All things EHS all the time

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All things EHS all the time

EHS-hub

All things EHS all the time

EHS-hub

Working towards the future

A highlight on three job training programs offered at Eureka
Tori Stuart, 12, with students in Mrs. Wickman’s class

Pre-Vocational Skills Program
The Pre-Vocational Skills Program is a county-wide program that Rockwood offers to students in the Special Education Department. There are three courses taught at Eureka: Independent living skills, careers, and pre-vocational work skills. Independent Living Skills and Careers is geared towards underclassmen in the program, whereas pre-vocational work skills is a two-hour class that upperclassmen in the program participate in.

Eureka High School Special Education teacher Jennifer Ruocco emphasized that the program is meant to help students develop soft skills.

“Those are things like how to be on time, how to problem solve, how to have a positive attitude about what they’re doing and what they’re working on, and how to ask for help when needed,” Ruocco said. “They are not the actual ‘can you do this job’ kind of skills, they’re the universal skills that every person, in order to get a job, needs to have.”

Eureka High School Special Education administrator Christine Ude stated that the Pre-Vocational Skills Program aims to prepare students to enter the workforce once they graduate from high school.

“There’s a cohort of businesses within the area, around 150 businesses, from high-profile businesses to mom-and-pop shops,” Ude said. “They all partake in a survey every year where they develop what’s called industry standards. When we look at our program, we’re basing it off of what real businesses are looking for in employees, and that’s where we set our goal for our kids.”

Outside of the program, students work on a more traditional curriculum.

“It’s not just something that our kids do all day long. It’s two class periods, and we also do reading, math, history, and we learn about current events in the world. [Students] are welcome to take any of the other courses at Eureka,” Ruocco said.

According to Ruocco and Ude, Eureka’s Special Education teachers are passionate about helping their students learn and want to get jobs.

“Most of our kids can have jobs in the community, and we get excited when our kids come back and tell us they have a job,” Ruocco said.“This isn’t just a job that I’m doing. I really want them to have a life because every family wants their child to have a productive role in the community and a full, meaningful life after high school.”

Cadet Teaching
Popular amongst seniors at Eureka, Cadet Teaching is a course that allows students to travel to Rockwood School District’s middle and elementary schools to work as a teacher-aid for a class period. The class, offered to students with a clean disciplinary record and a GPA of 3.0 or above, is intended to allow students who are interested in teaching to explore what it is like from the teacher’s viewpoint.

While students are not at their assigned middle or elementary school, they are lectured on teaching. Cadet Teaching teacher Janice Denure covers various topics in her lectures.

“I teach [students] units on what to expect with lesson planning and discipline, the Special School District, and on the history of education,” Denure said. “I also talk about how much education it requires and how much they can expect as far as salary, as well as what the benefits and payoffs are in comparison to some of the struggles and real-life situations.”

According to Denure, a low percentage of students who take the class plan on pursuing a career in education.

“I think that may grow a little bit at the end after they’ve had time to work with the kids and see what it’s all about,” Denure said. “After the class, they may not be going into education, but at least they know what they’re in for if they do decide to go into teaching.”

Cadet Teaching student Tori Stuart, 12, helps third-grade Geggie Elementary teacher Kimberly Wickman.

“As soon as I walk through the door, [the kids] are like ‘Miss. Tori!’” Stuart said. “I like seeing all the kids getting excited about learning and then working out in the hall with me, I think that’s really fun.”

Though the semester is not over yet, Stuart has already learned valuable lessons from her time at Geggie.

“I’ve learned that everybody learns differently, and sometimes kids struggle with things and you have to adapt with each student,” Stuart said.

Whether students go into teaching or not, Denure hopes they gain something worthwhile from the class.

“If they want to go into teaching, I hope they understand that it’s more than just standing up and entertaining in front of the classroom, and I hope that those who don’t go into teaching get an appreciation for what their teachers do,” Denure said.

Cooperative Career Education
Cooperative Career Education (CCE) is a program offered to seniors at Eureka that gives school credit for working outside of the classroom. Students in the program take four or five classes at Eureka, allowing them to get to school later or get out of school earlier. The extra time out of school helps students avoid working late at night.

According to Eureka High School CCE teacher, James Hunt, CCE is also a basic business class.

“We talk about employment skills, we do resumes, we do linked-in profiles, we talk about entrepreneurship, and we talk about marketing,” Hunt said. “It’s really very applicable to everyday life, and most of the stuff that we do are things that you will use outside of the class.”

Hunt believes that CCE is beneficial in that, it gives students the opportunity to grow from their experiences in the workforce.

“What we’re able to do versus a typical teenage job is that we’re able to then talk about those things that occur,” Hunt said. “We’re able to take those things that would maybe just be something that happened on the job and turn them into a learning experience.”

Julia Voelker, 12, is a member of CCE at Eureka. Unlike others in the program, she is employed by the Rockwood School District to assist with Eureka’s publications department.

“In the publications department, I just run errands for [Eureka journalism teacher] Mrs. Rogan if she needs me to,” Voelker said. “I go get academic pictures of people in their classrooms and then I work on editing the yearbook.”

Voelker, who is a Yearbook student, has enjoyed that CCE has allowed her to spend more time working on the yearbook.

“I feel like I have gained a lot of team-building skills, whether it’s with my co-editors in a yearbook or with Mrs. Rogan. I’ve gotten to help Mrs. Rogan during her first year here and I get to have a lead role in the yearbook while also having this extra time in CCE to achieve more.”

Hunt hopes that students in the program see that there are other avenues than getting a job and working for someone else.

“I have had multiple entrepreneurs in the class that have had their own businesses,” Hunt said. “I’m an entrepreneur, I own a real estate company, and so it’s something that I hope that kids get exposed to and realize that they can find something that they really enjoy and
are good at because it’s possible to turn that into a business.”

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Claire Rickles, News Editor

Claire Rickles, News Production

Grade: 12th Years on Staff: 3 years Hobbies: Playing guitar, baritone, and ukulele, learning new instruments, baking, and writing What was your favorite childhood TV show? Winx Club What is your favorite book? The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab Favorite Quote: "I would rather die of passion than of boredom." -Vincent van Gogh Favorite Hot Take: Eating shellfish by itself is nasty (it's tolerable in sushi though) Fun Fact: I was in orchestra in middle school, but I taught myself how to play baritone during the pandemic and am now in Eureka's band!  
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