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The Purple Clarion

The Purple Clarion

New community service, learning experience opportunity

Lane,Mayer lead Future Educators Program
Kylan Jerrell
Future Educator co-sponsor Emma Lane assists students signing up for Southern Illinois University (SIU) Education Day during the club meeting.

A new community service club, Future Educators Club (FEC), has been added to the Harrisburg High School roster. 

While the club offers the opportunity to serve those in the community, it also serves to help the students looking for careers in education. 

“[The future educators program] prepares anyone who wants to go into education; we do article reviews, reading research, and we also look at class management,” co-sponsor Brady Mayer said.

The Future Educators program has already proven successful at West Frankfort school, where Mayer helped teach the program for one year. 

 “We have taught the class, and six of [the students] are enrolled in career programs in education, and they say it’s much easier because they are familiar with all the terms and credentials in college education courses,”Mayer said. 

Although Future Educators does mainly help those who want to major in educational careers, Mayer believes that the program can be beneficial to any student looking to join. 

“The program is not just for people who want to be teachers, but anyone who wants to work in their community,” Mayer said. “It would be really good for any student to take; it’s a really good elective to have.”

Emma Lane, the other co-sponsor, hopes students will take on new experiences to help them get a better start on  their career plans.

“When I graduated college, I had a job shadowing experience [for law], and I ended up knowing that I didn’t end up wanting to go into that field,” said Lane. “Sometimes you don’t know what you want to go into, so these experiences shape students’ interest and their futures.”

The program has two different aspects, a club and a class. 

“[The club] is for everybody, but the class offers dual credit,” said Mayer. “[Students] can keep the club separate, but it has really good teacher experiences for those who wish to do both”. 

Scholarship opportunities are readily available to members. 

“There are ten $1,500 scholarships offered to students in the club, and if you sign up you don’t even have to submit anything; you are immediately eligible,” said Mayer. “Any students in Southern Illinois and below West Frankfort are in the eligible group.”

For those who do wish to do both, students will be seeing more time spent in their community, especially with younger students. 

 “There are planned STEM days and days where students will get the opportunity to go to West Side to help kids read and to teach them,” said Mayer. “Students get opportunities to observe other classrooms to help give them an idea of careers in education. If [students] want to observe for an hour or maybe a day we hope to allow that.”

Lane says they are hoping to offer a wider variety of schools in time. 

“We are going to try and allow students to shadow teachers from West Side, East Side, and the middle school,” said Lane.

Principal Scott Dewar says there are more events lined up for those in the program.

“We also have college field trips to further away colleges, we’re working on a U of I trip,” said Dewar “We’re even planning for a county job fair on March 8, 2024.”

Though the club only has 10-15 students enrolled, its sponsors hold high hopes for its future growth.

“It’s going to be bigger, especially the club, because the community is so strong in Harrisburg,” said Mayer. “Really the sky’s the limit, and we prefer a large group to expand and help others as much as possible.” 

Dewar is also excited and hopeful for the expansion of the program.

“We plan on expanding the program to pathways in construction trades and nursing. We plan on having a  more formalized plan,” said Dewar. “We have a lot of good projects in the works. We have high hopes that the club and programs are going to expand greatly, with the hopes of the second semester becoming more involved in the program, and even more so in the future.”


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Kylan Jerrell
Kylan Jerrell, Staff Writer
Kylan Jerrell is a senior at Harrisburg High School. This is his first year working as an Purple Clarion staff member. He participates in the school band, playing the trombone for the concert, jazz, and marching band. He is also an active member in Key Club, History Club, Music Club and Book Club. He is passionate about literature, writing, and music.  Kylan spends his free time reading, writing short stories and poetry, practicing his instrument and listening to a wide variety of music. He plans on attending school to study both music and literature.  “Student journalism gives a voice to students, both as writers and participants in school activities. It is an essential part of the ‘High School Experience’.”

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