English novelist Aldous Huxley once said, “There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.”
After living in Louisville Metro for nearly 20 years, I admit having the wrong perception of the Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) high schools. I knew these schools were filled with lots of wonderful teachers and many students who were successful in sports and some academic endeavors. I had no comprehension of the incredible thought, planning, and execution that has gone into developing our next generation of local leaders. Last week, during my monthly Leadership Louisville program day, my perception totally changed.
Our superintendent of schools, Dr. Marty Pollio, and his incredible team are completely changing the face and direction of high school education (and education in general). Did you know that nearly every public high school in our community is now a part of the Academies programs, helping students find their niche and passion? Me neither. Did you realize that JCPS has created dozens of partnerships with local companies (of all sizes and industries) to create career paths for those students who want to be a professional in a trade or other important role (that doesn’t require a college education)? I only knew that because my employer is one of their newest partners.
Did you know your company can be a part of this, helping create a pipeline of talent for our community? Well, hopefully, you know this now. And I believe, with my whole heart, that right now is the most important time for all of us to come together and support JCPS and the Academies programs (in whatever possible ways we can). Why? Because the future of our city depends on it. Waiting for state or federal governments to assist clearly isn’t working. Our future will soon be in the hands, mouths, and feet of our youth. If we’re not willing to invest in them now…..then we lose the right to complain about the future of our city.