Edon Board of Education

Mechanical work is among many fields being emphasized by the state of Ohio of as career and job oriented lessons are continuing to be highlighted through its education system in light of a perceived skills gap and worker shortage. Pictured in this April 2019 file photo from Edon Local Schools are: Caitlyn Dietsch, then a junior; Arianna Howard, then a junior; Everetts; and Jacob Dulle, then a junior. File photo

EDON — Edon High School is set to become the latest Williams County school to join the county’s educational emphasis on career paths, Principal Kayla Lapham said Monday at the August Edon Board of Education meeting.

In a similar effort to those by schools like Montpelier and Bryan, a multi-year program is under development that would grant students a host of experiences related to locally available opportunities before they graduate.

The program will be entitled “Operation Occupation,” and will join the chorus of Ohio schools adhering to state mandates in light of a perceived worker shortage in the Buckeye State.

“It would be for our students in grades seven through 12,” said Lapham. “It’s a career exploration of local business and industry as a way to showcase what is available to our students either directly out of high school or with a little bit of training.”

The program will include speakers with relevant experience and trips to a wide variety local facilities.

“I’m open to any local businesses who are interested in being a part of what we have,” said Lapham. “We’re looking to have an occupation showcase in May to have local businesses come in and give sessions about what happens in their businesses and have our (grades) 9 through 11 students rotate through.”

Currently, Lapham and company are in the process of networking with local businesses to get the program up and running.

“It’s something I’ve become passionate about. I feel that the college path isn’t always the best path for our students and we often find that students don’t always select the Four County (Career Center) path because they’re more comfortable in the typical setting, but I want to be able show our students what’s available to them here that could potentially interest them and make them successful later on in life.”

Also during the meeting, no discussion was held regarding an investigation into an alleged hazing incident(s) at the school this summer, nor were there any community members present who wished to speak about the issue. In mid-August, Superintendent Anthony Stevens declined to comment on the matter in any form, citing the district’s legal advisement.

During the same time period, Edon Police Chief Tom Symczak indicated the issue was under discretion of Williams County Job and Family Services and that he didn’t expect the issue would come before his department.

The board went into executive session following the regular meeting Monday, citing personnel-related matters and matters required to be kept confidential by statute.

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