Whenever there is a snow day for schools in Jackson-Madison County, Madison Varsity High School principal Chad Guthrie expected a phone call about flooding at the school or water leaks in classrooms due to melting snow and ice.
Walking through the new Madison building on the University of Memphis-Lambuth campus on Monday, January 10, Madison students and staff didn’t have to worry about water leaks or heat that wouldn’t wasn’t working, Guthrie said, noting staff comments.
The new school creates a better working and learning environment for staff and students – one that makes students excited to learn and proud to be Madison Mustangs.
Guthrie loves the new, but her favorite part of school is that each teacher has their own lab equipped for biology or chemistry lessons. The old Madison had a lab for the four biology and chemistry teachers, which meant they had to schedule classes based on lab availability.
Being able to use properly equipped labs whenever needed is important for students who will be spending a lot of time in biology or chemistry labs in college, Guthrie said of Madison preparing students for post-school education. high school.
Madison has always offered a rigorous college-prep curriculum, but being on the University of Memphis-Lambuth campus expands those opportunities for Madison as a dual-enrollment high school.
The 58,800 square foot school accommodates Madison’s average class size, unlike the old building having classes that could not accommodate more than 16 students.
“The kids love the new building,” staff told Guthrie.
Senior Millie Treadway loves the openness and spaciousness of the new Madison, like the giant windows that let in natural light.
This creates a pleasant learning environment that facilitates learning, she said.
“It allows us to be more excited about learning, especially considering all that we’ve been through in our four years,” Treadway said. “I think this new building will motivate and encourage students to work hard and want to earn their place at Madison.”
Treadway and her classmates were educated in a pandemic that began during the spring semester of their sophomore year. Despite this, they have endured the challenges of virtual learning, student and staff isolation, mental health issues and more while striving to meet the expectations set for Madison students.
“Even in our old building, we didn’t realize what the right environment can do for our mindset,” she said. “I hope everyone’s mindset about learning will improve. I also hope that the new building will inspire a lot of pride in the school.
“A lot of us are really proud to go to Madison, and I think the new building will encourage that. It already is. We’re all really proud to be here and call ourselves Madison students.
For Treadway, the new Madison is like a bright light through the dark experiences of the pandemic.
Guthrie is grateful for the public-private partnership that made this possible.
Although Treadway can’t live more than a semester at the new Madison, she hopes everyone can be grateful for the in-person learning and what it brings.
“Obviously, it’s hard to say goodbye to something that’s been your comfort, where you’ve had a lot of experiences, and where we’ve grown a lot,” she said. “Although it’s really difficult to say goodbye, we are all excited to have this new experience and to be in the new building for one last semester of learning before graduating.”
Lasherica Thornton is the educational reporter for the Jackson Sun. Contact her at 731-343-9133 or by email at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter: @LashericaT