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Eighth-graders develop plans for high school

SANFORD — It can be overwhelming to plan the entirety of your school career at the age of 13 or 14, but for Lee County Schools eighth-graders, that’s not the case.

LCS eighth-grade students have a variety of resources and individuals to help them through the process, particularly the four-year plan the students put together before registering for high school classes.

SanLee Middle guidance counselors, along with Lee County High’s and Southern Lee High’s Career Development Coordinators Alison Poole and Sherry Williams, spent time with every SanLee eighth-grader to talk about all of the options available in high school.

Poole stressed to students how the four-year plans weren’t meant to be scary, but helpful.

“It’s just a guide, a conversation to focus you,” she said. “You can still take other classes. We’re just talking about what you might want to do.”

Every eighth-grader took a survey this past September to determine what types of jobs they might want to pursue after high school or college. Williams said each student, depending on his or her interests, was put into a cluster along with other students who had similar interests — called a career cluster.

“What is it you want to be when you grow up?” Williams asked the students. “I’ll have a better idea of how to help you with the more information you put down. You can start taking classes to work towards the job you want, take classes that directly relate to your intended career cluster.”

Poole echoed Williams’ thoughts.

“My goal is to help put you in the classes you’re interested in so that you stay interested in school and get ready for college,” Poole said.

SanLee Middle Guidance Counselor Jessica Cole hoped discussing the four-year plans would at least get the eighth-graders to begin thinking about their futures.

“We want this to help them, whether they get a lot out of it, or a little of it, it’s still something to get them started,” she said.

And the students felt the plans helped.

Audrey Thomas thought discussing all of the options was beneficial.

“It leads you on the right track,” she said. “I had no clue what I wanted to do until this.”

“This definitely made it less stressful,” Mandy Johnson added. 

Evan Johnson felt he had a better idea of what he’ll be doing in high school after putting together his plan. 


“This was really helpful,” he said. “It’s not so overwhelming now and I know what classes I need to take to become a vet. I’m excited to go to high school.”