Editor's note: The following is 15th in a series of articles previewing the upcoming school year at each public and private school in Athens and Limestone County.
School name: Tanner High School
Principal: Deborah Kenyon
Amount of time as principal: Entering second year
Total number of students: About 425
Total number of teachers: 28
Total number of support staff: 18
New programs: "We have a lot of new AP classes. We have added an AP statistics, an AP government and economics, AP 12th grade English, AP computer science — and that's on top of the AP 11th grade English we offered last year and AP U.S history. We have six AP classes offered for students. We're in the second year of Pipeline or A+ program. Teachers have been going to training all summer to prepare to help our students reach those higher standards and accomplish their goals.
"We have a STEM lab that will be outfitted. We have created here in the school a STEM lab plus project-based learning lab that all the teachers can use. We had a 3-D printer donated to us, and Senator (Arthur) Orr was gracious enough to give us a grant to help with that. So I'm excited to see what our teachers use that space for."
What makes Tanner High special: "Community. The students have known each other all their lives and have grown up together. The community is very supportive of each other. I see our kids every day lift each other up a little bit and help them achieve their goals, and that's something I want to further develop at the school. This year's theme is all about relationships.
"... For example ... from here on out, we'll have teachers assigned to (students) as an advisor. They'll have a period in the day each day for an advisory time.
"They'll have the same teachers until they graduate from high school as advisors. There will be someone on the campus that will help them with all aspects in their education career.
"... The teachers who have the seniors here will have incoming sixth graders next year, and they'll keep those students until they're in 12th grade. I'm a firm believer that the relationship we make with our students and helping them understand that we want them here and to be successful in all aspects of life is key."
Primary objectives for 2019-2020: "One of our objectives is to make sure our students are getting the academic support they need in order to be successful in all of their classes. We've got a lot of things in place to make sure we're getting them to the point where they'll be successful not just this year but in the future. We're looking at ways to involve the community more in the school. ... Just making sure our kids have everything they need to be successful."
What the principal is looking forward to: "The kids. I enjoy every morning greeting the kids when they get off the buses, getting to walk around the classrooms and talk with them. I look forward to watching our kids and teachers grow and serving them to the best of my ability to make it a successful school year."