NEWBERRY, S.C. – Newberry College recently began renovations to the Speers Street elementary school. Originally known as Pope School, the Speers Street School has been a Newberry landmark for more than 100 years, but the one-time community school remained vacant for many years. Newberry College purchased the property in January 2012 with the intent of revitalizing it to serve as a regional center for leadership development in the field of Teacher Education.
During the first stage of renovations, the College will replace the building’s aging roof and install new windows. Once these basic repairs have been completed, the interior space will undergo major remodeling to serve as the new home of the College’s Department of Teacher Education. The Speers Street School renovation is one of the priorities for the $35 million fund-raising campaign launched by the College in October 2014.
“Newberry College has long been a leader in preparing knowledgeable and innovative teachers for the classroom and education administration,” said vice president for Academic Affairs Timothy Elston. “The Speers Street space provides for an expansion of services that will allow the College to be the epicenter of leadership development in primary and secondary teacher education.”
The renovated Speers Street building will house the Department of Teacher Education, which will include all undergraduate Teacher Education programs as well as Education-related master’s degrees that will be developed over the next several years.
The complex also will house the Stella Senn Williams GROW Program (Growing Teachers through Resources, Outreach and Wisdom) focused on supporting new teachers, and the RETAIN Center of Excellence (Retain Teachers through Action, Innovation and Networking) focused on helping South Carolina retain new classroom teachers.
“The Speers Street revitalization is a win/win project for both the College and the City of Newberry,” said Newberry College president Dr. Maurice Scherrens. “It will contribute to the overall vitality of the community while preparing the next generation of educators who will elevate the profession.”
Newberry College’s Teacher Education program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) with reaffirmation granted in 2011 and remains one of South Carolina’s most highly regarded teacher education programs. The program recently enjoyed its highest enrollment in Newberry College history.
The Department of Teacher Education is active in the community and throughout the state, offering a variety of programs, courses and symposia designed to mentor and support new classroom teachers and veteran teachers alike. The College also continues to partner with the Newberry County School District and other surrounding districts on professional development and summer school and after school programs to provide needed services in the community.
ABOUT NEWBERRY COLLEGE: Newberry College is a private, residential, co-educational college with a diverse student population. Founded in 1856 by the Lutheran Church, the College is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the National Association of Schools of Music. Newberry College was ranked in the top tier of regional colleges in the South in the 2015 issue of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges in the U.S. The College offers baccalaureate degrees in 28 majors, 35 minors, 31 areas of concentration and 10 pre-professional programs and features a radio and television station. The College offers 17 NCAA Division II sports, cheerleading and dance. For more information, go to www.newberry.edu