Hibbing High School to Launch Career Academies

Renee Passal
Updated: March 15, 2019 07:11 PM

There's going to be a new way to learn at the Hibbing High School this fall. And 170 students have signed up for it.

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It's called the Career Academy Program, and will give students a choice of six different focus areas: building and trades, education and childcare, engineering, engineering technologies, health careers and performing arts and communications.

"I think it's amazing. I think there should be more opportunities like this in high school, and more courses about what we want to go into," shared Kasey Jo Renskers. She's a freshman who signed up for the engineering academy. "I really want to go into aerospace engineering."

John Larrabee is a junior who signed up for the trades academy. "I want to be a heavy equipment operator. It puts you more in the path of where you want to be. Job shadowing is going to be cool, to be able to be with the people who work in the community."

School leaders are building on what has already been successful for Hibbing. For example, in the shops classes, students like Justin Johnson and Ryne Sampson are heading over to L&M Radiator, for 12 hours of experience in a real work environment. Johnson said it was great being able to build a project. "I got to try out all the equipment they have. I can't wait to go back, he shared.

Sampson hasn't been yet, but is looking forward to it. "I think it's a really good opportunity. I like working with my hands," he said.

They also head out for two hours a day to help build a Habitat for Humanity House. Johnson added, "It's great to give back to the community."

One of the STEM coordinators at Hibbing is longtime science teacher Shanna Eskeli. "Students will now have the ability to decide if they want to go down a four year path, two year path, or right into the workforce. We have some career academies where you can get certified and right into the field after graduation." She is very excited to help students find their way even faster.

The goal is to give kids a leg up on what they want to do, before they enter college. Sometimes college isn't for everyone. And it can be an expensive way to figure out your likes and dislikes.  Hibbing leaders checked out the academy models in Alexandria and Bemidji, before coming up with their plan.

Students opt-in, so it's not required to try. 

The program does need help from area businesses, for the job shadowing, internships, and work-based learning experiences. There's a meeting coming up on April 4th, from 1-3pm, at the high school in the conference room.

If you can't come to the meeting, you can still reach the instructors: or


Renee Passal

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