CHS students in JAG program share their stories with governor


 Students participating in the Jobs for America's Graduates, JAG-Kansas, at Concordia High School had the opportunity to tell their stories to Gov. Sam Brownback.
Brownback met with the students and instructor Alisha Sipe during a visit to the classroom on Wednesday.
 “I just want to say this is a great program here, and I love that partnership,” Brownback said, “I am glad with our continuing with it. I am glad to see these successes.”
JAG-Kansas was launched in the state last year in 25 different schools. It is aimed at keeping high school students in school until graduation and helping them prepare for a future career or future education.
 There are now 57 JAG programs in 28 school districts with a graduation rate of 95 percent.
The governor heard from students who are working toward achieving long range goals following the completion of high school.
 “What is important is you, seeing it works for you (students), because we have big plans for you, and we want you to have big plans for yourself,” Brownback said.
The Concordia JAG program had seven students participating in the first year, and six of them graduated.
 There are 29 students enrolled this year.
 Sipe is in her first year as the JAG instructor.
“We are excited to have Mrs. Sipe on staff this year. “We believe Alisha can take it to the next level,” Bryce Wachs, Concordia Junior-Senior High School principal said.
Funding for the JAG-Kansas program comes from the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
“JAG is paid out of DCF. Let's help people before they get in a position they need a lot more help,” Brownback said, “Let's put the money in the system earlier and you guys use it.”
Brownback said that one of his goals for a second terms is to have 85 percent of the high school graduates in the state to either be accepted at a four-year school without remediation, earn an industry recognized certification or join the military and to have 60 percent of Kansans to have some kind of post secondary degree.
 Along with starting a JAG program last year, Concordia was one of two school districts, along with McPherson granted innovative status. That will free the districts from some state laws as they pursue certain education goals.
 “This is a key school for the state of Kansas,” Brownback said.


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