Report details significant progress being made in the Verde Valley
Outgoing Verde Valley Forum President Dick Dahl gave his year end report at the Annual Membership meeting of the nonprofit organization on May 13th. Portions of Mr. Dahl’s report are reproduced here verbatim. They should be of interest to everyone concerned with post-education in the Verde Valley. Any emphasis by highlighting portions of the report was placed there by the editors of the blog.
Mr. Dahl wrote: “Last year’s collaboration with Arizona Town Hall resulted in a very successful Verde Valley Forum. Excellent progress is being made in implementing the five priority recommendations that resulted from last year’s Forum titled, “The Role of Post-Secondary Education in the Future of the Verde Valley Region.” These five recommendations resulted in the formation of several new entities and organizations that are currently and actively pursuing their respective goals and objectives.
“A task force headed by Beaver Creek School District Superintendent Karin Ward, along with representatives from each of the incorporated and unincorporated areas in the Verde Valley region, convened four focus group meetings throughout our region. As a result of this effort, the Yavapai College District Governing Board, (YCDGB), authorized a survey of all seventeen public libraries in the region that could allow access to online learning. The survey indicated a need for additional computers at these locations, and the YCDGB has included this expense item in their budget for next year.
“Additional studies are also underway to improve access to transportation systems so more people can physically access the Yavapai College Clarkdale Campus. It is clear that the work of this task force has been instrumental in motivating the college to proactively address accessibility issues.
“Progress is also being made on improving the cultural awareness and direction of post-secondary education in the region. Erin Mabery, Buena Vista Children’s Services, is leading this objective. Buena Vista has, for several years, conducted a multi-day seminar that focuses on early childhood education. This year’s seminar was the kick-off for their work to implement the 2016 Forum recommendations. There is an obvious connection to the 2017 Forum on preK-12 education, and I have every reason to believe it will carry over to this year’s discussion topics.
“The Verde Valley Educational Consortium headed by Barbara U’Ren, retired Superintendent of Cottonwood Oak Creek School District, with the able assistance of Consortium organizing committee member Eric Marcus was formally established as an Arizona non-profit corporation and a federal tax exempt 501(c) 3 entity.