On January 9, 2013 the Vernonia High School Senior class presented their Career Related Learning Experience (CRLE) Senior Projects to the school and the community.
The Senior Project is an opportunity for students to demonstrate skills they have learned throughout high school. Each student is required to spend and document twenty hours of time on the project, and work with a mentor to gain knowledge and experience in a real life work environment.
Students initially write a letter of intent about what they hope to accomplish and learn through their project. Students then spend time working with a mentor they have chosen to complete a job shadow and gain firsthand experience about the career they are learning about.
Students are then required to create a visual display and present them in an arena style open house. The projects are completed during an evening of formal oral presentations in small groups which are judged by panels of community members.
During the arena style presentations students had an opportunity to informally explain their projects to visitors and talk about their learning experience. Vernonia’s Voice visited with many of the students and interviewed several of them about their CRLE’s.
Tanika Cradit did a teaching internship with Miss Eagleson, spending three full days and six partial days with her kindergarten class at the Vernonia School. Cradit created a theme for her project, “Let Imaginations Be Free,” and used that theme to create activities and projects that she completed with her students. She used her projects to help the students with their small motor skills, to learn to follow directions and to use their imaginations.
Jonathon Anderson explored career fields that involved physical fitness and well-being. He learned about being a personal trainer, a nutritionist and physical therapist from his mentor Teresa Williams and created a booklet for underclass athletes to help them with their training.
Jesse Edgar worked with his older brother Curtis to refurbish a 1995 Honda Shadow 1100. The motorcycle was donated to Edgar by Rocky and Jeanne Hill; it had been damaged during the 2007 Flood and had been sitting ever since. Edgar said he and his brother took apart the bike, got it running and gave it several new coats of paint. Edgar said he would like to do this type of project again as a hobby, but would probably not pursue this type of work as a career.
Elyssa Szlavich worked with another senior, Janae Easlon, to restart the school newspaper, “The Timberline.” The Timberline had not been published for several years and the two ladies worked with two professional journalists from Roseburg as their mentors. Szlavich said she and Easlon recruited students to write and publish the newspaper. They also worked with a former VHS student now studying at the Portland Art Institute for help with design features. Szlavich says she learned to be careful what she writes because it is easy to upset someone and also about good communication. Szlavich says the newspaper improved with each of the four issues they have published so far this year and said they intend the publish through the rest of their senior year.
Kendrick Leaverton did two rides with Metro West Ambulance in Washington County while researching a career as a Paramedic EMT. Leaverton said he observed several interesting calls. Leaverton said he plans to begin schooling after graduation for his prerequisites to become a Paramedic, but his real goal is to become a professional firefighter.
Samantha Lindauer earned her Certified Nursing Assistant certification during her senior project, enrolling in Portland Community College last summer and spending eighty hours of class room time and seventy-five hours of hands-on training. Lindauer worked at the Robison Jewish Nursing Home and received her certification after passing the exam in October. Lindauer learned that the work is often dirty but it also involves a lot of relationships. Lindauer says she plans to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and then get a Master’s Degree so she can specialize in a particular field.
Bailey Williams has been studying and practicing Tae Kwon Do in Banks for about ten years and is a second degree black belt. Williams shadowed her instructor Anita Hansen and taught classes to younger students. Williams says she plans to continue her studies and may join the Tae Kwon Do team when she attends Oregon State University.
Will Parks worked with his mentor Earl Davis to learn about timber falling. Parks learned a lot about the history of logging and spent time in the woods observing the work actually being done.
Ashlee Archer spent time observing the work of an intensive care nurse at the Portland Veterans Hospital. Archer had the opportunity to observe an emergency code that involved chest compressions while in the unit. She was also able to observe an open heart surgery procedure. She says she learned that the human aspect of nursing is very important. Archer said she is very interested in pursuing nursing as a career and would like to work in the intensive care environment.
Deandra Solberg did a job shadow with Vernonia Librarian Jennifer Moloney. Solberg helped with the after school program and also helped re-shelve books and did other tasks, allowing Moloney time to work on grants for more books. Solberg was responsible for planning the after school program for one session; she picked and read two stories to the participants and also planned a craft project. Solberg says she really enjoyed working at the Library and being able to give something back to her community.