Two days before high school
juniors and seniors will enter The Career Academy, ribbons were cut Monday
morning to commemorate the opening of the facility, a partnership between
Southeast Community College, Lincoln Public Schools and business and industry.
Numerous dignitaries were on hand
to officially open the building, located on SCC’s Lincoln Campus at 8800 O St.
Gov. Pete Ricketts, U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer and Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler were
among those who spoke about the need for the facility and how it will help
shape the future economy of the region.
The Career Academy has been
developed throughout the last couple of years and is comprised of 16 career
pathways. Approximately 350 high school juniors and seniors from LPS, Lincoln
parochial schools and school districts outside Lincoln will begin classes Aug.
12 in the facility. A two-hour session in the morning and a two-hour session in
the afternoon will be held initially.
A crowd estimated at nearly 400
people attended Monday’s ribbon-cutting, highlighted by short speeches by
Ricketts, Fischer, Beutler and a host of others, including Dr. Paul Illich, SCC
president, and Dr. Steve Joel, LPS superintendent. Other speakers were Dr. Dale
Kruse, vice chairperson of SCC’s Board of Governors; and Lanny Boswell, a member
of the LPS Board of Education. Boswell, Kruse, Joel, and Illich comprise the
TCA’s Joint Board.
Loran Stara, a technical sergeant
for the Nebraska National Guard, presented a flag to TCA that had flown over a
portion of the Middle East where he recently was stationed. He then led the
audience in reciting “The Pledge of Allegiance.”
Anthony Marks, a senior at Lincoln
Southwest High School and a student in the LPS Entrepreneurship Focus Program
since his freshman year, also spoke. He said he was excited to get to take
classes in the facility.
Illich singled out Dr. Jack Huck,
former SCC president, for his vision for TCA and for stepping up and saying “this
can happen” as he worked out details with Joel and other community members.
Numerous representatives from
businesses and industries who have made contributions to TCA, either in the
form of money or equipment, also were in attendance. Representatives from two
corporate sponsors, Union Bank & Trust and Bison Inc., also spoke. Kevin Keller
with UB&T and Nick Cusick with Bison talked about the vision for the
facility and the impact it will have on the future of Lincoln and southeast
Nebraska.Dr. Dan Hohensee, director of TCA, served as