Smithridge STEM Academy Designated “Governor’s STEM School”: School excels in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM Studies)

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Victoria Campbell




Smithridge STEM Academy Designated “Governor’s STEM School”

School excels in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM Studies)



Reno, NV (April 23, 2019) – Smithridge STEM Academy in Reno has been designated as a Governor’s STEM School by the Nevada Advisory Council on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM Council) and the Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology (OSIT). In order to earn this prestigious designation, the school must meet the highest standards of STEM instruction and serve as a model for schools around the state.


Smithridge STEM Academy is one of 10 schools in the state that earned the designation, and the only school in the Washoe County School District (WCSD) to receive the award this year. In 2017, Kate Smith Elementary School in Sparks was designated a Governor’s STEM School, and in 2018, Lemelson STEM Academy also was awarded the designation.


“With more and more innovative, high-tech companies doing business in Nevada, STEM education is more important than ever,” said Gov. Steve Sisolak. “These 10 schools embody the characteristics and practices of excellent STEM education that our students need to be prepared for careers and for life, and I am proud to welcome them as the newest Governor’s STEM Schools.”


“We are tremendously proud of the hard work taking place at Smithridge STEM Academy,” said WCSD Deputy Superintendent Dr. Kristen McNeill. “Our students and staff members have worked to hone their skills and participate in project-based learning that helps students solve real world problems. We appreciate Gov. Sisolak’s recognition and applaud our state’s focus on providing our students with the skills they will need in the 21st century.”


Students at Smithridge STEM Academy work on projects that solve real world challenges using STEM courses, communication, collaboration, and art. Project-Based Learning uses inter-disciplinary practices, rigorous application of knowledge and skills, and students working independently to lead to deeper understanding of problems and solutions.


“This prestigious designation reflects the outstanding STEM teaching and learning that is happening at Smithridge STEM Academy,” said Joe Ernst, the WCSD area superintendent who oversees the school. “Students, staff members, and the community should be proud of this recognition.”


“The passion for STEAM [STEM subjects combined with the arts] education is evident at Smithridge,” said Jessica Wilson, assistant principal at Smithridge STEM Academy. “Many of our teachers have pursued or are currently pursuing their master’s degree in STEM education, are 21st century certified, and are National Board Certified teachers. This huge accomplishment is an accolade to their hard work and dedication to the students of our community. I could not be prouder to work at Smithridge!”


Media Availability


What: Members of the media are invited to visit Smithridge STEM Academy, meet teachers and visit STEM classrooms. Students and staff members will be available for interviews.


When: Wednesday, April 24

           10 a.m. to 11 a.m.


Where: Smithridge STEM Academy

            4801 Neil Road



Who: Dr. Kristen McNeill, WCSD deputy superintendent

         Joe Ernst, WCSD area superintendent

         Jessica Wilson, assistant principal for Smithridge STEM Academy

         STEM teachers and students



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