The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

Green steers PACE

Students at the PACE program were required to be at school before 1:15 pm. Senior Kanachi Weli’s schedule ranged from 1:06-1:20 pm, and this was the same for all the students. PACE took only two classes in the afternoon, making it different from the rest of the MCTC classes that took three classes of the day. What else made this program different?

For Weli it was the block schedule, three times a week they had a mandatory AP Literature class, and two times a week they had an internship in the field of their choice. Weli interns with Hargrove Engineering Firm, where her days are filled with a half an hour drive and a paper load of research. Her early real work experience would only have been possible from the hard work of teacher Seba Green.

“PACE stands for Professional Advancement through Career Education,” said Green. “This class is a way for high-performing seniors to secure an internship in their area of interest as high school students.”

Prior to the internship, students had to learn the reality of finding a mentor to work alongside them. Consequently, students are allocated in a field where they are assigned projects and research papers. Not only that, but the program comes with a year-long research plan that will be presented at the end of their academic year.

“So much of what we teach in PACE is how to be an adult. We teach things we think would benefit students as adults. We strive to have a positive classroom climate and build relationships with students so that the learning process is not only beneficial but fun. “said Green, “The IRP (independent research project) is a great way for students to research and synthesize information that interests them.”

Beginning the school year, students are introduced to the class and prepare for the everyday work environment.

“The first six weeks, they teach you about professionalism in the office. By the second sixweeks we start out internships in the days designated by our mentors. It can either be Monday Wednesday or Tuesday Thursday, I go on Mondays,” said Weli. “PACE teachers usually visit us during our working hours, but we only see them once a week on Fridays.”

The lack of time Green enjoys with her students, means every little chance she gets to interact with them feels like it is her duty to communicate and teach them an abundance of life advice so that students can embark on their career with as much comfort as one can get when beginning their future.

“I feel like teachers have the best jobs in the world. I love my job. I feel that I interact with the most fun age group, I get to teach material that I love and have an impact on future generations,” said Green.

From the beginning, Green knew she was not an engineer or an accountant. She wanted to take the path of literature far away from math as possible. However, after her studies at Texas Tech, Green had a long path to become a PACE teacher.

“I have taught English in the district for 10 years and was asked to teach PACE in 2018. I added a CTE certificate to my teaching certificate and took 30+ hours of GT Training,” said Green.

Her opportunity to be in a small classroom with less than 90 students enrolled allows for students such as Weli to see Green more as a mentor rather than a teacher in a typical classroom.

“I love to hear about student experiences at their internships. Students get excited to share what they are doing and working on and I love the passion that they often get from working hands-on in the industry,” said Green.

When the PACE students see each other at the Miller Career Technology Center, they often share their experiences about their co-workers and mentors. Often creating a healthy environment where students learn to differentiate good work ethic, group work, and respect. Also, they allow for an opportunity to laugh and reflect on whether their career is the best one for themselves.

“I intern at Hargrove Engineering. I am usually at the office around 1:20 pm until 5:00 pm. I mostly due research about the different sectors of engineering so I learn how they interact with each other. With the paperwork and the projects on oil rigs and unstable infrastructure, I am starting to shift my career to law,” said Weli. “If I didn’t take PACE I  think I would miss on a great opportunity that made me change my career goals before university.”

As her students finish their time with their mentors and their education at PACE, they go off to graduate and the only thought that Green carries is seeing them succeed.

“I hope PACE Students leave class with the skills necessary to be a professional. Instead of learning soft skills on the job site like most professionals, they have the opportunity to learn them in the comfort of a classroom,” said Green.

As the years go by and the PACE program continues to see a future. Teachers like Green, look for ways to expand support as well as finding g satisfied mentors who would be glad to welcome another PACE student into their office.

PACE is always looking for connections in the professional world. The more connections that are formed, the more students we can recruit,” said Green. “I hope that PACE continues to grow in enrollment. We doubled our population two years ago and so far the internship market is supporting that. As KISD grows, I hope that PACE continues to do so as well.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Nestline Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *