As printed in the Henry Count Local, May 13, 2015
First class chosen for iLEAD school
BY CHRIS BROOKE
Nine Henry County students will join the first class at the iLEAD Academy, the regional career academy focusing on technology, math and advanced manufacturing that launches in the 2015-2016 school year.
Superintendents of school districts in Carroll, Gallatin, Henry, Owen and Trimble counties have cooperated to open Kentucky’s first regional career academy, so their students can experience the competitive advantages of a curriculum that will prepare them for the highest-demand, highest-wage jobs around.
iLEAD has been designed for students to study independently and choose specialized courses not available in other schools in order to prepare for careers in advanced manufacturing, architecture, construction, engineering and technology, according to an OVEC news release. In short, the academy will offer
innovative high school educational opportunities integrated into regional workforce development.
Project-based learning will enable students to apply what they learn to real-world situations. A combination of online and teacher facilitated instruction will give students a significant voice in how, what, when and where they learn.
iLEAD students will have the opportunity to study pre-engineering and computer science in the Project Lead the Way program. According to Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative, which will operate iLEAD, Project Lead the Way graduates are recruited by employers like Toyota, Dow Corning, Chevron and
Originally expected to receive six slots, nine Henry students have been chosen to attend: Austin Ernst, Blake Jagger, Dawson Allen, Mark Gilkison, Jaci Gaines, Lori Porter, Ethan Lyle, Owen Berry and Zach Garcia.
“I’m very excited because I get to have something new and a new way to learn,” Berry said. “It’s going to change it up a little bit.”
Porter felt she had to seize the chance to attend iLEAD, because it’s a unique and amazing opportunity. This could help her reach her goal of a career that she loves and to become successful.
“I want to be an engineer,” Ernst said. “That’s a big goal for me. I love asking questions. I love hands-on learning activities.”
“There were a large number of quality candidates from all over the district, so the five superintendents put their heads together and tried to expand it,” Zach Woods, Henry County Middle School principal, said.
Woods got to share the news with the students that they had been chosen for the iLEAD Academy.
There will be academic challenges for the students, but those who rise to the occasion at iLEAD will graduate with skills that will make them more marketable for a career or higher education, whichever they choose.
“I’m confident that group’s success is going to pave the way for more opportunities for Henry County schools students,” Woods said.