Since Dr. Watson’s appointment to the State’s Education Commissioner office in November 2014 and active duty beginning July 2015 he has been busy giving presentations, and listening to community members and employers, business owners, educators, and school administrators while on tour to gather input to see what their needs are in order to help him so he can assist Kansas schools, educators and students achieve their goals. Successfully, Randal Chickadonz, Superintendent of Rose Hill Schools was able to get a visit to Rose Hill Schools scheduled into Dr. Watson’s busy schedule for an inservice for all staff and a tour of the District including the District’s Health Academies during late start Wednesday, January 27.
At 7:45am, with USD 394 staff members and board members Patricia Madden-Beran, Kelle Cross and John Purvis seated in the RHHS Auditorium is where Superintendent Randal Chickadonz introduced Dr. Watson. “I chose the short version of Dr. Watson’s experience and leadership skills; he has been a high school classroom teacher, coach, administrator, and recently up until his current position the Superintendent at McPherson Public Schools for 10 years,” said Superintendent Chickadonz. Dr. Watson’s resume and bio can be viewed by visiting this URL http://www.ksde.org/Agency/OfficeoftheCommissioner.aspx.
Dr. Watson didn’t waste any time and jumped right into a PowerPoint presentation interacting with staff members as he rotated through each slide. The presentation was based on the success of students and the types of measurement of success, the areas of success in the employment field and acknowledging success within a student whether as seen through perhaps a kindergarten teacher’s eyes of a student that shows tear down and put back together skills or of a scholar student who can master all subjects. “At graduation do we exhibit the same amount of joy and gratitude for the student who goes on to become a plumber or welder as the scholar student who is on his or her path for success at a college to complete their bachelor and master degrees to go on to jobs that offer a six figure salary? Think about that,” said Dr. Watson. A one-page handout of talking points for educators, staff and parents was provided as well as a lapel pin that says “Kansans CAN”. Due to the timeline available Dr. Watson selected a few slides from his Kansas Children...Kansas' Future Reunion Tour Presentation - September 2015. You can view his presentation in its entirety by visiting this URL http://www.ksde.org/Agency/OfficeoftheCommissioner.aspx , click on Commissioner’s PowerPoint Presentations and scroll down until you find it.
Butler Community College wing at RHHS was the next appearance for Dr. Watson. There at around 9:00 am, he met with BCC Director Christy Streeter for a presentation of the Academies and a tour of the Rose Hill Health Academy. RHHA offers career pathways in Certified Nurse Aide, Medical Terminology, Microbiology and English, and Associates of Science in Liberal Arts. Students from RHHS can also enroll in the IT Academy housed at the Andover BCC location; Information Technology offering career pathways in Cyber Security & Interworking Management, Digital Media, Interactive & 3D Technology, Software Development and Web Development, as well as courses housed at the El Dorado BCC– Public Safety offering career pathways in Fire Science, Criminal Justice, Emergency Medicine or Emergency Communications; and in the fall at El Dorado - Manufacturing/Engineering offering career pathways in Civil Drafter, Mechanical Drafter, Industrial Engineer and Materials Engineer.
These academies offer college credit hours to high school students before graduating and if the student completes the courses a reserved spot in the nursing program at BCC, and/or employment in the IT fields or Public Safety after graduation.
Dr. Watson concluded his visit of Rose Hill Schools around 10:00 am.
District staff and Board members expressed gratitude to Dr. Watson for scheduling a visit to the District so he could see the efforts made by staff members to ensure all USD 394 students succeed. It was a morning enjoyed by all who attended.
The following websites will provide more information about the academies;