Bill Gates’ blog features successes at The Howard School and Gestamp
Bill Gates Writing on a White BoardThe Howard School blog
Bill Gates’ blog called GatesNotes for November 21, 2019, posted yesterday with a story about The Howard School.  The blog features the school’s turnaround to prepare teens in the community for success after graduation.  The title of the blog “I love this school’s energy!”  sets the tone for Gates’ impressions of The Howard School from his recent visit to see the Hustlin’ Tigers at work.   

“I came away from my visit as excited about Howard as any school I’ve ever seen,” wrote Gates. “What I experienced that was so inspiring is a community that’s come together to help turn around their school’s fortunes. Local businesses, community leaders, parents, teachers, and students are all determined to make Howard one of the best schools in the state. And they are starting to make progress.”

Gates also brought a video crew to document his visit to Howard and show the pride students displayed as they prepare for their future.  The video is labeled Community Pride and can be viewed on the blog.

Gates was impressed with the school’s “energetic school leader,” Dr. LeAndrea Ware.  He was impressed with her ability to tap into community support, and he joined in signing the large banner Dr. Ware hung at the school for people to pledge their support in helping Howard become one of the fastest improving schools in the state.  Earlier this month, Ware was named Tennessee Principal of the Year. 

Read the Bill Gates blog about The Howard School

Gates video about The Howard School

The Gestamp blog
Gates was busy Thursday as he also posted a blog in GatesNotes about his visit to the Hamilton County Schools and Gestamp internship program that is putting high school students on an exciting career pathway.  

“My tour of the factory was very, very noisy,” Gates wrote. “But one thing I had no trouble hearing during my visit was that this factory is not just manufacturing auto parts.  It’s also putting high school students on a path to opportunity.” 

The Gestamp work-based learning program is the first in Tennessee to earn the U.S. Department of Labor’s registered apprenticeship designation. The program is now a registered apprenticeship in advanced manufacturing that allows high school students to get a full-day work-based learning experience while also completing their education. Students take online academic classes in a computer lab at Gestamp and get actual work experience during the school day in the Gestamp plant.

The Gates video crew also documented his visit to Gestamp to show how high school students are starting careers in manufacturing auto parts.  The video is labeled Manufacturing Opportunity and can be viewed on the blog.

For Gates, the most important element in the Gestamp program is the connections it makes between coursework and careers.  “What was exciting to see is how the experience working for Gestamp often gave students a new sense of purpose,” Gates wrote. “This might be the program’s greatest achievement. All the students I met told me they had much bigger dreams for themselves and what they might achieve in life than they might have otherwise. Some are eager to work their way up at Gestamp and become managers. Others now have an interest in going to college or pursuing other post-secondary training.”

Hamilton County Schools has received a career and technical education program grant to develop additional apprenticeship opportunities for students based on the successful Gestamp apprenticeship program. The new state grant will provide $112,500 over three years for Hamilton County Schools to work with area businesses to develop additional advanced manufacturing apprenticeships to provide more opportunities to students in the community. 

Read the Bill Gates blog about Gestamp

Gates video about the Gestamp Internship

Photo: Bill Gates signs the banner to support Howard becoming one of the fastest improving schools in the state as Principal Dr. LeAndrea Ware smiles in appreciation of his support.