MS educators in Career Readiness Institute to prepare students for 21st Century

June 17th, 2015     City schools Community

A new group of 21st century-focused educators from several of America’s most innovative and successful schools and districts have a new support network to share and learn from in preparing their students for life and rewarding and self-sustaining lifelong careers. Doing so is important for our students and also for American industry and society as a whole. The not-for-profit Successful Practices Network (SPN), an education research and school improvement organization headquartered in Albany, New York, has just launched its national Career Readiness Institute (CRI).


CRI membership is open to any school across the nation that seeks to help their students graduate from high school, not just college ready, but also better prepared for adult life, meaningful employability, and success as responsible and productive family members, consumers, and citizens. CRI membership provides free coaching and resources and connects like-minded members with one another for the sharing of ideas. (Information and membership application information are provided below.)


Charter Member Introduction Orientation Gathering.  The charter members of CRI — representing 9 states from the northeast to California, and from Wisconsin to Texas — had a chance to introduce themselves and to meet and greet one another, as well as the CRI staff, at a 90-minute, after-school online gathering and webinar on April 16. School leaders from each school or district introduced themselves and their schools and shared examples of their own most-promising and proven career-readiness practices. That sharing of ideas included a wide and intriguing range of strategies and approaches related to enhancing their own students’ career readiness, including:

  • maintaining individual academic and career interest plans for every student, beginning in elementary grades
  • focusing on “non-cognitive” success/employability skills and attitudes needed for academic/adult life success
  • involving parents and local business advisors in curriculum and instruction
  • providing industry-oriented career pathways and academies, including STEM and STEAM programs
  • offering college-credit (dual-credit/advanced credit) courses and industry certifications to high school students
  • and many more


Members were also given an introduction by CRI Chief Academic Officer Dr. Richard (Dick) Jones to one of many CRI member resources available at no charge: The Career (and College) Readiness Self-Assessment Guide.


Several enthused members indicated their intent to reach out immediately to one or more of their new-found colleagues and peer advisers to learn more about (and potentially adapt and adopt) specific practices and processes that had been shared.


Mississippians among charter members introduced

The new members welcomed at the event included:

  • Brian Bailey – Henderson High School, KY
  • Steve Reed and David Rockers – Joplin High School, MO
  • Nicole Hochholzer –  Kaukauna High School, WI
  • Nikki Miller – Marion Jr./Sr. High School, NY
  • Clark Mershon –  Staley High School, North Kansas City, MO
  • Rebecca Cook – La Quinta High School, CA
  • Dr. Chuck Garrett – Create Foundation, MS, and Lance Evans,  New Albany High School, MS
  • William Bradley – Canadian Valley Tech Center, OK
  • Vernon Tenney – Canandaigua Academy, NY
  • Jaared Scott and Michelle Kenyon – Francis Tuttle Tech Center, OK
  • Al Fabrizio – Martin County High School, FL
  • Kathy Southwell – East Syracuse High School, Minoa, NY
  • Louis Martinez – Bel Air High School, Ysleta ISD, TX
Chuck Garrett, Senior Consultant, Create Foundation

Chuck Garrett, Senior Consultant, Create Foundation

The Career Readiness Institute (CRI)

Forward-thinking educators join the Career Readiness Institute (CRI) to find the inspiration, resources, support, and peer networking they can use to help ensure that our students graduate prepared for both college (or other pathways to adulthood) AND fulfilling, responsible, self-sustaining careers. or contact Gretchen at or (518) 723-2052.


The Successful Practices Network (SPN)

The Successful Practices Network (SPN) at is a national not-for-profit organization committed to supporting schools in achieving a culture of rigor, relevance, and relationships for all students. SPN works with schools, districts, regional education centers, state departments of education, and other partner organizations to provide resources, best practices, data, research, and technical assistance. (518) 723-2063 or

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