Selma Early College High School receives lab donation

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

Selma Early College High School received a generous donation from PITSCO Founder and CEO Harvey Dean Wednesday afternoon at Selma High School – a state of the art synergistic lab.

A company “dedicated to helping students and teachers succeed,” PITSCO has equipped the lab with the latest in computer technology. According to PITSCO’s Web site, the synergistic system is a proven success in schools throughout the nation and is responsible for increasing math and science scores, rising standardized test scores, and reducing absenteeism and gender equity.

James Carter, superintendent of Selma City Schools, said the addition of the lab will propel Selma education forward.

“This is a cutting edge day for us,” Carter said. “We’re a world class school system in the Black Belt that is a force to be reckoned with.”

Lisa James, president of the Parent Organization at Selma Early College High School, presented Dean with gifts for his generosity.

“We’re honored as parents to be at this milestone,” James said. “We want to thank these people for having our babies’ interest.”

Student Zachery Phillips, president of the Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering (SECME), turned to Dean and expressed his gratitude excitedly.

“I want to personally thank you because we’ve never had anything like this before … this is really something,” Phillips said.

Dean, a former educator and coach, said he wanted no credit for the lab donation and encouraged the students to be MVPs – motivated and to have a vision and purpose.

“Everyone has their purpose in life. God gave me one and I’m doing what I’m supposed to do,” Dean said.

Dean thanked SECME Executive Director Yvonne Freeman for her unwavering dedication to bring the Early College High School program to Selma.

“If not for her, I would not have known about Selma Early College High School,” he said. “She is a champion for the kids.”

Freeman urged both students and parents to take advantage of the amenities that have been awarded to them. She also thanked parents for “just caring about quality education.”

“When (our students) show up at Penn State, we expect them to show up and show out in a bold and academic way,” Freeman said.

Following the presentation, attendees had an opportunity to tour the lab.

“I’m most pleased and most impressed with this program,” said Deputy State Superintendent of Education Eddie Johnson. “And I’m glad it’s in Selma.”