Bartleby logoHistory

The Bartleby School was designed in a student-written grant proposal to rethink education as part of the XQ America Super School Project in 2015. Elizabethton High School sociology students researched education around the world and then applied for a $10 million grant to build a super school focused on experiential, project-based learning.

On Sep. 14, 2016, out of a pool of more than 700 applicants and 10,000 individuals, they were awarded $200,000 and a Student Voice Award for their proposal. They were one of 13 winners nationwide. The teachers involved were Mr. Dustin Hensley, Mr. Alex Campbell and Mr. Daniel Proffitt.

Ten awardees were named Super Schools and were given $10 million. Because Bartleby did not receive the full amount, students and teachers began a pilot program in the 20117-18 school year, which will grow in 2018-19 and begin to reach every student in the school. In the pilot year, Bartleby consisted of a Community Improvement class and an Entrepreneurship class which yielded 14 projects and 5 new businesses. In the 2018-19 school year, these programs continue with the addition of 13 new passion-based enrichment courses (requested by students and teachers), Bartleby Cyclone Experience, project-based learning teacher training, integrated coursework between six class English III and US History, and Bartleby Senior Capstone Experience.

The name of the program was inspired by the Herman Melville's short story Bartleby the Scrivener. Our students were influenced by Bartleby and his decision to not do things that went against his conscience, even when it went against social expectations. 

Check us out on Facebook @BartlebyProgram

Maggie Donnellan
Community Partners Coordinator


The vision for Bartleby is to provide the best individualized education possible for every student. We want to continue integrating personalized projects for students into our curriculum that is driven by passion and has real-world meaning. We envision Elizabethton High School to be a place where the community is fully welcomed as partners and the community will look at our students as equal partners that have a great deal to offer our area.


We believe that students deserve to have ownership of their own education and should have a voice in how their schooling is implemented.

We are taking a journey to rethink high school, and we want to ensure that our entire community is involved in the process.

We believe that a person needs to have understanding of who they are and where they belong in their local community. This means that what students learn in the classroom needs to be made concrete by thorough application.

Core Values

  • Self Discipline & Perseverance
  • Collaboration & Teamwork
  • Critical Analysis & Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Servant & Transformational Leadership
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Love of Life-Long Learning
  • Adaptability
  • Community Pride
  • Decision Making

Student Liaison to the Board of Education

The student liaison is a non-voting member of the Elizabethton City Schools Board of Education that is a current student of Elizabethton High School. Senior students may apply for this position. All applications are screened by a group of educators and administrators to narrow down the selection. The entire student body then votes on who they believe would best represent their interests to the Board. The student liaison is expected to hold regular meetings with students to determine what issues they find the most pressing and work to articulate these thoughts to the Board. The student liaison also works to help explain Board decisions to fellow students.

This position was created as a result of Elizabethton High School's winning proposal in the XQ Super School Project. This proposal was created by students at EHS and centered on student voice. The creation of this position in 2016 was the first step in implementing ideas from this proposal to Elizabethton High School.