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State leaders visit Huntington

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NURSING PROCEDURES: Huntington County Community Learning Center nursing students Alexis Keplar (left) and Samantha Smith speak to IDOE Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick.
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LEARNING CENTER: From left are Indiana Department of Education Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick, Huntington County Community Learning Center Director of Career and Technical Education Tiffaney Drummond and State Senator Andy Zay (District 17) touring the center Friday.
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EDUCATION LEADERS: Huntington County Community Schools Superitendent Randy Harris and IDOE Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick talk at the Learning Center Friday.

By Jennifer Peryam - jperyam@h-ponline.com

State Senator Andy Zay (R-District 17) and Indiana Department of Education Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick visited Huntington Friday.

They were able to tour the Huntington County Community Learning Center along with Huntington County Community Schools Superintendent Randy Harris and Learning Center Director of Career and Technical Education Tiffaney Drummond.

Zay hosted a luncheon at Huntington University Friday morning to recognize teachers in his district as part of National Teacher Appreciation Awareness Week.

“The teachers are building the foundation for our society and working with kids,” Zay said.

He said he wanted to take time to make sure teachers were recognized and show McCormick the Learning Center. Zay said the Learning Center was made possible through collaboration from HU, Huntington Community Schools, Ivy Tech and Work One as well as the City of Huntington and helps in transitioning kids out of high school into the work place.

“This is a perfect example of, under one roof, how good work is being done for youth and adults,” McCormick said.

She said it is important to have quality teachers in the state so students are taught by the best.

“There is no better impact in the classroom than the teacher, so in order to make academic growth and proficiency happening we need great teachers,” McCormick said.

McCormick would like to see a pipeline to replace retiring teachers in the state.

Drummond said the Learning Center opened in August 20115 and offers courses in automotive, cosmetology, certified nurse aide, emergency medical tech and education professions. Other courses are in early childhood and human and social education, interdisciplinary cooperative education, internships and precision machining.

The offices of Huntington University, Ivy Tech Community College, Work One and Impact Institute are located at the center. The Huntington County Robotics Team also is housed at the center.

“We are so proud of the Learning Center and truly believe it can be a model for the state,” Drummond said.

She said the center’s mission is to break down learning barriers and to create access to education from a middle school Lego League up to adult education.

“Our goal is to serve as a resource for our community for people to come and get what they need educationally, whether it is to switch careers, upscale or to go back to school and earn the degree they have always wanted,” Drummond said.