Trick-or-treat meets work

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Members of West Jefferson High School’s new jazz band are: (front row, from left) Danielle King, Shane Reed, Chase Potter, Amanda Wilhoit, Janice White, Alana Stewart; (second row) David Sturgill, Caleb Scott, Tim Filer, Zach Jones, Michael Bricker; (back row) Tyler Holdidon, Jacob Turner and Eric Jones.

West Jefferson trick-or-treaters will have an opportunity to extend their Halloween fun on Oct. 31 when the high school/middle school library turns haunted from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. as part of a Career Day and work project.

Librarian Lisa Shambaugh reported on the dual-phase project during the Jefferson Local Board of Education’s Oct. 8 meeting and said the endeavor affords students the chance to explore career options and put the information to use in creating the community event.

The first step of the process involves all high schoolers completing a self-interest survey on career clusters, which assists students in choosing specific interest areas and then meeting with professionals in their respective fields.

Following the Career Day sessions on Oct. 16, students will return to their classrooms, where career exploration will continue during teacher-guided discus-sions about their experiences and career discoveries.

In addition to completing the survey, students expressing interest in the “Scary World of Work” haunted library project are encouraged to apply for a position offering practical experience in their career field. Once applications are submitted, Shambaugh and fellow teachers will conduct interviews. Applicants will then be notified of their job status in the Halloween project and meet in job groups during study hall.

“Students would work during study hall whenever possible, but students who were interested in working who don’t have study hall would be limited to working less frequently, and only with the teacher’s permission,” commented Shambaugh.

Career field project correlations include Agriculture and Environmental Systems, where students will find locally grown pumpkins, carve them for decorations, roast the pumpkin seeds, or determine feasibility of growing pumpkins for next year.

In addressing Arts and Communication component, participation will involve acting in the haunted library, designing and creating costumes, writing scripts, and planning haunted library scenes based on and promoting library books. Students will also oversee general operation, build sets, create special effects,  establish a budget, assist in promoting the community event, find organizations willing to donate candy for Beggar’s Night, and work with law enforcement and public safety on traffic patterns and parking lot safety.

“They would see the interrelationship with jobs in this one project,” Shambaugh said. “It would allow students the opportunity to practice some of the jobs and promote the event. Students would apply for jobs within their field and be interviewed. It’s a good opportunity to practice that. The idea is to work during study hall, so this project does not interfere with the school day.”

In other action, Target representative Lisa Maxwell presented the music department with a $2,000 grant to develop a jazz band program at the high school. Ken Huff, band director, said his department is in the beginning stages of developing the program. The Target grant will be used for bringing in musicians from the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, who will work with students on a one-to-one basis, and for purchasing equipment and literature.

“Hopefully, at some of our next concerts, we’ll hear some jazz,” said Superintendent William Mullett.

The school board also approved Treasurer Jill Smith’s five-year forecast through 2012, as required by state law. According to the projections, fiscal year 2008 is forecasted to end with a revenue balance of $11 million and expenditures of $10.7 million. Without additional funding, expenditures were projected to begin exceeding revenue starting in 2010 by $400,000 and jump to over $2 million in the red by 2012. Student population is expected to remain fairly constant.

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