NEWPORT — The Lincoln County School District Board of Directors joined the Oregon Coast Community College Board of Education for a joint work session at the LCSD Teaching and Learning Center Wednesday evening. The focus of the meeting was preparing students for college, career and life.
LCSD Superintendent Karen Gray invited each of the attendees to introduce themselves and their reason for attending the meeting. Board members present explained their commitment to education and the students of the community, as did several LCSD and OCCC employees.
The most inspiring introduction, however, was from a Waldport man not affiliated with the school district or the college. Larry McLamb is not a parent, but a concerned neighbor of a young female student whose brother, he explained, dropped out of school. Lamb was there to see how he could help support her.
“The college and the school district have a long history of partnership to support students,” said OCCC President Birgitte Ryslinge. “I think the county can expect to see exciting things to come out of our joint efforts.”
The partnership is not limited to just the school district and the college. The Port of Toledo, Samaritan Health Services, Northwest Oregon Works and Western Oregon University are partners as well, with the goal of providing ongoing education in health care, maritime trades, teacher education and post-secondary education.
Leon Noble is the executive director of the Corsair Foundation, a nonprofit formed to provide youth of all ages with engagement activities and vocational training. He was in attendance at Wednesday’s work session, looking to become an active partner.
What is good for the students is also good for the community. The Rural Teacher Education Pathway Project — a partnership between the school district, community college and Western Oregon University — will provide a path to a teaching career for students while also creating a pool of future teachers for LCSD.
Similarly, there is a need in the community for people skilled in the trades. The partnership with the Port of Toledo will provide skilled welders to the port. The High School Nursing Assistant Program will help staff local nursing homes and the hospital.
LCSD’s partnership with OCCC allows students to earn dual credit, getting a head start on college course requirements.
“We’re here to do good things for students,” said Gray.