School district creates positions to support high school academies
Online Staff Report
Two new positions at the Rockford Public Schools will support college and career readiness and the emerging high school academies plan.
The board hired Judy Gustafson as College and Career Academy coach at Rockford Jefferson High School Aug. 28. In June, the board named Dave Carson the district’s director of college and career readiness.
Gustafson works at Jefferson, which is the first high school to implement the academy program this fall. Among other duties, Gustafson will support staff in developing curriculum to achieve college and career readiness and coordinate job shadowing, field trips and internships.
Carson’s job is to align coursework across the district to make learning relevant to today’s job market. His goal is to make sure a high school diploma from Rockford Public School District 205 means students are both college- and career-ready.
“Career readiness is college readiness,” Carson said. “They are one and the same.”
By 2018, about two-thirds of jobs will require post-secondary education. That’s why Rockford school leaders have chosen college and career readiness as a critical piece in their five Readiness Rocks initiatives. The plan for high school academies was developed in partnership with Alignment Rockford.
Assistant Superintendent Ehren Jarrett said the Rockford community has supported developing high school academies to better prepare students for college and careers. But the appointments will take the concept from solid notion to sound plan.
“I believe David Carson has the right skill set to take a good idea and ensure great outcomes for 205 students,” Jarrett said.
Similarly, he said Judy Gustafson’s background as a school and community leader makes her “the right choice to turn the vision of high school academies at Jefferson into reality.”
Gustafson most recently was an intervention specialist at Barbour Dual Language Academy. She taught middle and high school students for more than 20 years and has 13 years experience as a building administrator.
Carson’s last position in District 205 was dean of curriculum for social studies and career and technical education. Before that, he taught economics at Jefferson for six years.
Carson makes $85,000 a year in his new position; Gustafson earns $60,018 a year.
Posted Aug. 29, 2012
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