Category Archives: Press Releases

Union County CEO Program To Select Students, Continue Teacher/Facilitator Search


Union County CEO Program To Select Students, Continue Teacher/Facilitator Search

UNION COUNTY—The advisory board for the Union County CEO program will soon be one step closer to making the county-wide high school entrepreneurship program a reality.  This week, the student selection committee will begin evaluating student applications and choosing which students will fill the class for the next school year.

“The way this is done is interesting,” explained program spokesman and board member Rollie Hawk.  “A couple of people not on the student selection committee were responsible for what you might call anonymizing the applications.  With all identifying information removed, this helps to ensure that the selection process is unbiased.”

Hawk said the student selection committee is made up of board members not currently involved in high school education.

“The board felt that was the fairest way to do it.  Even with names removed, the educators know these kids well enough that they would recognize many of them so it’s those of us more from the business community that will be making the selections.  With students competing for limited slots in the program, we want to make the selection process as transparent as possible.”

The program has also extended its search for a teacher and facilitator.

“We’re trying to find just the right match for the program,” said Hawk.  “We’ve done a few interviews but we’re still looking.  The uniqueness of the position makes it tougher to find a match but we’ll know it when we see it.”

Hawk emphasized the importance of the facilitator aspect of the role.

“We call the position a teacher because it’s a class but this person is going to be facilitating collaboration between the business community and the students more than anything.  It’s a part-time position so someone with a small business or a college instructor who can run the class a couple hours in the morning while developing business contacts later in the day is probably ideal.  It’s going to take a unique person to fill this role but we’re convinced that person is out there.”

Requirements of the position are that the teacher/facilitator holds Illinois licensure for business, marketing or computer education or is qualified as a community college instructor.  Interested applicants should contact Jerry Ohlau at or (618)747-2703.

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New County-Wide High School Business Program Continues Search For Teacher, Students


New County-Wide High School Business Program Continues Search For Teacher, Students

UNION COUNTY—Having secured the funding to expand the Midland Institute’s CEO program into Union County and with its advisory board now established, the Union County CEO program is turning its attention toward finding a teacher and students for the 2014-2015 school year.

The CEO program—short for Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities—was first implemented in Effingham County and seeks to take high school juniors and seniors out of the typical school environment for a couple hours a day and into one focused on solving real world problems with business-based solutions.

“We want to be clear that this isn’t a program necessarily looking for straight-A, college-bound students,” explained Public Relations Director Rollie Hawk.  “We’re sure we’ll have some of those students but as we’ve all seen in our lives, it’s not always the most academically focused students that succeed at starting businesses.”

“Sometimes it’s the stubborn person who refuses to fail.  Other times it’s the person with a very active and creative mind that loves to think.  The point is, there’s no single kind of person that succeeds in business,” added Hawk.  “There are all kinds of people with entrepreneurial potential and interests but we do little in education to foster that spirit.  The CEO program seeks to find the young people with that potential and to help them to develop the skills they need to succeed in business.”

The program is also searching for a teacher, an individual the advisory board expects will be at least as unique as the program’s students.

“It’s not a typical teaching position,” said Hawk.  “It’s a part-time position so it’s likely to attract someone who’s perhaps a retired teacher or maybe someone who is already working in the business community.  This person needs to certified as a teacher but also needs to be able to make business contacts so that students are constantly interacting with people from the business community.  So it’s going to be a unique individual that fills that role.”

The program is currently accepting teacher applications and is listed on the Illinois Education Job Bank website.  Interested applicants can contact Jerry Ohlau with the Five County Regional Vocational System through March 15.

Juniors and seniors of Dongola, Anna-Jonesboro, Cobden and Shawnee school districts can apply through their school guidance counselors.  Student applications will be accepted through April 1.

Additional Information:

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