Metropolitan Community College-Longview President Kirk Nooks hosted the first in a series of listening sessions with faculty and staff members to outline a strategic vision for the school and drove home the principles he will use to help advance the school.
Nooks, in an Aug. 23 speech to faculty and staff members who joined him inside the school’s Education Center, said instructors, professors and administrators at the school should be the eyes and ears that push the school towards greater student achievement.
“How many of us touch the lives of students and we really don’t realize it sometimes?” said Nooks, who took office July 1. “We think about students coming to Longview to learn, to gain that experience, that knowledge and to walk across the stage. But, what happens when the student actually enters into that classroom?
“There is so much that happens before the student enters the classroom. Even when they are in the classroom – and we’ve read the studies – they still need additional support and help. We are all here to make sure that the student is successful and that learning takes place. I just want to thank you in advance for what you really do for our students and also thank you for what you have done for our students.”
Nooks’ oratory pitch was part of an in-service day for staff at MCC-Longview and was well-attended and well received by some. He outlined his plan to host a series of listening sessions on and off campus, with the in-service day serving as a mini introduction to the sessions.
The plan is to conduct the sessions over the next few weeks to get valuable input from MCC-Longview representatives and the Lee’s Summit community for the school’s strategic vision push.
“I think it’s wonderful that he came here with a fresh attitude,” said Carl Priesendorf, a geology and geography instructor at Longview for 16 years. “I think that the most important thing is he has a positive outlook for the future. He seems to be really open-minded about getting input from the people who are already here. I think it’s just a wonderful thing for him being new.”
“When we bring in new people around the district, I think that is a good thing because you look at things from a different perspective. You see opportunities that maybe other people have overlooked.”
Nooks finished the speech by asking those in attendance to not only participate in the listening sessions, but also be creative with their input and ideas.
“Over the next two-and-a-half, three weeks, we invite you to mark down a couple of dates and try to attend one (session),” he said. “We’re going to try to replicate some of the sessions so if you miss one, it will occur later on. Please, try to get out there. Once you get out there and start to share your information, we are going to have people that take down notes.
“We are going to use a qualitative method of research to pull all of the ideas together. The strategic visioning team will reconvene and they will begin to take all of that information and look at themes. By November, we will have a working blueprint for Longview that we expect will take us from now until 2020. We need your voices to accomplish this. You are the experts. You know the students, you see the students, you interact with the students. We cannot do this without you.”