The 30th annual Albany Chamber of Commerce Youth Job Fair brought more than 1,300 high school seniors, including all seniors at Albany Options School, South Albany and West Albany high schools, to Linn Benton Community College this week.
GAPS sends all high school seniors every year to complete students’ career education requirement for graduation.
High school teachers say it reinforces the messages that students learn about work and careers and it provides an opportunity to practice in a low-risk environment. “Students learn the routine of seeking and pursuing a job and preparing to apply and interview,” said SAHS teacher Denee Newton. “It validates what we’ve told them.”
“During the interviews, they are learning that they will be judged on how they present themselves,” said SAHS teacher Katie Gisler. “Your appearance matters.”
“The students had an incredible time and came back to school feeling inspired and excited for their futures,” said AOS counselor Anna Harryman. “Many Juniors commented to me the following day about how they’re looking forward to the event next year after hearing their peers talk about it.”
The event offers students who will soon be entering the workforce or pursuing career training an opportunity to learn more about careers and practice job seeking skills.
Students cycle through three sessions: a resource fair that includes industry representatives who can answer questions and set up application interviews, an inspirational speaker, and mock interviews that allow students to practice interview skills. Each student can interview twice. Interviews are conducted by 250 volunteers. Some interviewees offer jobs to students during this mock interview process.
The event is part of the Chamber’s Pipeline to Jobs project to help students find meaningful work and employers find qualified workers. It is billed as a community program to provide career guidance to our most important resource – the youth of Linn and Benton counties.
“It is a huge collaborative effort, and the community is so supportive,” said Josefine Fleetwood, executive director of the Pipeline Project. “We couldn’t provide the extensive opportunities we provide without support from employers.
Albany Options also contributed community service time to the event. The 34 students who attended stayed after the event to take down all of the tables and chairs as well as clean up the whole gymnasium where the mock interviews were held.
Albany Public Schools Foundation announced classroom grant awards for 67 projects, totaling $37,683. The annual awards provide funds to enhance classroom projects and educational experiences.
APSF raises money every year to support GAPS schools through the annual iSwim, iRun and iCelebrate Gala fundraisers.
Any teacher in the district can apply for a classroom grant. This year, there were 79 proposals for projects including electronics, robotics, art, reading music and PE.
For the third year in a row, actors from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival visited West Albany High School last week for a week-long event of performances and theater workshops for students.
West Albany is a member of OSF’s School Partnership Program, one of the largest theater outreach programs in the country. Through programming that supports Common Core standards, students experience works of Shakespeare and other great writers, presented in ways that relate to their own experiences and engage their imaginations.
More than just a school visit, the School Partnership Program includes a full week of performances and workshops, as well as professional development and curriculum seminars for teachers in Ashland, and an overnight trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for a group of students.
WAHS is proud to partner with OSF to bring these opportunities to our scholars!
Now in its second year, the West Albany High School Bistro is giving advanced culinary students a real restaurant cooking experience and providing one of the best dining experiences in town.
Led by foods teacher Dolly Victorine, the Bistro is part of the Culinary 4 class for seniors. Students are chosen through an application process and are mostly aspiring chefs or foodies who enjoy cooking and working together in a team environment.
“Everyone helps everyone,” said Logan, who is interested in enrolling in the culinary program at LBCC next year. “I’m not sure what I want to do, but I really like working with food,” he said.
Students are responsible for every aspect of the restaurant, including the menu, budgeting, planning, team assignments, table setting, payments and dishes. Students are also responsible for delivering meals within the school and to staff at other locations around the district.
At its busiest, the restaurant has served 20 in-house meals and 55 food orders to go. The cost of the meal covers the ingredients. Victorine said the class tries to make everything from scratch. This year, they have new mixers, food packagers and new smokers for cheeses and sausage.
All duties rotate and students are assigned to groups. Each group takes a turn assuming head chef duties. This week’s head chefs were Hayley, Kylynn and Ty, who chose American comfort food as a contrast to last week’s Thai-inspired menu.
This week’s menu included a Philly steak pizza, an asparagus-stuffed chicken breast, or potato soup and green salad. Each entree comes with a drink and dessert, which was a vanilla, chocolate or Oreo milkshake. At the end of each meal, the student chefs come out to greet the customers and share the plans for next week’s menu.
Head chef Kylynn said the key to a successful kitchen is to be able to work with people and to accept that people may do things differently. “I love the feeling when it turns out right, and we have the plate beautifully presented,” she said. “When we took out the pizza today, everyone applauded.”
The kitchen isn’t approved for commercial use, so the school restaurant is limited to staff only. Phase I of the bond-funded school rebuild will include a larger, commercially designed culinary classroom that should be accessible to diners from the community.
Many West Albany High School staff members are regulars. One teacher said, “We’re regulars, but it’s always a treat. Once you come once, you keep coming back.”
West Albany Assistant Principal Rich Engel has been selected as the Assistant Principal of the Year for the state of Oregon for the 2017-18 school year!
The Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) will be recognizing Mr. Engel at their annual conference in June 2018, and he is now also a candidate for national honors as the National Assistant Principal of the Year through the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).
Congratulations, Mr. Engel!