We Are YC - An Opinion Piece
Updated: Dec 14, 2018
Forward by Shaunna K
I remember the day my husband drove me into his rural hometown of Yamhill. I remember the small grin on my face while I surveyed the town. I was his girlfriend then at the time, born and raised in the bustling, tech city of Cupertino, CA (Silicon Valley); where Apple ruled. Yamhill was definitely small to me. I quietly listened while my husband went on about the quirks of the town. The thought of everyone knowing everything made me shutter. That was one perk to a huge city--you rarely get to know anyone. They quickly come and go. However, here in Yamhill, knowing your neighbors and being extremely familiar with your surroundings seems to be the norm. I like that, but it is both good and bad.
He went on about the lack of a proper education, lacking programs to help extend and exceed his education, a lack of a good administration. That was 15 years ago f
Fast forward 5 years, a wedding, and the birth of our son later…..
“It’s only YC”, a phrase I ran across during my first week upon being employed at the District Office of Yamhill Carlton School District. I was hired as their first Communications Specialist, a position that didn’t exist before me. Upon joining the school district of Yamhill Carlton, there were a few things I had to get used to fast. One of those things was the fact that this position and line of work was selfless. We work FOR the people and quite literally BY the people. We are of service to the children of this district, bettering the educational process for not only them but the parents responsible for them. All that to say that a lot of responsibility comes with this position. Before this job, I worked for tech companies--more inward focused and competitive. Selflessness was never in the equation of anything I did there.
I also quickly realized that the majority of the public have no idea about some of the AMAZING things this rural district is doing with what it has to work with. Therefore, I decided that one of my top first few tasks would be to change that expired stigma by communicating those record-breaking accomplishments.
We are YC by Jordan Slavish
"Jordan, what is the #1 YC Myth?" Shaunna K asked.
Quality education is lacking; numbers are low. YC does not offer it's students enough academically.
Outdated. As a math teacher, I'd love to see the trend lines that show a decline in the quality of education that has been delivered to our students during the course of this administration's tenure as evidence of their inability to "manage the business". YC's Academic test scores meet or exceed state averages at nearly every grade level, as explained clearly in their public strategic plan (see pages 15-17 for detailed breakdowns). I assure you this was not the case when this administration was brought on board.
Under this administration, YCHS's manufacturing department has flourished into a county wide leader.
Other schools talk about investing in a new 3D printer - our print lab has twenty and our students are as comfortable on them as they are with a hammer and nail.
We shape our programs to match local businesses, we supervise a job-site within our classrooms instead of a training playground.
Our students don't build birdhouses in wood shop, they build houses. To sell.
Local farmers don't go to Pape for a new drone for their fields, they ask us to BUILD IT FOR THEM. See for yourself (cite)
Last year, YC students scratch built high power rockets that broke the sound barrier and 10k feet, learning from and interviewing OSU engineering seniors for advice along the way and working with Intel to bring their project planning methods into the classroom from the very littlest kindergartners up to our graduating seniors. We're the only high school in the North West that offers this program.
In short, student achievement and opportunity has gone through the roof; the above bullet points barely scratch the surface.
I don't show up at 7:30am and stay until 7:30pm because of the overtime pay. I do it because I'm proud of the programs we offer, the opportunities I'm able to give my students, and the trust that has been placed in me as an educator by my administration to do what is best for my students.
To truly witness the growth and accomplishments of YC, try to forget the committees; forget the politics. Come spend a day in the classroom with the kids. Call the office, ask about volunteering for a teacher - you can even give them my name - Mr. Jordan Slavish. Listen to what the kids have to say, because honestly, their opinions are the only ones that truly matter.
Changing the expired stigma, one myth at a time.