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Creating a place where teachers love to teach and students love to learn is something Little Elm ISD values. As students advance through different programs, a way to enrich their experience is to provide meaningful and relatable opportunities. Little Elm High School has 13 career pathways for students to explore while they attend high school. One of the careers students can choose to study is business and marketing. More than 200 students are currently enrolled in a business class, and most juniors and seniors enrolled in more advanced level practicum classes. When a student reaches practicum level, this is when classroom knowledge is applied to gain hands-on experiences. This year for the first time, FC Dallas took in five of our LEHS seniors to experience a business and marketing internship during the fall semester. These students earn practicum credit to satisfy their chosen high school career pathway. On Monday, Sarah Krueger, Abby Raftery, Issac Willis, Martha Paz, and Hazel Ibarra presented the work they completed the fall semester to an audience of Superintendent's Leadership Team members, FC Dallas Administrators, Renee Pentecost, principal and Rodger Hutley, Business and Marketing teacher.
Dressed in professional attire and decked out in FC Dallas apparel, each student presented information that define the scope of their internship. "We have met many people behind FC Dallas, and we feel they have helped us understand all the different aspects behind the name FC Dallas," said Raftery.
The students' presentation touched on the mission of FC Dallas, needs, demographic and audience reach and goals. "As adults, we encounter real-problems in our jobs. These students were finding solutions for real-world business problems during this practicum," said Dr. Tony Tipton, executive director for Marketing and Community Relations. Tipton opened the door wide for students when he landed the opportunity for the students. "When this idea first came about, we met with FC Dallas and really honestly gave them the best sales pitch about why they needed to partner with our students at LEHS. This semester has gone so well, that FC Dallas wants our kids back in the spring," said Tipton.
Kris Katseanes, vice president of Ticket Sales, sponsored the interns. "Everything Dr. Tipton bragged about was true. They (students) are some of the brightest. They learned how to manage a process which is very important in a business. They were able to set a goal, map it out, and execute it. The project they managed was handled very well. They were adaptive, creative, and it was a privilege to work with them," said Katseanes.
Krueger, one of the seniors on the internship team, said she saw the connection from her classroom learning. "We were able to understand and apply the terminology learned in the classroom and use it in the professional workplace. It taught us how to interact with business people. I was talking to other professionals and they were telling me as a high school student how this will give us an edge to our peers as we enter college. I am thankful to the CTE and to Little Elm ISD for this experience."