Kansas Lt. Gov. Tracey Mann said he was “very impressed” with the Hutchinson Career and Technical Education Academy after a quick tour Friday of the Hutchinson USD 308 site.
He saw students learning automotive maintenance and repair skills, and looked at ease as he applied an air impact gun to remove a wheel’s lug nuts. Mann walked through a medical science lab where dummies served as patients and saw a media center containing equipment found in newsrooms.
“Do not think small in what you can do,” was Mann’s advice to student leaders after the tour.
Gov. Jeff Colyer signed an executive order Wednesday establishing the Governor’s Education Council. Colyer and Mann are making separate visits to schools, and for Mann, the itinerary Friday included stops at schools in Garden City, Hutchinson, and Emporia.
“We want to make sure everyone’s around the table,” Mann said, of the new council.
Accompanying Mann on his Friday air travel were State Sen. Larry Alley, R-Winfield, and Diane DeBacker, the former State Education Commissioner appointed by former Gov. Sam Brownback to be director of business and education innovation in the State Department of Commerce.
“Something you don’t get in the normal high school,” said Alley, admiring the medical science lab at the Hutchinson school.
There are 49,000 jobs out there waiting for you to get, Alley told the students.
Mann invited the youths to say what they hoped to do, and Hutchinson Community College student Bobby Sutton said he hoped to open an automotive business in Salina, where he grew up.
“I’m going to be a customer,” said Mann, who lives in Salina.
Mann became lieutenant governor in February after Colyer succeeded Brownback, who now is in the U.S. State Department.
A lot of Mann’s time is spent traveling and listening, he said. The Governor wants him to focus on agriculture, rural development, and economic development, he said.
The state travel helps raise the profile of Colyer, who is running for his own gubernatorial term this year. Mann said he thinks Kansans want the Governor and Lieutenant Governor to be out traveling. People want to know the Governor and Lieutenant Governor understand the issues in their community, he said.