DeKalb County School District (DCSD) broke ground on the new 950-seat Smoke Rise Elementary School at 4780 Hugh Howell Parkway by welcoming teachers, students, staff and community partners to an official celebratory ceremony. The October 24, 2019, event featured words from district officials, Principal Pamela McCloud, a heartwarming inspiration by Smoke Rise fifth-grade student Xavier Ragland, and a musical selection by the Smoke Rise chorus.
“Here lies another milestone for our district as a result of collaborative planning from our dedicated Board, staff and community partners,” said Superintendent/CEO Dr. R. Stephen Green at the event. “You cannot move a district forward without a vision and a village and the new Smoke Rise Elementary adds another innovative and modern facility to our portfolio. A very special thanks to all who were involved in making this new school a reality.”
Dr. Green also took time to thank the school community for the impressive Georgia Milestones End-of-Grade (EOG) assessment gains from this past school year. “These positive results directly impact the school’s 2019 CCRPI score,” said Green.
Photo: Thomas Springer, Jr.
“Smoke Rise Elementary has beautiful, smart and diverse students. They are the reason why I get up every day,” said Principal Pamela McCloud. We’re excited to move learning from our old home into a new home with rich resources, state of the art technology, and a unique design.”
The new Smoke Rise Elementary will accommodate growth in Region 2 and the Tucker Cluster. The design prototype is similar to John Lewis Elementary School and addresses current needs, as well as future district needs. In addition, moving the school from Stone Mountain to the new location in Tucker allows the district to serve the school on a sanitary sewer and not rely on a septic tank. Smoke Rise is the only school on septic service in the county.
Board of Education member Allyson Gevertz thanked the stakeholders for their, “hard work and collaboration for the momentous occasion.”
DCSD is collaborating with CGLS Architects and Nix-Fowler Construction for this new facility.
Tucker mayor Frank Auman, city council member Anne Lerner, and other officials joined Dr. Green, Interim COO Daniel Drake and Regional Superintendent Trenton Arnold for this occasion. In addition, the Smoke Rise Elementary Strands of Pearls, Boys of Distinction, Safety Patrol, and the Jr. Beta Club were present and participated in the event.