Class Notes: Veteran principal to lead new Harrison Elementary, and more education news

Students and officials break ground on the new Harrison Elementary School on Friday, May 10, 2019, in Harrison, Tenn. The new school will be accessed from Ferdinand Piech Way off of Tennessee Highway 58.

Wendy Jung, principal of Harrison Elementary, has been named tapped to lead the new Harrison Elementary that will open for the 2020-21 school year.

A veteran educator, Jung has served as Harrison's principal for the past four years, according to news release from Hamilton County Schools. She began her career at Big Ridge Elementary and also taught at Hixson Middle School, East Lake Academy and the now-closed Franklin Middle School. After serving as assistant principal at Franklin, she also served as principal at East Lake Academy, now-closed Chattanooga Middle, Howard High School, now-closed 21st Century and Tyner Middle School.

photo Wendy Jung will be the principal at the new Harrison Elementary School when it opens next fall. Jung is currently the principal of Harrison Elementary and has served as the schoolճ leader for the last four years. The new Harrison Elementary is under construction and will be completed for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

Jung said she values building partnerships and bringing the community into the school.

"As a STEAM school at Harrison Elementary, we provide students with learning experiences that build strategic thinkers and problem solvers who are vital community members at any age, five to fifty-five," Jung said in the news release. "Our community partnerships with Enterprise South Nature Park, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, and Martin Marietta have provided support for our Problem-Based Learning and our design challenges to extend student learning. We look forward to having unique maker-spaces and a future forest kindergarten at the new Harrison Elementary."

The new Harrison Elementary is under construction on Highway 58 across the street from the existing school, on property next to Brown Middle. It will have capacity for up to 880 students.

Winners announced for Bill of Rights essay contest

Nonprofit think tank Hamilton Flourishing has announced winners of its first annual Bill of Rights Essay Contest for eighth graders in Hamilton County.

The organization sponsored a contest in conjunction with the district's eighth grade curriculum and a unit that students recently completed about some of the founding documents of the United States, including the Bill of Rights. The contest prompted students to submit essays about what the Bill of Rights means to them.

Seven students were awarded cash prizes. Logan Dapp of Signal Mountain Middle/High School was named the grand prize winner with Gracie Walters of Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts placing second and Jack Whitener of East Hamilton School placing third.

Sikeria Johnson of Ivy Academy, Mia Peterson of East Ridge Middle School, Alexis Albee of Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts and Noah Stevens of Ooltewah Middle School also were awarded "Best in School" prizes.

"We are delighted that these young people really gave thought to the Bill of Rights and applied one of them to their own lives and wrote why it was important to them. This really helps students internalize these essential, civic principles," said Doug Daugherty, president of Hamilton Flourishing, in a statement.

McCallie receives national recognition for STEM program

McCallie School was recently recognized by Newsweek magazine for having one of the top STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs in the nation.

The school was ranked 68th out of 5,000 high schools with the best STEM programs around the country and as the top STEM school in the state of Tennessee.

"The Newsweek ranking is a public acknowledgment of something that alumni and parents have known for a long time: that McCallie School is one of the best schools in the nation, with extraordinary teachers and talented boys of good character," said Headmaster Lee Burns in a statement.

Newsweek teamed with to conduct the review of top STEM programs in the United States.

McCallie's STEM programming includes offering students up to six classes of mathematics post-Calculus as well as Advanced Placement courses in math and science. McCallie students also have the opportunity to conduct various independent science research projects with university professors, use the school's Center for Animation, Video and Entertainment (CAVE) for video and digital design production, as well as use a myriad of resources in the school's new Science and Engineering building, Walker Hall, which includes an Innovation lab, an engineering lab, a cell culture lab and a global conference center, according to a news release.

If you have news about local schools you'd like included in Class Notes, email Meghan Mangrum at