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Business leaders go back to school in Great Falls

Business leaders go back to school in Great Falls
Posted at 9:53 AM, Mar 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-27 18:17:09-04

Several business leaders in Great Falls went "back to school" to get a unique perspective on how they are managed. In the video above, reporter Brianna Juneau talked with Holly Kopeikin of Omni Marketing & Design; Megan Connors, a CPA at Pinion; and Scott Wilson of Cascade Electric.

The annual event, organized by Great Falls Public Schools, the Chamber of Commerce, the GFPS Foundation, and Horizon Credit Union, is designed to show civic leaders what it’s like to ‘manage’ a school.

Thirty people from the community shadowed a principal and/or assistant principal of their assigned school which included visiting classrooms and talking with parents, bus drivers, and students.

The goal was to show the challenges and issues educators face in today’s learning environment.

“I think it's important for people to come into schools because I think we think schools were the same way they were when we went to school and, it's very, very different than it was, you know, 20 years ago or even 16 when I first started,” said Sacajawea Elementary School principal Rae Smith.

Megan Connors, a CPA for Pinion, shadowed Principal throughout the morning; she chose Sacajawea because of her daughter attending school there, and her main takeaway of the day was discovering that aspects of a principal’s job was different than she would have expected: “I feel like sometimes we as parents get so busy and don’t pay a lot of attention to what school employees do for our kids on a daily basis. I feel like I got my whole days’ worth of steps in by spending just one morning with Rae. Her daily tasks were different than I expected.”

Brad Barringer, the principal at East Middle School, talked about the perspective of teaching in an ever-changing world. His many years of administrating at a middle school level has taught him that empathizing with the students and the challenges that they face that differ from challenges in the past don’t hold the school district back, but pushes the district to accommodate for a better education. He said, “I think we're wanting to show that kids are the same as they've always have been, but that the world has changed for them, and it's changed how they're developing.”

Cascade Electric owner Scott Wilson noted, “I think the parents need to realize, too, that and to get involved in what the teachers are up against. But we need to really embrace our schools, our administrators, our staff, and our children, because this is the future of our country and our city and our state.”

Questions or comments about this article/video? Click here to contact Brianna.


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