Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." Calhoun Academy of the Arts is a dream come true. This dream actually began in 1973 when Calhoun Street Elementary School first opened its doors. No one could have imagined that this school would one day become the first magnet school of the arts in Anderson School District Five and the 4th school of its kind in the state of South Carolina.
As we reflect on the past, we remember the rich tradition of excellence exemplified by all those involved in Calhoun Street Elementary. Palmetto's Finest, state gold awards and exemplary writing were just a few of our accomplishments. Many long hours and hard work went into this dream. When this challenge was presented to our staff, we embraced it by visiting other magnet schools, studying research, and attending every staff development opportunity available.
We imagined a place where students would be engaged in learning through the arts, while at the same time continuing to strive for academic excellence. We imagined a place where every child would feel love and success on a daily basis. This vision is now a reality!
Each day over 600 students enter the doors at Calhoun Academy of the Arts. They walk to the beats of many different drummers. Some can be seen carrying violas, violins, guitars and cellos. Others are excited about learning science concepts through singing and dancing. Some can't wait for their after school art lesson. Many will rush into their homes to share how they used puppets in the Calhoun Castle during their drama class.
It seems like only yesterday, I sat in the District V boardroom awaiting the trustees' decision to approve the conversion of Calhoun Street Elementary into a magnet school for the arts. With support of the entire faculty, many parents, and District V leaders, I anxiously awaited the announcement. Cheers erupted as board approval was given for us to proceed.
Although we have learned and grown in many ways, we know the challenge before us is to continue to expand our knowledge and to search for new ways to provide the best education for our children. We look forward to sharing our expertise with others as we become a model for our district, state and nation.
Now we celebrate our rich history, our exciting present, and possibilities of the future. As Mother Teresa once said, "Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not yet come; we have only today, let us begin."
Ann D. Self