Innovative high school in the works in Carteret County

CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT)–Plans for an innovative high school are in the works in Carteret County.

The Cooperative Innovative High School would be a partnership between Carteret County high schools and Carteret Community College.

It’s still in the planning stage right now and awaiting final approval. Organizers say it will provide education that benefits the whole county.

“We live in a beautiful area that is filled with estuaries and opportunities for different workforce development,” Heather Dietzler, chief academic officer, said. “We’re creating opportunities for students who are maybe first-generation college students and never thought the possibility of going to college would be there.”

Students will earn high school diplomas while earning college degrees in areas like marine propulsion, boat building, and aquaculture.

“Students get to work on wood joinery, work on composites, learn electrical systems and painting of marine vessels,” Tracy Mancini, VP of instruction and student support at CCC, said. “We also have the only marine propulsion services program in the state.”

The school would be a true partnership between Carteret County teachers and professors who provide specialized training on equipment used in the field.

“Our students now have the opportunity to get Yamaha industry certification through our program that puts them a step ahead of everyone else,” Bryan Gray, director of NC Martec at CCC, said.

The school would be located in the current Smith building on the college campus, which has the added benefit of having the library right above it.

“The school will have its own principal and own counselor,” Dietzler said. “It will be a functioning Carteret County public high school in partnership with Carteret Community College.”

The students will be prepared for college life.

“We will work with the school system to ensure there’s a thorough orientation for students so they learn about the resources here on campus,” Mancini said. “Students will be able to participate in any clubs and activities already on campus.”

Incoming freshman will be encouraged to apply. About 50 students will be accepted each year as the school population builds up. Final approval is still needed but the application process is expected to begin in February. They hope to have final approval for Fall 2018.

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