Nash-Rocky Mount Public School System’s Career Technical Education Department recently held roundtable discussions with area business and economic development leaders at the Carolinas Gateway Technology Center.
Pamela Lewis, the department’s director, talked about the variety of curriculum offered to students to prepare them to be successful citizens, workers and leaders in a global economy.
The curriculum offers relevant coursework that includes opportunities for internships, apprenticeships, academies, community college and real-world experience.
Business leaders discussed the needs of their businesses and their employees.
Participants said they were pleased to learn that the number of students taking algebra I in middle school increased 41⁄2 times this year and that enrollment is expected to be even higher next year.
Rocky Mount City Manager Charles Penny said he applauded the school system’s staff members for holding students to high levels of achievement and high expectations for students.
Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools Superintendent Anthony Jackson noted the importance of a curriculum’s rigor and said student scholarships increased from more than $5 million last year to more than $10 million this year.
The next roundtable meeting of school officials and area leaders is slated for September.
Those attending the meeting included officials from Carolinas Gateway Partnership, the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce as well as business leaders and educators.
Among those in attendance were Jackson; Lewis; Stephan Williams of Cummins Inc.; Carissa Reed and Michael Williams of Turning Point Workforce Development Board; John Allen of Kaba Ilco; Penny; John Gessaman, president of the Carolinas Gateway Partnership; Robin May, Nash-Rocky Mount executive director of secondary education; Sandra Drum, Nash-Rocky Mount public relations officer, Theresa Pinto, president of the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce; Lisa Boykin of Hospira; and Ellen Bailey, Debra Allen and Kathy Keeter of the Nash-Rocky Mount CTE Department.
At the heart of CTE Core Values are Quality, High Expectations, Innovations, Lifelong Learning and Dignity of all Occupations. Some of the STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – curriculum offered during the next school year will be Leggo Robotics (engineering at the middle school level) and increased higher level thinking skills found in Chess clubs and robotics clubs. Academies include agriscience, academy of information, CISCO, health and teacher education. Students may also receive credentialing and certification thanks to a strong partnership with Nash Community College along with articulation agreements.