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Sheridan Electric Facilitates A New Program To Address Needs For Region

A Bold New Move

The new year brought an opportunity for Sheridan Electric Cooperative to pull together a team to discuss shortages and needs for the region.

The Sheridan Electric employees brought the discussion to the board, with very positive results. Then, we went to the experts in our region, our school superintendents, and asked them the question. What fields of study are students interested in and why? Do they want to move away? Do they want to live here? Who other than the leaders of all nine schools would be the better people to ask these questions?

After a robust response, we recruited two of them (Janessa Parenteau and Tony Holecek) to be a part of a continuous improvement team to address our scholarship program for an overhaul.

Riley Tommerup (office manager), Andy Dethman (Sheridan board member), Jamie Kleppen (Sheridan accountant), Janessa Parenteau (Froid superintendent) and Tony Holecek (Westby superintendent) made up the team of individuals who would address the problem and devise solutions.

Originally, a trades and scholarship discussion quickly “peeled back the onion” to reveal the real bedrock problem to be solved before we train plumbers, heating and cooling and carpenters. The lack of tools to recruit and retain teachers for this region quickly become the #1 target.

This topic was taken to the superintendent’s meeting in Glasgow in early February and was met with excitement. One of these individuals had actually told the Sheridan Electric board, that we have always known what needed to happen, but lacked funding and time to make it a reality.

Now, we make it reality. Teacher recruitment and retention will be our target.

Ideas are now being formed, formats discussed and developed, and solutions are just over the horizon.

Still in development, this group is dedicated to solutions and commitment to the communities within our service territory.

When completed, this team will present to the schools, and then to the public. They will showcase the work they have completed as a solution for the bigger picture in this region, our schools.

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