(left to right – Ryan Burgess, Assistant Director of Ohio Development Services Agency, Dr. Briana Hervet, Ohio Board of Regents, Lonny Rivera, Ohio Department of Education, Dr. Tom Schwieterman, Physician/Medical Director Mid Mark Corporation/designee for the Ohio Senate, Trista Linden-Warren, iSTEM CEO, Suzanne Allen, Assistant Superintendent Geauga County ESC, and Matthew Galemo, Superintendent Geauga County ESC)
Painesville, OH – iSTEM Geauga Early College High School received STEM School designation this week from the Ohio STEM Subcommittee. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. This designation as a public Ohio STEM School makes iSTEM part of the Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN).
The application process for STEM designation is rigorous and competitive. The iSTEM team completed and submitted the application at the beginning of April. Of the 30 total prospective applicants, nine applications were submitted to the Ohio STEM Subcommittee for review, where four expert OSLN reviewers scored each application on a rubric in addition to the five Ohio STEM Subcommittee members. iSTEM received 55/65 possible points and became one of only 4 schools that were fully approved without conditions for the STEM designation. Two applicants were rejected and the other three were approved with conditions.
“Having received STEM designation, we are now eligible to, and will soon have, an official IRN, or school identification number, through the Ohio Department of Education. We are very pleased to be recognized as a school with a high quality STEM option for students in Geauga and surrounding counties,” said Trista Linden-Warren, CEO of iSTEM. “This competitive process helped our team refine our programming for our high school to ensure that we have all the elements a top quality STEM school should provide for students.”
“Opening a new STEM school provides a community with a powerful opportunity to reach more students, more effectively, but taking advantage of that opportunity takes leadership and dedication,” said Aimee Kennedy, Vice-President of Education, STEM Learning and Philanthropy at Battelle, which manages the Ohio STEM Learning Network. “That’s exactly what Trista Linden-Warren and her team showed as they prepared this promising school for taking this next step toward serving the students of Geauga.”
Dustin Pyles, Director of Operations for the Ohio STEM Learning Network at Battelle, said “iSTEM Geauga Early College High School’s application was highly regarded by the committee as a clear and convincing outline of this community’s plans to create STEM opportunities for more Ohio students.”
The state will continue to monitor progress to ensure iSTEM retains a STEM focus, and school leaders will regularly work with OSLN and other STEM schools to design and build competitive and successful programming within the school. This year’s focus is on the freshmen year, since iSTEM will open its doors this fall to its inaugural freshmen class. The school is open to any Ohio student and is a tuition-free option for families interested in STEM education. Over the next four years, iSTEM will develop business relationships and partnerships with higher education to ensure iSTEM students have opportunities to earn college credit and work with business partners before graduation. For more information, visit www.istemghs.org.