More than 100 parents, students and family members arrived at C.B. Martin Middle School’s auditorium April 8 to attend the first meeting since Erin Swanson was named principal of Martin Millennium Academy.
The meeting of the new global school was geared toward students enrolled for kindergarten and first grade for the upcoming academic year.
The meeting began with a welcome by Edgecombe County Public Schools Superintendent John Farrelly, who shared his enthusiasm about Martin Millennium Academy and its new “amazing” principal. Farrelly then requested that Swanson serve as the meeting moderator for the remainder of the evening.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be on this journey with you all,” Swanson said. “I look forward to making decisions that include you as families and what’s best for our community. Our charge is to ensure that all of our Martin Millennium Scholars develop into curious, creative and confident global leaders who are committed to making a difference in this world, and this will be a collaborative effort.”
Kevin Smith of VIF International addressed the audience members by giving an overview of what immersion programs look like and by sharing a video of a global school in action.
“VIF International has great experience in bringing global education to communities like yours,” Smith said. “We are excited to be a partner with Edgecombe County Schools in the creation of Martin Millennium Academy.”
Swanson outlined traditional programs for the families at the meeting, adding that in addition to normal extracurricular activities and electives, all students at the Academy will have Mandarin Chinese as an additional elective course.
Swanson then afforded audience members the opportunity to ask questions.
A myriad of questions were asked and answered, including one from Kimberly Thigpen, parent of an enrolled kindergarten student.
“VIF teachers – will they have previous experience working as immersion teachers?” Thigpen asked.
Smith responded that the teachers hired that are recommended by VIF are all highly qualified and come with years of teaching experience.
“The process is a very competitive one,” he said. “The teachers who have been hired from other countries speak English and another language. They are top candidates.”
Parents were distributed a survey and asked to share their ideas for school colors, suggestions for a school mascot and any questions or comments.
Additional meetings have been scheduled for families of elementary and middle school students who will attend MMA.
All rising second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students, parents and guardians will meet at 6:30 p.m. May 7 in McIntyre Auditorium at Edgecombe Community College’s Tarboro campus MMA students that will be in grades six through eight this fall will meet at 6:30 p.m. May 13 in McIntyre Auditorium.