Special to The Gardner News
“Thank you for coming out, for being in a welding shop on a 100 degree day.”
Those were the opening words from Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback who was at the Olathe Advanced Technical Center on July 9, to present three Johnson County school districts including USD 231 with checks rewarding their part in supporting student participation in career and technical education programs.
Senate Bill 155 awards a school district with $1000 for each high school graduate who earns a certification on the high demand/certifications incentive list while in high school. SB 155 creates a seamless transition for students from secondary to post-secondary to the workforce.
As a result of the bill, Johnson County Community College is authorized to waive the cost of tuition for students who meet JCCC Kansas residency requirements for enrollment in any tiered career technical course. Gardner Edgerton school district provides the transportation (reimbursement to the district for transporting these students is covered under Appropriations Bill) and textbook/program fees are the responsibility of the student. Gardner Edgerton had 17 students earn certification in the CNA program offered at JCCC.
District staff in attendance at the event included Gardner Edgerton High School Principal Tim Brady, GEHS Counselor Melissa McIntire, Director of Secondary Education Pam Stranathan and Interim Superintendent Christy Ziegler.
Shelta Collins, newly elected and seated board member, was on hand for the presentation. Collins indicated that she was unaware of this event until contacted by Gardner News for a statement, but quickly changed her schedule to accommodate the early afternoon start time.
When asked by The Gardner News if all board members are informed of each and every occasion the District is represented by staff at off-site events, Leann Northway, director of community relations for USD 231, replied with a no.
Jeremy McFadden, director of business and finance for USD 231, explained that by Kansas statute the $17,000 in incentive monies would become part of the general fund.
Brady, high school principal, will be forwarding the names of the 17 students receiving CNA certification. The students will be recognized in a follow-up story when they receive their certification.