Local businesses tightened their ties with teachers at an innovative industry panel discussion during teacher training at East Middle School last August. Judy Jonart, school district superintendent, and Jim O’Neill, district curriculum director, talked about a variety of issues to enforce school-business partnerships. Those issues include job opportunities in the work force, job readiness skills, potential mentorship and apprenticeship programs and lining up possible business success stories to inspire students.

Business leaders who participated: Kristen Rosa of Butte-Silver Bow Economic Development, Pam Haxby-Cote of Butte Local Development Corporation, Tom Alexander of NorthWestern Energy, Jim Bennett of Pepsi, Mike Johnson of the hotel/motel management industry, Ed Stepan of REC Silicon, Matt Thien of Montana Precision Products, Ron Ueland of various companies, including agriculture, and a representative from St. James Healthcare. Other district leaders present were Judy Bryant, head of the Career and Technical Ed Department at Butte High School; dual credit instructors Tami Kissell, Jeni Hope, Steve Maloney, Denise Bordeleau, Jake Bartholomew; Dorothy Joyce, BHS special education department head, Sheila Richardson, family and consumer science instructor, Kristy Dallaserra, Project Lead the Way instructor, Mike Kenison, World to Work/industrial arts instructor, and John Magnus, industrial arts.

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