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Edison schools partner with new businesses

Cary Ashby • Jun 4, 2018 at 4:00 AM

MILAN TOWNSHIP — Edison Local Schools is taking a hard look at ways to improve its Edison Works program, which just completed its first year.  

During the inaugural year of Edison Works, the district partnered with NASA Plum Brook, CertainTeed Corp., Borgers Ohio Inc., Chef's Garden and Freudenberg. During the May 23 advisory meeting at the Culinary Vegetable Institute, school officials welcomed BCSN Sandusky and Cedar Point as well as honored all the businesses with plaques.

Edison Works is a district-wide educational program aimed at connecting students with area businesses and making them aware of not just what each one does, but what jobs are available. Elementary school Principal Davy Hermes, in a video presentation, said it’s a way for students to see what skills are necessary in the working world, which should be a significant help to those who aren’t going to college at all or directly after high school.

To prepare for the Edison Works launch, district teachers had a field trip in August of their own in which they visited the business partners.

As he earlier told the Reflector, curriculum director Dean Stanfield said “the teacher tours” generated a lot of excitement and “the buzz that it created was well worth it.”

“We want to keep pushing forward,” Edison Middle School Principal Cory Smith said at the meeting.

In the proposed “Adopt-a-Grade” portion of Edison Works, he said there will be a grade-level plan linking each business to a specific grade with a year-end “culminating activity” or field trip. Stanfield added it’s important for business representatives to be in the school buildings on a fairly regular basis to build rapport and so students will recognize them.

Joanne Mueller, Cedar Point vice president of human resources, said in the case of the amusement park, it’s important for students to realize there are more employment opportunities than seasonal jobs. In addition, she said students should learn they could start working locally and then relocate while still working for the same company.

Mueller recommended the district add businesses that reflect the fine arts and the tourism industry to Edison Works.

When students hear about elements of the business world directly from employees, Superintendent Tom Roth said students will understand them better than they might from their teachers or even parents.

Roth used the example of what he learned from Bob Jones, the Culinary Vegetable Institute chief operating officer, about the hierarchy in the cooking industry. To begin the meeting, Jones welcomed the school officials and students and then shared some of what the Culinary Vegetable Institute offers cooks from all over the world

Students from the elementary, middle and high schools shared the learning experiences they had throughout the year that related to Edison Works.

Near the end of the school year, seniors participated in the annual Edison Edge Day, an informative day full of panels — many of them with hands-on experiences. Experts shared practical, real-life knowledge, such as changing a tire and self-defense.

“It’s an important thing for them to get ready for life,” said Brian Blitz, of Blitz Automotive in Berlin Heights, during a video.

Counselor Elisa Brown said Edison Edge Day is a similar to senior retreat as well as an opportunity to learn information they will need after graduation. The seniors also took a class photo and enjoyed pizza for lunch.

“Our kids love it,” Brown said. “It’s a great way to end the year.”

Throughout the school year, many EHS students voluntarily listened to informative panels on a variety of topics during 14 events called Lunch & Learn. Brown referred to the panels as “a sneaky way” to provide knowledge and life skills without interrupting the school day.

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