Polaris Tech Charter School hires innovative, accomplished principal as executive director.

Polaris Tech Charter School hires innovative, accomplished principal as executive director.

Dr. Melissa Crosby, a veteran educator, National Board Certified teacher and director of nationally-recognized Cougar New Tech in Walterboro, SC, will be Polaris Tech Charter School’s executive director.

Crosby, most recently principal at Colleton County High School, will join Polaris Tech in Ridgeland, SC and coordinate the hiring of other administrators and the teaching staff to open the school in August 2018.

“If we were writing our formula for the ideal executive director to open Polaris Tech and help us shoot for the stars, it would be Dr. Melissa Crosby,” said Sandra Chavez, chair of the Polaris Tech Steering Committee. “She brings a wealth of experience to Polaris Tech, from the classroom to school leadership to community engagement, which will set us on a course for success.” 

Cougar New Tech’s approach to teaching and learning is similar to the model at Polaris Tech – a project-based, blended learning school where students use mobile technology in all aspects of their learning. 

“It is my privilege to be selected to lead Polaris Tech as the executive director, and it will be with great pride that we bring a new school and new opportunities to the young people of Jasper County,” Crosby said. “The countdown is on and liftoff is scheduled for August when we open our first day of classes – from there, the sky is our only limit.” 

The Polaris Tech academic emphasis will be on six career areas: Aerospace, Health Science, Information Technology, Logistics, Advanced Manufacturing, and Business Management.

Polaris Tech expects to enroll about 280 students in grades 6-10 for the school year starting in August. 

Student applications are being accepted at www.polaristech.org through March 31. If more applications are received than there are seats available in each grade, state law requires a random lottery be held to determine who is offered enrollment. The school is being built on land across from the Ridgeland Airport and will open to students in August 2018.

In her three years as principal at Colleton County High, Dr. Crosby increased the graduation rate to 86.1 percent, beating the state’s average, and worked to spread the practices of the New Tech Network throughout Colleton County High. 

Cougar New Tech boasts a 100 percent graduation rate. The school is a National Demonstration Site for the New Tech Network and as a Teacher Powered School by the Center for Teacher Quality.

Crosby earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the College of Charleston; a Master’s degree in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment from Walden University; and both her Education Specialist degree and doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration from Walden University. 

“Dr. Crosby has done wonderful things for the young people in Colleton County, and we are looking forward to her innovative approach and determination to see each child succeed become a hallmark at Polaris Tech,” said retired four-star Air Force Gen. Lloyd “Fig” Newton, a founding member of Polaris Tech and a Jasper County native.

“We want our students to be college-ready, career-focused and community-minded. We had an excellent pool of applicants and we interviewed very fine people who brought outstanding credentials to help us achieve those goals,” Newton said. “Bringing Dr. Crosby on board is a huge step for Polaris Tech.” 

Polaris Tech is a state-approved charter school to serve middle and high school students from Jasper County and the Lowcountry. It is a free school (no tuition), that will focus on preparing young people for successful work and college. 

To keep updated about Polaris Tech Charter School, follow them on Facebook and at www.polaristech.org. For specific questions, email info@polaristech.org or call 843-645-0605. 

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