Robert Morgan Educational Center is really two schools in one. It serves adults with a vocational center, and kids with a full service high school.
Actually, it’s much more than a regular high school. The home of the Pirates is also home to five academies: engineering, health sciences, visual and performing arts, digital media technology, and entrepreneurship.
“It's a wonderful school where we take children's interests and they get to delve into those interests and embrace the passions that they have within them,” said the school’s principal, Kimberly Davis.
RMEC, as they call it, is an all-magnet school. Within the academies, students have the freedom to explore interests as divergent as robotics and fine arts.
“The arts program is crucial, there’s a lot of employment nowadays and job opportunities in the arts that many don’t know about, it’s a cutting edge field,” said art teacher April Sharpe.
Musicians can play in the jazz band or the strings ensemble or the drum line. They can sing in the chorus. They can dance in the modern dance troupe. Or they can dance around a professional kitchen and learn every aspect of the culinary world.
“They need to learn how to plate the meals, all the customer service that goes along with it, there’s the safety aspect, there’s the cleanliness aspect and of course there’s the flavor of the food,” Davis explained.
On NBC 6's visit, the students prepared cedar-planked salmon with a sun dried tomato aioli, flanked by sautéed vegetables and house-baked croissants. It was delicious, and would’ve been at least a $20 entrée at any reputable restaurant.
The school has a day-care center, with actual pre-school kids, which it uses to teach students how to be pre-school care givers. It also has the full complement of AP classes to prepare its best students for the nation’s best colleges.
“There are so many opportunities here where students can see the future,” Davis said. “Those four years go by very quickly, so we tell them, got to have a plan, what’s your plan, where do you want to go after Robert Morgan? That’s our job and our goal, to give them the tools to be successful after they leave here.”
In the health care academy, students can shadow actual dentists who volunteer their time with real patients. They can also learn to take care of exotic animals, including pythons and sharks, in the veterinary course.
The emphasis here is on not just learning skills such as cosmetology, but on learning everything it takes to open your own salon or your own restaurant or your own welding shop. The faculty trains Robert Morgan’s students to be ready to succeed at any university, or to jump right into the work force ready to contribute.
Whatever your child’s interest, chances are they teach it at RMEC.