Gov. Kay Ivey visited Highland Gardens Elementary School on Tuesday to encourage students to work hard and overcome any challenges they face.
Highland Gardens is one of 15 elementary schools statewide that were chosen to receive additional money as part of the governor’s Turnaround Schools Initiative. It is located in a community with high poverty and was included on the 2019 failing schools list. (Failing school lists were not release in 2020 and 2021.)
Chisholm and Dozier are the other MPS elementary schools that are receiving a share of the funding.
At an assembly, Ivey told students that no matter what career paths they might choose, education would be the foundation. She noted that she, too, had been a student of public schools.
“So, you can be ready to go where you want to go and be what you want to be,” she said.
Quantina Sides, principal of the school, wore school colors at the event, including shimmering gold eyeshadow. Sides is earning her doctorate, and school turnaround is one of her areas of study.
When she first heard that the school was a turnaround school, she was a little taken back, but she realized that it would be an opportunity for her, her students and her teachers to grow and see the impact of their work.
This principalship is her first one, and she’s looking at herself as that “turnaround principal.”
The student ambassadors, who stood behind the governor during her speech and took photos, said they were happy that she came out to celebrate them.
They did have one question: Why didn’t they get an autograph?
Jemma Stephenson is the children and education reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 334-261-1569