Take two. Seems as how I had this blog almost finished once when I clicked the wrong key and erased the whole thing. Got it back. Clicked another key. Gone. Forever. Grand Coulee! Once more, with feeling.
Went for a bike this morning and headed home taking the LATI cut-off. Side note--this took us right by a good friend's house who is having some significant health issues and I was reminded of the amazing times we had had together. I was reminded that we have a tendency to deal with our own pain, but can't accept the fact that friends have to suffer. It's just not right. Anyhow, after a quiet prayer and those good memories, we moved on.
LATI. WOW! What an amazing campus. We had a tour of the new ag building last week and I was reminded of what this institution was like when I first moved to town. It now hosts over 1600 students, an amazing staff, and a gorgeous campus. Quite the difference. Of course, I believe it has to do with three issues. #1- It is a performance based educational concept. Unlike the traditional classroom, where you "learn" the "stuff" and regurgitate it on a pen and paper test, the way you show mastery at LATI is performance. What an amazing idea. Show you can...not you can memorize! This perhaps explains the unusually high placement rate and the fact that the school has been recognized as one of the top five two year institutions in the US of A for the last two years. Now, if only the high schools around the nation would understand this success model! #2- Staff! What a dedicated group of professionals. Each has been trained in his/her field and has demonstrated success in that field. Couple that with the caring attitude toward their students, and the success will follow, as it has. Meet them and you will understand. #3- Administration. It must be stated that the president of LATI is one of our closest friends, so I understand the bias principle is in effect. Never-the-less...Ms. Shephard is amazing. Her leadership style is exemplary. I believe the new buzz words are, get the right people on the bus, get them in the right seat, and then let them do what they do so well. Her care and concern of both her faculty and her students are the things that engender the success they are experiencing. Her unwavering forward-looking approach explains the new fields of study, the advanced placement of the students, and the amazing facility! Put these three basic concepts together, and the city of Watertown, the state, and the nation are the beneficiaries of an amazing educational system. And all this from a bike ride! Think what might have happened had we been walking!
A day of positives. Exercise. Memories. Admiration. And above all love--for my bicycle partner and my friends. May you find your positives as well!