Eighth graders benefit from Operation Preparation
Wayne County Middle School conducted another memorable Operation Preparation special event for the eighth grade class, recently. The career exploration event helped local students learn where their passions fall, so they can customize their high school experience to support their eventual career goal.
“This was our ninth year to offer this program to our eighth graders,” said 21st Century After School Program/Operation Preparation Coordinator Katherine Kidd. “We so appreciated all the folks who helped us expose our students to different career fields and occupations, as well as motivational advice. We would like to thank you all for investing your time in our treasures (students). You never disappoint us.”
Immanuel Baptist Pastor Jason Lange provided a keynote inspirational message to the students, while a rotation of speakers provided a broad spectrum of interests in breakout sessions that included: engineering, medical, culinary arts, military, nursing, entrepreneur, cosmetology, the big picture, out of the box, law enforcement, law/judicial, technology, and education.
Speakers like Cosmetologist Paula Tayler, a Campbellsville College teacher, explained how important subjects like chemistry and anatomy were in her students’ studies. She told students, “Once you have 250 hours of education time, then you can begin to work on customers” at school.
Casey Holt represented the culinary arts class sharing the practical side of her field. The former Cracker Barrel employee told them to be prepared for working nights and weekends in the restaurant business. Since working in food management at Wayne County Schools though, she has a better schedule and focuses more on nutrition requirements and designing school menu options. She spoke about culinary school options like Sullivan University. She said presentation is important in presenting a meal.
“I like experimenting with sauces,” she told the eighth graders.
Across the hall, the ‘outside the box’ session was underway with Seth Hart and Tanya Ramsey Abeln encouraging students to think creatively.
“You guys will have your own story someday,” said Hart, a local artist and extension service art specialist. After asking each student, what their individual talents were he promised them that each of their stories would be unique.
Hart said some people are introverts and others are extraverts. “I’m an introvert, so I have to work harder to be a team player. I can be successful working alone.”
He teaches community based art classes and said he is amazed by the number of people that he has met that are talented in the arts.
Tonya Ramsey Abeln, another Wayne County High School graduate, traveled from Louisville to meet the local students. She recently obtained her dream job as the director of community relations for Churchill Downs, so she is extra excited about the Kentucky Derby coming up. Part of her job involves working with charities and non-profits, which is very rewarding to her.
She started her career in Chicago doing marketing for an architect’s office. She moved to the Los Angeles area for a few years where she did event planning for celebrities. She moved to Louisville next and has spent the last several years working as the editor in chief of The Voice-Tribune and NFocus Magazine using her writing and photography skills highlighting events in Louisville.
She explained that her career field has followed many different paths. “It’s not a straight line, sometimes you take the scenic route, in regard to where life takes you,” she said.
She used the Triple Crown thoroughbred winner Secretariat to share her success formula for a career. She told the students that when Secretariat passed away an autopsy revealed that his heart was three times the size of other racehorses, which gave him an advantage on the track.
“If you run with your heart, with a passion…people will identify with that,” Tonya wisely told the students. Fortunately, for her, she has found her passion in the work force and hopes local students will do the same.
In addition to over a dozen fields that the students were exposed to during the career rotation, they also toured the Area Technology Center to consider future enrollment. Plus, the KHEAA mobile unit pulled up behind the middle school for students to tour and learn more about applying for financial aid.
Wayne County High School Counselor Elizabeth Miller visited middle school classrooms with an informative program on “The Countdown begins…Getting Ready for High School.’
She began by discussing high school orientation when students select their elective class or classes from: band, football/sports physiology, or perhaps JROTC that are fit into a seven period freshman schedule. Ninth grade core classes include: English 1 (Honors), Algebra I (Honors, Applied), Political Science/Government, and Integrated Science I. In addition, other classes include Health/PE, Humanities, Pathway Course, and another elective.
“Your schedule will appear on your student portal later in the summer,” she told the students.
High School students are required to earn 25 credits in order to graduate. However, they have a lot of flexibility in selecting traditional and non-traditional opportunities. In fact, they have a lot of choices and decisions to be made concerning pathways, vocational courses, dual credit classes (SCC, EKU, WKU, and Campbellsville), associate’s degree, job credit, co-op, dual credit high school (WKU’s Gatton Academy/Morehead’s Craft Academy), and early graduation program – just to name a few.
Therefore, it is important for middle school students to recognize their strengths so they can make decisions about their high school pathway, since there are so many opportunities to consider. Plus, they must take their studies seriously because they must meet ACT Benchmarks in English, Math, and Reading before they can register for opportunities like dual-credit college classes, for instance.
With a renewed emphasis on manufacturing and technical trade job opportunities, students are also being encouraged to follow those valuable pathways. The new Area Technology Center, to be located just behind the high school, will provide even more opportunities for students who choose to focus more on vocational education.
(l-r): Pre-Trial Services Supervisor Tracie Sexton and County Attorney Tom Simmons shared judicial information with Lee Shelton,and Mariah Bowlin.
County Attorney Tom Simmons spoke about prosecuting cases in the court system.
Tonya Ramsey Abeln spoke to the students about her new job at Churchill Downs, as well as editing a Louisville magazine
(l-r): Danny Joe Cordreay, Hailie Wise, Tonya Ramsey Abeln, Art Educator Seth Hart
Art Educator Seth Hart spoke to the students about art education.
Casey Holt (left) and William Allison (right) explained to the students that being successful doesn't necessarily relate to your salary, but more importantly having a career you enjoy.
Co-owner of ProVideo Vicki Davis (middle) discussed entrepreneurship with entrepreneur Cody Sawyer (left) and student Mackie Lee Gregory (right)
Former High School Counselor Hardin Phillips spoke about 'The Big Picture' discussing student debt, scholarships and loan opportunities
Construction Engineer Aaron Dockery spoke to the students about his work.
Lake Cumberland Family Health Clinic Nurse Charlie Moreno (right) provided a sample of CPR training
Cosmetologist Paula Taylor represented Campbellsville LUniversity's cosmetology program.
WCMS student Maggie Coffey participating in the cosmetology rotation class.
Immanuel Baptist Pastor Jason Lange shares his story and invited students to participate.
Nurses from KCTCS showing how to perform a medical procedure, L-R; Tamara Eastham and Lorna Huffaker