As the Cedar Rapids Community School District continues to support students to be college, career, and community ready, the use of a career information and decision-making system increases student exploration and awareness of career pathways. Beginning this school year, District eighth graders are participating in the Kuder Navigator System to complete a Career Interest Inventory as a way to identify career possibilities that match their interests.
At McKinley Middle School, 98 of the 150 students who took the assessment ranked law enforcement among their top three career choices. Fourteen percent of the students identified law enforcement or public safety as their top choice. Positive interaction with their school’s School Resource Officer (SRO) may have led some of the teens to consider that career opportunity. At McKinley, Officer Anne Deutmeyer focuses on building relationships with students through her involvement in career days, classroom visits and lessons, cafeteria duty, home visits, interventions, after-school activities, field trips, school events, and staff learning activities.
“I was very excited and encouraged by the results of the Career Interest Inventory,” shared Officer Deutmeyer, School Resource Officer. “The goal of the SRO program is to build positive relationships between police and students. I hope to build upon these results and continue to find creative ways to enhance trust between police, students, and the community.”
“The information we gather from the Kuder assessment is valuable in assisting our staff with identifying not only the career paths our students are showing an interest in, but also the supports we should be putting in place,” explained Jason Martinez, McKinley Principal. “Based on this year's results, it is apparent Officer Deutmeyer is having a tremendous impact on McKinley's student career interests. Her eagerness to not only build relationships and support all students, but the time she spends visiting with the kids about the numerous roles our law enforcement officers play in the community are major reasons why, I believe, our students are considering law enforcement or public safety as a career choice. We are very grateful to have her as a member of our team.”
Students also appreciate her and are happy to speak up about it.
“I love officer Anne,” said one student. “She helped me solve a problem I had with another student.”
“If I’m in the hall, she will always say hi to me,” added another. “She tries to figure out what’s wrong if I’m upset instead of getting mad right away.”
“She’s awesome and kind,” shared a student. “She’s always there when I need her. She understands us and is easy to talk to.”
“She’s very nice, and has a nice heart,” added another. “She is also very funny.”