Coal Ridge High School senior workshop born | PostIndependent.com

Coal Ridge High School senior workshop born

Theresa Hamilton
Director of Communication- Garfield Re-2 School District

CRHS senior Natalie Dougherty interviewing with Colorado Mountain College Scholarships & Records Coordinator Carol Efting at the Coal Ridge High School Senior Workshop Day earlier this year.

Typically, sitting across from the superintendent of schools is not a pleasant experience for high school students. When Coal Ridge senior Natalie Dougherty sat across from Brent Curtice in the CRHS commons, it was for all of the right reasons.

Dougherty and her CRHS senior classmates were taking part in Senior Workshop Day – an experience put together by Coal Ridge High School counselor Tabitha Harrington to help the students at CRHS be more college and career ready when they leave the friendly confines of high school.

In late January, while Coal Ridge High School freshmen were taking the NWEA assessment, sophomores were taking a practice PSAT and juniors were taking a practice SAT test, Harrington had a host of community volunteers and staff members putting together a comprehensive day of developing interviewing skills, scholarship assistance, and a healthy dose of the "outside world," for the Titan seniors.

"Interviewing skills is an area where we can better support our students," said Harrington. "We talk to our kids about what to expect when they go in to interview for scholarships like the Clough, but it still seems that they are not as prepared as they could be."

From that realization, the CRHS senior workshop day was born.

Seniors rotated between receiving interviewing tips from a business recruiter, to engaging in mock interviews with community members including Superintendent Curtice, a Marine Corporal, and representatives from Colorado Mountain College. Students also learned tips on completing college applications from CMC and Colorado Mesa University representatives, how to write a resume and college entrance essays, and how to complete a job application.

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Another station included two inmates from the Rifle Correctional Center who shared their stories of how their poor life choices created a cascade of dominoes that landed them in the prison system.

"The day was very powerful," said Dougherty. "Working with community members in the mock interviews was very insightful, and listening to the stories of the inmates was incredible. Their stories certainly make you think about the choices you make on a daily basis."

Harrington emphasized that the senior workshop day was not just for students headed to college.

"We want to be sure that we are supporting all of our students by offering a mix of opportunities geared toward students headed to college, and those that may be headed to tech school or the work force," she said. "Students need to be exposed to things like professionalism in the work force and writing resumes."

Feedback from the students was so positive and powerful, that Harrington plans to offer two days including a variety of both college and career ready skill sessions to support the Titan seniors.

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