PACE — Pace Rotary’s latest guest speaker was Dr. Karen Barber, the Santa Rosa County School District’s Federal Programs director. Barber said more residents should aid students' development to ensure future success.

Santa Rosa’s economic growth “is closely tied to the school system's excellent reputation,” a Rotary media release stated. “We are passionate about learning in our community and it shows in the successes demonstrated by our students and our educators.”

During the meeting, Rotary members learned:

The district’s current graduation rate is 87 percent. 

In an effort to increase the graduation percentage, business leaders must serve as student mentors in an advisory, rather than financial, capacity. 

CEOs from Taminco, International Paper, Boeing, IBM and Northrop Grumman are on board to provide students with the tools, insight and resources needed to transition into the workforce. 

Students must set employment goals that include not only college degrees, but also postsecondary training.

Curriculum initiatives such as STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) help students develop real-world critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 

Pace Rotary meets 7 a.m. Thursdays at Stonebrook Golf Club, 3200 Cobblestone Drive, Pace.