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Scottsdale City Council elects 2 new members to education subcommittee

Photo of Scottsdale City Council public education map
City officials say the education element found part of the voter-ratified General Plan 2035 is meant to provide goals and policies that maintain and enhance lifelong learning opportunities, and helps the municipality play a key role in the support of safe, healthy and positive environment for residents. (Graphic: City of Scottsdale/DigitalFreePress.com)

Scottsdale City Council seeks City Hall, public education synergies

By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press

Found part of General Plan 2035 is an education element whereas for the last two years a three-member group within Scottsdale City Council has been hosting public discussions about educational synergies in the municipal universe.

The subcommittee was first created May 2021 under the unanimous direction of Scottsdale City Council and most recently two new members have been appointed to the advisory board at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.

“The education subcommittee’s first meeting was held on Sept. 8, 2021, as a result of the General Plan 2035, which included an education Element,” Scottsdale Councilwoman Betty Janik, who was appointed to a term at the education subcommittee, told the Digital Free Press Tuesday, June 6. “My goals are to build on the current work of the committee. I would like to help establish a centralized internship/externship program between the city of Scottsdale, high school students, and college students in our local schools.”

City officials say the education element found part of the voter-ratified General Plan 2035 is meant to provide goals and policies that maintain and enhance lifelong learning opportunities, and helps the municipality play a key role in the support of safe, healthy and positive environment for residents.

Along with Councilwoman Janik, Tom Durham, a fellow member of Scottsdale City Council was appointed to the education subcommittee in late May. Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega serves as the third member of the education subcommittee at City Hall.

Councilwoman Janik says enhancing the relationship between City Hall and local education institutions can result in positive, long-term outcomes that can take many forms.

“This could take the form of a formal agreement around the work opportunities with the city through volunteer and paid work experience,” she said of the development of an internship program emerging at City Hall. “The positions can meet the needs of the students as well as the city. For example, Scottsdale needed lifeguards and students needed summer jobs. Schools advertised lifeguard training classes and we filled the open positions. Additionally, perhaps we can expand opportunities for shared facilities such as soccer fields, parks and libraries.”

Scottsdale City Council seeks City Hall and public education synergies

Councilwoman Janik points out the catalyst for the development of the education subcommittee is to create, cultivate and maintain high quality public education in Scottsdale.

“The catalyst for this subcommittee was the realization that strong communities are built on high-quality education,” she said. “We offer numerous educational opportunities and we need to ensure that our young adults are aware of these opportunities and take advantage of them. Working together we can build a strong foundation for future success.”

Ms. Janik knows a thing or two about the power of education.

“As a former teacher, I welcome the opportunity to strengthen the bonds between Scottsdale and our educational community,” she said. “We should partner with local schools to sponsor youth mentorships, athletic programs, and reinforce the need for commitment to community. Let’s bring all of these offerings under one umbrella.”

The most recent City Council education subcommittee was held this past January and featured presentations from the Arizona Board of Regents, Scottsdale Philharmonic and discussions on how to help bolster dual-enrollment programs between Scottsdale Unified School District and Scottsdale Community College.

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