McKinley Technology High School is located at 151 T Street Northeast Washington, DC, overlooking the Capitol Dome and Washington Monument. If you ask Gideon Sanders, the Director of Partnerships and Internships, it is the “best view in the city.” McKinley is a singular school in the District in that it is the only high school in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) path of the Catalyst Program.Prior to the 2010-2011 school year Mr. Sanders worked as a social studies teacher at McKinley. In his new roll he works with a conglomerate of corporations that provide support for the school. While monetary contributions are always encouraged, Mr. Sanders believes that the best way to ensure donors remain interested in the school is to get them physically involved with it.
To this end he and others in the school work to get representatives from the various businesses to come assist, or at least stay informed of what students are doing. This might be as simple as running a JROTC team to draw in corporations with military and defense ties to inviting employees at Microsoft to help with the construction of a robot for an Odyssey of the Mind style competition.
Though Mr. Sanders does not organize every outreach effort at McKinley he does try to keep abreast of what goes on. He also has plans for the future of McKinley but it is tough to say when itwill be viable to implement them. Due to the budget cutbacks in the DC school system the entire western wing of McKinley is currently vacant, as is the building next door that used to house a charter school that was closed. In the west wing all three floors have been stripped down to the concrete and are now inhabited by DC rats and excess supplies.
While Mr. Sanders remained quiet about what he would like the spaced used for he did hint at what he would want. It would be related to his position as corporate liaison, possibly as a space where students and the various business they interact with could work together with needing to leave the campus. All of this is speculation of course, and for the foreseeable future the funds simply aren’t available, even with the beneficence of McKinley’s corporate partners.