Leadership Lodi Education Day
Leadership Lodi is a course dedicated to inspiring and motivating individuals from our community to attain higher levels of leadership. Formed through the Lodi District Chamber of Commerce in 1990, the hands-on workshops, interviews with local leaders, and non-profit projects have made an immense impact on Lodi as a whole. During the course of Leadership Lodi, participants go through ten all-day meetings with different facets of the community. The mission for this month was to introduce all of the Leadership Lodi 2019 participants to the wonderful educational opportunities that exist in and around Lodi.
The class began their day at the Lodi Unified School District Office where they listened to presentations by Gary Knackstedt, Randy Malandro, Leonard Kahn, Chelsea Vongehr, and more. The topics covered how the district will be investing Measure U funds, their new Lodi Career Connection Pilot Program, and the State’s new California School Dashboard. If you have not yet seen the new dashboard, visit www.CASchoolDashboard.org. There is a lot of good information on the dashboard regarding how our district and schools are performing.
The next part of our journey took Leadership Lodi 2019 to LUDS’s Lincoln Technical Academy. They met with Principal Julie Jansen and Vice Principal Mark Troutner. They introduced us to their facility and spoke about the many wonderful programs offered there. Did you know Lincoln Technical Academy serves both our high school student and adult population, offering classes which provide career/technical skills training and/or on-the-job training with work-based learning? Their programs cover 27 different career pathways and every year they are placing more and more students into their careers of choice. “This school may just be the hidden gem of LUSD,” mentioned Leadership Lodi participant, Shad Canestrino.
While the class’ minds were filling up quickly at this point, their bellies were empty. Luckily for Leadership Lodi 2019, the next stop was the Culinary Arts Program hosted at McNair High School. They were seated in the classroom, which looked like a working restaurant, and were greeted by students and Chef/Instructor Matt Owens. Chef Owens explained to the class that all culinary arts students, currently about 120, are studying the food from different nations. He said the theme for our meal that day would be Filipino food. Leadership Lodi 2019 were served a wonderful lunch of lumpia, adobo chicken, pork skewers, rice, and “pancit” noodles.
From there, the class moved on to San Joaquin Delta college to learn about their Electron Microscopy program. The tour was led by Frank Villalovoz and the class learned the program at SJDC is the only one of its kind anywhere in the nation. The SJDC Electron Microscopy program is a two-year program, and once students complete the program, they are typically hired full-time in a good paying career related to their particular field of study.
After this, Leadership Lodi then ventured off to University of the Pacific (UOP). UOP is composed of three campuses with nine schools and colleges. Several of the undergraduate programs offered in the Stockton campus include liberal arts and sciences. The University also has six professional schools, which include education, dentistry, law, engineering, and pharmacy. UOP has two other campuses located in Sacramento and San Francisco. The University has California’s first conservatory of music, established in 1878. The Conservatory currently has 235 students. Because UOP is a smaller school, students get more playing time. The school offers 100 performances a semester, and even includes a music therapy program. In addition to this, the University hosts a music camp for local schools. We learned about numerous educational opportunities for both youth and adults during our Leadership Lodi Education Day.
The Lodi District Chamber of Commerce is an organization dedicated to “Securing Lodi’s Economic Future.” Our priority it to be a catalyst for business growth, a convener for leaders and influencers to create positive change, and a champion for the community. For more information or to join the Chamber of Commerce, visit LodiChamber.com.