Indiana Senator Mike Braun tours career pathways on Senior Pride Day at WRV

Indiana Senator Mike Braun tours career pathways on Senior Pride Day at WRV
Posted on 09/24/2019

Indiana Senator Mike Braun tours career pathways on Senior Pride Day at WRV

Monday, September 23, 2019

Conservative Indiana Senator Mike Braun paid a visit to White River Valley High School in Switz City on Friday, Sept. 20, joining Vincennes University President Chuck Johnson, Regional Opportunities Initiative (ROI) Representative Michi McClain, WRV Superintendent Dr. Bob Hacker, WRV High School Principal Doug Lewis, WRV School Board President David Reed and School Board member Andy Davis on a school tour of several Career and Technical Education programs classes led by tour guides and WRV seniors, Joe Records and Ian Staggs.

In late August, Senator Braun’s office contacted Dr. Hacker, inquiring about the possibility of a school visit, his attention perhaps drawn by WRV’s recent selection by ROI as a cohort school in ROI’s Ready Schools Initiative as well as the school’s Precision Machining program’s selection by the Greene County Foundation as the recipient of a $25,000 grant enabling the program’s purchase of a new CNC machine which will take the program to the next level.

The Precision Machining program is in partnership with Vincennes University and the Purdue University School of Advanced Manufacturing.

In addition to a lengthy visit with Instructor Matthew Birt’s regional award-winning Precision Machining class, the group visited the Health Occupations-Twin Rivers program, the Family and Consumer Science Culinary Arts and Early Childhood Education programs, the Advanced Manufacturing program and the Agricultural program, which includes drone science, fish aquaponics and welding certification classes.

Braun then made time to have his picture taken with WRV’s entire senior class, making their Senior Pride Day activities even more special.

“Senior Pride Day is an annual day where seniors get training in financial literacy from Mutual Bank, in scholarship and application direction from school guidance personnel, in CPR and AED training from the district nurse, Jess Egenolf, in concert with Greene County General Hospital and legal information from Greene County Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw,” Hacker said.

Another Senior Pride Day activity is participation in a variety of community service projects on the campus at Switz City.

“It was an honor to have our programs recognized now at the state and national levels,” said Dr. Hacker. “Senator Braun is interested in the ways we are preparing students to take over the thousands of job opportunities coming in the Career and Technical Education Career Pathways available at WRV, that will be developing as the baby boomer generation retires. The board continues to allow us to build programs that give our students employability skills.”

WRV Senior and tour guide Ian Staggs, who serves in the WRV Leadership Group, saw an opportunity to see what leadership looks like after high school.

“This was a great opportunity for me to see how leadership works at the next level,” Staggs said. “He was very genuine about what we are doing here at our school.”

Reed, whose son Preston, a 2015 WRV graduate, owns and operates his own metalworking business, Reed Industries, said he saw the interest taken by Braun and others as a positive sign that he and his fellow board members are making the best decisions for WRV students.

“Our Precision Machining program is receiving some great attention for its success, but today all of our CTE programs were recognized,” Reed said. “For a school our size to have over 15 different career pathways, it says a great deal about building a school district where everyone can be successful.”

Superintendent Hacker said WRV has no plans to rest on its laurels.

“The district will now shift its focus to the ROI planning grant as the ROI Design Team begins to interview students, parents, area business leaders, and patrons as the district looks to the future,” he said. “WRV is requesting plenty of public input as it begins to build other career pathways to help develop local talent.”