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Back You are here: Home Features Events and Features Life on the Island New Hanover County Schools to Open Marine Science Academy at Ashley High School in the Fall

New Hanover County Schools to Open Marine Science Academy at Ashley High School in the Fall

The New Hanover County Board of Education has approved a new instructional program, the Marine Science Academy, to be offered at Ashley High School starting with the 2013-2014 school year.  The goal of the Academy is to provide high school students with a high-quality marine science college preparatory program that will enable students to discover the phenomenon of marine life and marine science-related studies and careers. Superintendent Dr. Tim Markley said, "This program will help define the advantages of an education in a coastal setting, and will offer a sustainable and exciting marine science experience for our students.  We are very excited about adding the Marine Science Academy to our list of signature programs."  Dr. Markley added, "I have charged the principals at the other high schools to develop specialized academies like this one and the Lyceum program at New Hanover High School."
The Marine Science Academy was developed at the school level by former Ashley Principal Kenneth Bowen and Marine Science Teacher Sandra Cecelksi, with the assistance of NHCS Lead Science Teacher Kimberly Bierstedt, along with local university and college officials. The upcoming Academy will be open to New Hanover County Schools students who display academic success, an interest in marine science, and meet the eligibility requirements. During the Academy's first year, 25 seniors will be accepted into the program. NHCS freshmen and sophomores will be eligible to apply to the Academy after successfully fulfilling prerequisite courses.  The Academy will prepare the next generation of marine scientists through:
• Challenging college-level course content
• Authentic college-level laboratory and lecture instruction by marine scientists
• College credits in science at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington or Cape Fear Community College
• Real-time data analysis with scientists in the field via distance learning technology
• Internship(s) in marine science
• Graduation project related to marine science
• Summer enrichment program
• Participation in the highly competitive National Ocean Science Bowl
A detailed description of the Marine Science Academy can be found by visiting
The Ashley High School Marine Science Academy will follow the “Essential Principles of Ocean Science” as defined at this link: oceanservice.noaa. gov/education/literacy/ocean_literacy.pdf.
For more information, contact Kim Beirdstedt at 910-254-4335.