CEO Spotlight: Patrick H. Hamill

President & CEO – Oakwood Homes

My passion beyond my homebuilding (Oakwood Homes) business interests and being a community developer has always been education. When we look at community, education is the most important community amenity. When one looks at our education system, very little has changed over the past 75 years on how we deliver education. When you look at various changes that have occurred to the family over this time frame, we experienced many impacts to our school system that have affected education quality for all of our children; single parent households, both parents working, multiple caregivers, divorce and English as a second language to name a few. If we knew then what we know now we would have 100% public funding for prenatal education and E.C.E. funding from birth through age five. When this happens over time we will spend less money on prisons, alcohol treatment and crime will drop. Let alone the long-term positive impact society will have from the impact of tax paying citizens of our State. Early childhood education should be our number one priority on turning around Colorado’s education system! 

In 1995 we founded the Foundation for Educational Excellence, which supports the development of quality early childhood educational programs that prepare children (birth to five) with the critical capacities/skills to learn. We partner with school districts, parents, community leaders and area businesses in the development of innovative learning environments that recognize children acquire knowledge in different ways. We sponsor and support efforts to fully align K-12 and Higher Education efforts that begin to create a more market-centered, consumer-focused, and performance-driven education delivery system that prepares students for the rigors of the new century and we work to establish community involvement among educators, parents, students, and civic leaders that promote schools as a centerpiece of community development and revitalization. 

We have had the opportunity to work with a contingent of people to establish the 21st Century High Tech Academy (Martin Luther King Jr. Early College) in Green Valley Ranch and Montbello. This facility, which serves youth in the area, provides technology-enhanced instruction and state-of-the art curriculum to over 450 high-performing. They recently celebrated their first senior graduating class and 73 students graduated — 100 percent of the senior class, with 87% accepted into four year colleges. 

In August, 2010, the Evie Garrett Dennis Campus, Early Childhood (ECE) through 12th grade shared campus, in Green Valley Ranch, will become a reality. This campus will house the Denver School of Science and Technology and SOAR charter schools. In addition, it is our hope and dream to open The Promise Center which will house an ECE pre-natal through five, including a Boys & Girls Club, along with other non-profits. 

I was recently asked to co-chair the Governor’s Early Childhood Leadership Commission, and am honored to be a part of a group that will give us an incredible opportunity to continue our work in early education for the children of Colorado.