Pike Liberal Arts School teaches students STEM, faith, and leadership.

Published 12:46 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Tyler Steele is a Troy University student and intern with The Messenger.  

By Tyler Steele

Pike Liberal Arts School is a Christian, private school located off Highway 231 next to the Troy Medical Center. Children and adults alike can be found throughout the hallways of this 25-acre campus most days of the week.

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PLAS educates students from kindergarten to 12 grade, with its average class size being about 18 students. Currently, PLAS has approximately 460 students enrolled according to its website.

PLAS offers classes just like a public school does, including English, Science, Math, and History, but they also offer other courses as well. Other than core classes, students also study the Bible, foreign language, and even handwriting.

When walking through the front doors of the front office, people are greeted by the school Administrative Assistant, Trecy Gray. Gray works at the front desk, taking phone calls and assisting administration, educators, students, and parents with any needs.

Also located in the front office is the school nurse and administrative offices. Eric Burkett, the principal of PLAS, can also be found here answering emails, attending meetings, updating administration and teachers on important information, and much more.

While walking through the campus, The Messenger had the opportunity to speak to Jeremy Matthews, an educator at PLAS who holds multiple titles. Not only does Matthews teach the high schoolers Calculus, but he also acts as the Registrar, the Attendance Official, and the Technology Director.

Matthews said one thing he likes about campus is the smell of barbecue coming from Hook’s BBQ down the hill.

“You can smell it almost every day,” said Matthews.

Kim Gulledge, the STEM Director and a teacher at PLAS, was teaching a class about engineering when The Messenger had an opportunity to sit in on one of her lessons. Students were building animals using a VEX GO Building Set, a construction set used to teach kids engineering and coding.

“They learn to build more complicated things in later grades,” said Gulledge. “One day they’ll build and code their own robot.”

Gulledge walked around the room while the students worked in groups of two or three, helping students whenever they needed assistance. The students were laughing and having fun while learning a lesson in STEM.

Down the hall and around the corner, the older students are learning physics and chemistry with Janice Waldrop, a high school and middle school teacher at PLAS. When the bell rings to release class, her middle-schoolers leave and the seats are filled by high-schoolers, eager to graduate.

Gulledge said her students get to build houses and roller coasters in her classes, letting them explore the fun side of science.

“[The students] had to build a bridge that could withstand weight,” said Gulledge.

Once class started, Gulledge had the students practice a little bit of chemistry. A list of problems was on the board and students had to practice on their own. Gulledge then took the class through the problems together to make sure they were all on the same page.

Even in the middle of class, students and teachers are always kept up to date on school news and important events. During Gulledge’s class, students were updated on weather concerns and given an early release to ensure their safety.

“When [bad weather] comes through, we try to make sure the students and their parents don’t get caught in it,” said Gulledge. “So, we sometimes release early for inclement weather.”

PLAS offers a variety of classes to students while also ensuring they are learning in a safe and productive environment. To learn more information about PLAS, visit their website at pikelib.com.