From sharing about your business and facilitating hands-on, industry-specific learning activities to hosting field trips, job shadowing and student internships at your work site, the Academic Houses at SHS offers a wide array of Partner opportunities to fit business goals, industry experience, and desired time or financial investments. Our relationship-based approach to developing Partner House Plans aims to build innovative partner opportunities and real-world student experiences that are beneficial to students, employers and our community. Our Partners in Excellence list of project- and work-based learning opportunities is growing every day. Take a look at some of the opportunities our community partners have provided students!

Starkville Utilities classroom activity
Starkville utilities classroom activity

Starkville Utilities

SHS chemistry teacher, Dalton Hudspeth, welcomed Starkville Utilities into his classroom to show TEC House students how water treatment connects to the compounds and chemicals they learn about in class. Sean Johnston, Chief Water Operator, explained the drinking water treatment process. As part of the hands-on learning experience, students built mini water filters to mimic the large ones used by Starkville Utilities. 

Starkville Utilities signed on as our lead industry partner for the TEC House in August 2021 with plans to continue bringing hands-on opportunities to students in the classroom as well as offering field trips, job shadowing and internships. 

“In addition to helping students build a better future, we see this program as an investment in the future of our industry,” said Starkville Utilities Manager Terry Kemp. “By serving as a lead partner, we’re helping create a talent pipeline of students who may one day become Starkville Utilities employees. We want them to know that we’re one of many local businesses offering stable, rewarding careers and opportunities for professional growth.”

MSU Entomology classroom activity

Mississippi State University Entomology Department

Staff from the Mississippi State Entomology Department visited the H2S Agriculture and Natural Resources class to talk about plant pests and invasive species, and they brought a few insects. Students were able to hold the insects and experience their movements up close. They also learned about pinning insects for research purposes and got some hands-on practice.

Chick fil A interviewing session
Chick fil A interviewing session


Jonathan & Melissa Rogers, our partners in excellence at Chick-fil-A Starkville hosted several how to sessions and presentations with 8th and 9th grade students to help them prepare for their first interview. Students benefitted from the Rogers' experience as franchise owners in these job skills training sessions where learn the importance of presenting themselves well, making a good first impressions, communicating clearly, and more.

Jacks Job Shadowing
Chick fil A interviewing session

Jacks Restaurant

When a new Jacks restaurant began construction across the streen from Starkville High School, the contractors agreed to allow Construction I students in the TEC House to get a first-hand look. Students in Year I and II enjoyed a job shadowing experience on-site throughout the construction process to help them gain a real-world understanding of how buildings come together and how the skills they are learning in class are used in a real project.

Teacher Academy classroom
Teacher Academy
Educators Rising

Mississippi State University College of Education

MSU's College of Education partners with SHS to offer our students tours on MSU's campus to educate our students on the learning opportunities at MSU, including those through the TK Martin Center and the Partnership School. The College of Education also provides tours and speakers to partner with SHS on instruction to educate our students on meeting the needs of students with disabilities and appreciating diversity and more. The College of Education works to advise and educate our students who want to be teachers about classes they will need to take in college depending on the content area and elementary/middle or secondary level. 

The College of Education is also partnering with us in the fall to host the state Educator Rising Fall Leadership, the student organization for Teacher Academy and participates as an advisor on our Teacher Academy Advisory Craft Committee.

Teacher Academy classroom

OCH Regional Medical Center

OCH Regional Medical Center support the H2S Academic House by hosting our students for clinical shadowing experiences, providing speakers to support student instruction, and participating in career fairs to help prepare students for future careers in the healthcare industry. They also play a big role in preparing our nursing assistant training students by administering our annual TB skin testing.

EMCC Flex Factor program
EMCC Flex Factor

East Mississippi Community College - Flex Factor

Technology, manufacturing and engineering excellence! East Mississippi Community College hosted 9th grade students at  AJHS for FlexFactor. Through the 6-week partnership program with EMCC, students developed a business concept and participated in a Shark Tank style presentation/competition to solve a real world issue using a flexible hybrid electronic manufacturing product. 

Advanced Composites Institute
Advanced Composites Institute

Advanced Composites Institute

SHS graduate Stazyon Robinson completed a summer internship with Advanced Composites Institute at Mississippi State University following his senior year of high school. Through his experience at the ACI, he was able to learn about advanced composite manufacturing, engineering concepts and problem solving and participated in projects requiring 3D printing, CNC controls, design, and computer skills. Stazyon helped to produce a carbon composite hood made for a 1950’s Willy’s Jeep. His experiences will help him in whatever career pathway he chooses at East Mississippi Community College.  Stazyon completed the engineering pathway in the Academic Houses at Starkville High School.

Aika Owens
Sam Schmulsky
Chris Luckett

Mississippi State University Department of Sustainable Bioproducts

Aika Owens, SHS Class of 2021, joined Dr. Beth Stokes’s microbiology lab in summer of 2020. Aika participated in a number of research projects related to wood deterioration and preservation including fungal decay tests, termite tests and coating tests. She recorded test data, took measurements and photographs, prepared experiments, gathered termites from the forest, and maintained the lab space. Her work contributed to improved performance of mass timber, a wood composite material used to build more environmentally friendly tall buildings with little-to-no steel and concrete.

Sam Shmulsky, SHS Class of 2021, worked in Dr. Fred Franca’s mechanical testing lab in the Department of Sustainable Bioproducts at Mississippi State University in the summers of 2020 and 2021 breaking boards to assess their mechanical properties. He handled lumber, prepared specimens for testing, took measurements, and recorded data. His work contributed to both destructive and nondestructive ways of measuring strength and stiffness of pine lumber for building and construction applications.

Chris Luckett, SHS Class of 2020, joined Dr. Frank Owens’s wood anatomy lab in the Department of Sustainable Bioproducts at Mississippi State University in the fall of 2020. Chris has taken the lead inventorying the David A. Kribs Wood Collection, the fourth largest xylarium in the USA totaling over 30,000 specimens. He organizes rare and exotic wood specimens from around the world into their botanical families and genera. His work contributes to research that improves automated wood identification and deters global illegal logging.