On Wednesday, May 7th, members of the 2014 Cohort of Leadership Owen County had the chance to get a taste of what goes on in all three Owen County Schools as part of Leadership Owen County’s Education Day. During the day the cohort had the opportunity to visit the campuses of Maurice Bowling Middle School, Owen County High School and Owen County Elementary School, where they learned about how the school’s use student performance data to improve instruction, how students are prepared to become college and career ready, and what part technology plays in how students learn in the Owen County Schools.
The day started at Bowling Middle School where Superintendent Rob Stafford began with a short overview of the initiatives currently underway in the Owen County Schools. Most recently, the Owen County Schools were named a part of a federal Race to the Top grant that is supplying staff and resources designed to make all of Owen County’s students college and career ready. Mr. Reggie Taylor, the district’s Director of Instruction then reviewed specific information about the schools and their performance. Mrs. Donette Gaines, principal of Maurice Bowling Middle School, then explained how the middle school uses test scores and other student data to focus in on students, encouraging growth and progress in every child.
The group then walked to Owen County High School, where they began with a visit to Mr. Rusty Wilhoite’s technology class to watch several student race CO2 dragsters down a track designed ad built by technology students. Each car was designed using CAD software, was then hand-crafted, painted and assembled, and then raced to see which design was most aerodynamic.
After visiting the technology class, the visitors were then treated to a lunch prepared by Ms. Kim Webster’s Culinary Arts class. These students prepared a tasty lunch of pulled pork and all the fixings, and then stayed to serve the visitors as they prepared to have lunch. The luncheon provided the students an excellent opportunity to practice the skills they have been learning throughout their time with Ms. Webster; Mr. Duane Kline, principal of Owen County High School, noted that learning always becomes more meaningful when students can practice the skills they learn in a real world setting.
Mr. Kline and Mrs. Anne Kline, the district’s College and Career Readiness Counselor, then discussed with the cohort the importance of every student leaving high school having met performance benchmarks and having a plan for being college and/or career ready. Such plans might include attending a two or four year college, joining a branch of the military or heading straight into the world of work, and helping students to set goals and commit to a higher level, no matter what they do after high school.
The final stop for the day was Owen County Elementary School, led by principal Sharen Hubbard. The focus of this visit was on instructional technology being used in our classrooms. In addition, emerging technologies were also demonstrated by Mrs. Naomi Cornette, the district’s technology coordinator. Mr. Stafford ended the day with a brief question and answer session and discussed how the community can get involved with our schools.