Mount Gilead seniors learn life skills


Brandon Strickland and Garrett Casto prep their ingredients.

Brandon Strickland and Garrett Casto prep their ingredients.

At Mount Gilead High School, seniors are required to take a class titled Senior Transitions. Transitions is a course designed to help prepare the seniors to various transitions into their next step of life.

The course covers a wide variety of units including, financial literacy, job searching and resume writing, mock interviews, cooking, study skills, taxes and living on your own.

The course was put into place two years ago when the students at the time were asked what was missing from the school’s offerings and they stated they wanted to learn life basic skills. In the course students are asked to find their “E.”

Knowing your “E” means you have a plan for Enrollment, Employment or Enlistment after graduation. Having a basic plan allows the students to complete applications, search for employment or find opportunities in the military.

Gerry Hartman and Tom Lewis co-teach the year-long class.

“Gerry and I sat down in the summer and looked at everything the previous teacher, Michelle Ashley, had done. We brainstormed a list of skills, and knowledge that we felt most graduating seniors should know.” Lewis said. “We talked about things like cooking a meal or changing a tire first, but then talked more about being about to do your own taxes or filling out a job application.”

The course also features guest speakers from the surrounding area that come in to talk with the students. “We have had bankers, car dealers, and insurance agents,” Hartman said, “ During our mock interviews there were eight community members who came in to interview our students and give them feedback.”

Most of the units are designed to teach a skill to the majority of the students. “We really try to find units that most of the students will use in the near future.” Lewis said.

“But sometimes there are students that already have skills in that area, like cooking. We had the students who had experience in the kitchen help instruct and guide the student who were inexperienced in the kitchen.”

The main goal of the program is to help ready Mount Gilead students for the next step in their lives, no matter where that step is. They want to turn out capable adults, with a plan for success, armed with new tools that help them be prepared for life after high school.

Brandon Strickland and Garrett Casto prep their ingredients. Strickland and Garrett Casto prep their ingredients.