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The days of seniors in high school contemplating their futures in March are gone. Now, middle-schoolers are being presented with options for post-graduation life.
Hardin County Schools is hosting three career exploration fairs this week for eighth-graders and freshmen. The fairs will assist students in finding fields of interest and could set them on a career pathway while in high school.
Students at North and J.T. Alton middle schools will attend a fair at North Hardin High School on Wednesday. East Hardin and West Hardin middle school students will travel to Central Hardin High School on Thursday for a fair, and Bluegrass Middle School students will attend Friday’s fair at John Hardin High School.
Area residents in various fields will be on hand to discuss potential careers with students, Community Relations Director John Wright said.
College and career readiness has become a large focus for schools in the state, and so HCS officials were inspired to get students thinking about their futures after graduation. Schools started participating in the state’s Operation Preparation program, which has similar goals, earlier this year.
Wright said district officials began wondering, “how can we start even earlier and do something even bigger with that?”
Preparing students for post-high school success is the job of educators, he said.
“That’s what we’re in business for, really,” he said.
HCS officials also are interested in beginning the discussion in middle school because of the district’s plans to open a college and career center, which will give students training and possibly certification in several fields. This group of eighth-graders and freshmen are hoped to be the first students to utilize the center. Wright said district officials would like to see students be ready to make the most of their time at the center by choosing a career pathway earlier in their school careers.
Wright said HCS would like to host similar events for sophomores in January, and they plan to host the fairs annually.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.