Brown County High School in Nashville, Ind., has around 550 students. Emily Tracy, the district’s superintendent, said the school is truly focused on making sure students are well prepared after graduation.
Tracy and her team presented at the “Re-Engineering Schools” session at the AASA National Conference on Education on Friday in San Antonio, Texas.
“It’s not enough for the students to walk across that stage with a diploma,” said Tracy.
“They need to be able to have these skills, excellence, integrity, respect, inspiration, engagement, thinking and problem solving, when Monday morning happens.”
Eagle Manufacturing, a student-run business operating at the high school with three class periods a day, ensures that success is a possibility and a reality for all their students, Tracy stated.
The goal of the program is to prepare students for their future with employability and technical skills while providing high-quality products and services for the industry and the community.
The manufacturing company has three different aspects to it. They offer administration, manufacturing and graphics components.
“We offer student led management positions,” said Chris Townsend, Eagle Manufacturing’s lead educator at Brown County High School. “Most of those students are going through our business pathway in the school.”
“Our advanced students, seniors, are very good at taking the younger students under their wing and showing them what to do,” said Dean Keefauver, technology education teacher and Eagle Manufacturing adviser. “Having student leadership in the program, training the younger students, is really helpful.”
Trent Austin, the school’s principal, spoke about how Eagle Manufacturing was built from the ground up.
“I’m hoping you get some key takeaways from this presentation that will help you create your student-led and student-run business,” said Austin.
Joey Denison, a senior and lead mill operator of Eagle Manufacturing, shared how the program has motivated him.
“I can’t learn by sitting in a classroom and someone talking at me,” said Denison. “It takes passion. It takes a very special type of person to get those skills out of somebody.”
Tracy offered one last piece of advice.
“People over programs,” said Tracy. “People are who make this happen.”
(Emily Hughitt is a reporting intern on AASA’s Conference Daily Online and a sophomore at Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas.)