Career mentoring at Conrad High

38_9300CAREER MENTORS  — These Conrad High School students are career mentors under the direction of CHS Business Instructor Janie McFarland (far right). From the left in front is Kara Bandow, Nikki Linn, Sydney Slezak and Ashana Schreiner. In the back are Sara Miller, Calvin Ophus, Colt Harris, Alex Finlayson and Chad Hoggan.  I-O Photo by Buck Traxler





Career Mentoring is a semester course offered at Conrad High School for juniors and seniors who are interested in exploring career options.

Students are placed with full-time employees in a workplace environment. They explore a variety of career possibilities, learn about workplace expectations, follow all organization policies/procedures and keep business information confidential.

Students spend three class periods a week on the job and two class periods at school with Janie McFarland the CHS Business Education teacher.

The class focuses on employable skills, including listening, oral communications, written communications, ethical character, dependability, loyalty, work ethic, positive attitude, self-control in a stressful situation, working well with co-workers and customers, adaptability to change, group and interpersonal effectiveness, ability to find work and keep busy even on a slow day, leadership and follow through.

The idea for this class came from Reta Rae Weisgram, a former Pondera Medical Center board member who is active with the Career and Technical Education Advisory Committee at CHS.

Students who are interested in health care or business careers can select from 20 departmental rotations at PMC.

Employees at PMC who have been involved for the past year in mentoring students include Mary Erickson, Wayne Ashworth, Dennis Lott, Marcia Hanley, Kathy Olson, Kaye Moritz, Lisa Hanson, Barb Meuli, Laura Erickson, Janette VanLuchene, Ruth Erickson, Renee Salois, Jamyne Richardson, Krista Keiper, Mary Johns, Sean Kavanagh, Lorrie Combs, Tonya Weninger, Brenda Ries, Randi Eppe and all the staff at the PMC Clinic office.

Other local businesses and individuals who have participated in mentoring a CHS student  in 2010 include Trish Taule, Kim Hofstad, Diana Agre, Jennifer Schlepp, Jeremie LaBarre, Kami Barnhill, Janice Yeager and Ray Mayers from Conrad schools; Jane Arends at Conrad Christian School; Jim Zelenka at Mountain View Coop, Ken Wheeler and Shawn Ostberg with Frontline Ag, Jerry and Mike Naylor at K’s Auto, Gary Brown and the mechanics at Big Sky Equipment, Mike Miller and Chad Patterson of Mike and Chad’s, Jesse Copenhaver at Cope Graphics, Carey Monahan, Ron Widhalm at Conrad Tire, Judy Aakre at Mother Goose Day Care, Rose Griggs of  Tiny Tot’s Day Care, Pam Marsh of Closet Consignments, Bonnie Poser of the ‘N Thing, Cynthia Grubb of  Pondera County Health Department, Brenda Aakre of House of Charles, Lisa Shepherd from Headquarters, Anne Stordahl of Shear Happiness, and the dispatchers at the Pondera County Sheriff’s office.

The success of this class is only possible because of the efforts of all these individuals, and the students’ workplace skills have been positively impacted by all of the mentors listed above.

The next career mentoring course will begin in the fall of 2011.  Contact McFarland at CHS, 278-3285, if you are interested in participating in this educational program.