Leesburg, VA (Feb. 18, 2016) – Tim Flynn, the new principal of Monroe Technology Center, has done the math; especially where the number 127 is concerned.
“For those with a master’s degree, there’s one job available. For those with a bachelor’s, there’s two. For folks with a technical skills or post-secondary technical certifications; there’s seven jobs available…That’s where the jobs are. That’s the market that Monroe matches.”
Flynn recently became Monroe’s principal after serving as the director of instructional services for the entire school division. He said it feels good to be interacting with students every day again. “The energy that you receive when you’re working with young people who are passionate and motivated about what they want to do; there’s no equal to the rewards that you get from that energy. I’m somebody who needs that every day and enjoys that every day…
“Monroe’s students are the all-star team. The faculty here understands that…They embrace that. The fun in the classroom that the teachers and the kids have here is unique.”
Before moving into central support, Flynn served as a principal for 16 years, most recently at Belmont Ridge Middle School (where he was named Loudoun’s Principal of the Year in 2011).
Flynn radiates positive energy about his new position.
“The most exciting thing for me about Monroe is that, when you talk to Monroe’s students, this is where they prefer to be. They love being at this school. The energy they bring to this school is tremendous…They’re engaged in something that they’ve selected. It’s not course work that is required…It’s a college-type environment here; you’ve selected what you wanted to do….
“They are specifically ready to make decisions about the post-secondary opportunity of their choice; not what they have to do, not what their parents want them to do, not what they think they should do.
“That’s unique. Most high school kids, that isn’t the situation…
“It’s exciting to see how they can immediately connect into a career pathway. We have kids right now at Monroe making 16, 17, 18 dollars an hour part-time because they’ve obtained certifications or a skill set that is in demand. They’re clearly going on to college. But they’re able to pay for college in a way most students cannot, because they don’t have the technical skill…
“The technical skill that you have opens career pathways for you that may not be your lifetime career pathway, but it may be the pathway that allows you to pay for college…
“This generation of jobs, employers and the workforce will be changing – not just their job within one career – but their entire career, five, six, seven times during the course of their 30- or 40-year employment life.”
Flynn added Monroe’s faculty is acutely attuned to the changing nature of careers. “Many of the staff here at Monroe have worked in industry, have worked in the private sector; have run their own companies. Now they’ve chosen to teach that information to the next generation of students.”
Inheriting a program that has adjusted and improved through the years is a pleasure, Flynn said. “(Former Principal) Wagner Grier and the staff here did an excellent job of moving Monroe to meet the needs of the workforce, which is highly technical.”
Flynn wants to take Monroe to the next step; becoming part of the Academies of Loudoun in 2018. “What we do with the 26 programs here, how we expand them, what additional programs we add to meet the needs of the workforce in Northern Virginia and nationally is exciting.”
Taking over a school in mid-year isn’t a problem, Flynn said. “Mid-year is always interesting for faculties and for students. I enjoy it, because you’re right in the heart of high-quality instruction.”
In the short time he’s been at the helm, Flynn has already become a big booster for Monroe. “Monroe kids have a huge edge. They leave here with a tremendous amount of dual-enrollment credits, which is actual college credit. They save money automatically, because they don’t have to take as many college courses. They know, right now, after two years at Monroe, if that career path they think they want…if it’s the right fit for them. They’re not investing two or three years of college funds…and then realizing they don’t like their major. They know in high school if this is a career path for them.”