Guest panelists at the NCSSM-Morganton Data Science event in Charlotte on September 19, (L-R) Carl Ryden '89, Laura Jackson ‘90, Katharine Briggs ‘91, Trevor Runberg, and Fatma Mili.


NCSSM discusses western N.C. expansion at events in Charlotte and Shelby

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) hosted events on September 19 and 20 in Charlotte and Shelby to engage regional leaders in business, education, and economic development in a dialogue about NCSSM’s expansion to western North Carolina. NCSSM, the nation’s first public residential high school specializing in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics curriculum, is creating a second campus in Morganton, scheduled to open in 2021.

The events featured several speakers including Speaker of the N.C. House of Representatives Tim Moore, NCSSM Chancellor Todd Roberts, and NCSSM Director of Western Campus Planning Kevin Baxter, as well as two distinguished NCSSM alumni, CEO and co-founder of PrecisionLender Carl Ryden ’89, and founder and CTO of Brain Power Software Taylor Brockman ’99.

At the Shelby event, Speaker Moore praised the positive impact that NCSSM has made on the state over the past four decades and expressed his excitement that the new location in Morganton will enable the state to serve even more students who will contribute to the prosperity of North Carolina.

Chancellor Roberts highlighted NCSSM’s legacy of innovation and ways in which the new Morganton campus will work closely with N.C. industries to create innovative partnerships that harness the existing business acumen in data-driven areas like financial technology, advanced manufacturing, and renewable energy.

“When you give talented students from across the state an opportunity, good things happen,” said Roberts. “We see a new opportunity to innovate at the high school level to develop some curriculum centered around data science that will be a model not only for North Carolina but also for the country.”

Panel discussions centered around how the topic of data science can be infused into the curriculum of the new NCSSM-Morganton campus. Panelists included executives from Duke Energy, Bank of America, and The Collider; deans of several colleges and universities; and NCSSM alumni working in financial technology and renewable energy.

Both events included an open discussion with industry leaders on emerging trends, opportunities, and challenges facing a cross-section of industries. Speakers and guests engaged in a dialogue about adapting the K-12 curriculum to prepare young leaders to fill the jobs of the future.

NCSSM plans to host two additional events in the Triangle and Asheville later this fall.