School to Work works

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BETHEL — Josh Krahn was surprised to learn just how much he has done in his young life when he had to write a resume.

The Telstar Regional High School junior is one of nine juniors and seniors who are taking part in the district’s first School to Work program.

Krahn could see, once it was written out, the applicable course work he had taken that will help him get a job or launch himself on a career, the jobs he has done, and the outside activities he has taken part in, such as being a member of the junior firefighters in his hometown of Greenwood.

“This really helps,” he said.

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He, along with several other students, plan to take the six-credit program again during their senior year.

Shelby Piawlock, a junior from Bethel, said the two-or-three-times-a-week, 70-minute class helps her prepare for the future.

“I’ve learned what’s expected of you, what’s important for the job,” she said.

That was the whole idea behind the introduction of the program when the SAD 44 board approved it last year.

Tim O’Connor, who teaches the course, said the program engages students and helps reduce the drop-out rate.

“We hope for more students in the program next year,” he said.

He said he and Principal Dan Hart meet with the program participants individually periodically to talk about their goals.

“For example, I’ve been amazed at how much Josh has done,” O’Connor said.

Haunnah Wheeler, also a junior from Bethel, hopes to take Early Childhood Development at the Region 9 School of Applied Technology in Mexico next year. That program is all part of a plan she has worked out for her future.

An avid horseback rider, she wants to work with children by using therapeutic horseback riding. She job-shadowed at a therapeutic riding school last summer and learned that such an activity could lead to a career.

Although she said she has wanted to pursue such a career for a long time, she said the School to Work program has shown her what the options are.

Shelby, who wants to eventually do massage therapy, physical therapy or nursing, plans to attend the regional vocational school next year for the certified nursing assistant program. And Josh, who wants to attend Southern Maine Community College for firefighter training, plans to take truck driving later this year, another program that will help him with his ultimate goal.

Some students have been able to receive paid work experience, too. But the numbers able to do that are fewer than O’Connor had hoped. It’s the poor economy, he said.

“This has helped me prepare and set goals,” Piawlock said.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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