past decade. It’s a similar story at Montlieu; in a few short years, the elementary school has become a technology-driven, award winning, Apple Distinguished School.
“It has been a phenomenal experience seeing both Montlieu and HPU transform right before my very eyes,” says Scott, who graduated from HPU in 2014 with a master’s degree in educational leadership. “Since my time here, I have seen the entire culture and ethos of our school transcend. HPU has been instrumental in those efforts.”
In 2011, HPU committed funds and resources to putting iPads into the hands of every student at Montlieu. The iPad Project connected faculty and education majors at HPU with students and teachers at Montlieu.
A native of Jamestown, North Carolina, Bruce Carroll has been with Guilford County Schools since 2007 – first as a teacher, and now an assistant principal.
“Ms. Scott and I both value greatly the role that High Point University has played in making Montlieu the best school in Guilford County,” says Carroll, who received his educational leadership master’s from HPU in 2013. “We see the value of a strong partnership with the local university, and are appreciative of the impact that HPU has made on our students, parents and staff.”
HPU holds numerous events for Montlieu Academy students throughout the year, such as the Fall and Spring Carnival for students who work hard in the classroom, back-to-school rallies, tree planting for N.C. Arbor Day, Book Buddies, the Reading Institute and LEGO days. HPU students enjoy bonding with children at Montlieu and appreciate the practical experience they gain through helping with these events – and the elementary schoolchildren love being mentored by the “big kids.”
“HPU has been a partner we can call upon at any time to support us in our initiatives and efforts to improve student outcomes,” says Scott. “Without HPU’s continued support and partnership, we would not be able to provide our students with the once in a lifetime opportunities that they are afforded with. It is indeed, a true partnership, and for that we will forever be grateful.”
The School of Education at HPU strives to produce globally competitive 21st century students. Professors teach from personal experience – whether instructing students on classroom management tactics or executive leadership strategies, they instill in students the lessons they learned years ago in their own classrooms and schools.
Both Scott and Carroll say their HPU education equipped them with the leadership tools they needed to make Montlieu a trailblazer in 21st century education.
“The professors in the School of Education had all served as school leaders prior to working at HPU, and so their collective experience and wisdom was invaluable in my preparation for a career in educational leadership,” says Carroll. “In addition, the program was practical, as it blended theory and practical, real-life application to prepare me well to take the next steps in my career.”
“I appreciated being in classes comprised with diverse students with various backgrounds and experiences,” adds Scott. “Through our discussions and project-based learning experiences, I was able to gain knowledge based upon a variety of perspectives. My classmates were influential to my success as a leader and I value the fact that to this day, I can call upon any one of them for their support.”
The 2015-16 school year brings opportunities for new experiences and new partnerships, both for HPU and Montlieu. These two leaders in education are eager to see what the future holds as each institution strives for excellence.
“As an HPU graduate, I want to instill in our students early on how important college is,” says Scott. “Our goal is to make our students career ready, and at Montlieu, we believe that starts in kindergarten. We’ve got all the right ingredients for success and like HPU, we, too, dare to be extraordinary!”
Carroll, like Scott, is looking forward to inspiring Montlieu students to dream big.
“I am excited about finding creative ways to partner with HPU, both through the School of Education and with the university as a whole,” Carroll says. “As a resident of High Point, I am most looking forward to serving the students in the community I live in. In addition, I want all of our students at Montlieu to know that they are college bound scholars, and that their possibilities are limitless!”