Previous elementary school will be reused to house Academies of Central in the spring with more programs to be added in Fall of 2018.
Central Consolidated School District welcomed students to the new Bond Wilson Technical Center in Kirtland as a home for new programs and the Academies of Central in January. The name Bond Wilson honors past educators of the Kirtland area who also had previous schools named after them, Grace B. Wilson and Ruth N. Bond. The building was previously Grace B. Wilson Elementary school, which was closed after the opening of Judy Nelson Elementary.
“Central Consolidated School District is thrilled to open the Bond Wilson Technical Center to our students. We want to thank all of our partners in the community, in local industry and in higher education for working with CCSD to offer these opportunities to our students,” CCSD Superintendent Dr. Colleen W. Bowman said. “We are dedicated to giving our students options for all of their goals in their education and careers. We want to see our students succeed on any path they choose and we believe the BWTC will be a place where many can make their dreams a reality.”
Bond Wilson Technical Center will be home to a new district initiative to enhance a student’s high school education with experience in his or her career interests. Innovative high school elective course offerings, combined with industry experience, as well as college credit from Navajo Technical University and other institutions of higher education in some cases, will result in graduates ready to enter the work force and prepared to continue their education at a college or university.
This is the first of its kind center in the state of New Mexico and a model in innovation and partnership for school districts across the country. The Bond Wilson Technical Center and the Academies of Central, buck the traditional model of the early college high school experience to provide CCSD students with opportunities that truly benefit their futures. Instead of partnering with one Institute of Higher Education (IHE), CCSD has reached out to colleges and universities across the region, including Dine College, San Juan College, New Mexico State University, Fort Lewis College and many more.
“It was important for CCSD to create a truly unique center with unique ideas. How can we preach about innovation to our students when, as a district, we were settling for the model that had already been created? We wanted to break the mold for our students so they can go on and do the same in their lives,” CCSD spokeswoman Renee Lucero said.
New course offering include drone piloting, aerospace manufacturing, conceptual design and planning, employability for the 21st century and occupations in mining. More courses and pathways are expected to be added in the near future.
“The goal of the Bond Wilson Technical Center is to develop a new generation of skilled students who will support the evolving industry and economic needs of the Navajo Nation and our surrounding communities,” Bond Wilson Technical Center coordinator Milo McMinn said. “It’s a place that will be home to really innovative and cutting edge programs that our students are very excited about. Industry standards have changed since traditional trade curriculums were created and the workplaces have changed. This center will provide a different way of learning that prepares our students for a different way of working.”
The building will also serve as the main location for the Academy of Industrial Arts and the Academy of Technology which comprise the Academies of Central in addition to the Academy of Service and the Academy of Arts and Entrepreneurship.