When classes begin at LHHS in the fall, two new work-study programs will help students use after school jobs as additional learning environments while they collect the skills they need to succeed in college, internships and the work-world.

Practicum in Business Management is a mouthful, but LHHS Accounting teacher Amy Lowe has high hopes that this new course will be a hit with students. In addition to lessons in the classroom, students will work an average of 15 hours per week in paid positions as administrative assistants, office clerks, bank tellers, receptionists, medical or legal clerks, accountants/bookkeepers, and the like. They have to keep 3 high school classes for credit, but the rest of their day will open up to experience life working in a real office environment.

“When all of the requirements for high school graduation changed (technology no longer required),” said Amy, “we were presented with various courses we could add to our departments. As soon as I read the description for Practicum in Business Management, I thought this would be a great class to bring to Lake Highlands. Even though the economy is in bad shape, I know that Lake Highlands rallies around its community and schools, and thought this program might still work and wanted to give it a chance.”

Amy contacted local insurance agencies, accounting firms, banks and real estate agencies to find jobs for her students, and she is still seeking support from LH businesses willing to hire students. “Having the Business program will allow students to work in businesses, learning skills they can carry into their future careers.” A similar LH course will support students working in service businesses, such as fast-food restaurants and child care centers. Most of the companies Amy recruited will start the kids out at minimum wage, $7.25 per hour, but bump their pay after successful evaluations after 3 months.

Amy Mitchell Lowe, Kitty Clark and Pam Mitchell at LHHS

Amy Mitchell Lowe (left) with aunt, Kitty Clark (center), and mom, Pam Mitchell

Amy’s only been teaching at LHHS for three years, but she may seem familiar to you. That’s because her mom, Pam Mitchell, and her aunt, Kitty Clark, have been guidance counselors at LH for many years. “I really enjoy working with my mom and my aunt,” Amy says. “I am glad I get to see them every day.”

If your business is willing to hire LHHS students in the work-study program, you can email Amy here or call her at 972-921-1864. Just one more reason to be patient with that fresh-faced bank teller or office receptionist – he/she might be a Wildcat working to build a future.