Leadership for Tomorrow visits Hutchinson, StaffordAustin Harris
KASB’s Leadership for Tomorrow (LFT) class kicked off its 2017 session by learning about school-to-career options March 2-3 in Hutchinson and Stafford.
The class kicked off its inaugural meeting on Thursday with group work about district culture and board leadership challenges at Hutchinson High School’s Career and Technical Education Academy. The facility features a state-of-the art auto repair shop as well as classrooms devoted to the culinary arts, building trades and medical science. Class members toured the CTE building and the traditional HHS campus.
The class took a programming break in the afternoon to view KASB’s webinar on the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling in the Gannon school finance case, which was released earlier that day. KASB’s Associate Executive Director for Advocacy Mark Tallman and Staff Attorney Lori Church reviewed the Court’s decision and offered talking points for our members to discuss with their elected officials.
On Friday, the group traveled to Stafford, where it began the morning with a visit to the SEED (Stafford County Entrepreneurship and Economic Development) center. Class members met with Stafford High School students who use the center as a learning laboratory to jump-start careers in graphic design, printing, coding and other fields, enabling them in many cases to pursue high-paying jobs immediately after high school graduation.
At Stafford Middle/High School, the LFT members met with students who are pursuing class work and research projects in the fields of medical science, horticulture, and culinary arts. Highly-engaged teachers and students demonstrated a medical science program that prepares high-schoolers to be certified phlebotomists and lab techs. Students led a tour of the school greenhouse, which hosts a hydroponics project that uses a readily-available ditch weed and cast-off materials (including plastic soft-drink bottles) to grow high-nutrient food for fish that in turn serve as a source of nutrient-rich protein. Other students demonstrated a water desalination project and a program that researches how mealworms consume plastics and other trash and recycle those wastes into organic matter.
The Stafford High School culinary arts classroom was the setting for a presentation on the school’s partnership with the Stafford County Flour Mill to produce a whole-wheat flour blend that is more palatable to school-age children and exceeds federal school nutrition guidelines. Stafford students market the flour to food service businesses across Kansas.
For more on the LFT session, see the March School Board Review.