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Ten Years After the Pilot

Phyllis Stewart retired at the end of the 2001-2002 school year after 39 years of teaching. She graciously consented to give us an update on the Career Choices class she started back in 1992.


As is often the case in education, programs come and programs go. Lincoln High School no longer has a Tech Prep program. However, the Career Education class Phyllis Stewart piloted using the Career Choices curriculum in 1992 is still alive and well.

Over the years the Career Education class became a very popular elective, with an increase in enrollment from 45 students to 150 each year. Over the years Lincoln High students with myriad achievement levels-from very high to very low-gained career and life planning skills through their experience with Career Choices. As Phyllis discovered early on, "the Career Choices curriculum is flexible and works for all students."

Changes in state requirements forced Phyllis to rethink how she could continue to use the Career Choices materials in an integrated fashion. More and more was being asked of the Language Arts teachers, so Phyllis formed a partnership with the school's Media Specialist. She also decided to involve local business and industry leaders, and, she reports, "It has worked well in our community." Several of Phyllis' students obtained part-time jobs as a result of the shadowing activities and maintained those jobs throughout their high school years. As Phyllis explains it, "They developed a relationship with people in the business world - they now have mentors."

The Career Education class was a fun experience for students and teacher alike. Phyllis explains that she truly enjoyed teaching the class because Career Choices "allows for various real life activities and board games that are fun for the students, but are also learning experiences." Phyllis often sees former students and, invariably, they comment on their experience in her Career Education class. Many students reflect that "Career Education was the best class I ever had, I wish we had more classes like it. The Career Education class was fun, but I learned a lot."

Parents have similar comments about Phyllis' class. "Parents often remark," Phyllis says, "that the career education classes should be a requirement for all students." Former students continue to ask for advice or want to know more about ideas that we discussed in class. Most of them were ninth graders when they took the class. At the time they didn't see the importance of some topics, but they remember that we talked about them in Career Choices. It's exciting for me to see my students succeeding not only in the classroom, but also in their chosen careers."

Phyllis Stewart's diversified background includes 39 years as a classroom teacher, Tech Prep/Vocational Education Coordinator, and business person. Her ability to combine successful careers in business and education establishes her as an expert for demonstrating the importance of comprehensive career guidance.

Phyllis has been honored repeatedly for her work in the classroom.

  • 1997 Top Ten National Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher of the Year
  • 1996 Indiana Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher of the Year
  • 1992 Blue Ribbon Teacher Award
  • 1991 Indiana Vocational Teacher of the Year
  • 1990 Outstanding Vocational Home Economics Teacher of Indiana
  • 1981 Indiana Home Economics Teacher of the Year
Phyllis is a dynamic presenter and is available for technical support and professional development. Her focus for young people is the awareness of educational preparation for career/job reality. She understands that Career Choices is a program that has set a format for learning that provides an educational choreography into the workplace.


See how this program began -- Students Get Involved with Integrated Learning

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