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Traverse City Welcomes A New High School Option For Northern Michigan Students

Greenspire School in Traverse City has a very specific mission: to provide a project-based and environmentally-focused education. The superintendent says that mission will now carry in their new high school starting this fall.

“The demand for something different, for something innovative in the Traverse City region is really strong. So far, everything has been great in the development of this school,” said Robert Walker, Superintendent and Head of Greenspire Middle School.

Instead of learning in a classroom all day, some classes will take place outside, with lessons about the environment and architecture.

“Our project-base is every hands-on interdisciplinary, so instead of being very compartmentalized into certain subjects, you’re actually working on projects that encompass all of the different subjects,” said Walker.

Greenspire School District has been teaching those lessons to Middle School students for nearly ten years.

“We’re opening for students in the 9th and 10th grade initially, and then we will grow to a full high school with 11th and 12th graders over the next couple of years,” he said.

Walker said the high school is already past their target for enrollment. Lily Heizelman will be a freshman at Greenspire High School this fall. She moved to Traverse City from California two years ago, and has attended the Greenspire Middle School ever since.

“You get to go outside and you get to walk around,” she said. “You get to like build this great relationship with these people, and nature, and the teachers… it’s just one of the best experiences I’ve probably ever had.”

The high school will offer four different program routes for students to choose from during their high school career: freshwater studies, community leadership, agricultural sciences, and architecture & engineering.

The head of the high school, Erica Walsh, says they’re excited about what the future holds for both the district, and their students.

“I think at Greenspire, we’re going to not only be able to teach them how to play the world game, right? But they’re also going to thrive in the game of academia,” said Walsh.

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