Construction and preparation of Forsyth County’s seventh high school, The Alliance Academy for Innovation, is nearing completion.
In a called meeting of the Forsyth County Board of Education held Monday, the board was given a presentation on the school, updating them on hiring, recruitment, applications and major upcoming dates from Alliance Principal Brandi Cannizzaro.
According to Cannizzaro, the 23-acre Alliance Academy campus on Lanier 400 Parkway is set to have its orientation night Feb. 27, and the grand opening of the school is set to happen in July of 2018.
“It is extremely exciting,” Cannizzaro said while reflecting on the long road since the school’s inception. “It has been an awesome journey and will continue to be one. Every day is more exciting than before.”
Currently, the school has named its principal and assistant principal, Cannizzaro and Jim Parrish, respectively — and the school leadership team: Tom Neighbour, counselor; Anthony Tarantino, career technology and agriculture education; Theresa Adamczyk, English; Terri Cline, math; Lisa Oswald, science; Hector Jimenez, social studies; and Melanie Dunn, world languages.
According to Cannizzaro, the staff and administration will continue to grow throughout the spring and its upcoming school year. She said that more career technology and agriculture education teachers will be hired in January and February, additional core area teachers in February and March, and support staff in March and April.
“Building is ahead of schedule, and we are excited about the interest from students and their families,” said Forsyth County School Superintendent Jeff Bearden.
The school received more than 607 applications for the 2018 school year and according to Cannizzaro the facility has accepted 600 upcoming ninth and 10th graders combined.
She said that the Alliance Academy requires students to go through three years of the school’s program, so a rising grade level each year, with the first graduating class scheduled for 2021. She said she predicts the school will meet the max capacity of 1,200 students in that time.
Alliance aims to shake up the traditional high school experience, placing students into “five interest themed academies or schools” including, aerospace and logistics, criminal justice and law, hospitality and design, healthcare and first responders, mechatronics and energy.
Cannizzaro said that the Alliance pathways will help focus students into what they need to know for the career they want. She said that it will allow core education and pathway classes to intersect and complement each other, so students can get the most out of their classes.
“The big benefit is that if a student has an interest in one of our pathways, everything they need to succeed is going to be offered at alliance,” she said.