SHERIDAN — Local educators, government representatives, members of philanthropic foundations and others gathered last night at the Edward A. Whitney Academic Center last night to discuss education issues in Sheridan and Johnson counties.
The event was hosted by Whitney Benefits with the intent of bringing various stakeholders together to hear from education administrators about the current accomplishments and challenges of area school districts and educational institutions and also to hear of future hopes and goals.
“We wanted to bring groups together to discuss where education in the county is going in the next six years,” Whitney Benefits Board President Tom Kinnison said. “How can we move forward, how can we work together and utilize the resources we have.”
The education summit was the first of its kind in the county.
It opened with a short talk by author Sam Western about Edward A. Whitney and his vision for supporting education. It was followed by talks from school board members of Sheridan School Districts 1, 2 and 3, as well as Johnson County School District 1.
Additionally, Mayor Dave Kinskey discussed the City of Sheridan’s contributions to education and Kati Sherwood, chair of the Northern Wyoming Community College District discussed the advances the district has made in recent years with infrastructure on campus, as well as the challenges it faces in the near future with rapidly growing enrollment and aging buildings.
Each school district noted their increasing involvement with Sheridan College by encouraging and expanding dual and concurrent enrollment, in an attempt to better prepare students for post-secondary education.
“It is a good venue to float a lot of ideas,” said Whitney Benefits Board Member Robert Prusak about the event. “It used to be you had community and education and now we are bringing community into education. We wanted to see if we could find ways for groups to connect.”