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Devising a plan

High school juniors plot career paths

May 17, 2019 Digital Media Exclusive

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A lot of high school students daydream about their future jobs. Only Butler High School juniors have to draw up a concrete list of steps to reach their career goals and present it to a representative of their chosen field.

During the week, 400 of the 470 students in the Class of 2020 took part in career action plan interviews in the high school gymnasium opposite Keystone Exam testing. The interviews ran four days from 7:30 to 10 a.m.

Shannon McGraw, school to career and college tech prep coordinator at the school, said 70 members of the junior class took part in a test run of the interviews earlier this year.

“The entire junior class comes up with a career action plan. Here they sit down with professionals in their chosen field and go 'Here's my plan, what are the roadblocks?'” said McGraw.

“It's unique to Butler. It is the only district that is doing these plans and interviews, sharing their plans with someone in the field,” she said.

The juniors identify the skills needed for success in their future careers, list what steps they have taken to further their job plans and list potential stumbling blocks to their goals, and come up with a 'Plan B' in a worst-case scenario.

John Wyllie, the Butler High School principal, said, “The career action plan interview is the culminating activity to our kindergarten-through-12th grade guidance.”

Wyllie said the juniors' English courses have been given over to the preparation of the career action plan, as earlier social studies courses concentrated on career exploration and math classes dealt with financial preparation.

Wyllie said, “ It's a piece of our curriculum. It's really good for them and we want them to do it.”

This is an excerpt — read the full story in Sunday's Butler Eagle.

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