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Walk selected as class facilitator for ClassE program

MATTOON-  The Coles County Entrepreneurship Program (ClassE) Advisory Board is proud to announce that it has selected Vincent Walk of Mattoon as its Class Facilitator for Fall 2020. 

Walk brings over 19 years of entrepreneurial and educational experience through his interest in Vinnie & Al’s Pla-Mor Golf and the Walkway as well as 20 years as a teacher for Mattoon CUSD2.

“Vince's combination of business operations experience and teaching experience fits well with the ClassE position," said Advisory Board Chairman, Carl Walworth. "He is well connected throughout our region, which helps him open doors to opportunities for students. He has experience bringing business community members into his classroom to work with students in engaging ways, which also is consistent with the way ClassE works."

Walk has a bachelor's and master's degree from Eastern Illinois University and an associate's degree from Lake Land College. He joined the Mattoon High School faculty in 2000. He's been involved in many community organizations, including Babe Ruth Baseball. He was a 20 Under 40 recipient in 2006.

The appointment is considered a half time teaching position. Walk will continue to teach and be part of the MHS faculty for the balance of his teaching assignments.

ClassE is a countywide class that meets away from the high school campuses each morning. Students receive hands-on instruction that focuses on entrepreneurial thinking and business best practices. Students plan and start businesses using startup funds generated through the class. The class tours local businesses and industries, hearing firsthand about a variety of business and nonprofit operations. The class regularly has guest speakers that lead discussions related to a range of workplace-related topics.

Upcoming high school juniors and seniors apply to participate in ClassE.  "Each year we see students generate thousands of dollars from their efforts," said Laura Sullivan, director of the Eastern Illinois Education For Employment System, which administers the program. "Students enhance their communication and related life skills, they appreciate more about the existing businesses in our community and they take important steps toward whatever is next for them in life, be it college or moving into the workforce.”

"The developing partnership with the Elevate Center at the Cross County Mall is both new and exciting," she said. "We expect it will benefit both the high school students and the businesses that utilize resources within the center."

ClassE is funded by the community. In past years, local businesses donated money specifically to pay for the class. The Elevate board that is operating the new business incubator at the Cross County Mall has taken on the fundraising this year.

Jeanne Dau, the first facilitator for the program, is retiring from teaching after this school year.  Dau is the owner of Dau Consulting and a founding member of the Elevate CCI board.  She plans to remain active in the community and continue to support entrepreneurs in the area.

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Mattoon Community Unit School District 21701 Charleston AvenueMattoon, IL  61938

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