Claire Ferrell is a senior at HHS. Her internship is taking place at Hennessey Elementary with long-time first-grade teacher, Gerri Russell. 

Claire has been in the Hennessey School system since kindergarten and now as a high school student, she has been a member of the HHS band for four years and has been a member of the National Honor Society for several years. In addition to her school activities and family time, she has worked for the Hennessey Veterinary Clinic since she was in the eighth grade.   

Claire is interested in Early Childhood Education. There wasn’t a single definitive moment when she decided on this, but rather a realization that she came to after years of working around children at church and in her own home. Clair feels fortunate to be working under the guidance and knowledge provided by her mentor, Mrs. Russell, who has been working in the field of education for over 35 years. Claire has stated that her favorite thing about the internship is watching the students learn.

Adaptability is the answer Mrs. Russell provided when asked to define Claire in one word. She went on to explain that every day there is an element of surprise for Claire when she enters her classroom. However, no matter the tasks at hand, Claire approaches each one and completes it with pleasure! After graduation, Claire is planning on obtaining a degree in Early Childhood Education from Harding University located in Searcy, Arkansas. 

Jara Simunek is a senior at HHS. She was born in Oklahoma City. She spent several years in Bixby, Oklahoma before moving to Hennessey and beginning school here in third grade. 

She is currently the president of the FCCLA organization of HHS. She also served the organization as vice president during her 9th, 10th and 11th grade years and handled all of the social media tasks.

Jara is currently interning with HHS secretary, Carolina Villalobos. She is taking a slightly different pathway for her internship. Jara plans on becoming a certified welder, but she has chosen to work in the HHS administrative office to become more comfortable with her communication skills.  She knows that communicating effectively is an extremely important skill for success in almost all careers, and she decided her extra time available in high school was better served developing what can be described through the internship curriculum as her “soft skills”.  

Jara grew up on a farm, the exposure to farm living sparked her interest in welding. Growing up, she observed her father and uncle weld and she began to experiment herself with her father’s blessing. Jara’s father has mentioned to her more than once that she is a better welder than he is.  

Jara plans on attending a vocational/technology school to earn her certification in welding. She eventually desires to become a traveling welder. 

Both Claire and Jara are part of the Hennessey School Career & Internship Program.  This program, directed by Kim Hallmark matches students with business allowing them to experience real-life day-to-day operations in a career field they have an interest in.