Kilby Among 21 Schools of Excellence

Pictured at the Kilby Bicentennial Schools check presentation are left to right: Joyia Pittman (Alabama Bicentennial Commission), Jay Lamar (Executive Director Alabama Bicentennial Commission), Senator Arthur Orr, Dr. Eric Mackey, Gov. Kay Ivey, Dr. Eric Kirkman (Kilby), Stephanie Bolton (Kilby), Connie Wallace (Florence City Schools), Jeffrey Newman (Alabama State Board of Education), and Dr. Susan Dubose (Alabama Bicentennial Commission). (UNA Courtesy photo)

FLORENCE – Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced earlier this month that Kilby Laboratory School has been selected as one of the 21 Alabama Bicentennial Schools of Excellence.

The announcement was made at the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) in Montgomery. Gov. Ivey was joined by superintendents, principals, teachers from the selected schools, legislators, and other dignitaries from across the state. Each school also received a $5,000 Governor’s Award grant to support its continued commitment to student-led community engagement.

The Alabama Bicentennial Schools Initiative was launched by Gov. Ivey in December of 2017. It encouraged all public, private, and homeschool students and teachers to participate in the celebration of Alabama’s 200th anniversary of statehood. All Alabama schools were invited in early 2018 to submit proposals for community service and engagement projects connecting classrooms with their local communities. In August of 2018, 200 schools were selected as official Alabama Bicentennial Schools and received $2,000 grants to support the implementation of their projects.

Bicentennial Schools in every corner of the state developed projects over the last year that made meaningful contributions to their local communities. Ranging from oral history projects to community gardens to mentorship programs, these projects fostered new relationships between schools, students, and local citizens that will extend well beyond Alabama’s bicentennial celebrations.

Alabama’s 200 Bicentennial Schools submitted their final reports in August. Community leaders from across the state served on committees tasked with evaluating each project. They selected three schools from each congressional district to receive the additional designation of Alabama’s Bicentennial School of Excellence. In addition to receiving the Governor’s Award grants, the Schools of Excellence will be invited to participate in commemoration ceremonies in Montgomery on Dec. 14 which is the culmination of Alabama’s bicentennial.

Kilby used the initial Alabama 200 Bicentennial grant to create opportunities designed to teach students about the state of Alabama. Faculty members generated courses and events that educated students across multiple academic areas. These allowed students to demonstrate their own work through various media outlets.

“Being selected as an Alabama 200 Bicentennial School of Excellence is a huge honor, and it really speaks to the hard work and focus of our Kilby faculty, staff, and students,” said Dr. Eric Kirkman, an Assistant Professor of Education and the Kilby Laboratory School Director.