Whether it’s a school or a business, grand openings are always exciting.
A new school in Edgefield county opened its doors for eager students, but this is not an ordinary school– Bettis Preparatory Leadership Academy or Bettis Prep is a STEM school.
“I am just so excited! I am just so excited to work with the children. I couldn’t even sleep the other night because I was so excited about this day,” exclaimed Resource Teacher Joe Ann Broadwater.
Bettis Prep is now open for business to teach students while focusing on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or STEM.
“They will get extra technology, have an emphasis on science and math and just get them ready for the world. Get them ready for jobs. Get them ready for experiences that they never have seen before with a lot of hands-on activities,” said Broadwater.
Principal Dr. Mytris Brightharp-Walker added, “We’re not going to be a test mandated school. We’re going to be a teaching children mandated school.”
News Channel 6 first told you about the STEM school last month as its construction phase was coming to a close. After an inspection last Thursday, teachers were allowed to set up their classrooms.
“About half retired teachers and about half are between first year and probably fifth or sixth year so we have new and old teachers and a few in the middle. So we got all kinds of experience,” said Broadwater.
Bettis Prep has 2 teachers each for kindergarten and second grade and one teacher each for first, third, fourth, and fifth grades. Nearly 150 kids are enrolled and the school is planning for growth.
“Next year we’ll add grade 6 and the next year 7 and 8th. Our intentions is to never to be a big school. We just want to be a good small school,” said Dr. Brightharp-Walker.
Bettis Prep is not entirely about its STEM program.
“We have leadership component added with it and if our children are growing up not to be in a STEM field we just want them to be leaders in whatever they chose,” explained Dr. Brightharp-Walker.
One thing students will not see when they arrive is the typical sight for recess.
“We know we got to get a playground. It’s just timing and first things first we had to get classrooms first but we have things children can play with in the classroom,” said Dr. Brightharp-Walker.
As for the impact Bettis Prep could make on Edgefield County, Principal Walker remains hopeful.
“This whole area is small enough so that any school can impact your business. This school will impact Edgefield County big time,” said Dr. Brightharp-Walker.
To learn more about Bettis Prep visit their website.