Levine Promotes #HCDEengage in First-Ever Visit to Central High

SMITH SAYS GOODBYE -- Smith reflects on her 3 years on the Central Digest.

Jacob Johns

SMITH SAYS GOODBYE — Smith reflects on her 3 years on the Central Digest.

Savannah Smith, Editor-in-Chief

A new initiative encouraging schools to promote engagement across the curriculum made its way to Central High on Wednesday, Sept. 28, as recently-named Chief Academic Officer, Mrs. Jill Levine, visited Central for the first time and explained the value of the school system’s #HCDEengage measure.

“In this program, I believe that we need to get students more engaged in their classes and to better improve them on hands-on, active learning rather than worksheets and questions.” stated Levine, who unveiled the engagement program at the start of the school year to more than 300 teachers and administrators, including Central principal Mr. Finley King.

The premise of the program is to promote better teaching using the hashtag #HCDEengage on various social media platforms.

“This hashtag is used to promote Hamilton County’s public schools and show that we, as a school system, are doing great teaching and getting involved in our classrooms,” shared Levine.

Levine explained that the hashtag will allow everyone to see beyond state test scores as a measure of learning and instead look at students as a whole rather than that test.

Some schools have already used #HCDEengage, such as Snow Hill Elementary, who invited a NASA engineer to encourage girls to pursue their career in engineering, math, and science. The tag has already been used over 100 times, but Wednesday’s visit by Levine marks the first time that Central High has used it.

“I feel like we have many interesting classes and programs going on here at Central and Mr. King agreed that it would be great to show off our school by inviting Mrs. Levine onto our campus,” said journalism teacher Mr. Greg Cantrell. Levine toured the school and finished off her visit by sitting down with members of Central’s award-winning journalism staff, The Central Digest.

“Some students said they felt special that she came to our school because they had never seen someone from central office in their classes. They actually said they felt like they mattered,” Cantrell added.

While at Central, Mrs. Levine visited several classrooms in addition to journalism, including Mrs. Sally White’s Honors English 10 and Mrs. Tina Cotreau’s Forensic Science class, which was in the middle of a dead chicken decomposition project.

“I think that it is a good idea to have this idea. I think that with all of the good things that we are doing at Central we need to publicize it,” commented King.

“It feels good when I see a post on Twitter about good things happening (in schools) around the county,” Levine stated. “We, at the central office, think our schools are doing a good job and we want parents to let their kids come to public schools because of our hard work.”

As #HCDEengage continues to grow in interest, more and more schools will be “getting the word out” about positive learning experiences in their local schools.

“The best part about your program is that the more good stories you publish, the more people are better engaged in your school and we, at the central office, appreciate that,” Levine concluded.