ECS Hosts Elkhart Chamber Leadership Academy

On April 11, eighteen participants from the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce Leadership Academy visited Elkhart Community Schools for their “Education Day.”

Each year, the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce offers a Leadership Academy to emerging leaders in the Elkhart community. The program is a nine-month long program, with one day per month devoted to learning more about the community. The day-long sessions include a wide range of topics, including ethical decision making, diversity, economics, arts and culture, and conflict resolution. Each April, the academy focuses on education in the Elkhart community.

The group began their day at Beardsley Elementary, where they received a warm Bulldog welcome, learned more about the Elkhart Promise and district partnerships, participated in a technology-based business exercise, and checked out the new Boys and Girls Club facility.

“I enjoyed hearing more about the vision for the school system in the next few years,” said participant Kenzie Kurtz. “It gave me a look into the Elkhart school system and got me excited about the strategy the district is taking toward education.”

After Beardsley, the group toured the new ETHOS Science Center, where they learned more about what ETHOS does for education in the Elkhart community, and how Elkhart Community Schools works with ETHOS to expand opportunities for students.

Following their visit to ETHOS, participants toured the Elkhart Area Career Center and got hands-on with programs, including graphic design, horticulture, cosmetology, culinary arts, firefighting, and EMT.

“It was eye-opening to see how career-driven high school education has become,” said participant Jacob Palcic. “Overall, this is a good thing. These high school students are Elkhart’s future leaders and helping guide them toward 21st century career paths is important.”

For other participants, the experience had a profound impact.

“The Career Center is an amazing program,” said participant Juan Ramirez. “It gave me the push to pursue an education in the automotive industry.”

Overall, the participants had favorable impressions of the students and the experience. “It was enjoyable working with the teens and seeing how their programs work,” said participant Chris Kingsley. “This day gave me a better understanding of the great opportunities available through Elkhart Community Schools.”