Ribbon Cutting Marks Opening of Cyber Academy

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Marks Opening of Lakota Cyber Academy
Posted on 08/23/2019
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ribbon cutting ceremony collage for Cyber AcademyIn a room packed with business leaders, government officials, school administrators and students, the Lakota Cyber Academy was officially opened for the business of learning. 

Nearly 50 supporters gathered in the Lakota East Innovation Hub for a ribbon cutting ceremony that included a proclamation from State Representative George Lang and special guest speaker, Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “Today was a testament to a true team effort to deliver on the promise of an amazing program for our students,” said Keith Koehne, executive director of curriculum and instruction at Lakota. “To see business and education come together and be recognized by the elected leaders in our state was fantastic.” 

With over one million jobs currently available in cyber security, and that number expected to grow to over three million by 2021, the Lakota Cyber Academy will prepare students to not only learn about cyber security, but earn industry certifications enabling them to join the workforce upon graduation. Terry Williams, Chief Technology Officer of Belcan LLC, told the students that companies will be fighting over them once they finish the program. “It’s really a privilege of Belcan to be a part of this,” he told the crowd. Belcan has partnered with Lakota to build the curriculum and has played a key role in the launch of the Cyber Academy. When first discussing the idea, Williams said that Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller told him to think bigger. “I’ll never forget that,” said Williams. 

The Cyber Academy is open to students in grades 10-12. With 155 students currently enrolled, the courses are held at both Lakota East and West high schools. “Our Lakota student is second to none,” said Joe Hinson, president and chief executive officer of the West Chester/Liberty Chamber Alliance, and a member of the advisory board to the program. “Cyber security will touch on all 4 Es: enrollment, enlistment, employment and entrepreneurship.” The 4 Es are a focus of the district, empowering students to discover their passions, talents and goals to be successful after graduation. 

Lt. Governor Husted spoke at the event noting, “this is truly something worth celebrating.” 

The celebration occurred almost one year to the day of the first conversation about a cyber security program at Lakota. “This is just the start,” said Miller. “There is a need for this type of programming in our schools. We see this not as something that we have to do, but as something that we should do for our kids,” he continued.

“I hope that you are inundated with visitors who are looking to emulate what you’re doing,” Husted said to Miller and his team. “Your program and these students, and the work you are doing here, will be a topic of conversation around the state and certainly in the places where it matters the most.”