What I learned in high school today…

What I learned in high school today…

Orlando Property Manager

What I learned in high school today…

I spent the first half of today at Oak Ridge High School here in Orlando.  Today was the day for the Orange County Public Schools School Summit, an event held in cooperation with our Orlando Regional Realtor Association (ORRA).  As I wrote in my assessment at the end of the event, I’m still not really sure I can quantify exactly what I expected to get out of it.  One might think that would throw a monkey wrench into any plans for ranking things on the ol’ failed to meet/met/exceeded expectations scale, but that’s hardly the case- as I know that what I heard and saw today would’ve exceeded any expectations I could’ve set.

The folks at Oak Ridge High School have passion.  The folks at Oak Ridge High School hustle.  And the folks at Oak Ridge High School have a sincere, heartfelt desire to impact as many of our youth as they possibly can- and it’s an infectious spirit others would be well served by adopting.  This school screams “success”- and with an instructional staff, support staff and a student body “all in” and striving for it, Oak Ridge High School will not fail.

It must be noted here that historically, Oak Ridge High School hasn’t been at the top of anyone’s “Best Orlando-area Schools” list- and some local readers may very well question the words I’ve written and/or my sanity.  “Oak Ridge High School?  That Oak Ridge High School?”  Yes, folks- that Oak Ridge High School.

After receiving system-wide updates from a number of other speakers, we were divided into three groups that rotated among three activities:  learning about School Choices from Dr. Christopher Bernier, Senior Executive Director of School Choice Services, learning of new testing standards and teaching methods from an Oak Ridge teacher and a tour with Oak Ridge High School‘s Assistant Principal, Michael Martucci.  With all due respect to the others, it was Martucci’s tour that brought out the “Wow” in many of us.

Asst. Principal Martucci gave us a tour and overview of several great Oak Ridge High School magnet programs:  their Aviation and Aerospace Engineering program, their Hospitality Management program and their JA Academy of Leadership and Entrepreneurship program:

Oak Ridge High School’s Aviation and Aerospace Engineering program has evolved through a partnership with Lockheed Martin.  From flight simulators in the classroom to field trips and site visits to possible apprenticeships and internships, this college preparatory curriculum joins a host of career-related electives that are preparing the engineers of tomorrow today.

Oak Ridge High School’s Hospitality Management program has evolved through a partnership with the local hotelier and philanthropic legend Harris Rosen.  From mentoring opportunities to site visits and academic preparation to job shadowing, this program serves to well-equip today’s youth for successful careers in hotel and resort management.

Oak Ridge High School’s JA Academy of Leadership and Entrepreneurship program has resulted from a partnership between the school system and Junior Achievement of Central Florida.  This comprehensive program may very well stand above and ahead any similar program in America.  It focuses on honors classes, summer internships, mentor partnerships and the students’ development of personal entrepreneurial business plans as it molds tomorrow’s business leaders today.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that Oak Ridge High School has been re-born as a shining example of what the rest of the Orange County Public Schools system could very well be.  It’s my hope that the rest of the high schools in our metro area make similar strides toward educating our kids.  I’d say that if the mantle of leading the school district and being the best example of what our tax dollars can do when spent wisely on hard-working students is their lot, the folks at Oak Ridge High School are ready to carry that flag.

Take a look at some of what Oak Ridge High School has to offer:   www.orhs.ocps.net

For information on other great Orange County Public Schools, visit www.ocps.net.

What I learned in high school today…


About Dennis Burgess

Dennis B. Burgess Realtor in Orlando, FL ORRA Vice-chairman of Strategic Planning/Secretary ORRA/FR Boards of Directors Empire Network Realty 6000 S. Rio Grande Ave., #104 Orlando, FL 32803 Cell: 205-445-4755 Office: 407-440-3798 bamaburgess@hotmail.com Twitter: @orlrentals Turning vacant into occupied, and "houses" into "homes"
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