Watson reflects on C3 initiative

By Chris Swick
June 24, 2015

With his time as superintendent of USD 418 drawing to a close, Dr. Randy Watson took a moment Monday night to look at the growth of what is sure to be his lasting legacy in the McPherson school district, namely the C3 initiative.

The program, championed by the board in 2011 as an alternative to No Child Left Behind, became the first of its kind to earn an exemption from the federal act.

The three Cs stand for Citizenship, College and Career Readiness. Watson says they are seeing some movement on the Citizenship front, as there have been fewer fights reported at the high school level...

“I won't say definitively that we don't have it anymore,” Watson said, “but if you think about the fights, some of the turmoil that we used to have, never a lot, but even that has severely diminished. I think that there's maybe a more healthy respect. And maybe it's cyclical, too.”

Pam Lawson, who also had her last meeting as a board member Monday, hopes that the students internalize the Service to Others part of the Citizenship marker.

“The important key, is that they understand what it is,” Lawson said. “They know the Big Event is service to others because it's the Big Event. The kids that do the things in the grade schools know when they're doing them, because the teacher says it's service to others. But I'm hoping it will grow to where they understand it intrinsically rather than just when someone else tells them.”

As he gets ready to transition into a new venture as the state education commissioner, Watson encouraged the USD 418 board to stay the course with C3.

“I'm proud of the work that we continue to do,” Watson said. “As we get further and further into this, it will just open up all the things that we haven't done and that we could do. And, so, just keep that focus and keep working to try and make every kid successful.”