A Look Inside the New Academies of Loudoun Building

Written by Carissa Vergeres

Loudoun County Public Schools’ new Academy of Engineering & Technology just opened in the new Academies of Loudoun building and the reveal was nothing less than stunning. The Academy offers programs and classes that focus on varied programs including nursing, engineering, information technology, auto mechanics and cosmetology.

Loudoun Valley High School junior Erin Fennelly says, “The facility is very different from any other high school I’ve been to. It is very high-tech and has a lot of advanced equipment that we wouldn’t be able to use anywhere else.”

Photo by Carissa Vegeres
A look inside the Academies of Loudoun building.

There are many of very interesting aspects of the school, as well, such as the coffee shop in the front of the school, which sophomore Lucas Kazem says is his favorite part. Kazem also enjoys the entrepreneurship course he is taking because “I learn so much about the thing that I want to be doing most, and am so passionate about.”

During Kazem’s first year of the program, (which was last year for him), students learned about running a business and all of time

things that are required. This year, he will research different products and activities to participate in start his business. Kazem recommends that people who come to ACL “should be driven towards whatever course they are taking, and make sure they know that is what they want to do” in the future.

Fennelly, a radiology student, has a similar view of the school and enjoys the various amenities. She loves the smoothie bar, she also says that she likes the independence of being a student there and the fact that everything is very collaborative.

Coming from a different perspective, the principal of Academies of Learning, Tinell Priddy, explained how schools formed from different programs in three different locations last year, and all came together to form ACL.

Photo by Carissa Vegeres
The view of the new café inside the ACL building.

She says, “The three programs previously were housed in separate locations, AET at Tuscarora HS, AOS at Dominion HS, and Monroe in its own building, and now have merged to form a new STEM magnet school community.”

She also stated that the school is a state of the art facility with over 40 specialized labs. “It resembles more of a college campus than a high school,” she exclaimed.

Senior Timothy Mercendetti, says that it looks like a “billion-dollar school,” with two coffee shops and three floors housing all of the programs.

Junior Alexis Hay is taking the law enforcement class this year. She says that she loves meeting new people there and she enjoys the fact that “you are always doing fun things to help you learn, which makes it even better.”