Growing Talent – Starting the Conversation

When I received a last minute invitation from my superintendent to attend a round table discussion with a local tech company, I  had no idea what I was in for. As I approached the beautiful stone and glass office space with its lush and meticulously landscaped grounds, I wondered how our students would feel entering this beautiful, yet imposing space or if they even knew of its existence. At the meeting were higher education leaders, department heads of the college and university’s technology departments, other K-12 school district leaders in the area, economic development professionals, and the company leadership. The company was being proactive and …

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Growing Talent – Connecting with School

There are some great examples of corporations connecting with K-12 education. One, started by a coalition of civic and tech industry leaders, is High Tech High. This project based learning model equips students with two skills industry must have to thrive, the ability to problem solve and the ability to use technology as a tool. Another school, IBM’s P-Tech, is connecting low-income students to STEM based careers through a six year program. Both schools have scrapped the last century’s model of test measures and schedules. Both schools are new much like our current knowledge-based, digital economy. These schools are so new that we really don’t …

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Growing Talent – The Role of Public Education

Jim Collins, in his book Good to Great, identifies key factors for why some organizations achieve greatness and others do not. His third chapter entitled First Who, Then What is about getting the right people in play or as he puts it “on the bus.” This idea is great when you have just one organization to focus on, but what about when you need multiple organizations to come together? Can this Good to Great concept work in something like large scale community development? This is the question I keep asking myself as I am in the middle of a wonderful education/industry …

Columbia, Tennnessee

The Challenge: How might we build the community using a creative economy approach? Just south of Nashville, Tennessee is a hoppin’ historic town with all kinds of potential. It has great historic fabric in the downtown square as well as the most biologically diverse river in North America. Fellow kayak-ers, you know this is a big deal. Another big deal for Columbia is the amazing human capital that resides there. Vision, talent, and a burning desire to make one’s community better is the soil needed for growth and change in small communities. Columbia and Mount Pleasant have this soil in spades. The Solution: Build interest …

Homeless Education Program

Homeless in Paducah

Please watch this little documentary about some of the challenges our kids face in this community. Thank you, Lance Denee, for producing this and helping me tell the story.

Posted by Transitional Student Services on Friday, May 16, 2014

Paducah Arts Alliance

The Client: Local Artists and the city of Paducah The Challenge: How might we stimulate creativity for local artists? As part of my work as Artist Relocation Coordinator with the city of Paducah, I was privileged to collaborate with all types of people, many of them artists. Usually the artists were also my neighbors and eventually my friends. We had all moved into the LowerTown neighborhood revitalization project knowing it was risky but also sensing that it could be life changing. We would frequently spend time together at coffee or dinner on someone’s patio discussing the next steps for our community. We were idea people. …

Arts and Culture Plan

The Client: North Dakota Council on the Arts and the city of Wahpeton, North Dakota The Challenge: How might Wahpeton become a model for arts and economic development in North Dakota? With this project we worked with a supportive and innovative state agency and one incredibly energetic and talented community decide to form a partnership. What happens next is the development of a plan to evaluate assets and co-design a process to build upon those. The project involved extensive research with community members, stakeholder groups, and leadership. Much like our experience with the North Dakota Council on the Arts, this town’s ability to bring …

North Dakota Council on the Arts

Client: North Dakota Council on the Arts Challenge: How might we assist artists and arts organizations in strengthening North Dakota communities? Joining forces with North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA), my partner and I were asked to help the NDCA focus on building community through the arts. North Dakota has a unique heritage and culture that is retained and practiced by each of its ethnic groups. I never found a single person who could not, with great detail, describe “their people” (Germans from Russia, Native American, French, Ukrainians, etc), their unique position within the history of the state, their people’s art forms, …