Impactful Interns: How students help Cedar Teachers

Teachers and staff at Cedar Shoals work hard every day, so sometimes they may need a little help. This is where student internships come in, giving a small handful of students a different experience as part of their schedules. Student interns can currently be found in the library, graphic design, marketing and Spanish classes, and even some academic subjects.

In the Cedar Shoals library, interns help the librarians with organizing or cataloging books, helping other students, laminating, cleaning and helping out with events.

“It is so helpful to have interns in the library. The library is a very big space that is really difficult to manage, even with two librarians in here and a student support technician. It’s hard to get everything done that you need to get done,“ media specialist Megan Ogden said.

Several after-school club meetings take place in the library, and library interns help to set up those meetings.

“I really enjoy working on things for book club. I think it’s a really valuable experience to everyone who’s in book club, and I’m happy that I get to be a part of cultivating that environment,” library intern Finn McGreevy, junior, said.

Along with helping with housekeeping around the library, interns participate in special events relating to the library, which senior Samirah Burrel highlights as one of her favorite parts of her internship.

“I was able to go on (the selfie museum) field trip, even though I wasn’t even in (graphic design),” Burrel said.

Library interns joined graphic design class on the field trip to the selfie museum so they could effectively help make the scenes. Without the help of library interns, school activities like the selfie museum would not be able to happen, as two librarians wouldn’t be able to do all of the work.

“There’s so many things that we have only been able to do because of the interns like the selfie museum. (Seniors) Mia McDonald and Addison Shockley were amazing because they were workhorses. We had to troubleshoot and figure stuff out. None of us had ever done a selfie museum before and they were instrumental in being an extra pair of hands,” graphic design teacher Christine Graziano said.

LOVE FOR THE LIBRARY: Junior Finn McGreevy laminates papers in the library for her library internship. Laminating is a small part of what makes the library special to McGreevy. “I really love the environment that Ms. Hogan and Ms. Ogden have made in the library. I love working with books, I’ll often shelve books and get so distracted by what the book is and want to read it,” McGreevy said. Photo by Lilly Cohen.

McDonald interns for both the library and graphic design.

“I don’t go to the graphic design classroom because in her fourth period there’s no room for me. We decided that I could stay in (the library) and just help Ms. Graziano when she needs it and I also help the librarians,” McDonald said.

Graphic design interns help their teachers by running errands to the library or helping explain work to students and offering one on one advice on their projects.

“My favorite part is knowing that you helped someone with their work,” Austin Chang, a senior who is a graphic design intern, said.

Anna Howard, a graphic arts teacher who is a new teacher at Cedar, finds her interns to be helpful. She wishes she had them in every class.

“I would love to have interns for (all of my) classes, they definitely help make things go a little smoother. When you have one teacher for 30+ kids, it’s hard to get around to everybody,” Howard said.

Interns for marketing complete a variety of tasks, all of which would be overwhelming for their teacher Amy Manley to do alone. Mostly, they will help out with grading work and the Jag Shop.

“They help take inventory of the merchandise, they help keep the Jag Shop clean by vacuuming, dusting and wiping down glass. They help me tag items, especially new items.  We have a steamer so they can steam clothes, and they take photos for me. We now have a whole website and they helped put together the website. They can also help run the shop,” Manley said.

Senior Ashley Alas currently runs her own business as a nail tech. She says that her marketing internship provides a unique experience similar to working in retail.

“I learn a lot about how to run a business and (Ms. Manley) gives me advice… right now I’m a nail tech, in the future I want to go more into that,” Alas said.

Junior and library intern Finn McGreevy has found her experience while interning to help her by learning to work with other people or her peers.

“(I have learned about) being patient with myself and being patient with others, also how important it is to me to really understand where things go…especially if you want to be helpful to other students who come into the library,” McGreevy said.

Interns who do work based learning will receive Google Classroom assignments from Tammy Caudell, the head of work based learning at Cedar, in order to make up their grade as well as a monthly sheet to track how much time they’ve worked. Additionally, students must take one CTAE course in order to intern. 

“An internship is really great for students who are typically juniors and seniors…it’s a really great way to jumpstart your resume and get skills like working skills that are different from academia.  There’s a lot to learn from working for someone,” Manley said.

Lilly Cohen

Sophomore Lilly Cohen is a new staff writer for Cedar BluePrints. While she is unsure, she thinks she would enjoy majoring in psychology after high school and eventually become a criminal psychologist. Her favorite thing about journalism is the independence it provides.

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