Why Career Coaches Matter

New Castle High School and New Castle Middle School have hired three individuals to help prepare our students to thrive in the community post graduation, whether they choose a career, military or continue to further their education. The Career Coach’s goal is to assess student strengths, interests, and learning styles, then provide multiple options for students to pursue a pathway that fits their personality, and eventually assist in placing a student into their first job or paid internship.

Who are are the High School Coaches?

Patrick Burris covers our junior and senior students, while Karlee Winkhart meets regularly with the freshmen and sophomores. Consulting, or checking in face-to-face with ten to twelve students daily ensures relationship building, and provides our coaches immediate feedback when students pursue new career interests. Every Monday, Burris and Winkhart use Trojan Connect Time to introduce career assessments, field trip opportunities, scholarship opportunities, and schedule guest speakers. Their job is to continuously expose our high school students to new employment possibilities. These coaches also assist Amy Madden in organizing Better Futures Day, a annual school-wide conference where one-hundred community members and stakeholders visit the school, and share their career stories.

Burris also focuses on our Ivy Tech Dual Credit Program; he sets our students up digitally for testing and waivers. Winkhart organizes College-Go! Week and assists with the annual College Fair. After students feel confident in a pathway, the Coaches refer them toward their counselor for scheduling and required classes. As a Career Coach, every day is different, but every day has the same goal: Building Better Futures, one student at a time.

Who is the Middle School Coach?

Kaleigh Brown works with all middle school students 6th – 8th grade. First, she conducts future readiness assessments and activities for all students every Monday in their 5th hour class. Additionally, Mrs. Brown meets with students in small groups for more personal activities and lessons supporting employability skills and career cluster interests. She works closely with admin and the counselors to plan and lead work-based learning experiences, field trip opportunities, etc. Her job is to introduce employability skills and future readiness pathways based on each student’s interests and skills. Mrs. Brown also assists in organizing Building Better Futures Day and other community and family engagement events. Finally, Kaleigh’s daily guidance allows our middle schoolers to intelligently choose their pathway when transitioning to high school. At NCMS, we’re purposely #BuildingBetterFutures!