Flint Cultural Center Academy, Principal
October 9, 2019
One of the pillars of a community is its education system. Flint, long the example for the entire country in this arena, found its system failing as tax rolls deteriorated along with a mass exodus of population resulting from the near complete collapse of the auto industry.
Multiple attempts to reinvigorate the schools proved futile, and the exodus continued unabated. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, comes the Flint Cultural Center Academy. In partnership with the Mott Foundation, the Microsoft Corporation, and the College and Cultural Center, the FCCA has risen like a phoenix from the ashes of the old Flint Community Schools system.
With connective tendrils that include all of the Cultural Center, students attending the FCCA will have a 27 million dollar newly renovated Flint Public Library, a 30 million dollar, new Sloan Museum of Discovery, and the venerable Flint Institute of Music (the latter two are directly connected). That doesn't even include the proximity to the Flint Repertory Theatre, the Whiting Auditorium, the Longway Planetarium, the renovated Flint Institute of Arts, The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Mott Community College, Mott Culinary Institute, Applewood Estate, and Kettering University.
It's an incredible extended campus, and it reminds me of what it was like for me as a Flint Community School student! The amenities and resources are truly incredible. It's hard to imagine too many other schools anywhere in the USA with a better situated school.
Despite all of this, there are still questions, concerns, and issues about how this school came to be—the fact that it's not a Flint Public School and what that means, as well as how it all came to be so quickly.
Given the import of schools in general, and the FCCA in particular we invited School Principal Eric Lieske to "Fish and The Flint Chronicles" to help answer the questions and paint a picture of both the school opening and the road ahead.