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New CCS teacher helps prepare students for life post-graduation

■ Editor’s note: This is the last in a series of articles on new certificated staff at Chase County Schools.

    Sheryl Curtis joined the staff at Chase County Schools (CCS) this year initially as a paraprofessional. But, she was quickly transitioned into a position that incorporated all of her education and experience helping students in their future endeavors.
    She was looking for a career change when CCS popped up on her radar.
    Curtis is now instructing students in Family and Consumer Science.
    “I want to prepare students for life on their own after completing their education,” she said.
    Students are taught basic life skills like cooking and food preparation, cleaning, basic sewing, laundry, balancing a checkbook, grocery shopping, budgeting their money and other daily responsibilities.
    In order to help students get an idea of life on their own, Curtis gives them a reality check.
    “I do what I call a ‘reverse budget.’ The students draw the name of a Nebraska town out of a hat—could be large or small. Then they find some kind of job, possibly at minimum wage,” she said.
    Next, they pick a model of car and get insurance quotes for it, find an apartment to rent, add in cost of utilities, a cell phone and health insurance.
    “I have them make a budget, taking their income minus all their expenses. They usually don’t have much more than $60 left for food for the month,” said Curtis.
    She explained that students can see the importance of an education and seeking a career that would allow them to earn more than minimum wage.

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