St. Elmo Center for the Gifted hasn’t always been a gifted center. The construction of St. Elmo School was completed in 1930 at a cost of $40,000. The first principal was Mr. B.B. Littlejohn. Mr Littlejohn and six teachers welcomed 200 children for grades kindergarten through seventh grade in the fall of 1930. St. Elmo began as a neighborhood school. The Weracoba-St. Elmo neighborhood was built in the 1920’s. The style of St. Elmo duplicates the Revival styles and ambiance of the surrounding neighborhood. Due to St. Elmo, the neighborhood has remained a viable part of the Columbus community.
In the spring of 1990, St. Elmo closed as a neighborhood school. In the fall of 1990, it opened as the gifted program under the direction of Dr. Susan Squires. The original gifted education teachers were Mrs. Beth Adams, Mrs. Jeanne Fessenden, Mrs. Marylou Mohr, Mrs. Carole Mashburn, Mrs. Patricia Willis, and Mrs. Debbie Wright. It is now known as St. Elmo Center for the Gifted.
In the spring of 2007, Mrs. Elizabeth Housand became the second Director of Gifted Education and many positive innovations were incorporated. Enrollment increased and the teachers continue to collaborate across the system to ensure the best instruction for the students.
In August of 2010, MCSD and St. Elmo Center for the Gifted welcomed Mrs. Angel Cash as the new Director of Gifted Education. Mrs. Cash retired in August 2015. Mrs. Carole Mashburn is currently serving as Interim Director for Gifted Education. She is back home after being away for 5 years while serving as an Assistant Principal. She retired from MCSD in June 2015.
St. Elmo Center for the Gifted is a Resource Pullout Model for Gifted Education. The Georgia DOE Resource Manual for Gifted Instruction defines a Resource Class as –
- Resource Class (K-12) – All students must have been identified as gifted by Georgia State Board of Education criteria. The class is limited to the maximum size specified in State Board of Education Rule 160-5-1-.08 CLASS SIZE. The teacher must have the gifted endorsement. The curriculum must have an academic content foundation, but it should focus on interdisciplinary enrichment activities. The content and pacing should be differentiated to the degree that the activities are clearly not appropriate for more typical students at that grade level. Gifted students may receive no more than ten segments per week of resource class service.