Daggett challenges business, community leaders

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 18, 2022

SALISBURY — Over 120 business and community leaders were challenged by Dr. Bill Daggett at the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce’s Power in Partnership (PIP) breakfast on Thursday at Trinity Oaks.

Daggett’s speech “Preparing Students for Their Future – Not Our Past”. Incoming Rowan-Salisbury School (RSS) Superintendent Dr. Kelly Withers made opening comments and introduced Daggett. Her first day as RSS Superintendent will be Sept. 26.

 “You have a really good school district, and you are educating ALL the children,” said Daggett of the Rowan-Salisbury School District. He presented several graphs that showed today’s students are significantly different than previous generations with technology use, family and church life, waiting to get their driver’s license, and not dating or drinking before high school graduation unlike previous generations. Daggett said the pandemic has made it even harder on today’s students. He challenged the business leaders to get involved with our local schools and support the teachers because “they are exhausted”.

Several business and community leaders commented about Daggett’s powerful speech.

Dr. Andrew Smith (NC Dept. of Public Instruction) said, “Bill Daggett’s presentation was poignant as it provided valuable trends and data points that indicate our current students are living in a fundamentally different environment from those of the past. Through his analysis of technology trends, it is clear these shifts will only continue in the future.  His presentation was important to our community and educational leaders because it called for our education system to evolve to meet the needs of future students, not our past.”

Jason Walser (Robertson Foundation) said, “Bill Daggett’s message was exactly on point with what we need to hear. It is tempting to believe that there are silver bullets to solving the public education challenges. The reality is that the challenges are complex and evolving. Solutions will similarly be complex. As Dr. Daggett noted, the foundation for success in education still builds off reading, writing, and arithmetic. That is essential. But it is nowhere close to adequate in 2022, or 2025, or 2035. Dr. Daggett’s assessment of what real world skills will be needed for success for the next generation was daunting and challenging, but also incredibly helpful for us to ponder as we re-imagine what public education looks like in Rowan County. Dr. Daggett’s recognition of the adaptability and flexibility that future educational systems are going to need made me appreciate yet again how fortunate we are to have the opportunities provided to us here through Renewal and a wonderful new Superintendent who is not afraid of change.”

Greg Alcorn (Global Contact Services) was the sponsor of this event and said, “His message was “tough love” but also inspirational in what we can do.  Like Bill, I’m a big fan of our public schools and optimistic about the future.”

Alisha Byrd-Clark (Gemstones/Compass) said, “One thing Dr. Daggett said that spoke volumes to me was that we have to prepare students for their future and not our past. We need to support our teachers because they are mentally and physically exhausted. We can help them focus not only on how they teach but how they mix the batter. This includes the community helping with interpersonal skills that will take them beyond the classroom.”

Daggett is the founder of both the Successful Practices Network and the International Center for Leadership in Education. He recently co-chaired the AASA LEARNING 2025: National Commission for Student-Centered, Equity-Focused, Future-Driven Education and is now leading the National Demonstration Network for AASA. He is the author of 26 books, is recognized worldwide for his proven ability to move preK-12 education systems towards more rigorous and relevant skills and knowledge for all students. For 30 years, he has crisscrossed our nation, as well as the industrialized world, to lead school reform efforts to effectively prepare students for their future.

The date of the next Chamber PIP is Oct. 20 with Empire Hotel development speakers Josh Barnhardt and Brett Weaver. For more information, contact the Rowan Chamber at (704) 633-4221 or info@rowanchamber.com