School Specialty Partners With Shelby, OH Community to Build State-of-the-Art High School

GREENVILLE, Wis., Sept. 23, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 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 Shelby High School in Shelby, OH, which provides an innovative, 21st Century Learning Environment aimed at preparing the community's young adults for a successful future in college and their careers.

Shelby HS Classroom

A photo accompanying this release is available at

School Specialty's Projects by Design (PbD) team worked closely with the Shelby City School District to outfit learning spaces that would foster critical-thinking, problem-solving and technology integration through student collaboration and teamwork. PbD provided comprehensive furniture and equipment solutions from School Specialty's breadth of product offerings in order to promote 21st Century Learning ideals and enhance the innovative design of the school.

"From the outset, Projects by Design and School Specialty delivered everything we needed to achieve our goal of outfitting a new high school optimized for 21st century teaching methods and learning skills," stated Tim Tarvin, Superintendent of Shelby City Schools. "From ideation to installation, the team supported the project in every aspect with their vast expertise, innovative solutions and close connections to the community. We could not have asked for a more ideal partner in ensuring that all expectations – unique to Shelby High's students and faculty – were met."

Shelby High School includes a number of unique architectural layouts that contribute to a collaborative, 21st Century Learning setting, such as "double-wide" hallways which are much larger than those in traditional schools, offering more space for socializing and learning. Additionally, the school includes modern classrooms with glass walls that double as dry erase boards, enabling students and teachers to interact and exchange ideas even when they are separated by a partition. Further, Shelby's classrooms were made twice as large as conventional ones, again to accommodate extra space for collaboration and group projects. Some of these extra-large rooms even include a retractable partition so that one large room may be quickly and easily converted into two smaller areas – teachers have the flexibility to host large lectures or small and intimate sessions as needed.

Once these unique learning spaces were created, Projects by Design outfitted them with modern furnishings that best utilize the innovative environment. From student tables that can change configurations for different types of class projects to flexible seating, these forward-looking furniture and equipment solutions from School Specialty complete the learning experience. PbD's furnishings provide students and faculty with everything they need to utilize the revolutionary architecture to its fullest extent. As with the space itself, School Specialty's furniture and equipment offerings are adaptable to every learning situation and requirement, from large lectures to group projects to individual learning, and beyond.

A 21st Century Learning Classroom at Shelby High School

Working on the new Shelby High School was a special opportunity for School Specialty's Scott Kurtzman, Furniture & Equipment Northeast Operations Manager, and Doug Barnd, Senior Furniture & Equipment Operations Manager, to give back. They both graduated from Shelby City District schools and still have ties to the community. In fact, their office in Mansfield, OH is less than 15 miles from Shelby.

"It was incredibly rewarding to work hand-in-hand with educators from the community in this capacity, with the shared goal of creating a cutting-edge educational facility that would prepare our local youth to excel in their academic studies and subsequently in the workforce," stated Kurtzman.

"We're honored to have played such an active role on the Shelby High project and as part of the PbD team – utilizing our knowledge and supply of innovative classroom furnishings to ensure that everything the school district imagined, and more, was realized," added Barnd.

"We were very appreciative of School Specialty's approach to this project," continued John Gies, Principal of Shelby High School. "They listened carefully to our vision for the school and served as a strategic partner to provide a number of sound options that work best for our students, teachers and district as a whole. Projects by Design provided the solutions and services that are vital to our mission to give our children the kind of environment that would sharpen their 21st Century Learning skills – something critical to their future success. Our community feels confident that the funding for Shelby High was put to good use, thanks in large part to the efforts of School Specialty. Their team has continued to support us even after installation, and working with them has been an amazing experience."

Development of Shelby High School has been a resounding success. Already the school has experienced significant traction in student participation, collaboration and performance.

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

CONTACT: Company Contact: Andrea Johnson Director of Marketing, Furniture & Equipment School Specialty, Inc. Phone: 920-882-5659 / 920-740-2361 Email: Media Relations Contacts: Jay Morakis and Oliver Marsh GW Communications for School Specialty, Inc. Phone: 212-266-0191 / 212-266-0227 Email: /

Source:School Specialty, Inc.