Members of the 101st Airborne Division Band sat with the FCHS band at the top of the school’s wooden learning stairs to perform for the school’s guests during the ceremony.
“It is with much pride and gratitude that I welcome each and every one of you to our dedication today,” she said. “As we participate in this event today, I hope that each of you will remember the significance of this moment in the history of Fort Campbell High School.”
The doors of the new FCHS opened to students at the beginning of the school year in August. The new $59 million, energy and environmentally sustainable, 184,232-square-foot, two-story facility for ninth-12 grades can serve up to 800 students.
This is the fourth time in the history of Fort Campbell that a new high school has opened.
Judith Minor, associate director for performance and accountability and director of student excellence for DoDEA Americas, said FCHS has an extensive and proud education tradition dating back to 1962 when it was first established.
FCHS earned its namesake from the garrison, which is named after Brig. General William Bowen Campbell.
“It’s appropriate on this occasion to reflect on the life of this notable Soldier,” Minor said.
Campbell served in the Tennessee volunteer regiment as a captain during the Seminole War and a regiment commander in the Mexican-American War. Campbell was later appointed by President Lincoln to be a brigadier general in the union for one year during the Civil War. After resigning Jan. 26, 1863, Campbell served as a member of the Tennessee and state legislature, was a three-time member of the U.S. House of Representatives and was the governor of Tennessee.
“This incredible story of selfless service is inspiration in a special way. As [Campbell’s] story lives on at this school and in this garrison, it is important for us to realize how our students and staff help to keep his memory alive and to honor his service through our everyday routines,” she said. “I know [FCHS students] will embody the spirit and legacy of [Campbell].”
FCHS faculty, staff and administration are dedicated to supporting the school’s community of military-connected students, Minor said.
“This building unites DoDEA with a team of local community members, school staff and the garrison to foster lifelong learning and to prepare our students to be college and career ready. The 21st century school is in and of itself a teaching tool. The building provides hands-on learning experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
The facility boasts Wi-Fi throughout the school and interactive smart board technology. Smart boards allow teachers and students to project images onto the board and then interact with it by moving the image around or writing on it.
Stacy Daniels, FCHS senior guidance counselor, said technology available throughout the new facility helps students answer “how” and “why” questions, that are a cornerstone of modern academia.
“Students are required to gather and evaluate evidence and must be able to make sense of information,” Daniels said. “These are the types of skills that our teachers are working to teach as we become increasingly more involved in STEM and 21st century education. Our building enhances the staff’s ability to teach a STEM-based curriculum.”
FCHS teachers are encouraged to use every resource the facility has to offer to add to students’ learning experience, Butts said.
“Our 21st century building allows a variety of spaces necessary for student collaboration, in-depth research, small group/committee learning, problem solving and student-to-student communication,” Butts said. “Students also have a variety of technological resources that allow them to practice exercising sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions and overcome problems.”
Brigadier General K. Todd Royar, acting senior commander of the 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell, said FCHS students deserve the new facility because of everything they go through as military children including the stress of regularly moving from installation to installation and having a parent deploy.
“Being part of a military community is not easy for Soldiers. It’s also not easy for spouses and it’s certainly not easy for you,” Royar said, addressing FCHS students during the ceremony.
Royar encouraged the students to take advantage of everything FCHS has to offer to enhance their education experience – the state-of-the-art facility, dedicated teachers and rigorous curriculum.
“I’d like to quote an old Army slogan – ‘Be all that you can be,’” Royar said. “The world is in front of you. You are the future of our nation. We are incredibly proud of you and we are incredibly proud that you have the ability to receive education in such a great facility.”