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From Future Educators to a Full-Time Job: OHS Seniors Announce Plans for Future

It's a busy month for Ozark High School students as seniors finalize their plans for next year and beyond. The first week in May, eight students publicly announced their future plans, some planning to become future educators and some already have a job lined up. 


Educator's Rising Signing

Six Ozark Seniors Sign to be Future Educators 


On May 2, six OHS students committed to continuing their education to become educators themselves. Four of the six will start at OTC to get their associates as a part of the A+ program before transferring to Missouri State to finish out their bachelors degrees. The other two will head directly to Missouri State. All six are a part of Educators Rising, a career and technical student organization (CTSO) with intra-curricular learning opportunities integrated into existing education and training programs. Students compete in a variety of categories covering education.


Congratulations to the following: 


Nicole Simmons 

  • OTC/Missouri State 

  • Hopes to teach third grade, but also get her counseling certificate

  • “Nicole is the current president of Future Teachers of America and Educators Rising, and is a positive example of what it looks like to yearn for a career in education. She is going to do such great things in the educational community and in the world someday and I can’t wait to see that journey begin for her,” Trista Hilton, OHS sponsor of Educators Rising, said.


Baylee Jackman 

  • OTC/Missouri State 

  • Hopes to teach Early Childhood Education (wants to teach at Tiger Paw)

  • “I will miss having Baylee in class but I feel comforted knowing that she will be working toward her dream of being a Tiger Paw teacher. I can’t wait for her to become a teacher someday because she is going to impact so many little lives and that’s what it's all about.” Hilton said. 


Brooklyn Jackman 

  • OTC/Missouri State 

  • Hopes to teach art at the middle or high school level

  • “She has grown so much since she first walked into my classroom her sophomore year, and I am so proud of all that she has accomplished. Brooklyn, I look forward to teaching with you someday and you are to fit in perfectly with all those cool art teachers. You’re going to impact so many students and I can’t wait to see where life takes you,” Hilton said.


Jadyn Dalton 

  • MSU 

  • Double major in early childhood education and interior design, hopes to teach preschool and be an interior designer

  • “Jadyn has been a delightful and energetic part of our educators in training program. She has always been one of the top childhood development students as she completed her course work and internships at Tiger Paw. Her cooperating teachers always gloated about Jadyn and how much she will be missed,” Hilton said.


Colby Scoggins 

  • MSU 

  • Hopes to teach Early Childhood Education, spent 100 hours interning at Tiger Paw over the past couple of years

  • “When I first met Colby I didn’t think he was going to enjoy preparing lessons and activities for kids at Tiger Paw or even reading books and interacting with them. At first, I could tell he was a little apprehensive, but by the end of the semester he was an absolute pro. I was amazed at how much he connected with his students and how much they loved him. It was like a switch flipped and this kid was destined to work with preschoolers,” Hilton said.


Noelle Pearcy 

  • OTC/Missouri State University 

  • Hopes to teach second or third grade, possibly even special education

  • “She will be a wonderful teacher regardless of what she teaches. She has currently done over 100 hours of internships combined between Tiger Paw and South Elementary. Her cooperating teachers adore her and always have the best things to say,” Hilton said.

Bear Power Signing


OHS Student Signs with Bear Power 


OHS Senior Echo Vaughn is ready to take the next steps in her education. On May 4, Echo signed with Missouri State to be a part of the Bear Power program, the first Ozark student to do so. 


“She’s done a great job and I think this program will be perfect for her, and I can’t wait to see what she does in it and I think she will set a great example for future students,” Paraprofessional Shannon McCarthy said. 


Bear POWER (Promoting Opportunities for Work, Education and Resilience) is a program for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This program follows high school graduation. Those in the program earn a non-degree certificate and upon graduation, they will be ready to find a job that matches their  skills and dreams.


After completing the program, Echo wants to become a published author. 


James Daniel Signing


OHS Grad to Pursue Automotive Career


OHS Senior James Daniel knows what he wants to do in his next chapter, and he even has the job to prove it. Daniel officially accepted a full-time position with Christian Brothers Automotive in Springfield during a signing celebration May 3 at the Career Center. 


“I’m really excited because it’s a really good opportunity,” Daniel said. “He’s a good employer and it’s the career path I want to take.”


Daniel, who has been working as an intern at Christian Brothers Automotive, said the OHS auto tech program and teacher Dean Ulrich not only taught him about the automotive industry, but helped him to get his ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certification.