The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

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A donation of $40 or more includes a subscription to the 2023-24 print issues of The Harbinger. We will mail a copy of our fall, winter, spring and graduation issues to the recipient of your choice. Your donation supports the student journalists of Algonquin Regional High School and allows our extracurricular publication to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

New Career Exploration and Innovation Leader introduces novel opportunities to Algonquin

Career+Exploration+and+Innovation+Leader+Michelle+Kaelin+is+looking+forward+to+help+bring+equitable+career+opportunities+to+students+at+Algonquin.
Priya Maraliga
Career Exploration and Innovation Leader Michelle Kaelin is looking forward to help bring equitable career opportunities to students at Algonquin.

Algonquin welcomes new Career Exploration and Innovation Leader Michelle Kaelin as part of an effort to increase inclusivity for students exploring future careers and pathways.

Administration and the Guidance department have developed the brand new staff position over the past few years, which seeks to bring equitable career opportunities to students. Enhancing career exploration and development services is one of administration’s key objectives of the year, as part of the School Improvement Plan

Excited to fill the role, Kaelin, a former Associate Director of Employer Relations at Worcester State University, embraced the chance to contribute to Algonquin’s community this school year. 

“I just took the chance to apply, went through the process and said, ‘let me just see what it’s like;’ it was kind of like my dream job,” Kaelin said. “I’m a parent in the community and was just excited about being able to make an impact here.”

Head of Guidance Lisa Connery emphasizes that Algonquin was looking for someone with a credible skillset and background in order to best help guide students. She recognized Kaelin’s dedication right away when interviewing candidates for the new position. 

“I think that [Kaelin] is committed and invested in helping students kind of find their pathway and supporting students in that,” Connery said. “I think there is a genuine interest and an openness to working with students.

I just took the chance to apply, went through the process and said, ‘let me just see what it’s like;’ it was kind of like my dream job. I’m a parent in the community and was just excited about being able to make an impact here.

— Career Exploration and Innovation Leader Michelle Kaelin

Kaelin has had a diverse career path herself, at first aspiring to be a high school English teacher to later working at various nonprofits and internship organizations. For the past 13 years, she worked as a college admissions consultant for high school seniors, where Kaelin discovered her passion for career counseling. 

“I have the dual background of education, teaching, writing, but also the career exploration and work-based learning experience,” Kaelin said.

Despite having loved her previous job at Worcester State, Kaelin was excited to be in a high school environment and to take on the challenge of further developing her new role at ARHS.

“The high expectations and visions that Algonquin has for its students and its community [stood out to me],” Kaelin said. “With this role in particular, it was really an opportunity to build on where Algonquin is [already] doing a lot of really cool things around career development.”

Since joining ARHS, Kaelin has been actively forging connections with community members across various fields, such as releasing a survey to parents who may be interested in contributing to career panels, informational interviews and more. She hopes to use these relationships to create a network of professionals and businesses accessible to students.

“What I’ve kind of been spending the past month trying to figure out and talk to people about is developing community partnerships,” Kaelin said. “Ultimately, I would like to develop a job shadow program for students to be able to go out and get a little bit of insight into a career field that they might be interested in. And then the big picture is looking at developing an internship program.”

These initiatives are aimed at creating more accessibility at Algonquin, where every student can find opportunities to discover their passions and explore career choices.

“I would say the whole point and purpose of [the new position] is to create equity and help all students move forward in their career exploration,” Connery said. “Some students might only have their nuclear family or might just be new to the area. They might not have those same opportunities and resources.”

Connery acknowledges that developing Kaelin’s position will take time, as many of these new programs are still in the works. Guidance counselors will continue to work with students one-on-one when meeting about post-graduate plans, but may choose to have students speak with Kaelin as well, creating some overlap. Nonetheless, Connery is optimistic about the positive impact a Career Exploration and Innovation Leader can bring to the community.

“I think we’re going to have to be patient because with all new things, it takes a little bit to build that up and to build capacity,” Connery said. “So I think we’ll just give a little bit of time to start finding those opportunities, and then I think it’s just going to be a tremendous resource for our students.”

As Kaelin works towards her innovative programs, she eagerly anticipates the positive transformations that lie ahead. And while she is yet to try the famous cafeteria cookies, Kaelin has had a smooth time acclimating to Algonquin. 

“It’s been great,” Kaelin said. “The staff and faculty have been super welcoming. It’s just a really great environment and culture here.”

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Donate to THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER
$1541
$2000
Contributed
Our Goal

A donation of $40 or more includes a subscription to the 2023-24 print issues of The Harbinger. We will mail a copy of our fall, winter, spring and graduation issues to the recipient of your choice. Your donation supports the student journalists of Algonquin Regional High School and allows our extracurricular publication to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

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About the Contributors
Ellie O’Connor
Ellie O’Connor, Online Editor
Ellie has been writing for the Harbinger ever since taking journalism in her sophomore year. Currently, as Online Editor, Ellie hopes to continue learning more and gaining experience in the club. Outside of the Harbinger, she runs cross country and track, enjoys reading, and hanging out with friends.
Priya Maraliga
Priya Maraliga, Photo Editor
Priya began taking photos for The Harbinger in her freshman year after taking Photojournalism. She quickly grew to love several types of photography and is constantly working to improve her skills. Priya is currently the Photo Editor alongside Katy O'Connell. She loves watching the photos taken by herself and other fellow photographers take their places in the paper. Outside Harbinger, Priya enjoys reading, listening to music, Formula 1 and participating in other clubs at Algonquin.
Donate to THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER
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