The Georgia Charter Schools Association wants to congratulate the Savannah-Chatham Public School Board for approving the Susie King Taylor Community School (SKTCS) during its Nov. 9 meeting. SKTS is scheduled to open in fall of 2017, pending state authorization. The K-8 school is the fifth locally approved charter school in the Savannah area and will be open to all Chatham County students.
The school’s mission is to cultivate a vibrant, academically challenging learning community that celebrates each individual’s gifts and instills in a sense of stewardship in students as members of the Savannah community and as citizens of the world. Through experiential learning that emphasizes both quiet reflection and group collaboration, the Susie King Taylor Community School will empower students to critically examine the world and to activate their capacity for creating lasting and positive change.
SKTC’s core values include:
- Transformative Teaching and Learning – Transformative relationships between teachers and students provide the environment within which teachers challenge their students to hold themselves to high academic standards, to demonstrate mastery over their learning, and to develop lifelong habits of scholarship and intellectual curiosity.
- Develop Capacity for Responsible Choice – To act responsibly, peacefully and with personal integrity, students must know, value, and respect themselves and others.
- Unity in Diversity – We recognize that diversity in people, beliefs, and knowledge enriches learning through the exploration, understanding, and appreciation of differences and the power of affirming common ground.
- Responsibility to Others – Our shared fate and social responsibility leads us to practice good stewardship in all of our daily actions and decisions.
SKTCS is a member of Cohort One of the New Schools for Georgia Incubator program, which is overseen by Georgia Charter Schools Association. As an Incubator member, the school received support throughout the application process and will continue to receive leadership training, mentoring, and internship opportunities and a fellowship during the planning year and coaching and financial services throughout the school’s first year of operation.
SKTCS was envisioned through a grassroots community effort during the last year and a half. The governing board includes: Dr. Christen Clougherty (Clerk) – an expert in service-learning and global citizenship education through her work with the Nobis Project. She was also a founding board member of the charter school, Tybee Island Maritime Academy; Jessica Binkley (Secretary) – professional chef, mother and Savannah native; Jenna Lucree (Treasurer) – experienced accountant and active community volunteer; June Erskine – Armstrong State University College of Education faculty whose Ph.D. research focuses on School Governance: An Exploration of Autonomy and Charter School Effectiveness; Elizabeth Brodhead – parent and small business owner; Gillian Riley – instructional technology educator; Dr. Patricia Stewart – retired elementary school teacher, counselor and school psychologist and administrator at Kent State University’s Race and Education Desegregation Center; Gilbert Walker – artist, historian, former police officer and investigator with the Chatham County District Attorney’s Office; Reginald C. Martin, Esq. – Municipal Court Judge Pro-Tempore for the City of Hinesville and sole proprietor of the Law Offices of Reginald C. Martin, LLC. Judge Martin also holds a Master of Arts degree in Social Studies Education and is a former teacher.
The school’s namesake, Susie King Taylor, was born into slavery in 1848 and lived in Savannah, Ga. She was the first African American to teach openly in a school for the formerly enslaved in Georgia. She served as a nurse during the Civil War and was the only African American woman to publish a memoir of her wartime experiences.
Ultimately, the school hopes to grow to grades K-12. To learn more, please visit the www.susiekingtaylorcommunityschool.org.
Dr. Christen Clougherty
Governing Board Clerk
The Susie King Taylor Community School
Executive Director of New Schools for Georgia
The Georgia Charter School Incubator
Georgia Charter Schools Association