Open House is a Hit
Elizabeth community shows up to learn about career-prep opportunities
Elizabeth High School was bustling inside and out on Thursday, Sept. 30, as the Homegrown Talent Initiative open house drew a crowd.
With lines at the five food trucks parked in front of the school as well as at tables of multiple presenters inside the gym, the community clearly was interested in learning about workplace education, character development and career exploration programs at every school level.
Two seniors, Gracie Bohler and Masen Loeks, had a table to share their internship experiences. Check out the video below to hear more about their perspective.
Dr. Jesha Marcy-Quay represented Iron Horse Equine, which is currently hosting Masen and three other interns from EHS. “We really like having them,” she enthused. “They ask great questions. They really add to our practice, and our clients really like having them along and helping educate and further a future.”
The interns experience every facet of veterinary practice, from routine care all the way to high-quality sports medicine, diagnostics, and even emergency medicine.
“Part of what I think this program is about is finding things that you may or may not like to do. If they come and say ‘This really isn’t for me,’ I’m OK with that,” Marcy-Quay said. “I’d rather they do that than not have spent time doing it, and suddenly come around and be like ‘Oh, gosh, I spent years thinking I wanted to do this, and I’m this far into school and I don’t.’
“Find out now.”
Another important aspect is preparing younger students to think about life after high school. A critical aspect added at EHS this year is called Cardinal Ground School.
The ninth-grade class is divided among five educators who all teach the same career prep curriculum -- with a new theme each week. Science teacher Lilyann Lambert is one of those five teachers and was on site at the open house to speak with students and parents about Cardinal Ground School.
She explained that the main focus is helping students learn what it takes to be a good employee “so they’re more prepared for life after high school, whether it’s going to college or whether it’s going into the workforce.
Each week’s focus is on different hard skills and soft skills, including good communication, dressing appropriately for a particular job, career aptitude tests, coping with conflict, knowing one’s own personality, setting oneself apart, networking, public speaking, different types of work, workplace etiquette and more.
Workforce Training During and After High School
Several post-secondary institutions were represented as well, including some that focus on workforce readiness.
Jenise Rosa of Pickens Technical College and Brian Treesh of Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology each had lines of students and parents for the entire evening. They explained how students with a variety of aptitudes can find a career path that fits them. Students can acquire state-of-the-art skills and important work habits that will help them succeed in the workforce.
Making career connections
Elizabeth School District’s effort to promote homegrown talent spans from kindergarten through graduation
Administrators and teachers from all levels of Elizabeth School District provided updates on the Homegrown Talent Initiative to the Board of Education during its Aug. 23 meeting.
Over the course of an hour, board members learned how widespread and interwoven HTI has become in every school. HTI is a partnership between the school district and business community aimed at improving career-connected learning so students have a clearer picture of what’s possible for them after graduation, whether they want to go to college or begin a career in the local job market right away.
Profile of a Graduate
Core to HTI is the Profile of a Graduate, which says the school district will, from kindergarten through graduation, provide opportunities for students to develop seven characteristics that will help them thrive at any stage of life – well beyond their time in school.
The seven competencies on which the district is focused are also ways to describe each graduate:
- Empathetic and collaborative.
- Adaptable and resilient.
- Effective communicator.
- Independent learner.
- Academically prepared.
From elementary school through high school, there are different ways those characteristics are taught and encouraged, in age-relevant ways.