School Specialty Partners with Hazleton, PA School District to Build New and Innovative Academy of Sciences
By Mel Fabrikant Tuesday, June 10 2014 @ 04:23 PM EDT
Latest STEM academy designed to provide Hazleton area students with state-of-the-art 21st Century
School Specialty, Inc. (OTCQB: SCOO) (“School Specialty” or “the Company”), a leading distributor of innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to the education marketplace, today announced the successful completion of the Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences in Drums, PA, which will serve as the epicenter of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and 21st Century Learning for students in the district.
Designed with the future of education in mind, School Specialty’s Projects by Design (PBD) team
worked closely with the Hazleton School District to build a leadership academy that would foster the
growth and success of students, both today and tomorrow – a cutting-edge facility that could provide an
advanced 21st century educational setting for STEM learning. Along with the complete redesign, the
Hazleton School District called upon PBD to provide comprehensive furniture and equipment solutions,
and in response, the team utilized School Specialty’s vast inventory of products for the Academy’s
“We chose to partner with PBD and School Specialty as a result of our past, positive experiences with the
team. They have always gone above and beyond to accommodate our needs with affordable, high-quality
educational products and services,” stated Francis Antonelli, Superintendent of the Hazleton School
District. “It was very important that we had a shared-vision in the design process to ensure that the needs
of our teachers and students would be met.”
Jamie Kline, Account Manager at School Specialty, commented on the project, “21st Century Learning is
an initiative that seeks to better prepare our students nationwide for success in college and the workforce.
The initiative focuses on collaborative, project-based learning, with science education and technology
scholarship being significant elements; PBD looked to design and outfit the Hazleton Academy from the
ground up to fulfill these goals.”
Unique to the Academy’s design is an open floor plan that facilitates student collaboration and features
wide hallways, flexible classrooms and meeting spaces for group projects. This structure allows students
to function and learn in a relaxed environment, with spaces that are adaptable for individual, teacherdirected
and team-oriented projects. Additionally, the Academy is equipped with a wide array of flexible,
mobile furniture, including desks, tables and chairs that can be configured in various ways – promoting
learning environments that change to fit the individual needs of teachers and students. Modern, soft
seating areas provide comfortable spaces for students to complete group projects, and include technology
integration so that students can use their PCs, tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices.
Tom Casperite, a 35-year F&E Coordinator from School Specialty, added, “PBD’s furniture and
equipment offerings ensure the utilization of unique settings for everyday learning. We outfitted the
Academy specifically to encourage an environment where our children can exercise their inventiveness, a
key component of 21st Century Learning that prepares them to be innovative and successful leaders in
their fields and in life as a whole.”
“The PBD services and School Specialty furnishings contribute to an atmosphere of collegiality, respect
and trust. I believe that the new design and layout of the rooms and spaces at Hazleton Area Academy not
only promote an atmosphere of independence and personal creativity but also teamwork,” continued
Since officially opening its doors at the start of the 2013-2014 school year, the Hazleton Area Academy
of Sciences is already seeing resounding success, in terms of response. Faculty, staff, students and parents
have expressed their full satisfaction with the school’s fresh and pioneering approach to learning. The
waiting list for both students and teachers to join the Academy is extensive, as word has spread that it
offers a more fulfilling learning experience than traditional schools.
“I have always been pushing for our school and district to be a leader in STEM education but recognized
that we needed a certain kind of learning environment and tools to achieve this. Our students have a lot of
freedom to express themselves because the new building is so open; inviting them to work smarter and
together more than ever before,” explained Daniella Zola, Hazleton Area Academy Principal. “The new
facility is designed to optimize space and light, and we have modern furniture and equipment that
leverage the benefits of technology. The atmosphere is stimulating and comfortable.”
School Specialty’s Kline concluded, “We are extremely pleased that the new facility has been met with
such widespread praise. In addition to providing products and services, we seek to drive innovation in our
children’s education and prepare them for a global workforce that has become increasingly competitive.
We are very excited that this philosophy is working so well at the Hazleton Academy and look forward to
the school’s continued growth and success.”
About School Specialty, Inc.
School Specialty is a leading distributor of innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to
the education marketplace. The Company designs, develops, and provides educators with the latest and
very best school supplies, furniture and both curriculum and supplemental learning resources. Working in
collaboration with educators, School Specialty reaches beyond the scope of textbooks to help teachers,
guidance counselors and school administrators ensure that every student reaches his or her full potential.
For more information about School Specialty, visit www.schoolspecialty.com.