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Prior to awarding the Communities of Elk Grove Unified the 19th prestigious Ford Next Generation Learning Community designation, executives, Cheryl Carrier and Tom Besaw, toured the Elk Grove Unified School District to get a taste for some of the long-standing academies and pathways being offered at schools in the district. Stops included the Florin High School Culinary Academy and the Laguna Creek High School Green Energy Technology Academy.

Following the tour, the already blown away Ford NGL executives sat with Superintendent Christopher R. Hoffman, Associate Superintendent Christina Penna and Career and Technology Education Director Kathy Hamilton to discuss Linked Learning and the many programs offered across the district to keep kids connected and engaged.

On the big day, just before the start of the third annual Map Your Future event, Cheryl and Tom stood amazed at the level of student, teacher and parent participation as the Elk Grove SES Hall began to swell with visitors. All visiting dignitaries invited to the designation ceremony raved about the young paparazzi that met them at the door on the red carpet. For Cheryl and Tom, it was another demonstration of how the communities of Elk Grove Unified support the learning development of its youth with hands-on programs spanning elementary school and high school aged students.