Maine East High School of Park Ridge, Illinois is a school that added one of the 52 new VEI firms for the 2014-15 school year. To officially celebrate the launch, students, teachers, and administrators held a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
VEI interviewed new VEI coordinator John Schwan about his thoughts joining VEI’s extensive and growing U.S. Network.
How did your school approach implementing VEI? How did you find out about the program and what was the decision-making process like?
“Maine Township is a high school district located in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Our introduction to VEI occurred as a result of an invitation from Kendra Lee to visit the St Charles North VEI business. Several administrators and teachers visited the North VEI business and were impressed by the level of learning occurring in the classroom. Shortly thereafter our district began the formal approval process to get VEI adopted as a new course. As a result of the support of our district CTE Department Chair, Becky Stewart, and Maine East’s Principal, Dr, Michael Pressler, the course was approved.
The VEI course is now being piloted at Maine East and will likely be adopted by our other two Maine high schools, Maine West and Maine South in the near future.”
How excited are you to be part of VEI?
“We are very excited! VEI provides a unique learning opportunity for our students, since the students literally create “a global, start-up business” in the classroom. This is the type of learning that provides the college and career readiness skills that are so highly valued.”
Any additional comments you’d like to provide?
“In order to let our new VEI students know that they were about to experience a new and different classroom experience, Becky Stewart and I decided to hold a formal ‘VEI Business Ribbon Cutting’ ceremony on the first, full day of school. We invited all our school administrators, deans, and counselors to the ceremony which included a formal, white tablecloth appetizer table and refreshments.
The event was well attended as shown in the picture with Dr Pressler cutting the ribbon. As a result, our students our very excited about being part of the VEI global classroom!”