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Indiana Superintendent visits Penn High School

Penn's STEM Architecture students show Ind. Supt. Dr. Jennifer McCormick their latest project
Penn's STEM Architecture students show Ind. Supt. Dr. Jennifer McCormick their latest project

Excellence at Penn High School was in the spotlight today (Thursday, March 22, 2018) for a visit from Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick.


Escorted by Penn students Rebecca Luzney, Charles Lane, Italia Fields and Johnathon Laatz, Dr. McCormick got an up close and personal tour of our award winning, Four Star high school. Dr. McCormick’s tour of Penn included the innovative Early College Academy and the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Academy. 


Penn-Harris-Madison Supt. Dr. Jerry Thacker, Penn Principal Sean Galiher and P-H-M Board of School Trustees Member Jim Garrett were also on hand to give Dr. McCormick and special guest Indiana State Senator Ryan Mishler (R, 9th District) details on how Penn has been able to achieve accomplishments such as being named the state’s first large comprehensive public high school to be STEM certified in 2016.


Early College students Rebecca Luzney and Charles Lane took Dr. McCormick and guests into Spanish and Biology classes to observe (please click here to see the photo gallery below of the tour). On this part of the tour, she learned from student guides about the Early College Academy concept.  Penn’s Early College Academy is at the forefront of dual-credit programs in Indiana, and is a contributing factor in Penn’s remarkable 97 percent graduation rate. 


Next up on the tour, STEM student tour guides Italia Fields and Johnathon Laatz took Dr. McCormick into STEM Architecture and Design Processes classrooms. Dr. McCormick was able to observe and speak to those students about their current projects and even got to see a 3-D printer in action. The tour then moved into the engineering shop area to observe the Precision Machine class. The student tour guides informed Dr. McCormick about Penn’s world-class Robotics Program and the different community projects they have done. The STEM Academy was honored earlier this month when the school was named one of five schools in Indiana to achieve Project Lead the Way Distinguished School Status. 


The final stop of the visit was in the PNN TV studio, where the PNN students conducted their own interview with Dr. McCormick. This was an opportunity for the students to not only meet her, but gain real journalism experience by conducting an interview. There was a small group of Penn students who sat in as a guest audience for the interview.