For years as I, a public school superintendent, visited schools, talked with staff, and interacted with students, the young students would ask, “Are you the President?” Their question was likely prompted by the white shirt, blue suit and red tie that I often wore. My response was always, “Why, yes, I am!” I loved my time with students, especially occasions like those where we were just enjoying school and the moment together.
In my view, teachers are some of the finest human beings ever created. They do influence generations; they teach! To work with teachers in creating learning opportunities for students is one of life’s greatest callings. It likely isn’t for everyone, but it always was for me. I believe education is the greatest profession. Every career, every skill, every vocation has been positively influenced by a great teacher. A doctor, lawyer, plumber, carpenter, electrician, police officer, chef, engineer, professor, etc., etc., etc. – they have all been influenced by a teacher. As for me, a farm kid from a single-parent household, my teachers became heroes and heroines to me. They were my encouragers. They were my counselors after a fist fight. They were the ones who challenged me to do my best work, and they had absolutely no problem in saying to me, “Jim, you need to try this assignment again!” My teachers cared about me, and I knew it. The truth is that I’ve spent my entire life trying to pay them back for the personal gift of self that they gave to me. This is the greatest profession, and I am so honored to be able to serve as a member of the Northwest Technical Institute educational team.
The Northwest Technical Institute has served thousands of students. Its staff has prepared those students for great careers and as a result has contributed immensely to the robust economy of Northwest Arkansas. I assure all concerned that the future of NWTI is great, and the best work of the NWTI staff and its students is in front of us. There are great teachers here. Great partnerships are in place, with more on the way. I welcome all interested students and all great teachers to join us and become a central part of the progress that is in store. NWTI is the place to be. It is the place to chart a positive course for a great career. The culture of the school is caring, supportive, and very student-centered. You will find success at NWTI – a level of success that will assure you of a great future. Then, as a student here, you can ask me, “Are you the President?” and I can then accurately say, “Yes, I am!”
I will look forward to meeting, encouraging and supporting each NWTI student and staff member as we prepare for an outstanding 2023-2024 school year.
See you soon!
Jim D. Rollins