XENIA — Beavercreek City Schools Superintendent Paul Otten announced at the Greene County Legislative Breakfast May 5 that a nearly $1 million Straight A Grant will impact all 22,000 students in Greene County.
The $984,000 grant will be geared toward engineering and aerospace career development and instruction for students throughout the districts in grades pre-K through twelve.
Otten spoke on behalf of Beavercreek, Bellbrook-Sugarcreek, Cedar Cliff, Fairborn, Greeneview, Xenia and Yellow Springs school districts in addition to Greene County Career Center (GCCC) and Greene County Educational Service Center. Many superintendents were present during the announcement.
According to GCCC Superintendent David Deskins, the grant aligns directly with the career center’s Take Flight Intiative, which is already expanding offerings of engineering, manufacturing and information technology programming around the aerospace and aviation industries to meet projected regional job growth.
“Dave has a vision that will advance aerospace engineering in Greene County. Dave is leading the change for our county and change is hard — we all know that — but Dave is navigating those waters for our students,” Otten said.
According to Otten, $750,000 of the state money will be used on equipment for students.
“This is equipment that no one school could ever afford,” he said.
Otten said they will also set up a teacher collaboration center which will allow teachers across the county to have interaction with each other and resources on these topics. Ultimately, professional development will be provided to over 300 teachers across the district over the next five years.
“We are investing in kids and doing things that are not being done anywhere else in the sate,” Otten said.
According to Otten, Beavercreek City Schools District was awarded three grants from the Ohio Department of Education about a year ago. One was related to STEM education, and officials ultimately went back to the state and asked them to modify that grant to make it a county-wide benefit.
“The fact that Beavercreek was willing to share this grant opportunity with all 22,000 kids in our county is really remarkable,” Deskins said. “The grant just speaks volumes to the collaboration that’s right now going on in Greene County with education, business and industry partners and colleges. That is what will help this be such a powerful initiative for us.”