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Personal and Professional Planning Class at Pulaski High

The Chinese philosopher Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” And it is with this philosophy that teachers Amy LaDue and Susan Taplin are approaching a relatively new class offered at Pulaski Senior High School: Personal and Professional Planning, or P.P.P.

The course, now in its second year, is open to students in grades 9-12 and is aimed at teaching students about careers, financial literacy, goal setting, lifestyles and much more.

Craig Gibbons, a student in the PPP class at Pulaski Senior High School speaks to representatives from Entergy Corp. during a Career Expo held at Central Square’s Paul V. Moore High School.
Craig Gibbons, a student in the PPP class at Pulaski Senior High School speaks to representatives from Entergy Corp. during a Career Expo held at Central Square’s Paul V. Moore High School.

The course focuses on three main questions: 1) Who am I? 2) Where do I want to be?; and 3) How do I get there? The goal, of LaDue (Business/Computer Teacher) and Taplin (Home & Careers Teacher), is to assist students with answering these questions and give them opportunities that will help steer them in a career direction that interests them.

To accomplish this goal, the teachers set up job shadow opportunities, field trips to interesting job sites, bring in guest speakers and open the door for many real life situations.

Using an interactive tool called www.my10yearplan.com students are able to develop a meaningful 10-year career, education and life plan including dreams, goals and plans to accomplish their desired path. Guidance counselor sand teachers can also use the information gained through the tool, to help guide students in taking necessary courses to pursue that goal.

These opportunities to explore career interests have seen students job shadowing at area businesses including: North Country Veterinary Services, where students were able to see surgeries, experience office calls and even emergency calls. Another local opportunity paired the owner and the chef at The River House Restaurant with students to learn first-hand what it was like to own and operate a successful restaurant.

Students also explored practical learning, where in planning for a large gathering, they had to budget, purchase and prepare food for a holiday party. The students worked together as a group to decide on what would be made for the party, then researched the recipes, made the grocery list and then shopped, with a budgeted amount of money to spend, for their items.

Coming from a long line of law enforcement officers, Nick Visco stopped by the Sheriff’s Department booth at the Central Square Career Expo at Paul V. Moore High School.
Coming from a long line of law enforcement officers, Nick Visco stopped by the Sheriff’s Department booth at the Central Square Career Expo at Paul V. Moore High School.

The course also looks at finances and money management such as monthly and long-term budgeting, understanding a paycheck, insurance, mortgages, taxes, planning for college and even retirement planning. NBT Bank Manager Laura Denny is scheduled to speak to students about online banking, debit and credit cards, and other financial topics. A local realtor and mortgage originator will also be talking to students in the class about looking for and financing a home.

The class has taken trips to visit colleges and had guest speakers in the class from several area colleges and universities providing students with insight into the college admission process as well as representatives from several of the Armed Forces.

The group has attended the Career Expo at Central Square’s Paul V. Moore High School where a large number of careers were represented.

Support from local business people, an essential element for success in the class, has been very useful in helping the students in the class explore career opportunities and learn about successful planning for the future of their dreams.

“We very much appreciate the time our business and community people take out of their day to come in and speak to and help our students,” said LaDue.

The class is available to students at Pulaski Senior High School in grades 9-12 and carries one credit toward graduation. For more information about the PPP class, contact LaDue or Taplin, or Pulaski High School Principal Jay Altobello at 298-5103.