For those who love and feel a calling for it, leading in the work place is both a privilege and a challenge. Administering that perfect balance of requirement, encouragement, and reward when working with your teams becomes a kind of dance. It ebbs and flows with the workload and expectations of the customer, and total customer satisfaction become the prize. But today I want to discuss another form of leadership that has to do with community involvement, which can provide an entirely different satisfaction not tied to career experience.
I have been the liaison for our Partner in Education, Dilworth Middle School, for the last two years. This partnership has been beneficial to both the school and the business I work for. Because of this success I was asked to join a task force to help grow Partners in Education throughout our community. It has been identified that when these business and school relationships work well, it enhances the learning process, provides external motivation for students, and aids in improving a sense of community. Many of the schools in our area benefit greatly from these partnerships, yet there is a large gap in where these relationships happen. Schools like those in the Damonte Ranch or Galena area have more business relationships than schools in the north valleys. There are a myriad of reasons why some schools gain more support than others, but the ultimate goal is to build relationships between businesses and schools in all areas.
The North Valleys have grown significantly in the past ten years, both in population and commercial business. There are nine schools in this area; six elementary, two middle, and one high school. Four of these schools are considered Title One schools, meaning that the schools serve a high population of lower-income families. This creates challenges in teaching, supporting, and providing additional services that can enhance the learning process and lead to long-term success. The focus of the task force is to build long-term, sustainable, mutually beneficial relationships between business partners and each school that directly support student achievement. Research of successful partnerships show an increase in student test scores, increased engagement, and higher graduation rates. Businesses that invest time and resources into education within their sphere of influence help to demonstrate and build a sense of community.
While this task force is at the infancy stage, the members of the task force bring a wealth of backgrounds and experience. I learned quite a lot about our education system, and where resources are needed. The first meeting energized me, and I am excited to be a part of the process that will help to build these relationships. As the task force gains traction, I will be sharing our progress.
And of course, if you are interested in learning more about becoming a partner in education, feel free to let me know!