DELAVAN — In an effort to ensure all Delavan-Darien High School students are college and career ready with needed 21st Century skills, the district has hired an experienced educator to fill the new role of Director of Careers and Occupations.
Cynthia Yager comes to the Delavan-Darien School District to both develop and expand the district’s relationship with area employers and post-secondary schools. She’ll also teach the new Family and Consumer Education courses being offered at DDHS — Child Development and Interior Design.
“I’m excited about bringing back the Family and Consumer Education program to the district. The benefits of those courses offer great opportunities for all students,” she said. “As far as the career development side, that’s often the missing link in the college to career education component at high schools. We’re often focused on just the college aspect that sometimes we forget that students are already looking to get into a career. We have to lay out the pathways to get them where they want to go, whether it’s through a certificate program, a two-year college, a four-year college or a master’s program.”
In addition to fostering relationships with area technical colleges and universities, Yager will also look to forge partnerships with area employers to give students expanded opportunities for on-the-job training through the Youth Apprenticeship program.
The two classes she’ll teach this year are open to all students. Child Development focuses on the biological, psychological and social development of a child, as well as some parenting skills and careers involved with children. Interior Design includes instruction on home décor and remodeling, materials, planning and careers in the industry.
Yager has much experience in her field. She has teaching and administration experience in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. Her last position was as a long-term substitute of Family and Consumer Education at Muskego-Norway High School and Bay Lane Middle School in Muskego. Prior to that, she was the System Director for Career Education Associates of North Central Illinois (Rockford). There, she coordinated career and technical education programs and curriculum in three counties, including 15 high schools. She was also responsible for writing and maintaining Perkins, CTEI and other grants related to career and technical education; started a Career College concept with a local community college to enhance regional program offerings to high schools in the area; and participated in school improvement and community based committees that dealt with work-based learning and career development for students.
Yager has taught middle and high school Family and Consumer Education at multiple school districts and for a brief time was a co-owner and manager of a formalwear retail store.
She has a Master’s degree in Education, Administration and Supervision, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Education – Vocational Home Economics (K-12).
Also added this year was a district registrar.
Kathryn Halpern, who previously worked nearby for the School District of Beloit, will be in charge of maintaining student records, student enrollment, and state data reporting for the district. She’ll look to develop efficiencies in district procedures and seek to eliminate potential errors in record keeping.
The district currently uses PowerSchool as its student information system. Halpern will evaluate PowerSchool and explore other available student database software systems to bring maximum benefit to the district, Superintendent Robert Crist said.
Halpern helped set up the central enrollment office for the School District of Beloit, where she worked since 2008. She also worked in the technology department there as a data systems analyst and managed the student information system and state data reporting for Beloit schools.
“I’m looking forward to being a part of a dedicated and enthusiastic team and supporting the students as we prepare them for a successful future,” Halpern said.
Halpern has a degree in Human Resources from he State University of New York — Empire State College. She has held other positions in the private sector in human resources, which involved similar, large-scale employee management software systems.