As a child, I loved cars. I thoroughly enjoyed and anticipated the newest models of automobiles being showcased every year. As a result, I was drawn to classes in school that focused on all kinds of mechanical systems. I was fascinated with learning to build things and then being proud of what I made. This took me in a variety of directions where I worked with metals, wood, and electrical and mechanical devices.
Living in this great community, I often get a variety of questions from parents and community members about our schools and educational system. Some of the questions that pop up occasionally focus on the trade skills that we are teaching our kids. A couple examples include: “Why don’t we still teach kids how to drive a nail?” “Why don’t we teach them how to saw boards and actually build stuff anymore?”
The truth is that we continue to teach students the trade crafts and how to be successful in them. But unlike days past when kids were generally taught the basics with not much of an opportunity for some practical experience, we are now utilizing some amazing technology to teach kids how to actually apply their newfound knowledge. For example, Loveland High School’s Geometry in Construction program not only teaches students the math and textbook knowledge of how to build a house, it also lets them apply their new skills by building a real home in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Welding students in the district no longer only learn the basics of the craft, they also apply that knowledge into some really impressive projects that allow the students to grow and become better prepared than ever for that next step into a trade school or college. Thompson also assists students who are interested in serving in our nation’s military through a direct partnership with the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.
Thompson’s “school to career” options are very robust. Our Thompson 2 Life committee assists the district to continuously improve and explore new options for better preparing students for whatever career path they may want to take after graduation. Our extensive concurrent enrollment program provides students with an opportunity to take college-level classes while still in high school, which ultimately helps guide them in their career decision-making while also saving families significant dollars through this early college opportunity.
Our Agricultural Pathways program is providing a robust curriculum for students who know that they want to pursue one of the many career options in agriculture. In total, the number of vocational-technical and associate degree offerings that we have throughout the district is quite impressive and significantly more than what was offered when I was growing up.
We continuously dedicate as many resources as we can into efforts like those described above because we know it works well and we understand how important it really is. Everything that we as a district do is designed around the ultimate goal of helping to mold our students into the great citizens that we as community members need them to be. We don’t just want our students to graduate from high school with a great opportunity to go to college or get a job, we also want them to be prepared to have the very best quality of life possible. These programs are a significant enhancement compared to what was offered to middle and high school students in past decades. I still love cars. And I would have loved the opportunity to experience the quality of the auto shops that are available to students today.
It is an honor to undertake this important responsibility and I assure you that we will continue to do all that we can to keep doing what is right for all of the students throughout our district.
Thank you as always for your support.
Dr. Stan Scheer
Thompson School District