Grant strengthens district’s teaching effort

PLYMOUTH SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT DR. Carrie Dassow commented that it was a perfect summary.

State, school district, local government and business leaders held a press conference in one of the Plymouth High School Science and Technology Center classrooms last week to announce a $25,000 Fab Labs grant to the district from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

As various speakers explained the grant, how it would be used and what its impact would be, students filed into the classroom in the center for their next class and filled the table in the middle of the room, where they were surrounded by the various state and local representatives lined up around the walls of the room.

For Dassow, it created a perfect metaphor of the students in the center of the action, surrounded and supported by a public private partnership backing and boosting their education so they can provide the needed employees to keep the local economy strong and growing.

It was just a happenstance of school scheduling, but it still, as the superintendent noted, made a perfect statement.

The grant, which will be used to purchase a CNC (computer numerical control) router, is just the latest example of the partnerships that help the Plymouth School District provide the best – and broadest – possible education for our young people, who are the future of our community.

The computer-controlled cutting machine can be used to cut a wide variety of hard materials – from wood to steel – and will be used in a variety of classes – from wood construction to art – technology teacher Jake Sherman explained.

After the announcement and the presentation of the grant, those in attendance – including state Secretary of Revenue Richard Chandler – toured the six-year-old Science and Technology Center, which was created as a joint effort by the school district, Lakeshore Technical College, the city and county, and generous support from a number of local employers.

From auto mechanics to computer design, and much more, the center is training the next generation of employees in the jobs of the future that will need to be filled to keep the local economy strong.

“We are so lucky in Plymouth to have amazing students and to have the most supportive and generous community you could ever imagine,” high school principal Jennifer Rauscher commented.

“We are privileged to be part of a community that truly believes that building strong schools builds strong communities,” Dassow added.

The district has continued to grow and expand its offerings and facilities to meet the ever-changing needs of local business and industry, from the Science and Technology Center to the Food Science and Agriculture Center to the upcoming upgrades to the high school approved by district voters last month.

Education has grown far beyond the simple three Rs of long ago times. Not every school district has been able to keep up with the changes.

The Plymouth School District and local public and private leaders deserve credit for recognizing the changing times and needs, and working together to ensure that our students are able to keep pace with and meet those needs. It creates a stronger, better, more vibrant economy, community and future for all of us.

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