Wilson touts benefits of Washburn Tech

Jackson Heights High School students who invest time and energy into taking vocational courses through Washburn Tech in Topeka will enhance more than just their list of educational credits, a former Holton school administrator now serving as an associate dean of student services at Washburn Tech told the USD 335 Board of Education on Monday.

Mark C. Wilson, former principal at Holton’s Colorado Elementary School and a presence in the Holton district for a quarter of a century, said that in his fifth year at work for Washburn Tech, he is proud to be part of “an awesome opportunity” for high school students at Jackson Heights and in northeastern Kansas.

Wilson’s presentation to the Heights board was intended to give board members more information about the vocational/technical school that serves as a subsidiary of — and a bridge to — Washburn University. The school serves 39 high schools in northeastern Kansas, including Jackson Heights and Royal Valley, the latter of which sends the second-highest amount of students to the school, he said.

Students who complete courses at Washburn Tech and go out into the workforce have a job placement rate of 90 to 94 percent, Wilson told the board. But in order to maintain a high percentage of placement, the initiative is on the shoulders of the school’s students who must maintain high attendance levels, commit to learning their skills and remain drug-free.

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