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Rural Matters

Jan 25, 2019

Michelle chats with Paul Campbell, president and CEO of Enviro Systems, Inc., and founder and chairman of Advanced Rural Education, a nonprofit that launched a charter school in rural Oklahoma. Campbell describes how Enviro was concerned about recruiting and retaining talent in a rural setting, and that the perceived lack of educated personnel was a key factor behind that concern. How did Campbell implement his vision? By setting up “dinners and learn,” armed with a PowerPoint presentation, which created a lot of excitement in the community. Charters are “incubators” for education innovation, according to Campbell, and his school will be Pre-K through 12th grade in the next couple of years. The uniqueness of Campbell’s school is its focus beginning in ninth grade on a student’s choice for a career, which gets them to be prepared for that career, which might include college. Campbell’s students graduate with an Associate’s degree, giving them a leg up, to say the least, if they choose to go on to college. Those choices of career could range from veterinary medicine to professional sports. Really. If someone wants to start their own business, they’re asked to come up with a business plan. Really. This episode was sponsored by the National Rural Education Association,, and Education Post,