Newly Created Position Will Develop Fairplex Career Vocational Education Program
Dan Harden, of La Verne, a career educator with nearly 30 years of experience and a former La Verne City Council member, has been appointed director of education at Fairplex. Harden, working in concert with the Fairplex Education Foundation, will be responsible for designing and developing a career education program for vocational students on the Fairplex campus. “Vocational education is disappearing from local school district programming,” Harden explained. “We need to fill that educational gap.”
Harden was a government and economics teacher at Bonita High School in La Verne for 23 years, earning several teacher-of-the-year awards during his tenure. He served on the La Verne City Council from March 1992 until September 2007, where he organized the La Verne Youth Sports Committee and was instrumental in organizing, planning and raising the funds for the La Verne Sports Park, La Verne Aquatics Center and La Verne Skate Park.
Harden’s vision for Fairplex career vocational and technical education programs includes classes at Fairplex that are part of students’ regular school curriculum. Credentialed instructors will conduct classes at Fairplex facilities that support each vocational field.
He also will be responsible for raising awareness and funding for the program and engaging local legislative support for classes and instructors. “We need to refocus our efforts on non college-bound students with curricula for vocational studies in the fields of carpentry, electrical installation and entry-level public utilities workers,” said Harden.
“This is a natural extension of the educational focus of our entire business here at Fairplex,” said James Henwood, president and CEO of the Los Angeles County Fair Association. “It gives us an opportunity to make a bigger impact in an equally important area – our community.”
“We’re excited to have Dan Harden with his extensive background in education and civic affairs in our community,” added Jil Stark, chair of the Fairplex Education Foundation. “We believe we will be doing cutting-edge work in education here at Fairplex.”
The mission of the Fairplex Education Foundation is to provide interactive, fun learning experiences that inspire passion for lifelong learning. On the unique Fairplex campus, known as the “World’s Largest Classroom®,” people of all ages participate in Fair-time and year-round educational opportunities.
For more information on the Fairplex Education Foundation, visit www.fairplex.org.