It is not everyday that you get a visit in your district from a member of Congress. Nor is it everyday that the state education chief pays a visit. Last week we were blessed to have both Congressman Brett Guthrie and Kentucky Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt visit education programs in Owensboro.
What was noteworthy about the visit was not so much the high quality programs they visited. Our community and school system have an abundance of quality programs that would have been worth a visit from either or both dignitaries. The two leaders made the stop in Owensboro to highlight and praise the spirit of cooperation between the Owensboro Public Schools and the Daviess County Public Schools.
The visit included stops at the Life Science Academy, part of the multi-district Community Campus program that has been focused on providing opportunities for students from five area high schools in high need workforce areas aligned to the Owensboro economy. The second stop was at the Owensboro Innovation Academy, Kentucky’s only New Tech Network high school that is a collaboration between the two districts. Both programs also include significant collaboration with regional employers and postsecondary institutions, such as Owensboro Health and the Owensboro Community and Technical College in the case of the Life Science Academy and the Centre for Business and Research, the community business incubator at the Innovation Academy.
In an era where many independent and county school districts find themselves in open and, at times, hostile competition with each other, the Owensboro Public Schools and Daviess County Public Schools have provided multiple models for collaboration paving the way for student and community success.