Letter to the editor: Tech education vital

To the editor:

Wow! Was I every excited, so pleased and honored to see Peaslee Tech while on a recent tour of that new educational program offered here in Lawrence and Douglas County.

Why? In the early 1980s, when the Lawrence school district was trying to decide whether to enlarge Lawrence High School or build a second high school, a large committee was charged with making recommendations. Dwayne Peaslee, a plumbing union member, and I, a supervisor/instructor at Haskell Indian Junior College’s vo-tech program, were two of the committee members. We both insisted vo-tech courses be offered.

The recommendation was to continue offering those courses at LHS, add to the offerings and transport interested students from Free State to LHS. Over time the Lawrence district dropped several programs, and did not provide new offerings. Hence, their offerings are very poor and do not prepare vo-tech graduates for gainful employment. At that time, Haskell probably offered the best and largest vo-tech programs in the nation. Their offerings were over 25 vo-tech shops.

So you see why an old farm boy with a master’s degree in technical education is so excited after my nearly 30 years at Haskell that vo-tech courses are again offered locally. Thanks to my fellow committeeman Peasley for his desire and drive to offer hands-on educational programs for individuals in Douglas County. Let’s all insist on continuing to offer vital technical education in the future.