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CEC’s 8th Grade Charter College to Expand Next Fall

CEC%27s+8th+Grade+Charter+College+and+Career+Academy+directors+Jamie+O%27Keeffe+%28l%29+and+Gayle+Butler+enjoy+the+challenge+of+keeping+their+team+members+%22focused%22+while+striving+towards+the+Academy%27s+goal+of+%22opening...doors+to...careers.%22+Next+year+the+Academy+will+welcome+up+to+120+team+members%2C+almost+doubling+the+current+enrollment.+
CEC's 8th Grade Charter College and Career Academy directors Jamie O'Keeffe (l) and Gayle Butler enjoy the challenge of keeping their team members

CEC's 8th Grade Charter College and Career Academy directors Jamie O'Keeffe (l) and Gayle Butler enjoy the challenge of keeping their team members "focused" while striving towards the Academy's goal of "opening...doors to...careers." Next year the Academy will welcome up to 120 team members, almost doubling the current enrollment.

Danny Nelson

Danny Nelson

CEC's 8th Grade Charter College and Career Academy directors Jamie O'Keeffe (l) and Gayle Butler enjoy the challenge of keeping their team members "focused" while striving towards the Academy's goal of "opening...doors to...careers." Next year the Academy will welcome up to 120 team members, almost doubling the current enrollment.

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CEC’s 8th Grade College and Career Academy allows students from throughout Coweta County to attend CEC as 8th graders for more project-based studies designed to “open the door to a career,” as the mission statement says. To attend the Academy, 7th grade students must come tour the school, be assigned a lottery number and then have their number chosen.  Students are chosen from each Coweta County Middle School and next year the Academy hopes to welcome up to 120 team members, up from 62 the past two years.

Students who attend CEC are called team members because it is a college and career based school. Team members report enjoying the large variety of connections classes to choose from, including robotics, aviation, music and graphic design.  With next year’s expansion, connections classes in healthcare science and video production will be added.

Since it began two years ago, directors Gayle Butler (Math/Physical Science) and Jamie O’Keeffe (ELA and Social Studies) have shared teaching duties.  Both love teaching at CEC.  “We have students who actually want to be here,” Butler said.

“Students are mature and engaged in learning; not too cool for school,” O’Keeffe added.  Still, both acknowledge facing many difficult tasks, such as balancing the different maturity levels of their team members while still having fun.

Eighth graders also wear “(their) emotions upon their sleeves,” O’Keeffe said, meaning that one thing can ruin a whole day.

Both teachers love the autonomy of working at the Academy, saying that they have a flexibility of doing different things with the curriculum. Mrs. Butler loves using her creative talents to teach. “I feel like it helps the students have a better understanding of the standards,” she said.

With next year’s expansion, the Academy will be welcoming a new ELA director in Christie Bailey (O’Keeffe & her husband will be welcoming their first child this summer) and a new Social Studies director in John Vaughn. A math director is still to be hired.

“I am so excited to be returning to Newnan with my family and getting this opportunity,” Bailey said.  Bailey had attended Coweta County schools during her middle school years and her family has strong ties to the area as she is married to Newnan native and Auburn/NFL football alum Karsten Bailey.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “CEC’s 8th Grade Charter College to Expand Next Fall”

  1. Debbie Gonzalez on July 17th, 2014 9:08 am

    I would like info on registration, date school starts at CEC for 8th Charter College ? Thank you . Debbie

    [Reply]

  2. Jenna Lanave on January 28th, 2015 4:18 pm

    Hey! I went to CEC as an 8th grader last year and totally loved it. Most of all I loved the other students and the teachers were and are awesome. I loved every minute I was there. DO NOT take that place for granted! they have many great experiences to enjoy and be apart of. Love always, Jenna.

    [Reply]

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CEC’s 8th Grade Charter College to Expand Next Fall