“Huntington Hawks Soar High”
Huntington Middle School, home of the Hawks, is celebrating its third school year as a Houston County school. Built as a replacement school for Bert Rumble Middle School, Huntington first welcomed students in August of 2005. The transition has been smooth, with Rumble’s traditions of pride and community spirit complimented by the beautiful new facility.
“To become an institution for learning where high achievement and the pursuit of excellence can be seen and felt daily in each classroom,” is the vision of the principal, Dr. Gwendolyn Taylor. She refers to her teachers as “Huntington Heroes.” The faculty and staff are “my heroes because of their dedication, passion for learning and commitment to delivering quality education every day to every child.” The committed faculty and staff “take pride in going the extra mile for their students to ensure that they receive the best education and guidance possible in a safe school environment.” At Huntington, to go the extra mile means “to open up the classroom to become an environment where all students are engaged and WANT to learn.” Seeing students excited about learning gives the teachers the energy and inspiration to continue creating powerful learning experiences.
Huntington’s mission is to “maintain a safe, caring environment that develops intellectual, emotional, social, and physical growth to empower students to become lifelong learners and productive, responsible citizens.” The faculty, staff and students work hard toward achieving this mission. Their success is demonstrated through many honors and awards. Huntington Middle won a national award from the National Middle School Association and Pearson Prentice Hall, honoring the school with a 2007 “Teams That Make a Difference” award. Named a Title I Distinguished School, Huntington has earned four consecutive years of Adequate Yearly Progress by meeting or exceeding improvement goals set in support of the No Child Left Behind Act. Huntington Middle was also honored by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement for improving and promoting excellence in student academic achievement.
Not only do the students of Huntington receive awards, such as third place in the state for the Beta Team scrapbook, the faculty and staff members also excel. One-hundred percent of Huntington teachers and paraprofessionals are deemed highly qualified by the Georgia Department of Education. Principal Taylor was awarded the 2007 Georgia Music Educator of the Year for her support of music education. “I am a firm believer that music education plays an important part in a child’s life and that education in the fine arts brings out their creativity and stimulates their learning.”
Dr. Taylor earned her doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Georgia. Additionally, she has an education specialist degree in administration from Georgia Southwestern College, a master of science in middle grades education from Fort Valley State College and a bachelor of science in biology, also from Fort Valley State College. She taught science at Bert Rumble Middle School for 10 years before becoming an administrator. Dr. Taylor served as assistant principal at Tabor Middle School before returning to Rumble as principal in 1998. She is proud to say that three of her former science students are now teachers at Huntington Middle. She is also proud that she was named Teacher of the Year for Rumble in 1989.
Huntington Middle’s 835 students participate in numerous after-school activities, ranging from soccer and football to drama club, band and student council. After-school activities “are a great way for students to feel as if they are a part of the school and essential to its functioning,” adds Dr. Taylor. The offering of clubs and organizations at the school are as varied and diverse as its students. Depending on the student’s interests, there are a variety of activities to strengthen mental and physical intelligences at Huntington Middle. Several sports teams at Huntington placed tops in the county at competitions while the quiz bowl academic team received top honors for two consecutive years.
One unique activity Huntington students have the opportunity to learn from is an on-campus one-kilowatt solar panel. In partnership with Flint Energies, the solar panel was dedicated on April 22, 2007, in celebration of Earth Day. One of only 16 installed across the state, the solar panel will be used to help teach students about solar power and renewable energy and their impact on the environment. The data will be monitored online in the classroom.
Teachers at Huntington use many technological tools to energize presentations and motivate students. One of Dr. Taylor’s goals is to continue to increase classroom technology to further enhance instruction. Currently every classroom is equipped with computers, and there are computer labs for those times when all students need to be online. A wireless mobile lab is also available to bring laptops to the classroom door. Some teachers use “clickers” to immediately assess if students have grasped the concepts taught during the lesson. This is an interactive system which allows the teacher to show a question on a monitor for each student to answer by clicking a hand-held remote. Responses are quickly tabulated, letting the teacher know which concepts need further instruction. The school recently added three SMART Boards, interactive whiteboards that are approximately 77-inch, touch-sensitive displays. A student may use their finger to write directly on the screen to practice math problems or complete fill-in-the-blank questions. Projectors are also used in some classrooms. “All of these technology tools are wonderful aids in keeping our students engaged in instruction,” commented Dr. Taylor.
The mission of Huntington Middle School helps guide faculty and staff in providing a superior educational experience to all students by sharing, cooperating, supporting, and creating an open learning environment. Clear goals and high expectations for student achievement guide curriculum development, instructional strategies, and learning activities. Focusing on individual student’s needs and learning behavior is deep-rooted in the teachers at Huntington. It is important for the teachers to give all students the equal opportunity to learn, considering each student’s individual physical, social, economic, and intellectual needs. The school believes that “all students learn in different ways” and that a variety of educational approaches are necessary to support their learning. Through their attention and dedication, the faculty’s belief that “every child is worthy of respect, consideration, and our best professional guidance,” shines through each daily achievement.
Dr. Taylor is extremely devoted to Huntington Middle School and its community. She is proud of the Hawks and Heroes of Huntington and invites you to stop by to visit. “We are a community school and we are passionate about education. We encourage you to stop by and see for yourself how our Hawks are soaring high.”#
206 Wellborn Road
Warner Robins, GA 31088