“Never give up! Never give up! Never give up!”-- Winston Churchill. This kind of tenacity is certainly the attitude the staff at Central Academy strives to impart! Due to this mentality, Central has a large number of soon-to-be graduates for May 2015! Staff also spend time with seniors encouraging them to begin looking ahead and planning for future endeavors to promote a successful life.
Central Academy, Tahlequah Public Schools Alternative program, handles students who are considered at-risk. This means they have a higher probability to drop out of high school. They face many stressors such as being a teen parent, homelessness, social issues, behavioral difficulties, and academic deficiencies. Tahlequah Public Schools can be very proud of the dedicated and caring faculty and staff that work hard to help meet the diverse needs of these students.
Several programs housed at Central work together to enhance the success of the campus. Cherokee County Regimented Education Academy (CCREA), directed by Command Sergeant Major Marcus Sams, is a closely monitored environment for court-ordered youth who need a strictly disciplined environment in which to be educated. All staff work hard to ensure that CCREA students benefit from both online and classroom instruction. Cherokee Nation funds and directs the Tahlequah Early Learning Academy (TELA), which is an on-site daycare which gives priority to the children of teen parents. They serve children ages 6 weeks to 3 years. TELA provides an early learning educational program for each child. The Adult Basic Education program is also at Central. Students can enroll in daily classes which prepare them for the General Equivalency Diploma (GED).
A noteworthy happening for Central is Tammie Paris being selected as a finalist in the Tahlequah Public School district-wide Teacher-of-the-Year award! Mrs. Paris teaches Adult Basic Education for at-risk students at both Central and Work Force. She has 27 years of teaching experience and has helped over 650 of her students attain a GED. Her peers at Central nominated her and know the positive impact she makes for the school and the community.
Another noteworthy event at Central includes being awarded a grant from the Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation Grant. Marketta Johnson, the Language Arts teacher, strives to foster creativity and curiosity by introducing and instilling the love of reading. Through the foundation, Ms. Johnson has added over 200 books to help build up the small library, encouraging life-long readers.
Without the Central Academy Alternative Program, many of these at-risk students would not have as bright a future. I am proud of the Tahlequah School District for realizing the need of all students to be educated, understanding that some students need more support, focus, and direction. The students and staff created a daily creed so that all are reminded to stay persistent and determined to succeed, “We succeed by lifting each other up, for failure is not an option!”