Karlie PaytonKarlie Payton has worked this year helping many at-risk students complete coursework to keep them on the path to graduate.

     Karlie Payton has worn several hats in her short time at Pickaway-Ross.

     A graduate of Unioto High School, Karlie had completed two years at Wilmington College when she took a year off to be with family.

     As a high school freshman, Karlie was a student of Lisa Corcoran-Detty’s. The pair  kept in touch and when a special services aide position opened at the career center, Lisa, now assistant principal at Pickaway-Ross, contacted Karlie.

     “I thought of Karlie for this position because she has expressed an interest in working with at-risk populations,” Lisa said. “I thought this might be a good opportunity for her to work with a population of at-risk youth.”

     While at Wilmington she was studying social work and psychology with the goal of being a hospital social worker.

     “I enjoy helping people and not knowing what you're going to see each day. But since I've worked here, I've looked more into being a social worker in a school because I've realized, you know, it's a school year here, five days a week, but you still have no idea what you're going to see throughout the week and what the days will bring.”

     Karlie got a taste of that this year, starting as a special services aide working with Beth Hunt.

     “Then it became evident that they needed help with the driving simulator, so I got thrown into that, figured out what kids we wanted to put on the schedule and then that evolved into being a consistent monitor for the (online credit-recovery) courses, so I moved over to that full time.”

     Principal Josh Younge said, “Karlie did a wonderful job working with several of our at-risk students. She kept them on task, helped them complete credit-recovery courses, and made sure that many of them met the curriculum requirements for graduation. In addition, Karlie managed the driving simulator and helped several students get the experience they needed to complete driver’s education.”

     After a year as a teacher, Karlie said she enjoyed all of the roles she’s had but liked interacting with the students best.

     “I think that definitely being in the classroom with the kids, talking to them and helping them made me realize I do want to go back to school and finish my social work (studies).

     Karlie will return to college in the fall, attending online classes to be closer to home.