Part of this new position includes not only preparing for and participating in our almost weekly meetings, but each member often participates in educational leadership activities outside of the board. In my case, I have the pleasure of sitting on the Joint Operating Committee of the EASTERN Center for Arts and Technology, our area’s career and technical center.
I’ve already spoken about it earlier, but I wanted to share a recent re-accreditation report that reflects the strength and quality of this part of our district’s educational offerings. EASTERN was recently reviewed by the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, under their Commission on Secondary Schools, as part of EASTERN’s self-initiated effort to build and maintain national and international accreditation for their programs.
This initiative was the direct result of an intense strategic planning process fully documented on their website and the most recent evidence of their success is provided in the 2009 Middle States Report, which I encourage you to review.
In supporting EASTERN’s continued accreditation, the review team noted a number of supporting factors, which I summarize below:
- EASTERN’s strong culture of collaboration with the business community yielding strong, meaningful advice to the school regarding career and technical areas of interest.
- EASTERN’s strong focus on data-driven planning focused on improved student performance.
- EASTERN’s long-standing commitment to strategic planning involving all of their stakeholders, which supports a high degree of financial stability, evidenced by the consistent unanimous approval of their budgets by constituent school districts.
- EASTERN’s commitment to and, indeed, guarantee of quality student skill development through their student warranty program.
- EASTERN’s parents and community member support built, in part, through the strong relationships developed between students and teachers.
- EASTERN’s excellent transition to their new Administrative Director derived from a proactive succession planning process.
I’m proud to have the opportunity to send our students to this fine school. This is NOT your father’s Vo-Tech school. EASTERN goes way beyond that whole concept of skill development, including college-level coursework through Penn State on accounting, finance, information science, and engineering in their offerings.
My continued congratulations to EASTERN for their efforts to maintain such a high quality program and for their highly successful re-accreditation. I’m lucky to be a small part of it.