Friday, June 17, 2005

Solutions Under the Collective Nose

We need not look far for breakthrough thinking for our region's economic malaise. Richard Clark, founder and principal of Cleveland's St. Martin de Porres High School is an example of an unconventional entrepreneurial thinker who is addressing the fundamental challenges confronting our region.

Clark spoke at Baldwin-Wallace College in Febraury as part of a speaker series that was designed to encourage students and community members to identify passions, understand the need for entrepreneur competence, and to inform NEO residents about available entrepreneurial resources in the region.

Other than a stint selling appliances during the summer at his father-n-law's store, the former St. Ignatius principal had little exposure to conventional business. However, these limitations didn't discourage Richard Clark from adopting an entrepreneur's can-do mentality as he sought market-based solutions for children locked in impoverished neighborhoods and under-performing schools. The school's formula for success was told recently by PD's Sam_Fulwood.

Change is possible. In fact, its power is all around us.


Blogger Education Matters said...

I agree such efforts as Clark's are, if numerous enough and recognized for what they are, more important for our region's future than the grand designs for taxpayer-funded convention centers, etc.

Another example of this is John Zitzner's E-City ( After selling his company, Zitzner started E-City to teach entrepreneurship to high school students in after-school programs in the Cleveland schools and some inner-ring suburbs (e.g., East Cleveland, Warrensville Heights).

Four years later, he's been so successful he's in full gear to support the opening of Entrepreneurship Academy, serving grades 6-12, in the fall of 2006. He's got a head of school who's proven his ability at WEB DuBois Academy in Cincinnatti, won a $50,000 planning grant for the Ohio Department of Education (one of only 20 or so schools in the state to do so this year), and is charging full-steam ahead on all fronts. Like St. Martin de Porres, it WILL be a huge benefit to some of the students who need the help.

Efforts like these deserve our support and efforts to emulate and replicate far more than many of the big ideas being continually pitched to us.

- politicsthatmatter, Cleveland Ohio

7:24 AM  

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