On March 21, 2018 the Leadership Kenosha group came together for their 7th class at the Gateway Horizon Center on 88th Avenue in Kenosha. The group began the day with an excellent overview given by Zina Haywood, Executive Vice President. Zina described Gateway College and the education they provide that builds our community. She gave the group a tour of the facility which has an automotive and technology focus. The group was impressed by their automotive education center which taught not only on cars and trucks but also diesel engines and even airplanes. They have an excellent simulation lab that allows students to have a real life look and feel when learning how to fly a plane!
Our day then progressed to a panel discussion that focused on the topic “Thinking Strategically about Higher Education and the future of the Region”. The panel included Rob Ducoffe, Provost, University of Wisconsin-Parkside; Zina Haywood, Executive Vice President/Provost, Gateway Technical College and Corinne Ness, Dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities, Carthage College. Each panel member described the demographics they serve and the unique educational focus they provide and how that ties into building our community. The discussion was lively and brought forth good questions and answers from the LK group.
Felicia Dominguez and Jennifer McMillan discussed this month’s chapter “The best leaders are the best learners” from our book The Truth about Leadership. They presented a PowerPoint that highlighted how leadership is not just a trait or gene but you have to have a passion for what you lead in and continually learn about it. Deliberate practice is required and a good support to help you be the best leader. At the end of the presentation they handed out an activity for the group to help them examine successes and failures in a skill we already have personally mastered and failed at. The exercise was intended to show how a concept is then applied to remind the group members what that may feel like when trying to move forward and grow.
Later that morning we had a visit from Building our Future, an organization that focuses on citizens in our community from birth to career. The question they presented to the group was “How can community leaders support education?”. To help the group think about this, the team brought data which they posted to the wall and had the LK group do a data walk to read and post any questions or comments about the data. Building our Future’s focus is partnering with the community to get every child ready to learn by their first day of Kindergarten. Studies show that if a student is ready to learn by their first day of kindergarten then they have a higher rate of success at reading at a third grade reading level by the appropriate time. If that occurs then the student has a higher success rate of graduating high school. If they succeed at school, you succeed at obtaining a career. BoF’s data showed us how our education is critical to Kenosha’s future success. BoF is using the Strive Together model that other areas of the country are using. To help determine if a child is ready for kindergarten a parent, caregiver or professional can administer a test, the ASQ-3 test, to help point out if there are any areas of concern or that need attention. BoF explained to the LK group how to get involved and why it is so important for us. This helps to build our future community as suggested by the name.
While we were enjoying lunch, Dr. Sue Savaglio-Jarvis, Kenosha Unified School District Superintendent, joined us and spoke about how KUSD’s future is bright! She shared some of the current challenges and successes of the district to increase our awareness of the state of KUSD. Dr. Savaglio-Jarvis also reinforced why the best leaders can be the best learners.
The afternoon was presented by H. Muir, a consultant that spoke on personal and leadership branding. Mr. Muir was an entertaining speaker that knows how to engage his audience and give them valuable leadership education. Prior to the class the LK group took the Strengthfinders test. H. reviewed the results and allowed us to ask about our individual strengths. He explained why strengths matter in leadership and how to capitalize on them to help propel the team you lead. He also explained that leadership branding helps to give clarity, differentiation and direction to the team.
We ended the day speaking to Hannah Keller who is the coordinator for the LK graduation planning committee. The group finalized some of the plans and we are all looking forward to our celebration the night of May 16, 2018!