Tommy Reddicks, Scaffolding Excitement on an Urban Farm

The Path to Higher Ed is a SchooLinks hosted podcast community that explores trending topics and issues in the area of college and career readiness. Our featured guests are pushing education forward by constantly learning from, innovating and applying their college and career readiness practices.

In this episode, we get to speak with Tommy Reddicks, the Executive Director of the Paramount School of Excellence. The Paramount School of Excellence sits on 5.5 acres of farmland that is located in the inner city. Tommy believes in an interdisciplinary approach to career readiness that involves hands on learning on the farm. As a result, the Paramount School is developing its students into environmental stewards whom actively apply their learning at school.

About Tommy Reddicks

Tommy Reddicks, Executive Director of Paramount Schools of Excellence, is a graduate of the University of Wyoming who began his educational career as a music teacher in 1995. He is still an active composer and has created more than 20 children’s musicals. As a school leader, Reddicks has worked in public, private, and charter schools and played a role in the opening of three K-8 charter schools. Since 2002, he has written school curriculum and presented educational workshops around the country. In 2010, he accepted the position as founding school director at Paramount. It was a unique opportunity where he was initially charged with academic and financial oversight, building renovations, student and staff recruitment, and curriculum development.

Today, Reddicks serves as the primary liaison with Paramount’s Board of Directors, is instrumental in the establishment of a second school site and oversees the Paramount Network operations. Besides his interest in music, outside involvements include serving on the community boards of the Brookside Neighborhood Association and the Felege Hiywot Center.

About Paramount School of Excellence

The mission of Paramount School of Excellence is to inspire learning through an unparalleled academic approach, and transform communities by changing lives.

At Paramount School of Excellence (PSOE), each child maximizes their potential against measurable standards while developing the skills necessary to become successful and productive citizens in a Global society. Developing compassion and understanding, students learn to respect their environment, themselves and one another.

PSOE serves Grades K — 8 using an integrated, humanities and research based curricula, and develops a network of existing programs, services and resources to broaden the reach of choices to all students and families.

Physique

  • 55,000 sq. ft. facility
  • 5.5 acres
  • Large Urban Farm
  • Cheese processing facility
  • 1/2 mile fitness trail
  • 30 seat outdoor classroom
  • Planetarium

Academics

  • Strong adherence to Indiana Academic Standards
  • Core Knowledge
  • Pearson Mathematics
  • Pearson Reading
  • Spiraling curriculum
  • Integrated learning

Technology

  • All-Apple hardware (iPad, iTouch, and Macbook)
  • Wireless infrastructure
  • Interactive whiteboards and/or Apple TV-Airplay connectivity in every class

Green

  • All carpet is recycled
  • Five 40 foot, 2500 Watt wind turbines
  • Comprehensive recycling program through Work Force Inc.
  • Student “Green Team”
  • K-8 composting program
  • Urban Farm
  • Summer student gardening program (STEAM)

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