Eleven fifth graders, dressed in their white collared Cole Professional Academy shirts and wearing professional attire, met with the Tippecanoe School Corporation School Board as a "Highlight in TSC" to begin the February meeting. Cole teachers, Mrs. Curtis, Mrs. DeFreese, and Mr. Russell explained the Cole Professional Academy including its roots and the monthly focuses. They also explained the important role that Cole staff members play as 'In-House Mentors'. Students then stood and shared their name, their mentor's name, and one of the biggest takeaways they have had as members of this program. The Cole Professional Academy is a grassroots effort created at the hands of the Cole Staff and community from the ground up. Each month, fifth grade students are gathered for an afternoon of learning covering different topics including professional dress, interview skills, table maners, email etiquette, funeral etiquette, service to others, and basic skills like baking a cake and creating a shopping list. The students then have an assignment they complete as a follow-up to the monthly lesson. They are guided by in-house mentors who assist their progress. Students mentioned a wide range of impacts including "Passing the salt and pepper together", "Saying 'I'm sorry for your loss'" at a funeral, "Not wearing too much make-up or perfume at an interview', and "Learning how to tie a tie" as memorable highlights. The Cole Professional Academy will culminate with a celebration of accomplishment in April. Many community, parent, and Tippecanoe School Corporation staff members have assisted in this program both with resources and with time offered as presenters.
Cole Professionals Meet the TSC School Board