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Columbia Academics Reimagined

Carlos Mathews advocated for the removal of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program from the District 5 feeder pattern, it was determined that the program was not effective and proved costly to the district. The IB program also diverted administrators and teachers from essential classroom time to manage paperwork. This decision allowed the district to implement new educational opportunities that better address the diverse needs of students and align the curriculum with industry needs. The replacement program includes innovative educational opportunities provided by the Columbia Innovation Center, including:

  • Aerospace: Offers hands-on experience with flight simulators and drones, preparing students for careers in the aerospace industry through industry-aligned curriculum.

  • Entrepreneurship and Business Develops business and entrepreneurial skills with a focus on current business trends and practices.

  • Nutrition and Wellness: Educates on healthy living and nutrition, partnering with health professionals to provide relevant knowledge.

  • Cybersecurity and IT: Equips students with skills in network security and ethical hacking, developed in consultation with cybersecurity experts.

  • JROTC: Provides leadership training and discipline, promoting values and skills valued by military and civilian employers.

  • Interdisciplinary Studies: Encourages critical thinking and problem-solving through a STEAM-integrated curriculum, preparing students for diverse careers.

These new programs focus on equipping students with practical skills and knowledge, fostering a more engaging and effective learning environment that addresses the diverse needs of students and meets the demands of the modern workforce.

Huntsville City Schools Capital Plan

Carlos Mathews supported the Huntsville City Schools Capital Plan that is a $600 million initiative designed to optimize facilities, support teaching and learning, and reimagine magnet programs. The plan is projected to impact around 24,000 students annually, with projects prioritized based on student needs, funding availability, and other operational considerations.

Columbia Feeder Plan Details

  • Columbia Innovation Center: This includes the redesign of the library space to feature 3D printers, a coffee bar, podcasting rooms, and a state-of-the-art presentation area.

  • Dual Enrollment Expansion: The existing International Baccalaureate (IB) program will be replaced with dual enrollment opportunities, allowing students to earn college credits in various fields such as aerospace, cybersecurity, and entrepreneurship.

  • Project-Based Learning: The implementation of project-based learning experiences where students will collaborate with industry experts on capstone projects.

  • New Educational Programs:  Introduction of new programs focused on areas like entrepreneurship and business, nutrition and wellness, and JROTC, providing a broad range of educational opportunities.

  • New School Construction: A new elementary school will be constructed in the District 5 area to alleviate overcrowding and support community growth

  • Williams School Upgrades: Significant upgrades to Williams Middle School to enhance facilities and support student learning environments.

Huntsville City Schools Academic Hub

As a member of the Board of Education, Carlos Mathews, along with his fellow board members, enthusiastically supported the development of the new Central Office and Career Technical Facility for Huntsville City Schools on North Parkway. Mathews emphasized the significance of this 14-acre campus, which includes a 40,000-square-foot administrative center and an 81,000-square-foot career tech center. The facility will offer over 20 specialized programs, including welding, culinary arts, and advanced manufacturing. With cutting-edge labs, a dining area, kitchen, and a Greenpower track for electric car projects, this development will equip students with vital practical skills. Mathews believes this initiative embodies the board's dedication to fostering educational excellence and preparing students for future career success.

HCS & AAMU Dual Enrolment Program

​Carlos Mathews played a pivotal role in establishing a dual enrollment program with Alabama A&M University. This initiative allows high school students to enroll in college courses, earning both high school and college credits simultaneously. By fostering this partnership, Carlos aimed to provide students with advanced educational opportunities, better preparing them for college and career success. This program not only enhances the academic experience for students but also strengthens the relationship between local high schools and Alabama A&M University.

Artemis Virtual Academy

As a member of the Huntsville Board of Education, Carlos Mathews strongly supported the creation of Artemis Virtual Academy. This K-12 program offers a flexible, technology-driven educational environment, allowing students to participate in extracurricular activities at their zoned schools. The Academy ensures equitable access to quality education by providing HCS-issued devices and internet access to eligible students. Supported by highly qualified teachers, Artemis Virtual Academy addresses diverse educational needs at no cost to families zoned for Huntsville City Schools.

Elected President of BOE

​On October 2023 Carlos Mathews was elected vide president of the Huntsville City Schools Board of Education.

HCS Superintendent Search

As President, Mathews played a pivotal role in overseeing a historic Superintendent search in May 2023. The Board unanimously approved Dr. Clarence Sutton as the district's new Superintendent on Tuesday, June 13, 2023. This landmark decision marked a pivotal moment in the Huntsville City Schools' history, as they welcomed only the second African American Superintendent to lead the district. 

Toyota's Investment in Huntsville City Schools

Huntsville City Schools has also benefited from a significant partnership with Toyota. Carlos Mathews was one of the champion sfor this partnership, which led to the Toyota USA Foundation announcing grants of up to $6.7 million on August 10, 2023. These grants aim to prepare Huntsville City Schools' students for future careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). This collaboration is part of Toyota’s Driving Possibilities initiative, a five-year phased rollout of programming in select schools. The initiative aims to close educational gaps through innovative, hands-on STEM programming, addressing essential needs of students and families​ (Huntsville City Schools | Home)​​ (Toyota USA Newsroom)​.

This funding supports various initiatives, including a new industrial tech program at the recently announced Huntsville City Schools Career Tech Center, creating direct pathways into high-demand manufacturing careers. Additionally, the initiative will fund new teacher coaches, training, and mentorship at select schools in partnership with the New Teacher Center

CNP Support

In early 2023, Carlos Mathews and the District 1 representative engaged with Child Nutrition Program (CNP) workers from across Huntsville to listen to their concerns. Their advocacy led to a wage increase for CNP employees, approved during the Huntsville City Schools Board of Education meeting on June 13, 2023. This wage increase is part of a broader initiative by the board to improve working conditions for staff, recognizing their critical role in the educational ecosystem. These efforts aim to enhance the well-being of employees, thereby contributing to better educational outcomes for students.

Elected President of BOE

On October 2022 Carlos Mathews was elected president of the Huntsville City Schools Board of Education.

Turf Baseball & Softball Fields
As a board member, I am proud to support significant improvements in our schools, including the upgrade of athletic facilities across Huntsville City Schools. The Board of Education approved a $12 million project to convert grass fields to artificial turf at baseball and softball stadiums at all five high schools. This initiative will reduce long-term maintenance costs and ensure equitable, high-quality facilities for all students. The new turf fields will also provide a competitive advantage by familiarizing student-athletes with surfaces used in many collegiate stadiums. Construction begins in May 2024 and will be completed in two phases by January 2026. This project is a testament to our commitment to enhancing both academic and athletic resources for our students.
$7.2 million Renovation of Milton Frank
  • Athletic Fields: New synthetic turf and improved drainage systems.

  • Track: Resurfaced and relined to meet competition standards, designed by Carlos Mathews.

  • Facilities: Upgraded locker rooms, restrooms, and concession stands.

  • Seating: New bleachers and improved seating arrangements.

  • Lighting: Enhanced stadium lighting for better evening visibility.

  • Accessibility: Improved features for individuals with disabilities.

These enhancements aimed to create a state-of-the-art facility for athletes and the community.

Highlands Elementary Renovation
As a board member, I championed the renovations of Highlands Elementary School and supported relocating students and staff to another location during construction. The school received a new roof, heating and cooling systems, flooring, LED lighting, and drop ceilings. Additionally, the campus was refreshed with new paint, pressure washing, and landscaping, making it more welcoming and visually appealing.
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