September 19th was not a typical day at Manchester Community College, located in the Queen City of our Granite State. Over 300 middle school faculty members gathered together for the 2017 Educator Leadership Summit, organized by the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce (GMCC). The leadership summit provides valuable insights for educators in the Manchester School District. A primary focus is the importance of developing soft skills early-on, to provide students with a competitive advantage when entering the workforce.
Welcoming remarks were delivered by the New Hampshire Department of Education Commissioner, Frank Edelblut and Manchester Superintendent, Dr. Bolgen Vargas. Next, business professionals were welcomed to the stage for the “Skills Needed for Success” panel discussion- moderated by Mike Skelton, President and CEO of GMCC. Panelists included Sarah Currier, Director of Workforce Development at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Amanda Osmer, 4th Generation Steward of Grappone Automotive Group, and Brian Giguere, Vice President at BAO. A common theme was expressed for skill sets across the panel; attention to detail, organization, solid communication skills (both written and verbal), problem-solving, critical thinking, and prioritizing the way authority, process, and policy are perceived. “It’s becoming increasingly uncommon to see applicants who meet each of these skill sets. We set our hiring standards at a high level to ensure we’re able to carry out our mission of building lifelong relationships” states Osmer.
Mr. Rich, National Touring Rock Drummer, Founder and Director of Youth Beatz cranked-up the volume during his keynote presentation. “Let’s have fun and be kids again!” he commented while engaging the entire audience in a team building exercise. The sound of hundreds of people drumming on Home Depot buckets with duck-taped wooden dowels resonated throughout the lobby. Mr. Rich delivered an energetic and heartfelt speech, to say the least. He describes his journey from being labeled “hyper” and “disruptive” during adolescence to becoming the leader in sustainable enrichment for the past 12 years. Youth Beatz provides a myriad of enrichment programs through positive mentoring. To learn more about Youth Beatz or to schedule a program, check out youth-beatz.com.
The summit continued with highlighting, “The Coolest Businesses in Manchester” ranging from hospitality to healthcare, and represented by top executives. Mike Decelle, Dean of UNH Manchester delivered his closing remarks before the faculty members transitioned to touring local businesses.