Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
The Leadership Washington Class spent the day May 12 learning about all of the educational opportunities the town has to offer.
The class, a program of the Washington Chamber of Commerce, began the day at the Kirkwood Washington County Regional Center for a tour led by Director Tera Pickens, who explained how the center is home to adult students looking for continuing education, as well as high school students getting college credits while still in one of seven area high schools.
Chad Dillon, coordinator of the Washington Regional Alternative Program (WRAP), an alternative high school program at the Kirkwood Center, explained how the program works.
It serves up to 35 students from the Washington, Keota, WACO and Highland school districts and offers students another option for their high school experience. Students must be referred by their school, then interviewed before being accepted.
Class sizes range from four to 10 students, and instruction focuses on social aspects, teamwork and skills to enable students to live as active members in the community.
Next was a tour of the Washington Public Library led by Director Bryna Walker, who outlined the many programs offered by the library for people of all ages.
That was followed by briefings from representatives from Washington public schools, including Superintendent Willie Stone, activities director Brent Van Weelden, Stewart Elementary Principal Adam Miller, Lincoln Elementary Principal Teresa Beenblossom, middle school Principal Curt Mayer and high school Principal Erik Buchholz.
The class heard from Rene Pfeifer, vice president of Facility Services, and Principal Dave Hoffman at the Washington County Developmental Center (WCDC).
The center employs 37 full-time and eight part-time employees serving 100 clients.
Services offered range from preparing clients for the workplace to providing day care.
The day wrapped up with a tour of St. James Catholic Elementary School.
Nicole Peterson and Jim Lester were the class leaders.