Message From The Superintendent
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ~Nelson Mandela
Planning for Education in the Future
As we reflect on the future of education, it is noteworthy that our kindergarten students will graduate high school in 2031! What will our students need to know and apply in school, on the job, and in life in order to be successful? Many of the occupations of the future do not even exist today which reflects the challenge facing educators.
According to the Hewlett Foundation, student success will be determined by “deeper learning” including:
- Mastering academic content, including the arts
- Working collaboratively
- Thinking critically and solving complex problems
- Communicating effectively
- Developing academic mindsets
In addition, I believe that citizenship education needs a renewed emphasis to ensure a sound and stable democracy for all. Lastly, digital citizenship is increasingly important so we use technology appropriately and properly.
Attributes Employers Seek in Job Candidates
In 2016 the National Association of Colleges and Employers identified the following attributes that were ranked in the top 50 percent. These attributes extend beyond just simply knowing how to do the job.
Leadership skills 80.1%
Ability to work in a team 78.9%
Communication skills (written) 70.2%
Problem-solving skills 70.2%
Strong work ethic 68.9%
Communication skills (verbal) 67.2%
Analytical/quantitative skills 62.7%
Technical skills 59.6%
Interpersonal skills (relates well to others) 58.4%
Computer skills 55.3%
Detail orientated 52.8%
Success in Ever-Changing Future
Success in the future will necessitate students being able to apply what they have learned to new and more complex challenges and opportunities. For example, our elementary students now are being assessed in the Project Lead the Way STEM (science-technology-engineering-math) program to determine the level of mastery in higher level skills such as problem-solving and working collaboratively. Middle school students are being evaluated on higher level skills such as communicating effectively and thinking critically as they debate complicated issues for which there are no simple solutions.
Strong Schools, Strong Community, Strong Future
A Chinese proverb, “One generation opens the road upon which another generation travels,” sums up the importance of all of us to prepare the next generation for a complex, ever-changing, and challenging future. Please join and support the Benjamin School District 25 faculty as we prepare all of our students to be productive citizens in the workplace, at home, and in the global society.
Welcoming My Replacement
The school board in conjunction with an external search firm conducted an extensive search to find our next Benjamin District 25 superintendent. At the January 14 Board of Education meeting, Dr. James (Jim) Woell was selected as my replacement when I retire effective June 30, 2019. Hiring Dr. Woell early provides an ample opportunity for a smooth transition in order to continue our journey toward excellence. Please refer to the article in the newsletter for more details. A reception will be held this spring to welcome Jim to our Benjamin School District 25 community.
Feel free to share your thoughts regarding preparing our students for future success by accessing the Communications Connection listed on the final page of the newsletter.
Philip M. Ehrhardt, Ed.D.
Superintendent, FOIA Officer
Benjamin School District 25
District Support Staff - Accounting/Payroll
Clark, Dr. Shelley
District Support Staff - Secretary
Special Education/Intervention Consultant
Tech Info Coordinator
District Support Staff - Administrative Assistant/Board Recorder, FOIA Officer