ExtraCredit, the official blog of the Ohio Department of Education, offers commentary and insight on a wide range of education issues from department experts and guest bloggers from throughout Ohio’s schools and support organizations. We encourage your ideas, feedback and comments to promote a two-way dialogue. See our Comment Policy for more information.

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2/14/2019

State Supt. Paolo DeMaria Attends OETC

By: Staff Blogger

Tech marks the spot at this year’s Ohio Educational Technology Conference. Each year thousands of education technology professionals, teachers and curriculum directors attend the conference, known as OETC, to advance the teaching and learning in Ohio’s classrooms. Using technology as a tool to enhance and differentiate instruction, attendees learn new ways to help students explore, think critically and meet their learning goals. State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria provided welcoming remarks on day 2 of the three-day event, and connected with attendees and education partners.

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2/14/2019

State Supt. Paolo DeMaria Visits South-Western Career Academy

By: Staff Blogger

“Start your plan here!” This is the message South-Western Career Academy educators share with students as they explore their many options after high school. February is Career and Technical Education Month and State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria visited the South-Western City Schools to learn about the exciting ways the district prepares students for success. Career certifications, postsecondary credit and valuable in-demand skills are the cornerstones to the district’s career tech programs and instructional leaders showcased the many ways in which students are ready to explore a host of future possibilities.  

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2/11/2019

State Supt. Paolo DeMaria Visits J.F. Dulles Elementary School

By: Staff Blogger

Increasing the number of highly effective teachers and leaders is one of 10 strategies set forth in Each Child, Our Future – Ohio’s Strategic Plan for Education. The educators at John Foster Dulles Elementary personify this strategy with their exceptional commitment to students and social-emotional learning. Supporting the whole child is at the center of Each Child, Our Future and at the heart of this learning community’s culture of caring. Dulles was named a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School for their focus on continuous improvement and preparing all students for success. In addition, the U.S. Department of Education presented Elizabeth Riesenberger, Dulles Elementary principal, with the Terrel H. Bell award for outstanding leadership. State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria visited the Oak Hills Local School District in Cincinnati on Feb. 8 to see the incredible learning connections Dulles Elementary educators create for students.

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2/11/2019

State Supt. Paolo DeMaria Visits Sycamore High School

By: Staff Blogger

For Sycamore High School students, it’s more than innovation. It’s Synnovation. The school’s Synnovation Lab shifted away from a traditional bell schedule so that students are able to set a pace that works best for their individual learning styles. With its dynamic approach to personalized learning, students are empowered to take ownership of their instruction and challenged to take responsibility for when they master a concept and are ready to advance to the next area. Sycamore sophomores Isabel and Jake personally invited State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria to see their school in action. The students showcased Sycamore’s points of pride on Feb. 8 during Superintendent DeMaria’s visit.

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2/7/2019

GUEST BLOG: No Matter the Pathway, A Career is the Goal — Dr. Joyce Malainy, Career and Technology Education Centers

By: Guest Blogger

GettyImages-896458438.jpgIt is hard to believe that January 2019 is already at a close. As we all know, it seems the more “experienced” we become, the faster time moves. Now February is upon us. February is a big deal at the Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County because February is Career and Technical Education Month. Career and Technical Education Month is a national public awareness initiative created to highlight and celebrate the accomplishments and recognize the value of career-technical education programs across the nation.

Here in Licking County, the Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County (formerly Licking County Joint Vocational School) have more than 40 years of experience working to meet the needs of students, schools, and business and industry partners to create, educate and maintain a workforce that can meet the needs of the day. From the beginning, we have understood that one of the greatest values in career-technical education is working with business and industry leaders to ensure we understand their workforce needs, and they understand the role career-technical education plays in readying their future workforce.

The way we accomplish this understanding has evolved over the decades. One of the more recent innovations is through the expansion of middle school career-technical education programing. Through our middle school career exploration programs, we are beginning to help students at a younger age think about potential careers and understand the necessary educational pathways that lead to the careers of their choice. Currently, we have seven such programs in middle schools throughout Licking County, with more on the way. Additionally, we have provided professional development resources for the career exploration programs to all our Licking County middle school staff members. This makes Licking County a true leader in this initiative. Adding middle school career studies is one more way we provide career opportunities to Licking County beyond those already available in our high school and adult centers. This latest step is just another move in that evolving journey.

However, with all that career-tech centers and other institutions are doing to fill the skills gap and prepare tomorrow’s workforce, there always are opportunities for continued growth. The good news…there are solutions to these issues. We can do better at preparing our students for what is ahead just by making them and their families aware of all options and pathways. Those available to students still in secondary school and those who have entered the “adult” world who need more training and skills. We just need to open ourselves to an honest discussion, let go of the traditions and education strategies we consider off limits and above reproach and focus on the students and helping them find their true pursuits. 

At the end of the day, our diplomas, Advanced Placement credits or acceptance letters to four-year colleges cannot define success. We must define success for today's students by focusing on careers. That is where every pathway leads, anyhow.

Dr. Joyce Malainy is the superintendent of the Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County. You can contact her at jmalainy@c-tec.edu.

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