Teacher Spotlight

Kara McNamara and Maren Bosley

Student Resource Center

The spotlight is shinning on two staff members at the high school this week who have increased career and college preparation opportunities for our high school students tenfold. Kara McNamara, Counselor, and Maren Bosley, Work-based Learning Coordinator, have created a new space in the high school called the Student Resource Center or SRC. They have created programing for students that exposes them to possible careers and college pathways and allows students to interact with industry professionals. In addition, they conduct classes in the SRC to prepare students for their future by helping them write resumes as well as applications for jobs and scholarships.

Communication

The two have piloted twelve new programs this year. Recently, they coordinated a school-wide program by partnering with teachers to teach resume and cover letter writing to students. In addition, they held mock interview sessions where students conducted mock interviews with each other to practice communication skills and receive feedback from peers, teachers, and professionals. On mock interview day students gathered in the library and the commons area in small groups next to a poster that identified common careers that identified the students' affinity group. Teachers and community professionals spread throughout the room to prompt students with questions and also provide feedback. That same week, professionals searching for employees were invited to the school, which provided a great opportunity for students to build relationships and network for future jobs.

Collaboration

Examples of opportunities that allow students to collaborate with professionals and broaden their awareness of different careers include the monthly speaker series and shadow day.


Ms. Bosley and Ms. McNamara hold monthly career speakers that they invite into the SRC during lunch and advisory to speak with students about their career. This allows students to explore many different career pathways, find out what steps they should take to enter the career, and get their questions answered. This has raised the level of expectations for our students at the high school and has increased the overall professionalism of how students communicate with each other and adults.


Another program they have piloted is Groundhog Shadow Day, which allowed students to shadow a career professional for the day. They started this program with just a handful of students for this year, nine total, but there are hopes to expand shadowing opportunities for our students in the future.

Career and college readiness activities are not just limited to high school students. This year middle school students went on worksite tours. Students visited various business in the Loveland and Fort Collins area. "We had this partnership for eighth and tenth grade students in place last year, but this year it was more meaningful to students. We did a lot of teaching and discussion before and after the worksite tours, and it felt like students were really engaged." says Kara McNamara.

Growth Mindset

These two staff members are taking risks, trying new ideas, and learning from mistakes. This exemplifies the growth mindset we value in our district and our students are really benefiting. Last week, while I was walking through the high school, a senior told me how he has been hired by Rocky Mountain National Park to work on the trails crew this summer. He graduates in May and has already secured a job in January. All sophomores, juniors, and seniors participated this year and the businesses responded that they feel they got some good candidates for jobs and plan to reach out to several students with job offers. Kara and Maren work hard to expand opportunities for students.

Thank You Ms. McNamara and Ms. Bosley!

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