Sooner or later every community has to consider when, how, and whether to upgrade or even replace schools and equipment that serve their children. It’s never an easy decision, but it’s necessary to keep up with the demands of new technology, accessibility, safety, growing populations, and changes in education.
Studies show that there’s a direct link between the physical characteristics of a school building and students’ educational results. Thanks to the support of their communities, many of the school districts in our region have been able to provide school facilities that encourage positive results.
At career-technical schools like Great Oaks, we must not only create a positive environment, we must have classrooms and labs that give students real-world experiences. That means making sure that culinary students have a commercial kitchen in which to learn; that health, dental and surgical technologies programs have labs that look, feel and work like medical facilities; that the sustainable urban agriculture students have a greenhouse, and so on.
A proper learning environment also means the right equipment: Aviation students have airplanes to work on, heavy industrial diesel students have trucks, and computer service and digital arts students have up-to-date technology.
Great Oaks students also have the benefit of a supportive community. Nearly $500,000 in Trimble Navigation GPS hardware and software was recently donated so that our heavy equipment students can become trained and certified in satellite technology that’s being used in real-world construction layout.
We’ve also been able to enhance labs and update campuses within our current tax levy, and a Straight A grant has enabled us to build a state-of-the-art robotics and advanced manufacturing lab that will be used by future engineers, area companies, and local workers who need to upgrade their skills.
The surgical equipment, computerized manufacturing machines, 3D printers, horses and other animals, power tools, kitchens, construction equipment, cosmetology stations, veterinary operating suites, welding labs, automotive paint booths, and other facilities and equipment at Great Oaks give high school and adult students the experience they need to be successful in their profession.
You have provided those for students in southwest Ohio, and we’re grateful. I invite you to visit Diamond Oaks, Laurel Oaks, Live Oaks or Scarlet Oaks to see your community’s public career-technical school.
Harry Snyder is President/CEO at Great Oaks.