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community SPOTlIGHT ON EduCaTION

SECTION C ♦ SuNday, July 28, 2019

Staff Photos: Taylor Denman

McClure Health Science High School, inset above, will open for students in August. The new school is named after former Gwinnett County school board member Robert McClure, a local physician who retired in 2018. He is pictured above on the left with current school board member Everton Blair.


Soon-to-open McClure Health Science High to provide students with cutting edge technology By Taylor Denman taylor.denman


tudents, faculty and staff at McClure Health Science High School will be greeted by a muscular mannequin named “Duke” when they enter the school’s front doors Aug. 5. The brand new 303,690-square-foot high school is the second of three new high schools Gwinnett County Public schools projects to open by 2022 — Paul Duke STEM High School opened last year and Seckinger High School will mark the final phase. Robert McClure, a recently retired member of the Gwinnett County Board of Education and local physician, may take note of Duke or the cross section of the human heart near the entrance. But the most poignant decoration in Meridith Watts demonstrates how simulation mannequins will be integrated into the student the high school that bears his name is located on the landcurriculum at McClure Health Science High School. ing of one of its staircases: a quote that reads “Awaken the Wonder,” words taken from his mouth and placed permanently on the school’s walls. He saw those words for the first time during a guided tour of the school July 18. “It’s humbling,” McClure said. “Frankly, 24 years are humbling in Gwinnett County because you feel like the people actually thought your opinion was worth while on occasion. It’s a wonderful building but, more importantly, if you like the building you’ll be even more impressed with the people that will populate it.” McClure Health Science Seminar rooms at McClure Health Science High School will hold instructional classes with High School is the county’s different themes, in this case CPR certification.

MORE INSIDE New, renovated schools set for new school year .................................. C3

newest specialized school, designed with the intent to prepare students to enter the workforce with entry-level credentials in a specific professional field — wellness and health science in this case. While the school provides three health science pathways for students to study — clinical care, medical support or information technology — there is still core curriculum and fine arts opportunities with dance, orchestra and band. Still, language arts and fine arts, like dance, are presented with a health science and wellness component. Meridith Watts, health science coordinator at McClure, is heavily involved in keeping medical-centric curriculum current as the field evolves rapidly. School administrators said that is kept current with ties to local professionals in the medical sector. “(Watts) is helping us build partnerships with some of the medical professionals that come in, for a weekly series called the ‘Seminar Series’ where we bring doctors, EMTs, things like that to talk through problem solving with kids, but also say, ‘This is a job I have in the health science area,’” curriculum assistant principal Tom Myers said. “It may not be things the kids are even thinking about.” McClure offers some tech that no school in the state — See MCCLURE, C8

C8 ♦ Sunday, July 28, 2019 ♦


Left, Nicole Mosley, far left, is the principal of the new McClure Health Science High School. Below, classrooms at McClure Health Science High School emphasize collaboration and the mobility of the instructor.

Staff photos: taylor denman

Victor Spitzer demonstrates how to operate a Sectra table at McClure Health Science High School in Duluth.

Above left, Gwinnett County District V board member Louise Radloff rides an exercise bike during a guided tour of McClure Health Science High School. The school has a fitness room attached to its gym. Above right, walking into the school, students, faculty and visitors are greeted by a mannequin named Duke.

MCCLURE From C1 nor most in the country — offers. That was illustrated in two Sectra tables in one of the labs, the functions of which were demonstrated during the July 18 tour. The tables provide detailed views of the human body that would otherwise be visible only in dissection. Victor Spitzer, president and CEO of Touch of Life Technologies, said the tables provide

students an in-depth look without the necessity of dissecting cadavers. “What we have is appropriate for high schools really focused on health care,” Spitzer said. “I’m always happy to do anything in a different environment. I didn’t know this environment was this different.” The two tables were in the lab with three simulation mannequins of different ages designed for students to practice drawing blood, intubation and diagnosing illness. One named “Ann”

was designed to simulate cardiovascular distress, another designed for geriatric symptoms, and another, “Alex,” presents a variety of symptoms and communicates with students verbally. Not shown on the tour, administrators said the school also owns an infant mannequin. The school is open to residents in the Meadowcreek High School cluster and, similarly to Meadowcreek, presents a majority-minority demographic. The capacity of the school is about 1,500 students, according to asso-

ciate superintendent Steve Flynt, more than double the current enrollment of 623 students. There was enough interest for the school to justify a senior class of 65 students. Upperclassmen will still have the opportunity to complete the necessary courses to complete their pathway and take the End of Pathway exam after completing the required three courses. Students have a sevenperiod schedule three days per week, but there is a block schedule time in the middle

of the week. Wednesday and Thursday will be alternating A/B block scheduling days, balanced out by Thursday’s “Seminar Series.” The block scheduling allows for extended lab time. McClure’s community connections are crucial to its goals of integrating students in the medical field as students. Officials listed Gwinnett Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, the Gwinnett County Health Department and Emory Johns Creek Hospital as partners for future semi-

nars or internships. Principal Nicole Mosely called the opportunity to open up a school focused on her passion for health care the “highlight of her career.” She said the school’s proximity to several potential medical industry partners makes the school a good fit for the Meadowcreek cluster. “I think this cluster has the talent that can support the health science industry,” Mosley said. “The physical location, in terms of the regionalism approach, makes it a perfect fit.”

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Spotlight of Education 2019  

Spotlight of Education 2019