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Student-Intern program a win-win

If you visit the SCUC ISD Central Office area and poke around the campuses open for the Summer Learning Academy in the early morning hours, you’ll find district students working in various departments as student interns.

Approximately 37 students from Samuel Clemens High School and Byron P. Steele High School are assisting, receiving training, and learning from six departments across the district spectrum: Child Nutrition, Summer Learning, Technology, Custodial, Grounds, and Maintenance. Each intern is paid a wage of $10 an hour.

Dr. Damon Edwards, Deputy Superintendent, lobbied for the program to create a win-win scenario for students and departments alike.

“Employing students and developing a Student-Intern program is something we have been wanting to grow for years,” said Dr. Edwards. “We are fortunate to have area businesses who will assist us with this when possible.” Dr. Edwards adds the initiative has the potential to open doors for student-interns in the future. “With SCUC ISD being one of the largest employers in Guadalupe County, we felt we had the opportunity to take a lead in providing work experiences for our students. What we quickly found was they are an incredible asset to many of our programs this summer.”

Sixteen of the students are assisting the Child Nutrition Department daily at Clemens HS, helping the staff prepare the breakfast and lunch meals distributed to the campuses taking part in the Summer Learning Camps.

“They are understanding the importance of meeting the nutritional needs for students based on their age groups,” said Maggie Cornejo, Director of the Child Nutrition Department. “They are also learning how to work as a team to assemble and pack the meals that go out to the four campuses, and food safety, food handling, time management, and communication.”

Four interns can be found in the Technology Department, easing the workload of the department focused on closing out work orders and preparing for the 2021-22 school year. “It has been wonderful to see these students take on responsibilities, be self-directed and motivated, and exercise leadership skills within the group,” said Dr. Karla Burkholder, Director of Technical Services.

Burkholder adds the interns are laying the groundwork for greater Career & Technical Education (CTE) opportunities. “Summer interns are a first step toward offering internships during the school year. We are collaborating with our CTE coordinator to offer internships in technology to provide authentic field experience for students.”

Some students are getting a perspective on how the custodial, grounds and maintenance departments serve as a support system to the school district while learning through “sweat equity” during the hot Texas summer.

“We have been impressed with the quality of their character and work ethic,” said JD Mosley, Executive Director of Facilities and Construction. “These students are providing us with a substantial increase in capacity to complete our summer projects and prepare our campuses for the 2021-2022 school year.  In return, we are working with our student employees to provide them with new knowledge and skills in their respective divisions.”

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