The McCracken County High School will open in the fall of 2013, bringing together students from Heath, Lone Oak and Reidland high schools.
“When you talk about our school, it’s not that we’ve reformed what we’re doing in McCracken County,” Ceglinski recently told the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business Education Partnership’s Education and Workforce Committee. “We’ve really re-invented the whole box. We’re coming at this from a whole different perspective. We’ve tried to demolish the current box (thinking) that we’re in and leave that perspective behind and build a whole new box.”
Ceglinski, who was named the first principal of the new high school in June, said he was pleased with the progress on the new school on U.S. 60 west of Kentucky Oaks Mall.
In addition to the state-of-the-art look of the building, the new school was designed “to get away from the feel of an institution,” Ceglinski said, adding the building has a lot of majestic windows. “This is a different type of a place. All of the natural light will bring a different feel as well.”
Another difference in the school is in its overall structure. The school is designed for and organized in small communities of learning. The small community design of the academic house will provide students with the feeling of a small school while offering the many academic, extracurricular and co-curricular opportunities made possible by bringing the three high schools together.
“The actual physical structure of our school is built in a small learning community concept. Five small student communities …five small schools within one large building,” Ceglinski said. “They will all be part of McCracken County High School and will operate with the same vision, the same mission and the same goals. “
All 9th through 12th-grade students attending McCracken County High School be assigned to one of five houses of less than 400 students. The small community of each house will provide a home base for students, consisting of an assistant principal, guidance counselor and a team of teachers.
“We feel that this provides a safe environment in a large school setting,” Ceglinski said, adding this new concept will provide for a cross-disciplinary approach to learning, help to building student and faculty relationships, close achievement gaps and could lead to more community-based projects by faculty and students.
Ceglinski said students will be offered programs including: Project Lead the Way pre-engineering and biomedical science, speech and debate, theater, agriculture, culinary arts, band, computer science, visual arts, choral music, advanced placement courses, foreign languages, advanced digital media communication, child development and expanded online courses via the 1:1 computing program.
The high school’s athletic facilities include a 3,500-seat football stadium, 3,300-seat gymnasium, 8-court tennis complex, 750-seat soccer stadium, 1,500-seat baseball and softball fields, comprehensive track & field facilities and an indoor practice facility.
Ceglinski began his career as a biology teacher at Lone Oak High School, where he later served as assistant principal. In the 2010-11 school year, he was named interim principal of Heath High School and has also served as principal of Ballard Memorial High School. Ceglinski has most recently served as the director of High School Instruction for McCracken County Public Schools since 2008.
“We’re making progress on the building,” Ceglinski said. “I think it’s going to be a structure that our kids, our parents and our community are really going to be proud of.”
For more information on the progress of the McCracken County High School, visit http://www.mccrackencountyschools.org/mchs/
Janett M. Blythe, a former reporter for The Paducah Sun, has been director of public relations at West Kentucky Community & Technical College for 19 years.