Written by: Regen Lux
Our class started our day with breakfast and a tour of YRTC, a rehabilitation facility in Kearney that helps boys ages 14-18 develop skills and strategies to live better lives. These tours led by Cindy Krolikowski, Interim Facility Administrator, and Brandon Gottschalk, Youth Security Supervisor Manager gave us a look into the journey that the youth experience before graduating from the program and heading into the next chapter of their lives.
Next, we loaded up to head to the Plambeck Early Childhood Education Center (PECEC) at University Village. Chelsea Bartling gave us a tour and let our class learn more about their facility which educates youth from age 6 months to elementary students during the summer. PECEC has engaging classrooms designed with the development age of the kids as a focus. We then journeyed across the street to the Health Sciences Education Complex (HSEC) where we heard from Cathrin Carither & Dr. Teresa Cochran followed by tours of the facility. Giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the state-of-the-art learning facility educating future healthcare professionals. Before leaving HSEC, we got to hear from Michael Christen, Director of Business Services & Executive Director of University Village, Dr. Julie Shaffer, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Peggy Abels, Director of Health Programs who all shared their excitement about growth at UNK and Kearney. As you can imagine with a jam-packed morning we were excited to head to Cope Stadium for lunch. This lunch wasn't like any other because we got to learn dinner etiquette taught by Brandon Benitz. He reminded us of three very important rules of dinner etiquette. 1) It's not about the food. 2) Follow the Leader. 3) Down Play Everything.
With full brains and bellies, we headed off for a tour of Kearney High School (KHS) led by Mrs. Tennille Allison and Mr. Jeff Ganz. At KHS we were able to see the growth and opportunity that this facility allows for the current and future students from hands-on experience in the auto shop, wood shop, and even in videography. Next up in our day was a tour of Central Community College (CCC). Class of #31's Kara Greenwalt, Director of Student Enrollment Services gave us an exceptional tour of CCC and highlighted the unique programs for students. Our class then got to hear the passion for Mechatronics that our very own class of #32 Jared Petit has as the Mechatronics instructor. While at CCC we also got to hear from Dr. Kelly Christensen, Vice President of Community & Workforce Education, and Dr. Janel Walton, Dean of Enrollment Management who gave us some insight into what a community college offers to not only the students but the community as a whole.
Our last stop of the day was the Hanny Arram Center for Success with a tour led by Jason Owens, Principal. This unique facility can meet students where they are and give them the support and resources to thrive. By 5:30 pm our team was exhausted but also delighted to hear the passion and growth that is being led through the places we visited on Education Day. Each facility has a different focus however when you boil them all down it is to better the people they serve which in turn leads to the growth of Kearney and the surrounding areas.