ERC Supports Design of State-of-the-Art Technology High School

ERC played a key role as April 23rd technology industry leaders from around New Mexico gathered in Albuquerque to begin developing curricula for the new Technology Leadership High School, one of the now three Leadership High Schools in the city that focus on major New Mexico industries. At this second Summit, leaders from across the tech sector such as PNM, Sandia National Labs, Sage Technologies, Deep Dive Coders, Univ. of New Mexico Division of Solar Engineering and many others, convened with personnel from the New Mexico Center for School Leadership to discuss and design classwork, projects, and guidelines that respond to the specific needs of New Mexico’s technology industry and the Albuquerque region’s students.

“A prepared workforce is important to the economic vitality of our state, and to PNM,” said Ron Darnell, PNM Senior Vice President for Public Policy. “We are pleased to support the Tech Leadership HS effort and look forward to working with other industry leaders and educators to identify curriculum needs that can provide broad benefits to everyone, including the students.”

ERC Co-Founder Larry Myatt assisted in facilitation at the event, and for the past six years has been a vital part of the design team for the Leadership High School model, one which has been widely successful at both ACE and Health Leadership high schools. This network of schools seeks out students who are creative problem solvers, and critical thinkers, but who have not been served by the traditional school system. Leadership HS Network schools provide students who otherwise might fall through the cracks with the necessary skills and support to succeed in a complex and rapidly changing world. At last year’s first Tech HS convening, Katrina Kennett, ERC Consulting Practitioner for Education Technology also assisted in the group’s creation of a unique curriculum design motif that will help the new school prepare students in authentic ways for advancement in the tech sector as well as in college and career training ladders.

Tony Monfiletto, Executive Director of the New Mexico Center, said that Tech Leadership HS will incorporate the Network’s three design pillars –hands-on, project-based learning; 3600 support for student wellness; and full partnerships with the community, including families, businesses and local organizations. Monfiletto has been a key player in mustering regional industry leaders and community organizations to play a larger role in addressing the city’s education dilemmas. Responding to Monfiletto’s invitation to tech sector players to help lead the way, Dr. Myatt shared that he considers this effort to be unique and highly-effective and one that should be replicated in other high-need communities. He also commented to media present, “Hats off to the people gathered here today to join hands and build this school. This is a dynamic group. They know, and say, we are not better off after a decade with our current menu --standards-based reform, testing, school report cards, etc., doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. They’ve seen what the Leadership Network is capable of and want to be an active part of creating their own career/college pipeline.”

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