Students offer advice for teachers

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister speaks with a group of high school students Monday during the EngageOK on the Road conference at Ada High School’s Cougar Activity Center.

Education is the topic du jour in Oklahoma.

It’s the main subject of the recent elections in our state, and it was the rally cry for teachers showing solidarity last spring at the state Capitol.

Now the Oklahoma State Depart­ment of Education is presenting its annual EngageOK on the Road. There will be seven stops for the free conference across the state, including a visit to Woodward High School, 2406 13th St., on Wednesday, July 19.

In Northwest Oklahoma, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister will lead a one-hour “Joy Lunch Club” session. Topics will include community engagement and how business and nonprofit groups can create meaningful connections with students in the classroom.

Registration the day of the event will begin at 7 a.m., and the conference will start at 8 a.m., running to 3 p.m. For more information and to register, visit http://engage.ok.gov/.

On Monday, several Ada students offered some insightful suggestions for ways to help them prepare for “the real world” during the traveling education conference.

The Ada News reported senior Coleman Prince saying he thought students would benefit from a personal finance class that taught them how to balance a checkbook, do their taxes and understand how credit cards work. Life skills don’t always get emphasized as cash-strapped districts are dealing with academic expectations and high pressure testing.

“Anything would go a long way for a lot of high school students, because that’s one of the main complaints all of them have when they get out,” he said. “They’re like, “Yeah, I know mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, but how do I file my taxes?’”

Meanwhile, Latta High junior Maggi Dansby suggested a job-shadowing program would help students consider potential careers.

Our local students should be aware of EHS Works, Enid Public Schools’ career preparation and training program. EHS Works seeks to pair students with local businesses and industries for internships that could shape that student’s post-secondary education.

“We’re giving students the opportunity to have job-embedded work experience in the community based on their interests and aptitude,” Doug Stafford, assistant superintendent of secondary education at EPS, said last February.

The program is meant to help students make better choices in their future education and not just give credit for working a part-time job.

For many students, concrete experience received can prove invaluable in making future career choices.

Those interested in the program can contact Amber Graham Fitzgerald, EPS executive director of human resources and communications, by calling (580) 366-7000 or by sending an email to arfitzgerald@enidk12.org.

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