SMSD Students Shine In Career Development Contest

SMSD Students Shine In Career Development Contest
Shawnee Mission School District

The Shawnee Mission School District will be well represented at the first-ever National Career Development Conference coming up in May.

Jobs for America’s Graduates Kansas (JAG-K) students from Shawnee Mission North and Shawnee Mission West qualified for the national event at the JAG-K State Career Development Conference held in Great Bend in early April. Westridge Middle School students also took first place in the state JAG-K competition for the second consecutive year.

The following students are headed to national competition in Dallas, Texas in early May:

Phoenix Riesner, a junior from Shawnee Mission West, took second place in state competition in the financial literacy category.

Anylah Jones, a junior from Shawnee Mission North took second place, in state competition in Career Preparation.

Damien Pool, a sophomore from Shawnee Mission North, took fifth place in state competition in Employability Skills.

All of the Shawnee Mission competitors took part in local or regional competitions as part of their preparation for state. The skills they used to compete are covered through the JAG-K curriculum, Ali Fisher, lead career specialist at Westridge Middle School, expressed.

“I love this event and believe it is a unique and valuable opportunity for students,” Fisher added. “These skills the students are learning are what we hope they will take with them into the workforce and their communities.”

The state event also included a career fair, featuring 20 employers for students to learn about.

In addition to taking a very nice bus to the state event, eighth-grader Kylie Coombs said the fair was one of her favorite parts.

“Being able to go around and talk to all of the vendors was great because they had some cool stuff to give out if you went and talked to them,” Coombs reflected to Fisher. “I also enjoyed winning first place in my event. Everyone was just so nice!”

JAG-K is a program that helps students explore career opportunities and practice soft skills to help them prepare for college and career. In competition, they are able to compete in team events such as creative decision making, project-based learning, and writing a business plan. Individual events include prepared speaking, financial literacy, t-shirt design, career preparation and employability skills.

Additional SMSD State Honors:

Project Based Learning

1st Place- Alexis Fletcher, Raymond Redding, Gabriella Roby from Hocker Grove Middle School 

3rd Place- Amaya Abron, Maya Aron and Milton Hernandez from Westridge Middle School

6th Place- Payten Bush, Spencer Davis, and Emma Bier from Shawnee Mission North

Creative Decision Making

2nd Place- Wyatt Otto, Gavin Otto, and Wyatt Morse from Westridge Middle School

Business Plan

2nd Place- Quincy Williams, Nayah Ngeh, and Addy Watkins from Westridge Middle School

T-Shirt Design

3rd Place- Mariah Rodriguez from Westridge Middle School

Career Preparation

2nd Place- Anylah Jones from Shawnee Mission North

1st Place- Caden Perez from Westridge Middle School

2nd Place- Gabriela Gonzales-Tamayo from Hocker Grove Middle School

Prepared Speaking

2nd Place- Cameron Roberson from Westridge Middle School

Financial Literacy

2nd Place- Phoenix Reisner from Shawnee Mission West High School

6th Place- Christian Adams from Shawnee Mission North High School

4th Place- Connor Atkins from Westridge Middle School

Employability Skills

5th Place- Damien Pool from Shawnee Mission North

1st Place- Kylie Coombs from Westridge Middle School