Teachers from QHS, Unity recognized as Career Guidance Team celebrates area educators

May 19, 2024 | By Muddy River News

From left, Luke Niederhauser, member of Career Guidance Team; Madison Badgley, director of business development for the Great River Economic Development Foundation; Lexi Brumbaugh; Evelyn Morrison with the Quincy Area Vocational and Technical Center; and Gena Finley with the Quincy Area Vocational and Technical Center and chair of the Career Guidance Team. | Photo courtesy of Great River Economic Development Foundation

ADAMS COUNTY, Ill. — One teacher from an Adams County school and one teacher from a Quincy school were recognized as the Adams County Career Guidance Team celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week May 6-10.

The Adams County Career Guidance Team’s mission is to encourage and foster awareness of careers, educate youths and job seekers about area career opportunities and build connections between families and local employers. This event was developed to identify teachers who are incorporating career exploration into their classrooms.

Lexi Brumbaugh from Quincy High School and Bobbette Keefe from Unity High School in Mendon were celebrated on May 7. Each teacher was presented with a basket filled with donations from local businesses.

Keefe is a science teacher at Unity High School. She introduces career exploration into her anatomy and physiology class by inviting in Kerby Roberts, a registered respiratory therapist from Blessing Hospital. Roberts talked to students about what a registered respiratory therapist does and the severe shortage of them in the healthcare field. Roberts brought with her pig lungs and a human model torso, and students got to try intubating a patient and provided information and ways to job shadow her at Blessing Hospital to learn what she does.

Brumbaugh is an art teacher at Quincy High School. She brings the outside art world into all her classes, especially her advanced studio class. She enters her students into art shows to show them what other artwork is like out there and inspire them to create art for sale as freelance work. Her students attend College Fine Arts Day at Culver-Stockton College. The students create mural paintings for the high school and the windows at Hy-Vee for their summer celebration. Brumbaugh shows her students they can be an artist or art teacher, museum curator, graphic designer, interior designer, an Illustrator for medical books and more.

In a press release, Gena Finley, chair of the Adams County Works Career Guidance Team and program coordinator for Quincy Area Vocational Technical Center, said, “Our team cannot do any of this without teachers providing unique opportunities to explore careers in the classroom. We appreciate all that teachers do to help their students and want to give them the recognition they deserve. This is our small way of letting them know how much they are appreciated.”

The Adams County Career Guidance Team is comprised of members from the Great River Economic Development Foundation, Workforce Innovation Board of Western Illinois, QAVTC, John Wood Community College, Junior Achievement, IDES, school counselors and area employers. Their goal is to help facilitate learning about the wide variety of career opportunities in Adams County and promote career exploration.

From left, Josh Arnsman, principal at Unity Middle School/Unity High School, Bobbette Keefe and Madison Badgley, director of business development for the Great River Economic Development Foundation. | Photo courtesy of Great River Economic Development Foundation