The Academy @ Shawnee

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The Academy @ Shawnee
ShawneeHighSchool LouisvilleKY.jpg
Entrance outside the main office
4001 Herman St.
Louisville, Kentucky
United States
Coordinates 38°15′39″N 85°48′54″W / 38.26090°N 85.81500°W / 38.26090; -85.81500Coordinates: 38°15′39″N 85°48′54″W / 38.26090°N 85.81500°W / 38.26090; -85.81500
Type Public
Established 1927
School district Jefferson County Public Schools
Principal Venita Benboe
Grades 6–12
Enrollment 673[1] (2014-15)
Color(s) Navy and Gold          
Nickname Golden Eagles
Information Magnet Program School

The Academy @ Shawnee (formerly, Shawnee High School Magnet Career Academy [MCA]), is a magnet middle school and high school (grades 6-12) in the Jefferson County Public School District in Louisville, Kentucky, with a focus in Aerospace, which is the number one export in the state of Kentucky.[2] Qualifying students choose from Aerospace-Flight, Aerospace Engineering, Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC). The Academy offers the Advance Program and Advanced Placement (AP) courses, as well as some dual-credit and a pre-engineering course via Project Lead the Way. It is one of five West Louisville schools selected as part of the Signature Partnership initiative with the University of Louisville.[3] The Academy@ Shawnee also houses the Challenger Learning Center,[4] which offers science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) student learning exercises, or missions, which are housed in a realistic looking environment that was modeled after the Challenger space shuttle and control room.

The Academy @Shawnee is not only a high school but is now entering its third year as a middle school as well,[5] first opening its doors to middle school students in the fall of 2013. As an aerospace magnet, the middle school is smaller in enrollment when compared to other middle schools in Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), and is operated not unlike a private school in the way that it offers choices to parents, invites open communication, and gives unique learning opportunities to students such as the Challenger Learning Center. The middle school ranked in the 99th percentile when test scores came out after the first year. It had the highest accountability score of any middle school in JCPS, second-highest in the entire state of Kentucky.[6] Parents, faculty and administration are optimistic that the middle school students will choose to stay at The Academy @ Shawnee magnet for their high school years, providing the ultimate shine for this "diamond in the rough."

The Academy @ Shawnee is the only high school of its kind in the nation. They offer the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 141 Private Pilot License Course, which includes ground school and flight hours, at no cost to its students. This level of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification normally costs students upwards of $10,000. In addition to their pilot's license, students who complete the Academy's program may receive up to nine credit hours at select universities for successfully obtaining this license. Students fly simulators, take familiarization flights, build scale models, take field trips to major players in the Aerospace industry such as UPS, and have the opportunity to take additional courses (many of which are dual credit) and compete with other aviation students through their partnership with National Air & Space Education Institute (NASEI).[7] During the junior year, the actual FAA curriculum for Ground School starts as students begin to work towards the opportunity to spend their senior year flying and earning their Private Pilots License. The Academy @ Shawnee also has an award-winning NJROTC program (Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps) which hold 110 students in the program. The Academy's sports programs are Football, Basketball, Swimming, Wrestling, Track and Field, Volleyball, Baseball and Softball. Basketball is the only sport to win a State Championships which was in March 1973 at Freedom Hall. Shawnee beat Male High School 81 to 68. Samuel Robinson was principal and James "Honeybee" Gordon was the head coach.[8]

The school building sits on a large campus and is Gothic-inspired in its architectural design; it was constructed in 1927[9] and is on the National Register of Historic Places (reference number 84000277). The school has had harsh criticism in the past for having low test scores when compared to the rest of Jefferson County, but current administration seems to be taking on the challenge successfully, which was started by Dr. Keith Look. Some continue to have low expectations perhaps partially based on the location of the school, and its performance history, but people who have visited the "turnaround" school know better. The school had a listed enrollment of 593 students for the 2014/15 school year.[10]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Academy @ Shawnee". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved October 7, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Kentucky's exports are flying high with aerospace, The Lane Report". May 11, 2015. Retrieved January 31, 2016. 
  3. ^ Signature Partnership - University of Louisville Archived September 21, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "The Challenger Learning Center". Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved February 1, 2016. 
  5. ^ "The Academy @ Shawnee - Middle Academy". Archived from the original on January 29, 2016. Retrieved February 1, 2016. 
  6. ^ Ross, Allison (October 15, 2014). "Shawnee mid-school's success key part of plan". The Courier-Journal. Louisville, KY. 
  7. ^ "Air+Space Academy – National Air & Space Education Institute". Retrieved February 1, 2016. 
  8. ^ "The Academy @ Shawnee -- Louisville, KY". Retrieved February 1, 2016. 
  9. ^ Dedication plaque located inside main entrance gives date of December 20, 1927
  10. ^ Jefferson County Public Schools 2014-2015 High Schools Profile Archived April 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]