D-B EXCEL Receives 2024 Tennessee STEM School Re-designation

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) and the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN) has announced D-B EXCEL has received a re-designation for the Tennessee STEM School Designation for 2024. This prestigious achievement demonstrates a school’s dedication to rigorous STEM/STE(A)M (science, technology, engineering, (art), mathematics) learning where students explore 21st century skills, acquire workforce development at all levels, and embrace problem-solving methods they can apply to all of life’s challenges. This designation was initially earned by D-B EXCEL during the 2018 - the year the designation program began.

"We would like to congratulate Principal Shanna Hensley and the D-B EXCEL students and staff on the work they invested to earn the repeat designation as a STEM Designated School," said Kingsport City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Chris Hampton. "It is an honor to earn the designation and we celebrate the learning experiences and higher order thinking students receive through our specially designed curriculum."

"We are immensely proud to be re-designated as a STEM school through the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network and the Tennessee Department of Education," said D-B EXCEL Principal, Shanna Hensley. "Over the past six years, our understanding and implementation of STEM practices have evolved profoundly, significantly enhancing our students' readiness for the challenges of the 21st century. This achievement reflects our dedicated teachers' commitment to deeply understanding and fostering the skills our students need to thrive in an ever-changing world."  

As a program of Dobyns-Bennett High School, D-B EXCEL (Excellence in a Creative Environment for Learning) students have a personalized, smaller academic environment which encourages and empowers students to focus on individualized goals. Blended learning provides a more practical, hands-on education experience and an opportunity to build meaningful connections with teachers, other students, the community, and the region. Students may participate in student clubs, extracurricular activities (including band and athletics), and participate in the Dobyns-Bennett graduation ceremony, receiving a Dobyns-Bennett diploma. To date the student body is made up of more than 250 students.   

Each school awarded the Tennessee STEM School Designation was evaluated through a rigorous application process including a self-assessment, interviews, and hosting site visits with the designation review team. The designation rubric included five focus areas: infrastructure, curriculum and instruction, professional development, achievement, and community and postsecondary partnerships.

D-B EXCEL is one of 15 schools in Tennessee to receive the re-designation this year. Schools that receive this honor also serve as models from which others may visit and learn. All K–12 schools serving students in Tennessee are eligible.

George Washington Elementary School received the Tennessee STEM School Designation in 2021.
For more information about the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network, click here
Kingsport City Schools (KCS) is a public school district located in Kingsport, Tenn., serving students in Sullivan and Hawkins county. The district is comprised of 13 schools, including a Pre-K, eight elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, a high school program of choice, and an alternative learning program; with a total enrollment of over 7,400 students. 
KCS has been ranked the "#1 Best Place to Teach in Tennessee" by the 2023 NICHE Best Schools Ranking and the City of Kingsport has been voted as the "Nicest Places in America" in the October 2022 Reader's Digest.
For more information visit www.k12k.com, listen live on WCSK 90.3 FM, The Voice of KCS, or call the KCS Administrative Support Center at (423) 378.2100. We’re social too; follow us on Facebook (kcsdistrict), Instagram (kcs__district), Threads (@kcs__district), X (@kcs__district), LinkedIn (kcsdistrict), and check out our YouTube Channel (@kcs__district).