Welch takes over new position

Former P.E. teacher becomes College and Career Advocate and CTE coordinator.

Micah Streeter, Editor-In-Chief

This year at Rose Hill High School a new position has been created to bridge the gap between high school and post-secondary success. The position, officially titled “College and Career Advocate” is being filled by Greg Welch, who taught physical education at the high school for three years before accepting this new position.

“The position of College and Career Advocate will bridge the gap and be the liaison between the school district and college and career options for students,” said superintendent, Randal Chickadonz. “This position will establish the focus needed to provide a successful student transition between high school and post secondary education, industry certification, and workforce.”

USD 394 is not the first district to create such a role. According to Welch, many districts have created this position in response to the definition given by the Kansas State Board of Education of what makes a successful graduate.

The Kansas State Board of Education’s website defines a successful Kansas high school graduate as havingthe academic preparation, cognitive preparation, technical skills, employability skills and civic engagement to be successful in postsecondary education, in the attainment of an industry-recognized certification, or in the workforce without the need for remediation.”

“I would say that Rose Hill is not alone in creating this position,” said Welch. “All the skills a student needs to be successful as an adult may not be able to be taught in a traditional classroom setting.  We need to think outside the box a little in order to reach all our students.  Students are the priority here and I think sometimes that is forgotten. It is the future direction of high school education in Kansas.”

Welch’s specific duties as the College and Career Advocate include exploring possible new job shadowing and internship programs at RHHS, as well as attending workshops and conferences on college or career readiness in order to keep RHHS up to date with new initiatives and ideas in education.

Welch will also work as the Career and Technical Education coordinator.  As the CTE coordinator, Welch will be responsible for managing state recognized CTE Pathways, collecting data and reporting to the state, and managing the money that comes through the Carl. D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, a 2006 act that provides federal funding for CTE programs.

In addition to these responsibilities, Welch will be heavily involved with Team Time at the high school this year. Team Time is a program that was implemented first in the 2017-2018 school year, and is designed to help students in their post-secondary success.

“There are three parts of Team Time this year, Career Cruising, Grad Quest and Advisory,” said Welch. “All three of these programs will help RHHS with KESA, Kansas Education Systems Accreditation.  Each student is required to have an IPS, individual plan of study, which runs through Career Cruising. Grad Quest will work towards providing students with soft skills or employability skills necessary to become an employable adult.  Advisory will help RHHS build relationships between students and their advisors.  Relationships are one of the five R’s the state is using as part of their accreditation model along with relevance, rigor, responsiveness, and results.”

Though the new position is designed to help the students of Rose Hill High School, many are lamenting the loss of Welch as a physical education teacher.

“Although Mr. Welch is a quality physical education teacher and athletic coach, he is a highly-rated educator whose knowledge and abilities include an administrative field of studies,” said Chickadonz. “His skills will serve him well to organize and communicate with colleges and industry leaders in providing student experiences, as well as relating and responding to students’ needs.”

“I’m excited to be in this new position,” said Welch, in conclusion. “I’ve taught P.E., Health, Science, and Social Studies in my career and I also graduated with my Master’s degree in Education Administration in July 2017. I never saw myself as someone who would be in the classroom all the way through retirement. I look up to my father, Dan Welch, who spent 39 years in education and 25 of those as an administrator. I saw the way he impacted my hometown as a child. I look forward to having the opportunity to affect more students at RHHS than I could have simply teaching in the Physical Education department.”