Class 31 of Leadership Santa Cruz County met at the Santa Cruz County Office of Education in February to participate in “Education Day,” a day long series of hands-on activities and interactions to find out what is happening in K-16 education.
Leadership Santa Cruz County is sponsored by local businesses that value growing leaders in our community. Members participate in a year-long series of workshops to enhance the knowledge and civic participation of emerging community leaders. Leadership Santa Cruz County educates, fosters connections and increases awareness and participation of individuals in leadership roles, enabling them to address issues, and opportunities facing the county. Participants also explore the industries and initiatives that are important to the people of Santa Cruz County.
Leadership Santa Cruz County participants traveled in vans to their first stop at San Lorenzo Valley High School where they were greeted by Laurie Bruton, Superintendent, Principal Karen van Putten and Counselor Noreen Nolan at the new Performing Arts Center where they heard about how the high school has established an aquaculture curriculum in collaboration with the County Office of Education’s Regional Occupation Program. Participants then hiked to the top of the campus to visit the new 1,800 square foot greenhouse, built over the summer, that is home to a solar powered aquaponic garden, complete with fish tanks and soilless planter beds. The project is a partnership with School Grown, a nonprofit located in Monterey County that is focused on teaching sustainable agriculture to students while producing locally sourced food for the community. The students grow cucumbers, root vegetables, herbs, mushrooms and other leafy greens that they sell to the community.
The morning visits concluded at Harbor High School where the group was greeted by Principal Dick Davis and Career Counselor Sherri Williams who discussed how the school implements hands-on career training at Harbor High School. Career education classes are designed to provide students with experience and training that will give them the opportunity to explore and prepare within broad career pathways. Learning experiences are designed to reinforce academic skills through applied learning that is career and job related. Students are engaged in both the technological and cultural changes that are part of our rapidly changing society.
Following the full morning of classroom experiences, Leadership County Class 31 participants attended a luncheon with the food being served and prepared by students who are enrolled in the Culinary Arts Program at the Front Street Kitchen with instructor Andrea Mollenauer. A question and answer panel was held with four school district superintendents to learn more about the operation of county schools.
Do you want to know more about what is happening in Santa Cruz County Schools?
If so consider joining the Inside Education Program. The 2016-17 school year will kick off the ninth year of the Inside Education Program sponsored by the Santa Cruz County Office of Education and the ten local school districts. This innovative program was created to build awareness and support for public education through “hands-on”, interactive seminars in educational settings throughout the county. Participants from the community, business and civic leaders meet on a monthly basis to discuss the opportunities, current issues and challenges facing schools as they prepare students for the challenges of entering college and the work force. The Inside Education group travels by vans throughout the county for an “inside look” at what is happening in our schools. The Inside Education program is actively recruiting participants from the community for CLASS 9. By participating in this September through April, once-a-month, half-day series of events, you will be afforded a unique opportunity to learn about the intricacies of public education in Santa Cruz County.