CHS administration takes pro-active steps for students

Published 4:43 pm Monday, October 10, 2011

Calera High School counselor Melissa Hadder encourages Calera Chamber members to get involved with the children of Calera. (Contributed)

By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Columnist

Calera High School counselor Melissa Hadder presented new programs and opportunities for students to Calera Chamber members in their September meeting. Hadder, a resident of Calera, feels she gets to make an investment in the children of Calera and is working diligently to help them prepare for the future.

“I’m excited to present these opportunities to you because I think we can partner together to help the students become the leaders you are and even become leaders in our state and country,” Hadder said.

Hadder spoke about the $10,000 grant awarded to the school to expand and improve advanced placement college level courses. The grant not only covers students’ cost for the course, but also costs for equipment and training courses for teachers. The desired outcome is improved ACT scores and to advance students in becoming college-ready.

School administrators and teachers have a pro-active vision and Hadder is ready to run with it. “We want to facilitate the transition from high school to college,” she said. “We also want them to be ready to come work with you, to attain those business skills that we so often hear our teenagers lack.”

CHS was selected as one of two schools in our county to pilot the My Future Program designed by Superintendent Randy Fuller; Chelsea High School was also selected. CHS seniors will graduate with a documented post-secondary plan. When graduates walk across the stage and receive their diploma, they will have documented a job and college application, military recruiter conversation and other actions taken for post-graduation.

Hadder stressed there is no guarantee that students will follow through with the plan.

“At least we’ll know that the attempt has been made to prepare them by completing career interests and skills inventories beginning in eighth grade. Again, this is the initial year, and it’s a program that builds. There is a resume writing component, interviewing skills and career education. Students need to know the career fields for the 21st century.”

Another facet of the program is internship with local businesses. Students are placed with a business he/she is interested in to test drive the occupation before spending thousands of dollars in a degree they may or may not want. Hadder is seeking businesses to participate in the program and also asked members to consider offering local scholarships to seniors.

Businesses are invited to participate in Career Day, Nov. 21 and 22. Contact Hadder at 682-6100 or email

Mollie Brown can be reached at