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Gwinnett County Public Schools

Fourth Gwinnett school earns state STEM honor: Peachtree Ridge High School earns state STEM certification

Peachtree Ridge HS achieves state STEM honor

Fourth Gwinnett school earns state STEM honor: Peachtree Ridge High School earns state STEM certification

January 6, 2017

Peachtree Ridge faculty and Cluster representatives stand on stage to celebrate the school

     Peachtree Ridge High School has earned STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) certification from the Georgia Department of Education for its SPIRE (STEM Program for Innovation, Rigor, and Excellence) initiative. State School Superintendent Richard Woods presented the school with a banner at a celebration recently. Dr. Jeff Mathews, the Principal at Peachtree Ridge High School, says earning the certification was a team effort.

     “This certification is a significant accolade that not only validates the amazing work of our teachers and staff at PRHS, but it also exemplifies the high level of rigor and problem solving our students experience in SPIRE. I could not be more proud of our SPIRE students and teachers as we continue to celebrate this milestone throughout the Peachtree Ridge community,” Mathews said.

     SPIRE provides additional STEM access for all students as well as a STEM-focused pathway for students who have an interest in STEM careers. Through innovative, integrated, project-based, and technology-enhanced instruction, students master the curriculum with an engineering focus. SPIRE’s enrollment has increased 229% in the last three years creating additional STEM entry ramps for interested students. As self-directed learners, SPIRE students regularly deepen their learning through interactions with community members. 

     Peachtree Ridge High School is the ninth high school in the state to earn STEM certification from the GaDOE and is the fourth Gwinnett County school to earn STEM certification. (The school also earned AdvancED STEM Certification in 2015.) Dr. Jeff Mathews, the school’s principal, is the first principal in Georgia to earn STEM certification at two different schools-- Peachtree Ridge High School and Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST). Gwinnett’s White Oak Elementary and the CDAT (Center for Design and Technology) Academy at Lanier High School hold state STEM certification, as well. To learn more about the SPIRE program, go to  


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