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WSHS seniors explore career choices in research project

WSHS seniors explore career choices in research project

Westerville South High School senior Kiki Eschbacher had known for some time that she wanted to become a school mental health specialist.

She had looked into the career last year, but it wasn’t until a recent research project in Andrea Gaul’s Financial Algebra class that she fully researched the position.

Now, she is more determined to follow in the footsteps of WSHS’ mental health specialists Noelle Spriestersbach and Christin Hammons.

“I told myself, ‘I’m going to do it no matter what because I want to help other people,’” said Eschbacher, who plans to study psychology at Kalamazoo College in the fall. “But after learning about the salary and benefits of working for a school district, it helped me realize that I’m going to be OK.”

As part of a research project in Gaul’s and Kassie Gutierrez’s Financial Algebra classes, students created one-pagers with details on the job responsibilities, required education or credentials and other facts on a job or career of their choice. They calculated hourly, weekly and bi-weekly pay and compared those figures with another job. They wrapped up the project by posting the one-pagers along the classroom walls for a gallery walk, where they reviewed other careers and compared them to the ones they chose for themselves.

Gaul said students have a vision in mind of what they want to do but may not realize how much they will make, the job entails and what benefits they’ll receive. 

With the research project, she hopes students gain a deeper understanding of the job they are interested in as well as have an appreciation and respect for what other people do.

Senior Madison Winesette considers the project one of her favorites at WSHS.

“This is relevant to me right now,” she said. “In the middle of your senior year, you’re really looking at what you’re doing after high school. It excites me because I’m really excited to graduate.”

As part of the gallery walk, Winesette looked at vet tech, cosmetology and graphic design careers. While interesting, the jobs paled in comparison to the career she plans to pursue: real estate. 

She has already connected with several real estate agents in the area to learn more about the profession and looked into what she needs to complete her real estate license.

“I get to be my own business woman,” she said. “It’s my own business and I get to create these relationships with clients.”

  • Westerville City Schools
  • Westerville South High School

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