September 21 2019
MCMINNVILLE, OR - U.S. Secretary of Education visited McMinnville High School today, Wednesday, October 11, to tour classrooms, observe staff development and hear from staff and current and former students.
The visit began with a visit to a staff development session to observe the some of the regular professional development that takes place weekly at the high school. The session showed instructional strategies that help students develop critical thinking skills.
The secretary then visited three classrooms, AP U.S. History taught by Erin Brisbin, an 11th grade AVID class taught by Darcy Houston, and AP Literature and Composition taught by Matthew Brisbin. The classrooms modeled the critical thinking strategies that were part of the staff development session.
After the high school tour, the secretary traveled to the Evergreen Space Museum, where the high school conducts its Engineering & Aerospace Sciences Academy (EASA) pathway classes.
At the museum, Secretary DeVos observed the robotics program and attended two roundtables that featured student and staff discussions. The students talked about college and career readiness and opportunities offered by the high school. The students represented a range of the high school's Career Pathway programs.
The staff roundtable, which featured a mix of teachers and administrators, covered initiatives like the Science Experiences that provide STEM learning for every grade in every school. The staff also discussed the robust professional development that provides consistent instruction across the district.
"We're proud of the accomplishments of our students, our staff and our community," said Dr. Maryalice Russell, superintendent of the McMinnville School District. "As educators, we look for teachable moments, and we see this visit as a way to engage in open dialogue about good teaching strategies and good instructional practices in public education.
"If others can learn from our successes, we're happy to share our experiences with the secretary and her staff."