CHS seniors prepare for future

Published 4:15 pm Monday, May 16, 2011

CHS seniors get hands on help in making post graduation plans. (Special/Mollie Brown)

By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Columnist

Calera High School seniors are better prepared to walk out the school doors a final time thanks to school administration and faculty.

Principal Richard Bishop, alarmed at the percentage of students who hadn’t finalized post-graduation plans, prompted hands-on help for students.

“We wanted to provide every opportunity possible for our seniors to ensure they have a game plan in place when they leave high school,” Bishop said.

School counselor Carrie Southern worked alongside Angela Glover, senior sponsor and English teacher, and Dawn Bone, business education instructor, to work one-on-one with students. Each student received a laptop and was instructed on how to begin the search process for colleges, technical schools, military enlistment and the workforce.

College entrants filed FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and visited the college website for messages pertaining to terms and conditions of their acceptance.

Students who had no post-graduation plans took the Career Cruising aptitude test to learn what career best suits them. They researched that job field, found three jobs they would like, then researched the career to gain knowledge of income and the future possibilities of the occupation. Pell Grant recipients researched work study opportunities.

Southern encouraged all students to research scholarship money offered by religious denominations, civic groups, businesses and the government.

Southern said students just needed some motivation to get started. “The kids have enjoyed it. It’s important to teach them to take responsibility for their future. They’re young adults it’s time,” Southern said.

Lori Ann Ellison is accepted to Troy University. She will enter as an undeclared major, but is considering occupational therapy.

Logan McNamee likes Jacksonville State University, Jeff State or Troy for obtaining a degree in advertising and marketing.

Kendra Holmes likes both Southeastern Cosmetology School and Xcell Academy.

Jenny Richardson received a half-paid tuition academic scholarship to JSU for two years.

Joel Dixon, assistant principal, observed students and remarked how important it is to take the ACT.

“Calera is a test center, so there’s no reason for students to not take it over and over again to improve their score. Most colleges require a minimum score, so a student could be limited in choice,” he said.

In addition to college and career readiness, Southern brought in the Stop-Loss DUI Simulator.

The simulator gives students an almost-real experience of the dangers of distracted driving and how difficult it is to avoid unexpected obstacles while compensating for the delayed reaction time inherent with alcohol intoxication.

Correction to April 20 column: The website for Beth Hallel

Mollie Brown can be reached at