REYNOLDS TOWNSHIP — The Montcalm Community College Board of Trustees swung up into the Panhandle on Tuesday evening to meet with educational leaders eager to make a change for the better.
Tri County Area Schools Superintendent Al Cumings and Lakeview Community Schools Superintendent Kyle Hamlin sat before the college board at the Panhandle Community Center to discuss their hopes and dreams for their districts as the two newest superintendents in the county.
Hamlin addressed the board first, sharing how his district is working hard to meet the educational needs of students in the Lakeview area.
One of the ways they’ve been doing this is through their WAY program, which incorporates alternative methods to teach students basic skills by incorporating areas of interest.
“Like hunting, for instance,” Hamlin said. “Students learn the metric system while they learn to measure antlers.”
There are currently 36 students in the program, which includes an at-home Apple computer for each student.
Hamlin said this expands the learning environment beyond the boundaries of the school buildings.
“Are these students that you might otherwise lose?” asked Board President Karen Carbonelli.
“Some maybe, but no, not all of them,” Hamlin said.
He said his vision for the district is that every preschool student would go on to earn at least an associates degree.
Cumings said his district has been working hard to help staff learn how to study standardized test standards.
“We want to help students better prepare,” he said. “We’re trying to get a little ahead of the curve.”
He said dual enrollment through MCC has played a vital role in assisting the district guide students to further education.
“It’s been huge for us,” Cumings said. “We want to see that grow.”
Both superintendents expressed appreciation for their partnership with MCC, but President Bob Ferrentino said the college is excited to work with such enthused and visionary superintendents.
“These guys have good, new ideas,” he said. “They have a ‘we’re going to move forward’ outlook.”
Correspondent Jessica Beery is a Sheridan resident.