South Tahoe High School brings learning into the 21st Century
- Lauren Lindley
If our children are to excel in a fast-changing, global society, we must harness the technology resources they need to function in a digital age. We must remember our commitment to their future as we set priorities and establish policies on their behalf.” NEA President Dennis Van Roekel
The world around us is changing daily. The leisure language of today’s youth is digital. How we work, play, learn and interact is now guided by technology. Our students not only demand it, but their interest level and consequent skills mean that they can and want to use it.
The South Tahoe High School is undergoing a renaissance of learning. In 2009, President Obama and the US Department of Education launched the Educate to Innovate campaign, geared to improve the participation of all US students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Their vision is to start a revolutionary transformation of our public schools, and our very own high school, under the tutelage of Ivone Larson and Bob Grant, has followed the path and the outcome is nothing short of inspiring for both the students in school and the Tahoe community it serves.
Larson’s visions began long before Obama's push for technology. Using money from $64.5 million in local bonds that were approved by voters in November of 2008 (Measure G) to match grant funding, they were awarded a number of Career Tech Education (CTE) grants and Overcrowding Relief Grants (ORG). Aided by Angela Swanson, Larson’s grant writing skills were successful in securing funding from every grant the school applied for. According to STHS teacher Phil Williams, Larson’s “knowledge and ability to put things on paper that the evaluators of the grants want to hear [is] phenomenal.” Our students and community are fortunate to have such a visionary at their helm.
STHS’s implementation of the future is still a work in progress. As a student that greatly benefited from the use of technology in my own classroom, I was simply awestruck at what the teachers at STHS have managed to create and provide for their students. While in the rest of the country, buildings are falling into disarray and test scores are failing to improve, our local teachers are looking to spark and inspire their students to learn in creative ways that span curriculum between the arts, math and sciences.
Over the course of the summer, I will offer a detailed look into the amazing new facilities already completed at STHS and those that are on the slate for the coming year. Coupled with an ongoing discussion of the benefits of technology in the classroom, starting in June I will present you with four separate sneak peeks into the new facilities which include the new $12 million Stadium View Classroom Building, the $12.5 million CTE “Green” Construction and Transportation Academy, the $9.3 million Tahoe Arts and Design Academy (TADA), the recently started Campus Commons Student Union and the eventual plans to build a Sports Medicine Academy.
The new facilities won’t only be utilized by students. This summer, participants in the first ever state of the art Digital Photography Institute will be able to take advantage of the facilities at the school in the TADA building. The key note speaker is professional adventure photographer Tim Peare. The program is a collaboration between the high school and the Lake Tahoe Educational Foundation; part of the profits from the three day program will go into the general fund for the school’s facilities as they will need money for maintenance of computers and software in the future.
Join me as I paint a picture of the future of learning and technology in our community.
Lauren Lindley is a Texas Longhorn at heart and a transplant to South Lake Tahoe, which she has called home since 2006. She is an adventurer and athlete, claiming the following to her sports resume: runner, swimmer, cyclist, snowboarder, and sometimes climber. She is a music lover, prolific reader of literature, traveler and photographer. The only bottle of wine she doesn't like has the word Merlot on it.