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City Schools approve $2.3 million grant contract with XQ Institute

Star Photo/Bryce Phillips Elizabethton students Kayla Vandeventer and Summer Johnson address the Elizabethton City School Board during Tuesday's meeting.
Posted On: Thursday, October 25, 2018

BY BRYCE PHILLIPS, Elizabethton Star

Elizabethton High School will be an XQ Super School.

During the Tuesday’s meeting, the Elizabethton City School Board voted 3-0 to approve a grant contract with the XQ Insitute that is worth $2.3 million.

The $2.3 million in funds will be paid out by XQ over four years with rules on how the money can be spent by the high school.

“This is going to help us with technology,” said Elizabethton City Schools director Corey Gardenhour. “This is going to help us with materials for our teachers. The relationship is going to be great just in the number of resources that they have to offer our school system over the next several years. We appreciate their confidence in our teachers, and we appreciate our teachers so much.”

The school’s relationship with XQ spans two years with XQ originally providing $200,000 to help start up Elizabethton High School’s Bartleby program. Gardenhour said during Tuesday’s meeting that the Bartleby name will be transitioned over to XQ Super School.

XQ is a nonprofit based out of California. Board members Rita Booher, Susan Peters, and Dr. Grover May voted to approve the contract. Board members Tyler Flemming and Phil Isaacs were absent during Tuesday’s meeting.

Also during the meeting, Elizabethton students Kayla Vandeventer and Summer Johnson reported to the board about a recent trip to Knoxville by EHS teacher Alex Campell’s 2018 Spring sociology class to present their finding in the “Redheaded Murders” case to the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit.

“We got to give a presentation to the FBI about why we think the murders are linked by a serial killer,” said Vandeventer. “We got to talk about the progress that we have made on the case.”

Vandeventer said that the presentation was done in front of media outlets, and that about an hour into the meeting the FBI asked the media to leave so the agency could talk one-on-one with the students.

“They talked to us about our career choices and what we wanted to do,” said Vandeventer. “They gave us some tips on our profile and the timelines that we have been working on. So we are definitely going to keep working on it even though we are not in class anymore.”

“It was just a really good experience to get to meet those people,” added Vandeventer.

The next school board meeting will be on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. in the Mack Pierce Board Room.

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