The Washington High School cafeteria recently hosted several area businesses and schools for its annual Multicultural Business/College Night.
The cafeteria was filled with local representatives as well as families including Burmese, Haitians, and Latinos. Over 150 local business leaders and public officials attended, including. Washington Mayor Joe Wellman, Daviess Superior Court Judge Dean Sobecki, Washington Superintendent Daniel Roach and WHS Principal LeAnne Kelley. Three city police were there a as well as Gary Allison and Jerry Harbstreit from the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department plus Alex Rodriguez from the Migrant Department of the Indiana Department of Education. Many pamphlets, business cards, and promotional items were given out. There was a good response for Carnegie library cards.
Many former Washington English Language Learner students came to serve as translators. Most of them had virtually no English skills when they enrolled at WHS and most are now college students as well as college graduates.
“I tell my ELL students that I want all those good things to come to their lives like higher education but please don’t make me want it more for them than they want it for themselves,” WHS ELL teacher Paula Counsil said. “And last night, I think that we could add the word ‘adults’ as well because the support and concern that was shown by those who participated certainly made an impact that will not be forgotten.”
There were door prize drawings and tables filled with food such as pizza, chips and salsa, and cookies. A great number of businesses were very generous with their donations/sponsorships which made this event possible, Counsil added.
“I had several business representatives comment that they hope to participate in another such activity soon and that it was very rewarding to see everyone come together,” Counsil said. “For instance, Mike Owens with Farm Bureau Insurance commented that it was ‘extraordinary’ and overwhelming to experience such a gathering and that he is looking forward to being involved in future activities.
“It was just wonderful to see the diversity that we have locally and how much effort was made to connect at the Multicultural Business/College Night!”