Two Utah educators will be among 17 recipients of the prestigious Leavey Awards for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education.
Christopher M. Black of South Jordan's Bingham High School and J. Scott Harris of Logan High School will be honored during Friday's black-tie reception and dinner at Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City.Their $7,500 awards will be presented by the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, a national organization dedicated to promoting responsible citizenship. Robert W. Miller, foundation president, is in Salt Lake City for the gathering.
The awards program is made possible by a $2 million endowment from the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation of Los Angeles. Each year an independent jury selects up to 21 cash-award recipients from hundreds of nominations.
Honored are teachers whose "outstanding, innovative classroom courses, programs or projects impart to their students a deeper understanding of the advantages of private enterprise and a free-market economy," foundation officials say.
Bingham High, where Black is a marketing teacher, promotes an active partnership between business and education, with the most successful activity probably being a "Kids Shopping Center."
A miniature mall within the South Towne Mall, the project is run by kids for kids and is a major attraction each Christmas. During the first year the mall involved two schools and has now expanded to six, with merchandise provided by participating merchants and generally priced under $10.
Students work as store managers, assistant managers and personal shoppers. With 26 stores participating, the shopping center grossed a little more than $6,000 this past Christmas.
The technology program at Logan High, where Harris teaches, centers on free enterprise, career preparation, technological trends, human resources and career guidance. In the advanced class, students form an actual business and learn what it's like to be an entrepreneur.
Students started a sports video company and completed all the activities that actual companies experience, ranging from market research to creating and presenting an annual report outlining the company's progress.
Harris maintains that students learn more from such experience than they could ever gain from a textbook. He says such hands-on activities give students the opportunity to succeed in a real-life situation.
"Students leave our program with real job skills, a sense of accomplishment and ready to take on the responsibilities of adulthood," Harris says.
Other honorees include: John M. Hess, Boulder, Colo.; Clark L. Blake, Eustis, Fla.; Nancy V. Buchanan, Orlando, Fla.; Catharine Wieck and Phyllis Dunlap, Dysart, Iowa; Marcia W. Flood, Starkville, Miss.; Robert Anderson and Richard Kimbrough, Lincoln, Neb.; Rose Reissman, Bayside, N.Y.; Al Fitzpatrick, Newport, Ore.; Daniel G. Lipowitz and Kristin Webb, Unionville, Pa.; Lincoln King, Gary, Tex.; and Joan Cantwell and Nancy Jappinen, Oconomowoc, Wis.