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News Release
Claire Zakovics (left) speaks with Superintendent Mary Templeton (right) about the Child Development & Education class
Claire Zakovics (left) speaks with Superintendent Mary Templeton (right) about the Child Development & Education class
Washougal High School Students Gain Job Experience in Gause Elementary Classrooms (Photo) - 05/25/23

Washougal High School students in the Child Development & Education course are gaining hands-on job experience by assisting in classrooms at Gause Elementary School. The innovative program exposes Washougal High School students to possible career paths in the education field while earning high school and college credits. 

“Students learn highly transferable skills in this class,” said Washougal High School teacher Carla Ecklund. “Students taking Child Development & Education may be interested in becoming teachers, pediatricians, childcare workers, paraeducators, children’s dieticians, and more in the future.”

Child Development & Education is a part of the Career & Technical Education (CTE) program at Washougal High School. The class is a prerequisite for the Careers in Education class that completes the Education & Training career pathway at the high school. CTE courses are designed to allow for early career exploration. 

“I do a mix of observing and helping out and then I go back to my class at the high school and write notes about what I did and what I learned and what was being taught,” said Claire Zakovics, student in the Child Development & Education class at Washougal High School. Zakovics spends time in Gause Elementary School classrooms each week helping to assist with homework grading, provide one-on-one support to younger students, and more.

Elementary and high school students both benefit from the extra help in Gause classrooms. Older students are not only helping hands in the classroom, but also serve as positive role models to younger children. “When we're feeling like this is too hard, they’ll come and help us,” said Emmalyn Pfeifer, second grade student at Gause Elementary School.

“When we’re mapping out course curriculum, our focus is on how to best prepare students for successful careers and lives in the future,” said Director of Career & Technical Education Margaret Rice. “This class prepares high school students interested in working with children for successful futures. It gives them the opportunity to apply classroom learning while supporting elementary school students in their classroom.”

Washougal School District challenges all students to rise to their highest potential by creating opportunities for career experiences and growth. CTE classes like Child Development & Education bring job-readiness and employability to the forefront of curriculum at Washougal High School.

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