Lane president leads school connections

Lane Community College President Mary Spilde received an award that was named in her honor at the first annual meeting of Connected Lane County on Oct. 8.

The Connected Lane County Mary Spilde Vision Award honors Spilde’s long held goal of bringing local education leaders together to share information, increase cooperation, and support students in their educational transitions. Her vision inspired the formation of a regional collaborative that eventually became known as Connected Lane County and served as a role model for similar collaboratives across the state.

“The power of work like ours is collaboration,” Spilde said. “This is for everyone working to achieve Connected Lane County’s vision.”

Connected Lane County is a local coalition of school districts, institutions of public higher education, early childhood and community partners. It is comprised of all sixteen Lane County school districts, Lane Education Service District, Lane Community College, the University of Oregon, United Way of Lane County, Lane County’s Early Learning Alliance and Lane Workforce Partnership.

It serves as a role model for similar collaborations across Oregon. The coalition was formed to help fulfill Oregon’s 40-40-20 educational attainment goal set by the state Legislature in 2011 that 40 percent of Oregonians will have a two-year associate degree, 40 percent will have a four-year bachelor’s degree or higher, and 20 percent will have a high school diploma or the equivalent, by 2025.

Connected Lane County is dedicated to creating pathways for all students to enter kindergarten ready to learn and for all students to access higher education so that the next generation will have success in their lives and will help the community thrive.

Their mission aims to increase the number of local high school graduates who are successful in higher education and life by creating a seamless and streamlined transition between early childhood, K–12 and higher education through partnerships and relationships with educational, community, and partnering business organizations.

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Information provided by LCC P.R. redacted for content by Torch staff.