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Partnerships Matter: Enhancing Education --Growing our Community

What an exciting time to be living in the Cass-Clay region and North Dakota! There is an underlying energy and tenacity to make our communities the most incredible place to live, educate, and work. Despite the downturn in some business sectors and the rhetoric of politics, community members in our region are not getting bogged down in what can’t happened, but are focused what we can do to reinvent, innovate, and invest to make it happen!

As Director of Career and Technical Education, I am fortunate to see this first-hand level of commitment and in education. From overwhelming votes in West Fargo to Moorhead, Casselton and Fargo, patrons are sending the message that education matters and they believe in our public education system. Beyond our local arena, patrons in Northern Cass, Mapleton and Kindred extend this impact through quality education. As educators, we continue to rethink and innovate our schools to prepare students for the future. Thank you to our community for investing in our public systems and students.

The vision and energy to invest in our schools is also evident in our regional business partnerships and non-profit organizations. It was insightful to hear from business members during the West Fargo School Board Linkage. We also feel the support from non-profits such as the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, United Way, and the Chamber of Commerce. Together, businesses are helping us innovate and rethink education for current and emerging workforce needs.

Foundational to our career and technical education programs are advisory committees and businesses. We are grateful to our local employees who volunteer to serve on committees, partner in our classrooms, and open their businesses to student exploration. Working directly with business and industry, we gain insight into industry trends for our teachers and students. Business collaborations creates real-world learning experiences for students through job shadows, part-time employment, and cooperative education. Input from industry also allows us to ramp up our CTE curriculums and enhance skills training to increase student awareness of workplace demands.

Thank you to our post-secondary institutions for investing energy, time, and staff to increase partnerships. Over the past three years, there has been a concerted effort between K12 education, NDSCS, NDSU, M-State, Concordia, MSUM, and Rasmussen College to work smarter together. Aligning K-12 education and post-secondary education is not always an easy task, yet it allows us to redesign education to better prepare students, and hopefully, retain high quality employee in our community.

The old clichéd, “It takes a village.” is really not farfetched. It is evident from these actions in our community that we are stronger when we work together.  Maybe our new proverb should be, “If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go for Cass-Clay.”