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Wharton Joins Normandy as Career & College Coordinator

NORMANDY, MO -- Dawna Wharton has joined the Normandy Schools Collaborative as its new Career and College Coordinator. In this newly created role, she will serve as a liaison with local businesses, universities and other agencies to help establish and coordinate post-secondary opportunities such as apprenticeships, internships and other career programs for Normandy students.  

     “I’m honored to join this dedicated team of educators who are committed to providing a wide range of opportunities for our students,” Wharton said. “I look forward to forging productive partnerships with the organizations and corporations who want to help change the lives of students by providing them with opportunities for a more secure future.”

     The Career and College Coordinator role fills a need to expose Normandy students to more opportunities in a technical or vocational area, or for students who may want to pursue career opportunities after earning their high school diploma. According to the 2018 State of St. Louis Workforce Report to the Region, 70 percent of all employers surveyed have jobs that only require short-term training.

     “We know that a four-year college education is a great pathway to a career, but we also know that there are other career options available that do not require a traditional college degree,” said Dr. Charles J. Pearson, Normandy Superintendent of Schools. “There are good-paying careers with a great future that a student can train for through other avenues – apprenticeships, internships or other training programs. These pathways can also support access to college for students who choose college later. Mrs. Wharton will help establish the programs and training opportunities to build upon our current programs like Culinary Arts, Entrepreneurship, and Fashion Design, as well as work with new partners to expand the career options we can offer to our students.”

     Prior to joining Normandy, Wharton worked as a Career & Technical Education (CTE) Specialist for St. Louis Public Schools, monitoring curriculum implementation, learning objectives, instructional strategies and assessment techniques for 25 CTE programs. Prior to that, she served as Apprenticeship Office Manager at St. Louis ArtWorks, adjunct instructor of fashion merchandising at Sanford-Brown College, and in other roles, including a 10-year stint as the owner of her own business, Urban Living Group LLC.

      Wharton is completing doctoral coursework in Educational Leadership from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She earned a master’s degree in teaching (business education) from Lindenwood University, and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from the University of Toledo in Ohio. Wharton serves as a committee member of the St. Louis Regional STEM Learning Ecosystem-Pathways to Workforce. She also belongs to the Association for Career and Technical Education, and the National Business Education Association.

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