CHALLENGE DAY 2 – Education

Positive Leadership Capacity: Purpose
November 18, 2022

Olympic College, Bremerton Campus

Sponsors: Kitsap Regional Library Foundation, Liberty Bank NW and the Olympic College Foundation

Education Day was held November 18, 2022 on Olympic College’s Bremerton campus and gave class members insight into education from birth to adulthood and furthering continuing education in Kitsap County. The class was welcomed by Olympic College President Dr. Marty Cavalluzzi via video and in-person by Vice President of Instruction Martin Cockroft (LK17).

Community racial justice and equity are important factors in determining a person’s success, and are topics finally getting some attention in the public eye. Leadership Kitsap board member and the county’s first Equity Program Manager at Kitsap County Public Health District Jessica Guidry (LK12) shared information on society’s influences and a person’s environmental effects on their educational future.

Lowell Sweet (LK04), LK Board member and Project Manager at PSNS, shared a segment on the day’s Positive Leadership Capacity Purpose. One of the most important aspects of effective leadership is the ability to recognize purpose, make it clear, and remind your teams, organizations, and communities of the purpose when they lose sight of it.

Jill Brenner (LK07), Kitsap Community Resources’ Child Development Manager introduced the class to the science behind, and great community benefit of, early childhood education and the unlimited potential of ALL children. She expanded on the options and obstacles of early childhood education in Kitsap County.

Longtime Mentor at OurGEMS (Our Girls Empowered Through Mentoring and Service) Candyce Chattman gave an overview of the mentorship program while OurGEMS and Bremerton High School student Zariah H. shared her personal experiences as a current mentee. She highlighted some of the accomplishments she attests to the OurGEMS program and her future goals for attending college and beyond. OurGEMS mentors the type of leadership training that fosters compassion and empathy through community involvement. Tom Peterson, Director of Scholarships at Olympic College, explained the incredible benefit the NextGEMS at Olympic College provides to continue that support and the OC Promise that helps fill the gap between financial aid and the first year of tuition and fees at Olympic College.

On the employer side, Teresa Cox, Olympic College Interim Dean of Workforce Development, expanded the conversation to share how Olympic College supports specific local companies and regional growth industries. This led the class into lunch catered by Olympic College Chef Chris Plemmons in the Fireside Bistro, prepared and served by his Olympic College Culinary Arts Institute students as the “First catered event post-pandemic” for the college.

Following lunch prepared by Olympic College Culinary Arts students, the class had the opportunity to tour Olympic College’s state-of-the-art engineering lab and the Nursing Instruction Center. The Mechanical and Electrical Engineering programs are a partnership between Washington State University and Olympic College to offer four-year Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, as well as four-year nursing degrees in Bremerton. The tour was led in coordination by Trevor Ross, LK Board Treasurer and Olympic College Foundation Executive Director, Dr. Meronni of Washington State University’s program at Olympic College, and Pam Laughlin, Academic Coordinator at Olympic College. The College Instruction Center houses Olympic College’s Health Occupations programs and Art, Music, and Theater programs.

LK Board member and Library Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion introduced Kitsap Regional Librarians: Lesley Caldwell, Collection and Technical Services Manager; Lia Burbridge, Program Materials Coordinator; and Meg Beade-Stowe, Youth Services Librarian; shared several engaging library programs and opportunities for continuing education across all ages at the library. Kitsap Regional Library Director Jason Driver further supported the conversation by sharing the library’s overall goals for education, resources and bringing community together.

Thank you to our Education Day Sponsors: Kitsap Regional Library Foundation, Liberty Bank NW and the Olympic College Foundation who sponsored our venue and delicious meals prepared by the Olympic College Culinary Arts Institute.