Last week, Eastbrook High School teacher John Ragan was the first educator to ever earn the Conexus Indiana Rising 30 award.
The award recognizes the early-in-career of individuals in the advanced manufacturing and logistics industries. Other award recipients included engineers, specialists and executives.
Ragan was nominated by Conexus and Eastbrook Community Schools for his work in the classroom with the multiple project-based electives he teaches that focus on engineering, science and technology. These classes allow students to engage with real-world opportunities in engineering through the use of professional equipment like 3-D printers in the prototype lab.
To sustain the engineering program in the long-term, Ragan, Eastbrook curriculum director Dr. Brenda McVicker and high school principal James Roberts III collaborated to establish the Eastbrook Engineering and Manufacturing Solutions (EBEAMS) business. The EBEAMS business plan outlines the real work students complete for fundraising events for future developments within the program.
Ragan graduated from Eastbrook High School and earned his degree at Taylor University in physics and mathematics education, according to Conexus. After graduating, he returned to Eastbrook to create the pre-engineering program at the high school.
“It truly is an honor but also just a testimony of John’s commitment to engineering and to be able to provide opportunities for students to enter into that field,” said McVicker.
Ragan’s classes are some of the most popular electives and are well-respected amongst his colleagues. Ragan has created partnerships with businesses that focus on manufacturing and logistics that have led to internships and career opportunities for his students.
“He is an incredible role model for our children,” said Eastbrook superintendent Brett Garrett, “and he is determined to give them as many options as he can with their education, which is very important for us.”
Ragan accepted the award in Indianapolis last week.