On Friday February 24th the LGN Class of 2017 met for their session on Education. They started their day at the Center of Women and Enterprise to get skill development on Building Culture by Brendan Keegan through VelocityHub.
As leaders, are role is not just to guide but also to help address and support the building a strong culture that unites, inspires, and drives streamlined, innovative, and smart actions. Culture can often be the biggest factor in the success of a project, initiative, and reputation.
During lunch, we met with a representative from the Nashua Education Foundation. The Nashua Education Foundation is completely run by volunteers and targets giving funding to initiatives for education that are sustainable and are often resources for items that are not typically funded by a school board – SMART Boards and development of a Science Center.
They host a large fundraiser each year highlighting nominations for Educator of the Year. They are currently looking for a sponsor to provide $40,000 of the $80,000 needed to develop a Science Center complete with materials for the Nashua area.
PRIVATE & NON-TRADITIONAL SCHOOLS
The group then traveled to the World Academy and we were greeted by student ambassadors whom provided one on one tours to each member and answered questions on a personal level. The maturity and sophistication of these young students was incredible. Kathy Nelson and Marie Kirk provided an overview of the World Academy explaining how this private education institution provides a unique experience that allows each student to develop their individual skills while focusing on being world contributors.
Following our tour, we learned more about this non-traditional sector of education through a panel presentation with Kathy Nelson the Executive Director of World Academy, Jennifer Cava Director for the Academy for Science and Design, and Amy Bottomly Director from the Microsociety Academy Charter School presented on their models of education. The panel discussed the pros and cons of models and the challenges with the number of individuals seeking alternative methods of teaching from what the traditional public schools can offer.
A consensus that most of the children excel in environments where they have had the opportunity to learn in hands on real life experiences. Students excel when focus is given to social responsibilities such as caring for each other, supporting and matching individuals whose strengths and weaknesses compliment each other, and holding the children responsible for the culture of their school environment is growing students who perform higher in standardized testing as well as athletics, social engagement, and problem solving strategies.
The day then transitioned to a discussion around Higher Education. Joseph Boston is the executive director for Maverick Technical Institute here in Nashua running its first year of 9 month programming to prepare for a career as a Low Voltage Technician. The group discussed the challenges for upcoming professionals to obtain higher education while balancing debt to student loans and targeting high education opportunities to all learner types. Patricia Antonelli from Rivier University presented on the development of their Career Center. They have increased services and are currently develop relationships to provide job matching services to graduates. They are developing an incentive plan for placement that may include payment of student loans for a pre-set duration until employment is viable for graduates. The focus is to keep New Hampshire grates in New Hampshire after graduation.
ADULT EDUCATION & RETRAINING
The session ended with a panel representing Adult Education and Retraining opportunities. Carol Johnson the Program Manager from Southern NH Services reviewed the services and funding available to help individuals who are underemployed, unemployed, or returning as a veteran to obtain meaningful employment by offering career counseling, training, and job matching services. Carole Baldwin, Director of the Adult Learning Center discussed their Adult Education Programs for English as a Second Language, Office Skills, and the HiSet program. Both programs discussed the work they are doing to support employment from individuals with diverse backgrounds who may just be relocating to the United States.
It is hard to believe that there are just 3 more sessions of leadership. We are all learning so much and creating great relationships within our community.