Education: West End Elementary celebrates receiving its STEM certification in Thursday ceremony.

Education: West End Elementary celebrates receiving its STEM certification in Thursday ceremony.

Fro Left to right: Jason Tran, state Schools Superintendent Richard Woods, Abbie Thornton, Buffi Murphy, Principal Dr. Dennis Drummond, Jesus Vazquez and Jakirah Wilson. Background from left: Dawn Williams,  Rome Superintendent Lou Byars, state Rep. Katie Dempsey.


From a media release: Thursday marked the official date in which West End Elementary School achieved its Georgia Department of Education Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics certification. This is the third elementary school, (including Elm Street and North Heights) within the Rome City School system to be honored. STEM serves as an approach to education which expands current teaching models for science and mathematics by incorporating technology and engineering concepts into standardized instruction.

This project began three years ago under the guidance of Buffi Murphy, previous Principal at West End. “When we began the process of obtaining our certification, our main goal was to implement the program at the highest levels,” she said. “A  big part of the process is how you begin the teaching and learning. We achieved this by embedding EIE units, Engineering is Elementary, and PBL units, Project Based Learning, to allow our students to take literacy and incorporate the STEM aspect in all content areas. We educated the students to develop and foster those critical thinking skills that we know will build future leaders.”

The STEM ceremony was held in the gymnasium at West End and was packed, shoulder-to-shoulder, with students, educators and a variety of guests.

Dr. Dennis Drummond, current West End Principal, led the introductions and the celebration to start off the day, speaking highly of his colleagues, his teachers and most importantly his students. “I want to first give credit to Buffi Murphy. I have been at West End for the last two years and it’s been a privilege to see Mrs. Murphy’s vision. She did such an absolutely amazing job implementing a focus on STEM without sacrificing rigorous standard based instruction,” he said.

Georgia State School Superintendent Richard Woods also spoke at the presentation and presented West End with its STEM certification banner. “In looking at the future of these young people, the vast majority of Georgia students will have jobs that are directly tied to STEM education,” he said. “It does make education more relevant for them as it involves the community, businesses and it’s very encouraging as a collaborative effort. This is something that the whole school was really focused, but more importantly it really gives our kids the very best of what education should be about.”


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