Mill Creek accepts CLAS honor

Madison City Schools (MCS) administrators accepted the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS) award for Mill Creek Elementary School at a ceremony in Montgomery. Accepting the award are CLAS President and MCS Personnel Director John Jones, from left, MCS Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler, STEM teacher Jackie Smith, Mill Creek Principal Carmen Buchanan, MCS Assistant Superintendent Robby Parker and CLAS Executive Director Dr. Earl Franks. CONTRIBUTED
Madison City Schools (MCS) administrators accepted the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS) award for Mill Creek Elementary School at a ceremony in Montgomery. Accepting the award are CLAS President and MCS Personnel Director John Jones, from left, MCS Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler, STEM teacher Jackie Smith, Mill Creek Principal Carmen Buchanan, MCS Assistant Superintendent Robby Parker and CLAS Executive Director Dr. Earl Franks. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – High-ranking personnel with Madison City Schools traveled to Montgomery to accept Mill Creek Elementary School’s prestigious honor as a Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS) Banner campus.

CLAS hails as premier provider of professional development for public school administrators in Alabama.

Each year, CLAS recognizes schools or programs that serve as outstanding educational models for other schools in Alabama. From 178 nominees, CLAS officials selected only 14 schools to receive this status.

Dr. Earl Franks, who serves as executive director of CLAS, presented the award to the Madison entourage.

“It’s always extremely inspiring to see the many ways in which Alabama public schools work to enrich lives and assist students,” Franks said. “This year’s CLAS Banner School Award winners provide an exceptional example of a school’s significant impact in furthering the cause of public education and the interests of the students they serve.”

Franks also pointed out that CLAS status “shows how Mill Creek Elementary School has gone above and beyond its organizational mission to make Madison a better place to live and educate Alabama’s and America’s future generations.”

To qualify for CLAS Banner status, Buchanan and staff showcased Mill Creek’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) classes for grades 5-6. “We restructured science classes (in) a blended learning environment that empowers students to explore many aspects of science and” everyday applications, she said.

To enhance STEM curriculum, Mill Creek hosted their 2014 STEM Fair so third- through sixth-graders could meet scientists, engineers, pilots, farmers, meteorologists and others. “It was amazing to see our students converse with community leaders and complete their journal with facts and ideas,” Buchanan said.

In addition, Mill Creek offers clubs and teams for robotics, ham radio, math, technology and computer coding. To fund STEM projects at Mill Creek, Huntsville Association of Technical Societies (HATS) has awarded seven STEDTRAIN (Science and Technology Education and Training) grants.

To accept the award, Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler, Assistant Superintendent Robby Parker and CLAS President and MCS Personnel Director John Jones joined Mill Creek Principal Carmen Buchanan and STEM teacher Jackie Smith to attend the ceremony in Montgomery.

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