As you probably saw, EdWeek released its annual Leaders to Learn From report last week.
Among the district leaders featured is Don Haddad, the superintendent of the 32,000-student St. Vrain district, just north of Denver. Haddad was recognized for partnering with business leaders in the community and bringing a renewed focus on science, technology, engineering, and math in the district.
As my colleague Sarah Sparks wrote, under Haddad’s direction, IBM began working with the district to help mentor teachers, implement a science-related summer academy, and introduce a STEM curriculum at a high-poverty high school. “The teachers and IBM engineers launched an ‘innovation center’ in which student inventors can develop and learn to manufacture and market their own creations, with advice from engineers and business people,” she wrote. That partnership also led them to open the first STEM-focused preschool in Colorado.
“You cannot begin to understand the value when people in the workforce, the business community, the corporate sector, tell you specifically what they need from their future workforce,” Mr. Haddad says in the video below, which is worth a watch. “It’s such a key to future success.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.