WHS Intern Spotlight - Evelyn Robertson
By: The Pottawatomie Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) | 05.12.21
At Wamego High School, students are getting involved in the Career and Technical Education program to explore a wide variety of careers and take the first steps in gaining professional experience. For WHS senior Evelyn Robertson, opportunities to take on new tasks within the school have been particularly relevant for her goal of working within Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) education.
Evelyn says that when she started high school she did not have a definitive direction for her career or education in mind. However, once she started taking FACS courses, which are a part of the WHS Career and Technical Education Program, she got involved in FCCLA and discovered career possibilities in FACS. After discovering a passion for the field, Evelyn decided to pursue a career as a FACS teacher.
As a part of the high school's internship class, Evelyn had initially hoped to intern or job shadow at different schools, but the situation with COVID prevented her from doing this. Instead, she integrated various relevant experiences, including hands-on work in education, into the internship class.
As a part of the class, Evelyn researched the outlook of FACS education careers and college programs to plan her next steps in the career. She was also able to take a day to visit the Kansas Wheat Commission, where she got a behind-the-scenes look at the process of taking pictures for the organization’s annual cookbook and learned about other FACS-related career opportunities outside of teaching. Evelyn has spent several years of high school gaining experience teaching in the school’s preschool mentorship program, in which high schoolers act as mentors for preschool students. Recently, Evelyn has not only been involved as a mentor in the program, but has also created lesson plans for the preschool class, and even provided leadership to and prepared a lesson on making lesson plans for the other high school mentors. Due to the hybrid learning format used during COVID, Evelyn was even able to gain experience with remote teaching.
Getting hands-on experience with preschool students has helped guide Evelyn’s career goals; she initially was only interested in working with high school students, but she is now also interested in teaching preschoolers. She said that one of the biggest takeaways from her experiences working with preschool students was that meeting student social and emotional needs is a prerequisite to successful learning, saying “… if they don’t have those social/emotional needs taken care of, then they won’t be ready to learn anything.” After graduation, Evelyn will attend Kansas State University, with a major in Family and Consumer Sciences. She is particularly excited to get involved in the internship and community involvement opportunities at K-State through the Family and Consumer Sciences department and will also be involved in the K-State College of Education.