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Bryan Stevenson School of Excellence plans 2021 opening

By: Ryan Mavity - March 5, 2019

Organizers are planning a new high school in Sussex County to be named for lawyer and justice advocate Bryan Stevenson. Chairwoman Alonna Berry said the school will encompass grades 9 through 12.

“We’re building a school from the ground up. We’re building curriculum. We’re looking at location. Our intention is to be a public charter school because we thought it was important to be free of charge,” she said.

Berry said a 12-person board of directors is getting the word out and will begin fundraising, with the intention of seeking a charter from the state later this year. The plan is to start with 200 students and grow to 300, Berry said. She said the school was originally an idea of Stevenson’s family, after the passing of his father.

“The question was, ‘What is our role in our community here in Sussex County?’” Berry said.

To determine what kind of school they wanted, Berry, an educator with eight years experience, said the board studied schools in rural environments, from locales as far flung as Idaho and North Carolina. She said often in these kinds of communities, students leave and never come back, draining communities of valuable brain power. Berry said she wants students at the school to want to stick around and help their community.

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