Akron's new STEM High School has a leader.
The Science, Technology, Engineering and Math school opens next fall, and Larry Johnson Jr. will be its principal...as the Akron Public Schools board approved him for the job on Monday night.
Johnson has been principal of the Akron Opportunity Center, which helps middle school students who need help with academic and other issues.
Johnson says that with the school starting off only with ninth graders its first year, students graduating from the eighth grade at the National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM School, he's ready.
"The first thing on my mind is to make the high school, or to develop a culture that the high school feels like a high school," Johnson tells AkronNewsNow.com. "There's gonna be just freshmen, so imagine a high school with just freshmen."
He says he's already implemented some STEM cirriculum at the Akron Opportunity Center, and though he says students at both schools are "excited to learn", he looks forward to more working with more involved students at the new STEM High School.
"STEM students are a little more engaged in the educational process, where Akron Opportunity students aren't as engaged in the educational process," Johnson notes.
The new STEM High School principal says he can't wait to implement technology at the new school.
"Well, it's definitely going to involve technology", Johnson says, "I'd really like to get into some design and get the students and let students get things out there that are relevant, real."
The STEM High School will be located in the former Central-Hower High Building.
The Akron school board also acknowledged nine retiring employees with an "Distinguished Employee Emeritus" certificate.
The list includes:
Elementary School Teacher: Janet Loew (38.5 years)
Middle School Teacher: Rebecca Atkins (38 years)
High School Teacher: Joyce Nave (39 years)
Field Administrator: Patricia Durkin (38 years)
Central Office Administrator: Margaret Greiner (38 years)
Office Support: Vincent Adam (40 years)
Educational Assistant: Dolores Jean Bell (30 years)
Maintenance, Building and Ground: Ricky Honorable (41 years)
Child Nutrition: Anna Sloan (38 years)
The board also had a first reading of modifications to the district's anti-bullying policy...which is needed because of a new state law mandating extension of that policy to "cyberbullying" and incidents on school buses.