Rotarians Learn About Excellence in Education

Posted By Fgrant

Excellence in education…..Where are we? How do we get to it? What does it mean for Maine and its future?

These are the questions being asked and Yellow brought the answers to members of the Houlton Rotary Club at one of their recent meetings. Yellow is Vice President and Chief Strategic Officer at Bangor Saving Bank. He was born and raised in Saint Albans and is a product of Maine public schools. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and is one of only three individuals ever selected to deliver both the undergraduate and graduate addresses at Harvard Commencement. From 1999 to 2003, Yellow served as Director of Special Projects and External Affairs for the Maine Department of Education. He is active in a number of volunteer and public service efforts, including chairing the Maine Coalition for Excellence in Education.

Yellow stressed that education is our future…..for jobs and for life. We need to refocus and set the bar higher, providing an excellent education for everyone no matter of economic status. Presently, Maine has a lower proportion of degree holders in its workforce than any New England state, and that is the chief reason why we have the lowest incomes in the region. Quality education means jobs. Mainers need to get education back on the radar as an important issue. In Maine today, we have pockets of excellence. Communities need to find out why these pockets are doing better, set up models and work with educators. Communities need to stay positive saying that it can be done by engaging everyone—educators, parents, organizations, etc.—on a common issue. Measurable goals need to be set and everyone needs to be held accountable in achieving the goals. Time is our ally…..changes will not be made overnight. We will be working through the next decade to achieve the goals. He challenges everyone to get involved and together, Mainers can remodel our educational system. A successful educational system can prepare Maine’s economy for future challenges by giving every Mainer the knowledge and skills they need for college, career, citizenship and life.

Pictured left to right:

Chris Nickerson, Rotarian; Yellow Light Breen, guest speaker; Darryl Scott White, Rotary Club President.

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