The Carlsbad Unified School District (CUSD) Board of Trustees welcomes Dr. Benjamin Churchill as the new Superintendent.
Dr. Churchill is a highly respected educator who served as Chief Academic Officer for Community Unit School District 300 in Alonquin, Illinois. He is passionate about all aspects of teaching and learning and is especially interested in classroom technology integration, early learning and kindergarten readiness, workforce development, and career pathways for all students. He previously served as an assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, high school principal, associate principal of curriculum and instruction, and a high school English teacher. He began his 20-year career in education teaching English for six years in China.
Dr. Churchill earned his Educational Doctorate from Argosy University, a master’s degree in school leadership from Northeastern Illinois University, another master’s degree in teaching and learning from DePaul University, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Valparaiso University. Ben, his wife Nichole, and their two school-age daughters recently relocated to the Carlsbad area. The family is thrilled to be joining the active community of parents and other committed stakeholders in the district.
Getting Today’s Students Ready for Tomorrow’s Jobs
In the not-too-distant past, job seekers could pick up the Sunday newspaper and see the following Help Wanted ads: PBX operator, Milkman. Keypunch Operator, Video Store Manager, Service Station Attendant, Elevator Operator, Typist, Travel Agent.
How can we be sure that our schools are preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow, not the jobs of yesterday? With technology playing an influential role in society, new career opportunities pop up relatively often.
One sure-fire way to stay ahead of the evolving job market is to teach students the soft skills that will lead to success in any industry.
An example of this can be found in our recently adopted Graduate Profile. CUSD’s Graduate Profile identifies six dispositions, or “soft skills” every graduate will need to leave our school system poised for success. Whether a teacher is teaching kindergarten or Calculus, everyone is asked to cultivate these dispositions in their students:
Effective Communicator and Collaborator: Graduates convey their thoughts and responses clearly. They interact productively to achieve common goals.
Why this disposition is important: Students need to be proficient public speakers and attuned listeners. At work they will have to interact effectively in teams, be comfortable composing a business plan, and know how to write a report for their boss.
Critical Thinker: Graduates are inquisitive. They notice; they wonder; they figure things out.
Why this disposition is important: When students enter the workplace, they’ll be expected to analyze a variety of source materials; integrating their knowledge of math, science and technology. Emphasis is not just on getting the right answer but on understanding why something is the way it is.
Ethical and Responsible Citizen: Graduates display integrity and civic mindedness. They honor their commitments and aspire to the highest standards.
Why this disposition is important: Companies want employees to give consideration to how their actions impact others. When a student sees things from others’ perspectives it builds empathy. It also perpetuates a “pay it forward” climate at work.
Lifelong Learner: Graduates have the passion and vigor for learning that will fuel them through new opportunities and challenges.
Why this disposition is important: The only certain thing we know about the future is that it will be different. Organizations that fail to hire “lifelong learners” will face a lack of creativity and vitality in the workplace.
College and Career Ready Scholar: Graduates navigate pathways that connect education and employment to a fulfilling, financially secure life.
Why this disposition is important: The programs we offer in CUSD such as our career academies, STEM education, IB, inquiry-based learning, AVID, visual and performing arts, and athletics create well-rounded individuals. Well-roundedness prepares students for the known and unknown fields that await after high school.
Self-Directed Individual: Graduates accept responsibility for their learning. They recognize their strengths and work to their full potential.
Why this disposition is important: When we look at job satisfaction across industry and region, three aspects come up as things employees value the most: 1) Interesting work; 2) Maintaining work/life balance; and 3) Having something meaningful to do. Financial rewards place a distant 4th. Engaged employees are productive employees. They get hired first and stay longer in their positions.
Clearly, our job in Carlsbad is to provide a platform for discovery. We believe that including “soft skills” in this platform gives our graduates a competitive edge. CUSD’s Graduate Profile helps us align our instructional programs, practices, and resources with the versatility colleges and the business community are seeking.
We invite you to stand by us as we make 2015-16 another year of accomplishments and exceptional learning.