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Local

Dixon wants its own CEO class

Proposing a second class for better access for eastern Sauk Valley students

Newman High School senior Regan Todhunter, 17, pitches his graphic design business to a shopper at Northland Mall in Sterling in May 2015. Thirteen Whiteside Area Career Center students created businesses for their Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities class and presented them during a trade show at the mall.
Newman High School senior Regan Todhunter, 17, pitches his graphic design business to a shopper at Northland Mall in Sterling in May 2015. Thirteen Whiteside Area Career Center students created businesses for their Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities class and presented them during a trade show at the mall.

DIXON – Think of it as CEO East.

The Whiteside Area Career Center’s class for budding businesspeople, Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities, has been growing in popularity all 4 years it’s been offered at the Sterling facility.

In all that time, the bulk of its participants have been from Dixon High School or are Newman Central Catholic High School students from Dixon, said Margo Empen, Dixon Public Schools superintendent and a member of the CEO board.

But those students must drive to Sterling 5 days a week for their first 3 periods, then drive back, she said.

“One of the things that we have been talking about for the last few years since I became a part of their advisory board was how we could get a second class going [at Dixon High] to really address the far-reaching eastern cities and schools in both Lee and Ogle counties” – Amboy, Ashton-Franklin Center, Polo, Oregon, Forreston and Paw Paw.

It’s a program that requires the support, involvement and investment of area businesses, though, and so Blackhawk Hills Regional Council, the mission of which is to promote economic growth, and the Whiteside Area Career Center have invited 250 Lee and Ogle businesses to a luncheon Tuesday, where they will make a pitch for creating a Dixon-based class.

CEO facilitator Le Hartman, current and former CEO students, and CEO board members Jerry Binder and Empen will present information on the program.

“We are really hoping that we are going to be able to start a second class starting next year in Dixon,” Empen told the Dixon school board on Wednesday.

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