The High Flier

The Student News Site of Frederick High School

The High Flier

The High Flier

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Don’t Know Your Future After High School? Here’s Who to Ask!

Everyone has either asked themselves or been asked, “What, or who, are you going to be after High school is over for good?” It’s a question most asked here at high school because we are two to four years, some even months away, from being out into the real world. I know it’s a tough question to answer, and not many can, but thanks to new Maryland state policies, someone is here to help. I sat down with our new career coach to get a better understanding of what it is she does here in the building and how she can help students.


“What’s your name and your job title?” 


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Her name is Katelyn Keller and her job title is that of a Career Coach.


“How did you get this job?”


Ms. Keller told me she saw a posting in FCPS hiring career coaches and that it sounded like a job she’d like to do! She stated that she, “really wanted to work with students on planning for their next chapter after high school.” After applying, she got the job. He also told me she’s “one of 21 career coaches” and that “there is one of me in every middle and high school in Frederick County Public Schools.”


“How did the career coach position come to be?”


Ms. Keller told me that “The Career Coach position exists because of Maryland legislation. It is under Maryland blue print. It is a state legislation initiative. There are other counties that are implementing this into their schools. I believe Frederick County was the first to hire, train and get all of their career coaches started and we are very proud of that.” 

From my own research, looking at online job sites some other counties have the position listed but not filled, Ms. Keller is right. We are the first county to have the career coach positions fully filled out! “It all came to be because of Maryland legislation so

career coaches fall under a pillar in the Maryland blueprint college and career readiness pillar.” 

According to Maryland state’s blueprint website, “The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future is a landmark legislation passed in 2021, which includes comprehensive changes to nearly every aspect of Maryland’s public education system. Increasing annual education funding by over $3.8 billion over the next 10 years, the Blueprint will enrich student experiences, accelerate improvements to student outcomes, and improve the quality of education in Maryland.” I’d stated after Ms. Keller spoke that I didn’t even know that this type of legislation had been passed, and she said that a lot of people don’t know about the new position of career coach.


“How do you help students find their future careers/Jobs?”


“There’s a lot of different things we can do to practice career exploration. It can just be through having a conversation like how you and I are right now. Some students might have an idea of what they might want to do, and if they do, that’s great, and we can explore that industry and see what opportunities are available. If there’s any education needed, what the local labor market looks like for that position. So it’s great if a student already knows we can easily go from there. However, if a student has no idea and they are kind of stuck and aren’t really sure, that’s ok too! There are a lot of different assessment tools we can use to learn to more about their strengths and their values, and from there we can kind of look at all of those things and look at what jobs or career fields kind of align with those things and just do some exploring and see if any of those resonate.” 


Ms. Keller told me she always tries to emphasize The process is fluid. “You might be interested in one thing and you learn more about it more, try it out and you go on a field trip and if you’re like ‘actually no’ and that’s OK. We can always come back and go back to the drawing board and find something else.”


“How are you going to be doing field trips?”


“There won’t be any field trips until after the first term, so not until after October. Once I kind of identify some interests of students, I can connect with different businesses and plan field trips to go out and explore those. That could also look like having business partners come in and speak to a group of students, or one on one and getting a student connected to somebody in that field that they’re interested in! There’s a lot of different ways we can work with business partners.” 

I then asked about some bigger fields that might be harder to get in touch with such as the medical field. Ms. Keller responded, “I definitely want everything to be kind of student first. So I don’t just want to be randomly looking for business, I want to see what the students of FHS are interested in and how I can help them have experience or learn more about those things.”


“How do you think you can help students who don’t really know what they want to do after high school?” 


“I think there’s a lot of different a lot of different things we can have a conversation and utilize some assessment tools to find out what they’re interested in, what their strengths are, and what their work values are and from there, when we look at all those things, we can look careers that align with those. Figure out what’s needed for those maybe a certain career or job. They may not need any education and they can go right into the workforce. Maybe they need a two year degree and maybe Frederick Community College has a degree in that subject area. Maybe they need to go to a four year school, so looking at what they’re interested in, what their strengths are, what their values are, and translating that to potential careers and then looking at what that career requires as far as education.”


“Where can students find you?”


Ms. Keller told me her physical desk is in the counseling office and that she hopes she can start meeting with students one on one this September. She is still figuring out how best to contact the student body. She has a Schoology and a Google Form that students will have access to where you can put your information and she will find a time to meet with you to talk more about what’s next for you and Ms. Keller


An important part of life is finding where you stand, and Ms. Keller Is a good resource for finding that place. Don’t let yourself stay stuck for long, keep moving forward and find your place. Ms. Keller had one last word to say.


“One thing I think is important for FHS students to know is we have the most CTE (Career Technology Education) completer programs in any high school in the county. That’s always a good thing to have in your back pocket. You can take those classes here and you even have the opportunity, if you complete it, to get a certification and that looks good on a resume.” 

Ms Keller told me she is also happy to talk about CTE and that she herself took a CTE course in her own words, “You might get into something and then you might change your mind and then you might change your mind again.”

You’ve been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and you don’t have an answer? Or you know exactly what you want to be but don’t know how to get there? Ms. Keller is who you should be asking for advice and help with. These are the most important years of our lives and you shouldn’t take that for granted, learn and take advice where and when you need to and you’ll do so much better in life then if you don’t.


If you would like to get in touch with Ms. Keller use the link or QR code below:

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