A six-year partnership between Scottsdale educators and business leaders has evolved into an extremely successful program benefitting the community and its work force of tomorrow.
Twenty-nine teachers attending a Partners Advancing Student Success program Wednesday at Scottsdale Insurance Co came away with ideas they can integrate into their lesson plans.
During the five-day program, teachers met with representatives from firms such as Scottsdale Insurance, National Bank of Arizona, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale Healthcare, Jobbing.com., Jaguar North Scottsdale, Nordstrom, Dial Corp. and Mayo Clinic Hospital to get a sense of what they and other firms look for in employees.
“We need to talk to each other,” said Mike Horsman, senior vice president at Scottsdale Insurance who worked on a similar program while in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. “These educators are training the work force of tomorrow. We need to support our schools. They all contribute to the community. Their work is very important. This program brings it all together.”
During the program, teachers participate in panel discussions and learning exchanges with business people to see how important Arizona Academic Workplace Skills Standards are to business success. In the fall, the same teachers get together to let business leaders know how they’ve used the standards in their classrooms.
Among objectives are showing students how to prepare a résumé, get ready for an interview — what to wear, what to say and how to act — showing how what’s learned in school relates to the workplace, making decisions and solving problems, what technological literacy is needed for a particular position, and working individually or in groups.
“This program and what we get from it helps us show students how to operate in the real world,” said Jude Rusk, a communications teacher at Cocopah Middle School.
Doreen Weiser, a secondary math teacher at Desert Mountain High School, said she gained a lot from her initial participation.
“They had a power point presentation and I asked for a copy of that so I could use some of it in my lesson plan,” Weiser said. “Whether or not these kids go to college, they need to start getting ready for the future.”
Mitch Simmons, the school district’s director of vocational/technical education, said the program helps strengthen a community bond.
“Some of the students it affects immediately,” Simmons said. “Others, it may take a while for them to see that what they learned from teachers involved with this is relevant to what they’re going to do.”
Ted Tyler of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce, which is heavily involved in the program along with Motorola, Arizona K-12 Center, Communities in Schools Arizona and Arizona Public Service Co., was a community leader who helped start the program.
“This has exceeded our expectations,” Tyler said.
Boy Scout Troop 40 will host its year-end Court of Honors ceremony at 7 p.m. today at Mountain View Presbyterian Church, 8050 E. Mountain View Road. Stuart Frost, 16, Bobby Stevens, 17, and Bryan Wright, 16, will receive Eagle Scout honors.