Ivy Academy Chattanooga has invited special guests to tour their new high school wing, which is the newest public school building in Hamilton County. Officials responding affirmatively to attend are Deputy Commissioner for the Bureau of Parks and Conservation, Brock Hill, and J. C. Bowman, executive director of Professional Educators of Tennessee, both from Nashville; State
Reps. Robin Smith and Esther Helton; Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Martin; Hamilton County School Board member, Joe Smith; Hamilton County Department of Education Chief of Staff Nakia Edwards; and city of Soddy-Daisy Commissioner Rick Nunley. Also scheduled to attend are representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, the Tennessee Department of Education, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, and other elected officials.
The new facility, which is financed by the USDA’s Office of Rural Development, houses the Tennessee State Parks Environmental Institute, where students in grades 9-12 earn the traditional Tennessee diploma and major in an environmental career focus.
This partnership with TDEC provides for two part-time Tennessee State Park resident-rangers who are stationed on campus. They coordinate with instructors to schedule professionals from the vast network of state employees in environmental careers as guests for the Ivy Academy classrooms. Students learn from these professionals how to apply the content of what is being taught in their courses to the job field. This innovative association helps students relate what they are learning to a purpose, and provides a pipeline of connections to careers, a common theme of Hamilton County’s Future Ready Institutes, said officials. The partnership also provides on-campus office space for the rangers of the Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park.