Portrait of a graduate

Preparing Tomorrow's Leaders: Market Value Assets

In today’s rapidly evolving world, the journey from high school to higher education or the professional realm demands more than academic knowledge alone. High schools play a pivotal role in preparing students for success by imparting industry-recognized skills, termed Market Value Assets (MVAs). These assets ensure a smoother transition to the next phase of their lives, whether it be higher education or the professional environment. With plenty of options to choose from, USD 393 has set an ambitious goal for 2025 and beyond, aiming to ensure that a significant majority of its graduates possess at least two MVAs, enhancing their competitiveness in the future. 

High school extends beyond textbooks and exams, serving as a platform to cultivate skills valued across industries. Solomon is proud to offer industry-recognized credentials, such as OSHA certification, CNA and CMA qualifications, WorkKeys Certificates, Early Childhood Certificates, and Serve Safe Accreditation, that enhance our student’s competitiveness in the job market. College and Career Counselor, Jodi Howard, explains “Each pathway has their own set of credentials. For example, in the business pathway, you’re going to explore Microsoft, Adobe, or Data analytics certifications. In Mrs. Vinson’s [Family and Consumer Science] class ServeSafe is her big credential. The teachers usually present that opportunity as just part of the everyday learning curriculum. In the last year and a half, there has been a big push to talk more to the kids about the credentials we offer.” These certifications are more than just acronyms on a resume; they represent a student’s dedication to excellence and safety in various fields, broadening the graduates of Solomon’s career options. Howard added, “Our goal with these credentials is that if these kids choose to go into the workforce after high school, they could start at a higher wage than someone who still needs to have that training at the company.”

Solomon also aims to provide opportunities for students to engage in client-connected, real-world projects, expanding on theoretical learning and allowing them to apply classroom knowledge to practical and dynamic professional situations. For example, Gorilla Grub is an option for students interested in culinary arts to learn the business side of the food industry through creating and pricing a menu or providing catering opportunities. Another is Big Red T’s, where students get hands-on experience designing and creating t-shirts, and selling and fulfilling orders to school and community members. Other projects include Gorilla Fabrication, Senior 101, and Dickinson County CEO, serving as student-led businesses. Howard says, “They don’t always realize all the skills they are learning while preparing meals or making t-shirts. But they are learning how to follow directions, they are planning and communicating with a team, presenting products to the customer’s satisfaction, and providing service. They will be able to take those soft skills with them wherever they go in the workforce.”

The high school also provides an opportunity to get a head start on a college education. Students can enroll in concurrent or dual courses at Salina Tech, allowing them to earn college credit while still in high school. This accelerates their academic journey and gives them an option to explore higher education. USD 393 currently provides concurrent courses that are equivalent to two full semesters of college credit hours.

Solomon also believes in nurturing responsible and compassionate students. To instill a sense of community engagement, each high school student is required to complete five hours of community service annually. High School Principal, Liz Krause says, “We also want our students to understand how important their community is and the concept of giving back. Our staff and community members do an amazing job of providing opportunities for students to become involved and serve our community in a variety of ways.”  By the time they graduate, students accumulate a total of twenty hours of hard work dedicated to making a positive impact in their community. Krause added, “When schools and community organizations work together to support learning, everyone benefits.”

Last but not least, USD 393 understands the importance of holistic development, physical well-being, teamwork, and discipline. Athletic Director and boys basketball coach, Kyler Stien said, “Being a part of a group or team keeps you invested and helps students keep up with other things inside the school walls.” Solomon offers a diverse range of activities that allow students to explore their passions and develop valuable skills. Whether it’s through sports, clubs, or organizations, students have ample opportunities to engage in activities that complement their academic journey. Stein noted that the other A.D.s he works with are often shocked to hear the various things that Solomon offers given its small size. These options include FFA, Student Council, Science Olympiad, Scholars Bowl, Yearbook, FBLA, FCCLA, Dickinson County CEO, Football, Volleyball, Cross Country, Basketball, Wrestling, Dance, Cheer, Track & Field, Bowling, and Golf. But it isn’t just about the activity, according to Stein, “There’s a lot that goes behind the scenes that our coaches do, and the effort they put in, it’s all about making our kids better people. I think that we center a lot of our programs around making kids become better people through sports and not just necessarily focusing only on the sport.” 

Solomon High School’s efforts to prepare students not just for academic success, but for a lifelong journey of learning, growth, and contribution to society. The Market Value Assets acquired during their time with us serve as the foundation for a successful and fulfilling future, where they are not just graduates but leaders, ready for greatness. 

Market Value Assets