Air date: Saturday, February 9
Guest 1: Derek Pierce
Guest 2: Andrew Ian Dodge
Host: Steve Woods (Stevoe)
Studio Contributor Debi Davis
Executive Producer: Mark Gould (Sharky)
Casco Bay High School principal Derek Pierce joined host Steve Woods (Stevoe) to discuss how he is redefining the high school experience for many Maine families, as well as the prestigious awards the school has earned since its inception in 2005.
Derek Pierce is a high school principal who is reimagining the high school experience. As founder and Principal of the Casco Bay High School for Expeditionary Learning, Pierce oversees a progressive school which serves 275 students, and has a waiting list of more than 100 families. In 2009, the school ranked 10th among 130 public high schools across Maine for overall academic proficiency.
What started as a program in September 2005 in a few rooms at Portland Arts and Technology High School (PATHS) has quickly turned into a national educational example. As principal of the Casco Bay High School for Expeditionary Learning, Pierce oversees a small high school, which prepares students to become college-ready through rigor, relevance and relationships.
The school emphasizes long-term cross-disciplinary projects that take them into the local and national community. For example, when the junior class studied coal mining and energy consumption, their studies culminated in a trip to West Virginia, where they met and interviewed people whose lives were directly touched by the issue.
In 2012, the school was named as one of Maine’s top high schools by U.S. News & World Report. In 2012 also came an award from The Stupski Foundation, which named Casco Bay High School as one of the six Student Ownership of Learning award winners nationwide. This award recognizes CBHS for its efforts to foster freshmen involvement through a learning expedition about sustainability in Maine.
Pierce is also on the board of trustees for the Maine International Center for Digital Learning (MICDL) with co-founder Angus King. MICDL is a non-profit organization that helps educators use digital technologies to support individualized and community-connected student learning.