Education Celebrations: Businesses help schools get students ready

By Diane Boyett
March 2, 2014 at 10:04 p.m.
Updated March 1, 2014 at 9:02 p.m.

Two weeks ago, business and industry leaders gathered to start discussions on what they needed from the Victoria school district's education programs.

Victoria ISD has been blessed to be a part of the dialogue that centers on the economic future of our area and the part we play in preparing our students to become members of the workforce.

Last week, Dow brought the You Be the Chemist competition to our area again. The event brought out 35 students from three middle schools in the area to test their knowledge of chemistry. The event reminded me how the world is a much safer place because I did not go into a career field like chemistry. But I was so very impressed with the knowledge base of the students. These were not easy questions.

Congratulations to Cade Middle School's Vy Nguyen for her first-place finish. Coming in second through fourth were Jack Buchanan from Cade, Sarah Gross from Howell and Carly Oracion from Cade. All four will compete at the state You Be the Chemist event in April.

As impressed as I was with all the students' abilities, I was also impressed with the commitment that Dow showed to the event.

Multiple chemical engineers were on hand. There were demonstrations of experiments. It's part of the corporate commitment to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in schools.

That's just one example of how business and industry supports our schools. If I tried to list them all, I am sure I would leave someone off the list, but I do want to touch on some of the ways our schools are fortunate to have these partnerships.

The Dream Big STEM Expo exposes students to career opportunities and provides background on the educational needs for those careers. Multiple industry partners work with the Victoria Business and Education Coalition and our VISD Career and Technical Education program to bring that opportunity to middle school students.

Invista has for many years provided a hands-on learning center at the Wetlands, allowing students of all ages to see nature up close and see how industry and the environment coexist.

Other businesses provide support for the CTE programs through technical advisory committees, volunteering and providing work sites.

Still other businesses encourage their employees to be active volunteers in the schools by mentoring students, providing career day presentations, tutoring and sponsoring activities and special lessons.

Ben Franklin said, "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."

The Victoria ISD commitment to our community is strong. We know that the future of Victoria is sitting in our classrooms today. We appreciate the partnerships that we have formed throughout Victoria in supporting our shared vision of a strong community with a bright future. We are grateful for the investment.

Diane Boyett is the communications director for the Victoria school district. Contact her at



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