Like many school systems, Maryland's Charles County Public Schools had different tracks for high school students who were going on to college and those pursuing vocational training. This outdated model ultimately reduced the status of voc-ed to a lower level than academic programs.

James Richmond, our district superintendent, championed the idea of a 21st- century school that would bring vocational and academic students together in one facility. The school also would integrate advanced technology into its fabric and culture. Our goal was to create classrooms and courses driven by technology accessible at users' fingertips. With the help of the governor's office,...

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