#OurStoriesCRCSD - Kennedy

#OurStoriesCRCSD - Kennedy High School

Hear from Jason Kline, principal of Kennedy High School, about how the school is preparing students to be future focused and ready for their next educational chapter.

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Annual Freshman and Sophomore leadership retreat at Squaw Creek.

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The Best Buddies club has been a part of Kennedy High School for 13 years. It's been a support group for Kennedy's special needs students but its also a support group for students who work together with the  special needs students. 

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Graphic image that talks about the importance of Best Buddies Club.

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"What I love about Kennedy High School is that it's a variety of different people and it gave me more opportunities to choose good classes and different classes that I can take before getting to college." - Tateanna, Junior

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Kennedy High School is very proud of their Advance Placement program, which is the biggest in the state of Iowa. One special AP program has been unique to the school for the past three years. 

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"My favorite thing about Kennedy is probably our teacher. I feel like a lot of our teachers like really work hard with our students and make a unique learning environment. " - Caleb, Senior

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Barry Wilson, a 44 year old teaching veteran with the District. Barry Wilson has taught at Kennedy High School for 44 years. Actually, every day he still sits at his original desk.

He now teaches Career Tech Ed, an updated title to what was once called Industrial Arts. Career Tech remains focused on skills associated with welding, auto mechanics, woodworking, and manufacturing.

“The importance of what I am teaching right now is there are a lot of job opportunities for skilled tradespeople,” said Barry Wilson.

Throughout Wilson’s teaching career, he has worked to keep Kennedy High School involved in introducing students to the skilled trades.

“It’s a neat deal,” Wilson said. “I can introduce students to the intro concepts of the trades and students then can figure out if these skills and concepts fit their style.” If the shoe fits, so to speak, then the student can further that skill by attending the Kirkwood Regional Center while still in high school. At the Kirkwood Regional Center, students can earn certifications in manufacturing, welding, or construction which would mean they could immediately seek a career in their field.

“They can then use that skill to pay for—if they choose to go to college—to pay for college without borrowing any money,” he said. “Do what you like and get the education that you want.”

Barry teaching students about automotive concepts. Barry takes pride in the fact that Kennedy High School has the only manufacturing program and intro to welding class in the Cedar Rapids Community School District.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the electric car program at Kennedy. The current electric car team recently held a dinner and invited back all the graduates from the program. Barry stood at the door and greeted each attendee. He recalls, “When these students come back and they have found what they like to do and they are successful at what they are doing and they are able to live a comfortable live doing it, that is what makes what I do exciting.”

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This Kennedy Cougar realized her career dream all while melting hot metal. 

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What I love about the job shadow experience is letting the kids get that hands on experience, seeing the excitement when they come back from a job shadow and saying I really liked that activity. Its' starting to spark some things into that career thought process. Jay Goodlove Facilitator -Job Shadow Coordinator

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Kennedy students discuss what makes the Cougar spirit so special. 

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