Schools in New Hanover Co. look for signature academy - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Schools in New Hanover Co. look for signature academy

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The concept of a signature academy was developed by New Hanover County School Superintendent Tim Markely. Principals at the county's four high schools have to come up with a program that defines their school.

New Hanover High School already has the Lyceum Academy and recently it announced administrators at Ashley High School will partner with CFCC and UNCW to form the Marine Science Academy.

"You don't know when you're going to spark an interest. If you have someone interested in marine science it's a great way to find out before you get to college and same with Lyceum," said Lisa Estep, a school board member. 

Since the search to find a permanent principal is still underway at Hoggard High, school board members say that school will probably be the last to get a signature academy. They tell us the principal at Laney is in the process of trying to find an academy for his school.

School board member Tammy Covil would like to see those two schools stay away from developing a proposed film academy and focus instead on engineering.  

"I would like to see us focus on industry already here in our community. We have the Rachel Freeman School of Engineering and Gregory Science & Math Technology School. We're starting at elementary level, but then it drops off as it moves through middle and high school. We maybe able to tap into what's being started at the elementary level," said Tammy Covil, a school board member.

She says no matter where in the county students live, they would be able to apply to whichever school has the signature academy that peaks their interest.

"If it wasn't your districted school and you wanted to attend one of those academies you'd have to provide transportation, but I think we could look at that. It depends on the popularity of the program," added Covil.

The Marine Science Academy at Ashley High School will start this fall. School board members say there's no deadline for Laney and Hoggard High Schools to get a signature academy, but they tell us the sooner the better. 

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