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About Beyond Ed

About Beyond Ed

Beyond Ed is a valuable program at Wheeling Park High School, but many students don’t know of its existence.

“Mrs. Dailer and myself came up with this idea,” Assistant Superintendent Rick Jones said. “We decided to create this group and try to show kids while they’re here what’s out there in the world of education, what employment opportunities and career opportunities there are, and all the benefits of doing it… There’s tech jobs out there, there’s a lot of different jobs in administration, there’s jobs out there like accounting in school systems. We just hired a PR person that’s a professional position that does all of our social media and writes for us.”

Mr. Jones has seen for himself what a lack of exposure can cause.

“Throughout my entire career, there were so many kids that came through these halls that never thought about being a teacher… For some reason, it doesn’t seem like it’s, in the majority of kids, something they really thrive to be while they’re in high school. And then they get out of high school and they go to college… and things sometimes don’t go right, and then they end up in a path that maybe they don’t like, or they drop out, and I think to myself, ‘That kid would have been a great teacher or a coach.’”

Students in the program visit West Liberty Elementary

The students in the program are exposed to different school systems through recounts of first-hand experiences and field trips.

“We have speakers, [the students] go visit places, they get to help with kids outside of here at some of our elementary schools and some things like that, then it might expose them to education,” said Jones.

Students are put into the program via recommendation from a teacher, coach, or counselor, or they can come down to the main office and say they’re interested in being part of the program. One such student, Melody Campbell, was put into the group because she wants to be a theater teacher.

“It’s a nice experience because I get to see what it’s actually going to be like to be a teacher, which I think is important for kids wanting to go into it,” Campbell said. “Seeing what all goes into it through Beyond Ed makes me more excited to end up being a teacher.”

Being part of the program has also opened up Campbell’s eyes to how many students think teaching is a bad career choice.

“They think it’s not important or because it doesn’t pay a lot that it’s something they wouldn’t want to do. But I think if kids see that you still have passion, you still want to help people, [they’ll see] that teaching is a good profession, despite everything else that says it’s not,” said Campbell.

However, she didn’t know what the program was until she was placed in it, nor did she know who recommended her.

“I got a notification one day that they were having a meeting, and that’s when I realized what it was,” Campbell said. “I’d like to see it advertised more because I didn’t really understand what it was at first. I think it could even be something like the CTE programs.”

We only meet what’s supposed to be once a month, but I feel like it’s once every two months or three months, then I kind of forget that I’m in it.

— Hannah Fortner

This lack of advertisement has led to some students who want to become teachers not knowing about the program.

“I knew about it, but I didn’t know it was about teachers until a couple of months ago,” Mia Metz, a student hoping to major in teaching, said. “I only really saw Facebook posts about it, but not that it had to do anything with education, just the fact that they’re going on specific trips or doing certain things.”

Metz began considering teaching as a profession when she started high school, but she “kind of always had it in [her] mind.”

“I really like science, that’s the main thing I want to teach,” Metz said. “I think it’s important to help teenagers, more specifically for secondary education… Teaching is helping them in a way that isn’t direct. Teaching could really change a student’s perspective on life and how they learn.”

Another member of the Beyond Ed Program, Hannah Fortner, shares the same thoughts about the program not being advertised enough.

“I didn’t really know that there was a Beyond Ed program before,” she said. “I feel like we don’t meet a lot. We only meet what’s supposed to be once a month, but I feel like it’s once every two months or three months, then I kind of forget that I’m in it.”

Despite this, and not wanting to major in education, Fortner still feels that she has gained experience out of the program.

“I feel like it does prepare you for leadership because you get to go to schools and lead a bunch of children,” Fortner said.

Fortner also enjoys listening to the various speakers, saying, “They’re super positive and motivational… and they really want to change children’s lives. I really respect that, and I feel like I can learn something from them.”

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About the Contributor
Shelby Gibson
Shelby Gibson, Staff Writer
  • Journalism I
  • Senior (They/ Them)
  • Towngate Community Theater, Park Players, National Thespian Society, National Honors Society, Dungeons and Dragons with friends, and GSA
  • "Be the chaos you want to see in the world." --Mollymauk Tealeaf
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