29 www.BlountPartnership.com Alcoa is ‘a True Community School System’ When Alcoa City Schools was founded in 1919, one of the hopes was that a top-notch school system would be a draw for new arrivals going to work for the city’s namesake aluminum company. Nearly 100 years later, that part- nership between city and schools continues to be a positive one, demonstrating that education is indeed a priority for the citizens of Alcoa. “What we do best is relation- ships. We’re a true community school system,” says Alcoa City Schools Director Dr. Brian Bell. “Our people look at our schools as a source of pride, and kids around here grow up wanting to be Tornadoes, whether that’s the football team, choir or band.” A proud part of Blount County’s progress since 1819 Maryville College successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Our graduates think critically, communicate effectively and see the big picture. To recruit students for internships or jobs, visit maryvillecollege.edu/career-center or call 865.981.8402. MARYVILLECOLLEGE.EDU In ongoing fulfillment of its mission of excellence, the school system has stepped up its Career Technical Education offerings as a means of preparing its students for the modern workplace. Bell points out a number of achieve- ments as examples of that em- phasis, including a health-science program that features pathways to careers in nursing as well as emergency medical response. In addition, CTE students can be trained in SolidWorks, a computer- aided design program used by a number of industries in East Ten- nessee, and Alcoa High School – one of the newest and most mod- ern high schools in the state – has added a manufacturing program, complete with state-of-the-art lab, and it also boasts multiple com- puter and science labs. “We have an active STEM (sci- ence, technology, engineering, math) program that goes all the way back to the elementary level,” Bell explains. “And by the 2018-19 school year, every student will have access to a computer, and all 6th, 7th and 8th grade students will have take- home Chromebooks.” Interestingly, according to Bell, nearly 20 percent of Alcoa students pay tuition, meaning that families outside the city are choosing to pay for their children to be enrolled in that school system.