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Richland Leadership Unlimited class visits Springmill STEM Elementary

Superintendent Brian Garverick addresses the Leadership Unlimited class during its visit to Springmill STEM Elementary School.

      Thirty up-and-coming young leaders in Richland County heard Mansfield City Schools Superintendent Brian Garverick describe plans Thursday to continue developing Springmill STEM Elementary into a K-3 school.

      The 30 men and women are this year’s Leadership Unlimited class of the Richland Area Chamber of Commerce. They assembled first in Springmill’s large meeting room, then toured the STEM Elementary classrooms and Springmill Learning Center’s math and science galleries.

      “Every Student, Every Day” is our motto,” Garverick told the group. “It’s not just a slogan, it’s at the front of our work every day.”

      Garverick recalled the recent history of the Springmill building, which dates to 1961. The building previously served elementary and intermediate students before it was developed into the Springmill Learning Center several years ago.

      In the fall of 2016 two kindergarten classes launched the Springmill STEM Elementary.

      “We now have two classrooms each of kindergarten and first grade. We will have kindergarten through third grade here in two more years,” Garverick said, explaining that the Ohio Department of Education has designated the elementary school as one of only 42 STEM schools in the state and the only one in Richland County.

      That designation came in March after ODE reviewed Springmill STEM Elementary’s program for integrating science, technology, engineering and mathematics into the regular core curriculum.

      Garverick emphasized the district’s close working relationship with The Ohio State University at Mansfield at Springmill. OSU is involved in professional development for district teachers during training at Springmill and is a partner in arranging summer STEM camp for girls and Science Saturdays for the public January through April.

      Garverick reviewed Mansfield Senior High’s career technical education program, which offers training in 10 fields. He also outlined the district’s Graduate Pathways to Success partnership with North Central State College which will allow Senior High students to earn an associate degree with their diploma without incurring college debt.

      Also addressing the group were Stephen Rizzo, the district’s chief academic officer, and Christina Drain, advancement manager for OSU-Mansfield.

      The chamber’s web site describes Leadership Unlimited as “a planned learning program designed to provide men and women who have demonstrated leadership ability with the opportunity to develop their knowledge of the challenges and opportunities of leadership within the Richland County area.

      “It encourages participants’ entrance into a wider community system of interest to them and provides a new and broader understanding of how various community systems can and should work.”

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