Congratulations to District 25

By Paul Vitale

We recently celebrated four big events: the graduation ceremonies of our three comprehensive high schools and our alternative high school.

The goal of a K-12 education system is to teach students what they need to know and be able to do, to graduate from high school prepared for college or a career. It was extremely gratifying to see us successfully meet that goal with the graduation of 844 high school seniors. This group earned nearly $12 million in college scholarships and took over 3,500 college credits while attending high school. As a result of the dual enrollment program offered at our high schools, 72 percent of graduates have had experience taking college level coursework.

While graduation is a time of celebration for graduating seniors and their families, it is also a time of celebration for our School District.  This milestone is the culmination of many years of successful planning and implementation of the District’s educational program, the successful delivery of instruction by dedicated teachers and support staff and the commitment to successful learning by our students with support of their loved ones. Our high school graduation rates are among the highest in the nation and the state.

This generation of graduates have been trailblazers in technology and in early college. No generation before them has had the integration of technology into their learning and into their lives that this group has experienced. No generation before them has had the opportunity to get early college credits by taking dual enrollment coursework while attending high school. Through a cooperative program with Idaho State University, our teachers provide college level courses in high school and students receive both high school and college credits. This group has also had the opportunity to attend college technology programs, such as electronics or welding, while attending high school. These opportunities show students that they can be successful in college, give students a jump-start on their college education and allows them to earn college credits at a much reduced cost, while in high school.

The Board governs, while the Superintendent provides direct leadership for the District by developing and implementing the instructional programs. Since the board is not directly involved in this work, all Board members make monthly visits to schools throughout the school year. These visits allow the Board to see and experience the instructional work of the District, first-hand. During these school visits Board members talk to principals about their school’s goals and about their efforts to help all students learn at high levels. They visit classrooms where they talk to teachers and students about their daily work and long term outcome of their instruction and learning. Also during these visits, Board members have witnessed our implementation of the Idaho Core Standards and the immense success of students who are more engaged, than ever before, in their learning.

As a member of the School Board, I could not be more pleased with the teamwork of our District employees. We have a very strong and progressive administration who implements the District’s Mission, Vision, Beliefs and Learning Goals and guides and supports the work teachers do with students in our classrooms every day.

Annual graduation exercises are evidence of our success. Congratulation to our graduates and to our District 25 administration, faculty and staff for a great educational system that prepares them for their futures.

Paul Vitale is a member of the Pocatello-Chubbuck District 25 school board.