CompTIA President and CEO Todd Thibodeaux on Serving as ChiTech Board Chair
Monday, January 14, 2013
For the next year, I will serve as board chair for the Chicago Tech Academy. This tech-intensive high school located just outside the heart of Chicago is home for over 500 students learning about math, science and technology, as well as entrepreneurship and professionalism. The school is the brainchild of Terry Howerton, the outgoing chair, and has been ably led by Matt Hancock, the current executive director. What makes ChiTech so special is the environment, the culture and, of course, the kids. Many of our students come from some of the roughest neighborhoods in the Chicagoland area. They come to ChiTech to learn, grow and be a part of something bigger.
This is a special year in the maturation of ChiTech, as 2013 will mark the first graduating class of students. They’ve been the pioneers, and we have high hopes they will go on to do great things. For some of our students, those great things will come during and after another two to four years of education at a university or junior college. Other students will head into the workforce or additional vocational training. The challenge for ChiTech in the coming years is to create a system and an educational process that speaks equally to the varied paths kids will take after graduation. How can we help every child be more successful in the future as a result of attending ChiTech?
In many schools around the country, if you’re not on the college track, you’re not getting much attention. Schools are judged by how many kids go to the right schools. That has to change. We’re spending so much time cramming kids full of knowledge and filling their schedules with activities that we’ve forgotten it’s equally important to help kids find out about their innate skills. Are they good at organizing, getting people together, problem solving, creative ideas or communicating? Having a better sense of innate skills will help empower kids in their choices and lead them more directly to the things they can be passionate about.