St. George Municipal School Unit
Tenants Harbor, Maine
This freedom-seeking one-town public school district adopted a “hands-on, minds-on” approach to 21st century education in the trades and technology fields.
Known throughout Maine for innovation and dedication to student success, this small coastal public school district started in 2015 after seceding from a different district so that it could adopt a more relevant approach to learning for its students. Superintendent Mike Felton has lived and worked in Tenants Harbor most of his career and says it’s in this community where he learned the value of people working together to run a town, educate their children and take care of one another. St. George works to provide students with both 21st century rigor in the classroom and a career-orientation, along with using the successful Expeditionary Learning practices to embrace experiential learning that levels the playing field for all students.
While this small fishing community is battling issues related to opioid use, job shortages, and the mental health crisis, St. George is united in the belief that a modern and responsive school is the best place to reverse these trends.
“With all the challenges facing our students, we knew we had to change. We had to reimagine public education to re-engage students in their learning [and] prepare them for the skills required in today’s workforce to create the jobs for the future.”
Why they stand out
As a small coastal community of fisherman and farmers, St. George is well on its way to establish the first Pre-K to 12 CTE program in the nation. Knowing the importance of melding traditional trades with newer technology is the essence of their approach, where students are pushed to re-image, re-engage, prepare, thrive, and create. This hands-on, technical career learning that connects students to careers and community is increasing student engagement, graduation rates, and post-secondary outcomes, including earnings post-graduation. From boatbuilding to metalwork, woodworking, and more, students gain access to skills that will not only make them career-ready, but innovative and creative.
How they STOP for education
Transforming public education in partnership with the MidCoast School of Technology.
Changing the trajectory of students’ lives with outstanding, relevant and rigorous programs.
Became the pinnacle of permissionless education when its leaders withdrew from a regional school district.
Winning their award
With its award, St. George will construct its innovative CTE and Makerspace Building to launch the first PreK to 12 CTE program in the nation and make innovation the forefront of learning for all.