For Waverly-Shell Rock junior Evan Ellsworth, this semester has been eye-opening into the career he aspires to fulfill one day: athletic director.
As part of the work experience program at Waverly-Shell Rock, Ellsworth has been working alongside activities director Dave Litterer. Throughout the fall semester, Ellsworth has completed a variety of tasks, including sorting athletic jerseys, folding towels, cleaning up stadiums after sporting events and more.
“My work experience has been pretty good for the most part,” Ellsworth said. “I’ve learned a lot from him [Litterer]. He’s taught me how to do things correctly, like folding towels and recycling stuff.”
Brian Foster, the work experience coordinator with the Central Rivers Area Education Agency, said the purpose of the work experience program at Waverly-Shell Rock is about fusing together the skills students learn in the classroom with those they learn in the job setting.
“We have several students placed within the community that develop soft skills, such as eye contact, handshakes, showing up on time, trustworthy, dependability, etc. to the actual hard skills of landing a job,” Foster said. “For Evan, he gained the responsibility for roles that the athletic director would fill. Our students are able to connect the academics they learn within the school setting to jobs and careers in the community.”
This semester, nearly 30 students participate in the work experience program between the Waverly-Shell Rock High School and the Lied Education Center. Students are placed at a variety of businesses throughout the community, including Pizza Ranch, McDonald’s, Hy-Vee, Fareway, Ecker’s Flowers, C & W at CUNA Mutual Group, Waverly Newspapers, Waverly-Shell Rock High School, City of Waverly Parks and Recreation Department, Waverly Child Care and Preschool, Jerry Roling Motors, Discoveries Learning Center, Trinkets & Togs, Retrieving Freedom, Waverly-Shell Rock Transportation Department and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School.
One of Ellsworth’s highlights of his work experience was sorting through the athletic jerseys for several Go-Hawk teams.
“That was pretty neat, because players sometimes need to find the right jersey that they want,” Ellsworth said.
Aside from doing the everyday tasks that an athletic director would, Ellsworth also wanted to give back to his school. To do that, he made a $50 donation to the Go-Hawk Performance Enhancement Center, the new weightlifting facility on the campus of Waverly-Shell Rock High School. Currently, the facility is $9,990 shy of their fundraising goal of over $800,000.
Ellsworth didn’t use his own funds for the donation, instead he collected plastic bottles, while cleaning up after Go-Hawk athletic events. After redeeming those bottles, Ellsworth had approximately $50 that he presented to Waverly-Shell Rock Strength and Conditioning Coach Chad Rinehart on Monday.
He came up with the idea of giving back to the GPEC building after realizing the final push for the project was here. Being part of the Waverly-Shell Rock cross country and track and field teams, Ellsworth will be one of the several student-athletes that will utilize the facility for training sessions.
“I just got the idea from wanting to get the GPEC up and going before the 2019 sports season,” Ellsworth said. “I recycled plastic bottles and other stuff from the stadium and inside the school.”
With the semester wrapping up around the holiday break, Ellsworth has had the chance to reflect on his work experience.
“I just wanted to gain some experience and knowledge within this job,” Ellsworth said. “This was something I was thinking about doing, after I get a college degree. You need a good background and experience to become an athletic director.”
Employers that are interested in partnering with the work experience program should contact school administrators, Dave Fox, Brady Weber, Donita Dettmer or work experience coordinator Brian Foster.