On the heels of its Swanton Seven and Amazing Shake initiatives having started, the Swanton Local School District is doubling down with the launch of new career coaching campaign. It is a program designed around seventh and eighth grade students that will include an in depth career discovery for each student.
When the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center (NWOESC) asked superintendents if they were interested in the idea of a middle school career coach, Swanton Superintendent Chris Lake was one of two that expressed interest.
“Chris then asked me if this was something we wanted to do at Swanton Middle School and if we could make it work,” said Principal Matt Smith. “I couldn’t say yes fast enough. This is something that really compliments the skills we are trying to teach with our Swanton Seven Initiative.”
He said that, despite complicated scheduling, they found a way to make it work.
“The state of Ohio has been pushing for more career training programs at the middle school/high school level, however it is very hard to find the time, money, and resources to provide with the other mandates and time constraints we are already under,” Smith said. “We were doing an adequate job with our eighth graders previously, but this is something we can really be proud of that all of our seventh and eighth graders get to be a part of. I am really excited about this.”
Students will begin to investigate their career goals and journey around the Three E’s – Employment, Education, and Enlistment. Student character is the overarching theme throughout the semester as each student learns how to determine what their dream job is and how it maps with their career aptitude.
Mike Remer, a former member of the Swanton Board of Education, has been selected as the career coach.
Remer spent 30 years in business before retiring early and now teaching at Swanton Middle School.
He expressed interest in the position when it was first posted and announced, according to Smith. Remer was interviewed by NWOESC representatives, Lake and Smith.
“It was apparent right away he was the was the right person for the job,” Smith said. “He has a passion for our district, our students, and a wealth of knowledge from his 30 years at Hewlett-Packard.
“What really drew us to him was he had a great grasp on some of the disconnections we are experiencing between business and education as well as a lot of good ideas to prepare students for college, job training, entering the workforce, and enlistment into our military branches.”
Smith said as he understands it, Remer is the first specific middle school career coach in the Four County area of Northwest Ohio.
“With the work we already starting last year with our Amazing Shake this was a natural progression,” said Smith. “One of the unique aspects we tried to look for was someone with a business background instead of someone from the educational world.”
Swanton Local School officials believe this program will further prepare their students for their ultimate career choice while helping local businesses find qualified potential employees.
“I’m making this bold move to further enrich our students and give them the advantage they’re going to need as they pursue their dreams, said Chris Lake, Swanton Local Schools Superintendent.
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010