Fort Campbell and the Department of Defense Education Activity held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new 21st century high school located on the Kentucky-based Army installation, Nov. 15.
This U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project, spearheaded by the Louisville District, is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certified facility with sustainable design strategies and enhancements for energy efficient lighting and heating, ventilation and air condition systems.
“It is with great honor that the Corps has the opportunity to serve the Soldier,” said Ben Evans, USACE Louisville District project manager. “Not a day goes by that this is not the focal point of everything we do.”
Fort Campbell and Fort Knox high schools are the only two DoDEA high schools in the continental United States located on an Army installation.
“Very few students will have the opportunities that you as Falcons have being the first students in the new 21st century high school designed to promote college and career readiness,” said Kimberly Butts, Fort Campbell High School principal. “This is only the fourth time in the history of Fort Campbell that a new high school has opened.”
The ribbon cutting ceremony commemorated the journey of the project, also the successes and growth of the lives who are a part of the Fort Campbell High School.
“Since the inception of Fort Campbell High School it has provided excellence in education that nurtures the talents and addresses the unique needs of our military-connected students,” said Dr. Judith Minor, DoDEA Americas Performance and Accountability associate director and student excellence director.
Dr. Minor shared a brief history of the naming of Fort Campbell High School after Brig. Gen. William Bowen Campbell, commissioned as brigadier general of volunteers in the Union army by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862.
“We are dedicated to support our military-connected students’ educational growth and achievement,” Minor said. “This 21st century school, in and of itself, is a teaching tool. Inside you will see building components exposed to peak students’ curiosity – providing hands-on learning experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
While traditional public community schools may not have to necessarily deal with the constant transition of students, military schools do.
“Being a part of a military community is not always easy,” said Brig. Gen. Todd Royar, Fort Campbell and the 101st Airborne Division acting senior commander. “It’s not necessarily easy for the Soldiers with deployments. It is certainly not easy for the spouses also with the deployments and the multiple moves, but the reality is we make those choices together.”
Royar said military children live with those choices their parents make. They have the opportunity to move but also have the requirement to move – to make new friends, start over at new schools for every move that military families make.
“Because of which, we recognize that it is not easy, and it’s also not easy on the teachers as well,” Royar said. “As we go through the (various) cycles of different students coming in, they have to learn the strengths and weaknesses of every student and be able to change their approach to make sure every student is able to meet their best opportunity.”
The acting senior commander said it’s appropriate that Fort Campbell and DoDEA have the privilege to cut the ribbon on such a brand new facility.
“Students, you deserve it – for all that you go through,” Royar said. “To quote an old Army slogan – to the students – ‘Be all that you can be.’ The world is in front of you. You are the future of our nation. We are incredibly proud of you and that you have the ability to receive an education in such a facility.”