KNOXVILLE (WATE) – An innovative Knox County high school is offering students a head-start on their career. Tuesday, I got a chance to spend a day at the school as part of Knox County’s “Principal for the Day” program.
Now three years old, the academy is helping students find careers in everything from homeland security, teaching to working with Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency. The school gives students the opportunity to mix high school and some college classes thanks to a partnership between Knox County Schools and Pellissippi State’s Strawberry Plains campus.
“Our teachers work really, really well with Pellissippi,” said the school’s real principal, Leanne Hawn. “Pellissippi is kind to us to help our teachers teach at the college level here and so then they get the dual credit.”
Aside from offering math, science, English and social studies, the academy has a far different curriculum than a traditional high school. Students in the criminal justice class, which is part of the homeland security career pathway, learn everything from jury selection, laws to how to fingerprint.
“I get the chance to graduate high school with not only a diploma, but I can also get another certification or even an associates degree so it’s a really wonderful opportunity,” said freshman Ashley Whited.
Two hundred sixty-one students currently attend the academy, which is housed inside Pellissippi State. The school also offers a sustainable living pathway and advanced manufacturing.