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Students prepare for life after high school at annual conference

Live music by local singer/songwriter Todd Cummings greeted regional juniors and seniors while they made their way into the auditorium of Centennial Hall at Bloomsburg University for the start of the Columbia-Montour Transition conference. The event features encouraging speakers and breakout sessions that offer information and resources to aid students in the transition to life after high school.

The conference included inspirational Keynote Speaker, Amber Logan, an awards ceremony to honor students who have overcome obstacles on their path to becoming successful and breakout sessions on a variety of topics. Ms. Logan spoke proudly of her journey to become a successful and integral part of a workforce that advocates for helping others obtain the tools needed for life after high school. She spoke of challenges and triumphs she encountered along the way and about how far she has come from being an introverted high school student.

“I love that my work enables me to be able to give back and provide encouragement to others,” Ms. Logan told the students. “I now hold three part-time jobs and am an active member of the community.”

The Dr. Cynthia Schloss Transition Education Award is presented annually to a student from a school district within the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit region who demonstrates “a strong personal work ethic and commitment to preparation for adult life.”

Dr. Schloss was a valued member of the of the Bloomsburg University community and Transition Coordinating Councils. Because of Dr. Schloss’s unwavering assessments that all students have the potential to succeed, despite any barriers or challenges, the Transition Coordinating Council created an award in her honor. Schloss’s family presents monetary awards to students who demonstrate these qualities.

This year’s nominees were Dylan Gatrell of Southern Columbia Area School District, Sunny Girton of Millville Area School District, Haylee Keister of Danville Area School District, Matthew Riegel of Danville Area School District, Luis Rivera-Monserrate of Berwick Area School District, Megan Schmidtgall of Bloomsburg Area School District and Casy Sellers of Benton Area School District.

Retired Transition Consultant Andrew Hergan presented the award to first-place recipient, Haylee Keister. Her transition coordinator, Amy Willoughby said, “With her witty humor and friendly personality, Haylee has succeeded both at school and in the community.”

The conference allowed students to attend breakout sessions on various topics of interest including social media safety, career options offered by area employers, budgeting, drug awareness, impaired driving and essential skills for interviewing.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Navigate the Future.” The conference program cover was designed by Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School student Maggie Fausnaught.