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KCSD Co-op Program Provides Hands-on Experience for Bucktail Seniors | News, Sports, Jobs

By on January 17, 2022 0

KEVIN RAUCH/FOR THE EXPRESS Conner Mason worked with Vince Tarantella and the Borough of Renovo, including learning how to use and maintain the salt spreader so it’s ready to go in a snap.

RENOVO — Keystone Central School District’s cooperative education program gave students the opportunity for a myriad of work structures, allowing them to see what a possible career choice would offer them in their future plans beyond High School.

Daci Killinger, of Keystone Central School District, is the current Cooperative Education Coordinator and said that in the three and a half years she has held the position, the 25 students enrolled in the program this year is the maximum qu she has seen at this point in the school year. . Seven of those students are Bucktail seniors.

These programs provide an invaluable hands-on approach that gives students the opportunity to see if a career in a chosen field is what they want to focus on.

As varied as the students who choose to participate, the professional program offers four types of work experiences from which students can choose. It could be a day or two of job shadowing or a legit paid experience with all the makings of what a career would look like.

The program begins with an observation internship, available for students in grades 9 to 12. The entry level program allows a student to shadow a job for 1-2 days and gain a little experience in a period of 2-4 hours, where they can watch a particular profession to help them in their future choices.

KEVIN RAUCH/FOR THE EXPRESS Bucktail senior Nicole Embick spent part of her school days working at Top Calls, as seen here stacking latex for a mouth call.

The next level is an internship in which students participate in a six-week unpaid program. An internship allows students in grades 10 to 12 to acquire a practical approach. Participants serve 40 to 45 hours in total in the program.

The Capstone Co-Op is a fee-based program for 11th and 12th graders enrolled in a vocational technical education program. These programs include trades such as cosmetology and construction and act as an extension of KCSD’s academic training offered through vocational and technical training programs.

The Diversified Occupations (DOP) program provides seniors with work experience where not only are they compensated for their work experience, but often they even have upward mobility to those who earn it.

Working hours outside of school hours are also often offered. Companies such as McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts offered shift bosses to students whose excellent work efforts earned them such a promotion.

Bucktail students Zack Pick worked with The Service Garage, Conner Mason and Yorick Smith with the Renovo Borough and Dylan Cross and Evan Schoonover spent their time with Bucktail Medical Center. Four of the five are listed in the DOP and one in the Capstone. Julie Green, a 12th grade student from Bucktail, interned at Renovo Elementary and Nicole Embick interned at Top Calls.

Despite the invaluable work experience students receive, Killinger is quick to point out that the student’s academic work comes first. In fact, doing well is a requirement to be able to participate.

“Students must have good attendance and have a minimum of 80% GPA, which is explained to them in grades 9 and 10 so that they know that they must reach a certain threshold to continue with the program as they grow old, ” Killinger explained. “It’s essentially a chance for students to experience a possible career path that isn’t specifically available in our technology education programs at school, they not only see what a future career might look like, but we’re also starting to show them what it’s like to be a good, dependable employee.

Conner Mason worked with Vince Tarantella, Borough Streets and Parks Supervisor. It would be difficult to find a student with more varied experience of the tasks.

Tarantella’s enthusiasm for teaching her tricks of the trade is matched only by her quick wit and years of experience in the maintenance field. This includes his years of experience in retirement from the Army and Allenwood Prison.

“Raking leaves and picking up litter is part of the job, so he does it, but I really try to get him to do more things where he learns new skills, challenging him as much as possible. said Tarantella.

“He learned how to use the dump truck, the bucket truck, did some woodworking, built the ice rink in the park, learned how plows and plow guards work, that’s not what do most eighteen-year-olds,” Tarantella continued.

Conner agreed that he learned “everything and anything” of Vince, noting that using the dump truck and bucket truck have been his favorite activities so far.

Keeping the salt truck clean and ready to deploy has been the highest priority for both of them recently, but Tarantella also has Mason getting ready for spring.

A picnic table was demolished down to the bare metal frame before the student put all the new wood back in place, making it essentially new. Mason will soon help Tarantella run a heating and cooling system on the second floor of the borough building.

Conner is usually with Vince during the week from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In addition to working during the day, Mason has kept his part-time job at Service Garage as a gas station attendant.

Senior Julie Green is considering a career in teaching, so she was paired with Renovo Elementary teacher Marjie Stone.

Stone immediately praised his understudy.

“Julie is a very enthusiastic and enthusiastic student who has immersed herself in the field of education,” Stone says of the high school student. “She is extremely driven to help students learn and succeed at all academic levels.”

“Being able to have this experience working with kindergarteners and an amazing teacher like Marjie has been truly a blessing,” Julie says of her classroom experience. “I love seeing the kids every day with their big smiles when they see me, working with them individually and getting to know them more and more is what I love the most about this job.”

Nicole Embick is also looking forward to school more than ever since she can help Top Calls, a local business specializing in turkey calls.

Nicole said she loves coming to work every day and learning something new. His favorite part of the job is being part of the team and preparing calls and dispatching them. The Sutliff family made the Embick experience possible.

Talking to mentors and students participating in the cooperative education program, it is evident that students learn life skills well beyond their years, have fun, and often get paid for the To do.

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