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Get to Know Harbor Freight Leadership Lab Participant Dr. David Miyashiro


Get to Know Harbor Freight Leadership Lab Participant Dr. David Miyashiro

The goal of the Harbor Freight Leadership Lab is to strengthen the effectiveness of leaders who are working to improve and expand skilled trades education opportunities for students. Dr. David Miyashiro, superintendent of Cajon Valley Union School District, is one of 18 educators who joined the Harbor Freight Leadership Lab at the start of its fourth year in May of this year.

“I’m proud to be part of a movement that’s raising awareness about the coolness of working in the trades. We need to do even more, so that this work is attractive to young people and families just like computer science and coding are,” said Miyashiro, who was named 2016 Superintendent of the Year by the Association of California Administrators Region 18 and one of the “Top 35 District Leaders in Personalized Learning” by the White House and U.S. Department of Education.

The Harbor Freight Leadership Lab, a partnership between Bendable Labs and Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, was created to develop the leadership potential of professionals who share a commitment to excellent skilled trades education.

David recently shared why he is excited to be a part the leadership lab and what he hopes to gain from the experience:

“I am delighted that Bendable Labs and Harbor Freight Tools for Schools are busy spreading the word that this is really awesome stuff and that kids will aspire to do it, if we show them what is possible and available to them.”

As a superintendent, Miyashiro and his team developed a “World of Work” curriculum to provide students with experiences that result in “happy kids in healthy relationships on a path to gainful employment.”

“When we first started this work around ‘World of Work’ and career development in my district, I made some wrong assumptions. For example, when we met with the electricians’ guild, we were enthralled by the wages that our kids could make and the tuition-free opportunities and the benefits there.”

But Miyashiro was advised by a guild member not to talk to the students about wages or tuition.

The guild member said, “Don’t even talk about those things to your kids. I want kids that are going to come here and work, but not feel like it’s work. With many of our guys, we see that at the end of their project, they want to take a picture on their cell phone, they post it and say, ‘Look at what I did today!’ That’s the kind of pride that we want.”