Posted by: csdailyblog | April 6, 2011

College & Career Prep at Conserve School

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This semester, based on feedback from our CS1 students, we’ve been working hard at presenting college and career information to students in a way that is better integrated with other subject areas and involves more hands-on learning. Many Wednesday afternoons and some Saturdays (for college visits) have been set aside for this purpose. Here’s what we’ve done so far this semester and some of our plans for the coming weeks:

Feb. 19: Students visited Northland College.
March 9: George Desort and Steve Bates, both successful videographers who focus on outdoor activities and the environment, visited Conserve School, spoke to students about their career paths, and helped students with filming projects in science class. George Desort is best known for his film Fortunate Wilderness, which chronicles the famous Isle Royale wolf and moose study.
March 23 and 30: Kathy Jones, Math Teacher, and Kathleen O’Connor, Academic Dean and Spanish Teacher, led students in ACT test prep and intrroduced students to an online resource for college preparation and planning, Peterson’s StudentEdge. Kathy Jones has been very generous with her time and has been holding evening and weekend SAT and ACT math prep sessions on an ongoing basis.
March 30: Environmental consultant Tom Girolamo, owner of the company Eco-Building and Forestry, visited Conserve School, spoke to students about his career, and led students in projects related to sustainability.  See Kathy Jones’ website for more details.
April 2: Students visited UW-Stevens Point. See Academic Dean Kathleen O’Connor’s website for more details.
April 6: Laurie Parsons, an environmental engineer and president of the company Natural Resources Technology, and Jeffrey Leavell, who specializes in environmental law (and also is Conserve student  Jennings’ dad) are visiting today to speak to students about their careers. Ron Schulz, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources field biologist, is visiting students in science class, too, and will also take the opportunity to speak to students about his career path.
April 13: Loretta Jaus, organic farmer and Organic Valley member, will speak to students about the value of organic food and sustainable agricultural practices and about her own experiences as a dairy farmer. In addition, the husband-and-wife researchers and authors Rolf Peterson and Candy Peterson, of the Isle Royale wolf and moose study referred to above, will visit students in science class and speak about their research project and career paths.
April 20: Students will prepare for Advanced Placement tests in Environmental Science and other subjects.
May 4: Melissa Simpson, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Ecologist, will speak to students about her career with the Forest Service and then lead students in removing non-native thistles on our campus.
April 9: ACT test. We will transport students who have registered for the ACT to a nearby testing center.
April 16: Student trip to Michigan Tech University.
May 7: SAT test. We will transport students who have registered for the SAT to a nearby testing center.

In addition, in the following weeks, we’ll be scheduling SAT prep sessions as well as presentations on the Peace Corps, the Student Conservation Assocation, and college programs that focus on forestry, wildlife studies, lake studies, sustainability, and other environment- and outdoor-related majors.

While students will have to wait a while before starting college or applying for the Peace Corps, they could apply right now for summer internships with the Student Conservation Association. You can take a look at their website for an idea of the interesting environmental projects high school students can get involved in through this organization.

Mary Anna



  1. Hi Gretchen,
    He mentioned that to us (Roger and me) when he visited. He is a great guy with lots of interesting ideas. Roger loves the “lawns are for losers” bumper stickers, he’d prefer an edible landscape.

  2. Small world.. Tom Girolamo does my parent’s landscaping.

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