Every single graduate applied to a college or military. No student was left behind. In June of 2020, when 195 students graduated from W. F. West High School, they were poised and ready for a career, college, or both. This has been the vision, and students in Chehalis rose to the expectation. But they didn’t do this alone.
There is something special in Chehalis. Parents, staff, and community members have an intense interest in preparing students for life after high school. It’s a commitment that goes beyond written vision statements. It’s part of the culture. Student success is what matters most.
When you talk with a high school student about plans after graduation, they may roll their eyes, but they have a plan. Teachers and staff have gone to great lengths to ensure each student has a plan. It begins formally in eighth grade when students take a Career Assessment, and by the time they register as freshmen, counselors have helped them develop their first High School and Beyond Plan.
The High School and Beyond Plan is a graduation requirement for every student. Along with class credit and other requirements, the plan is a vital component Washington students must complete to achieve a high school diploma. To some, it may seem like additional paperwork or a hoop to jump through, but as the counseling team at W. F. West High School say, “People put life into the plan.”
Counselors represent just one group of mentors in a student’s life – but they play a critical role in helping students succeed in school and prepare for success in life. Shawna Goble, Cody Ray, and Rebecca Smith Conklin are eager to help students navigate the steps towards graduation. They are a well-organized team with an excellent track record. With the help of College Prep Advisor, Kerri Chaput, and office support from Janis Dobyns and Susan Russell, the Counseling Center at W. F. West is on its game!
Many students seek help with their class schedule or visit the counseling center to sort out an issue or conflict. But all students will learn about graduation requirements, college applications, financial aid, scholarships, apprenticeship opportunities, and military options. Career and college readiness is what all Chehalis teachers do – every day. Counselors have the opportunity to offer a special touch and guide students through what some might consider a daunting journey to prepare for life after high school.