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Shawn Grossnickle, a teacher at Fort Dodge Senior High Alternative School, is working with a student last school year.

I love working with children, especially children who are not traditional. As a teenager, school was never my favorite place. I wasn’t in a hassle or anything; I would just have preferred to have been somewhere else. And I wholeheartedly believe that all kids need a reason to be around, a reason to get them back to school, so this has become my reason to do what I do and how I do.

I was lucky enough to literally stumble into the greatest job ever. I didn’t even know there was a job like this until I left college and Jerry Einwalter asked me if I would like to get into the alternative program. I said yes! Absolutely! Ah. What is an alternative program? ”And that was almost 30 years ago. There’s not much about this job that I don’t absolutely love.

We try some new things to encourage our kids to set their own goals, assess their progress towards graduation, and their course as needed

When a student or parent contacts me, even years later, and tells me they appreciate how much the alternative program has helped them or one of their children.

When you work on a concept with a student work that he’s struggling with and suddenly it just hits him. You can actually see it.

To the horror of my wife when the school bell rings at 3pm. I’m not out of the clock. I am a teacher in an alternative school and I am never free. I have parents and children who contact me until 11 a.m. If you need help, I’ll be available.

I love this job so I’ll probably die with a whiteboard marker in hand.

It’s almost impossible to do what you want to do yourself whether you are a student or an employee of the school. We need each other to coach our whole group. Ask for help when something doesn’t work the way you want it to. Encourage each other to get out of their comfort zone and grow.

Editor’s Note: This Q& A features high performing Fort Dodge Senior High seniors throughout the school …

Fort Dodge Senior High vocal music students students recently participated virtually in solo and …

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