Killingly High School Career Pathway Celebration

Killingly High School Career Pathway Celebration

By Karen Lagace, Career Pathways Coordinator, Killingly High School


On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 74 students, all of whom have completed one or more of the 22 Career Pathways offered at Killingly High School, were recognized at the annual Career Pathways Celebration. These students will also be given a Career Pathway medallion and will be recognized at their graduation.

Killingly High School Career Pathways lead students in the direction of their personal and professional goals, giving them the opportunity to earn free college credit while in high school, develop leadership skills, and explore career options. Students must take a series of courses including math, technology, communication, science as well as courses within their specific career path to be considered a Career Pathway Completer.

During this year's celebration, fourteen KHS alumni were inducted into the newly formed Career Pathway Hall of Fame. The alumni, who were chosen by their Career Pathway teachers, have completed their post-secondary education and/or acquired a job in their field. The successes these alumni have experienced since graduating KHS were very inspiring. One alumnus in particular, Michael Herklots, a 1998 KHS graduate and a 2002 graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, has been very successful in his career as well as in supporting his alma mater Killingly High School. 

Every year, Herklots holds two events to celebrate his birthday and raise money for the KHS Learning for Life Fund, which was set up to supplement funding for the Career Pathways Programs. He attracts guests from throughout the United States and as far as The Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua. At his birthday celebration he raffles and auctions items, which have been donated by his friends and associates. “This isn’t my generosity, I’m just the host. It is about the generosity of hundreds of people from around the world who believe in the young people in Killingly” said Herklots. Nine years ago at his first birthday auction he raised $2500 for the Learning for Life Fund. Every year the fundraising donations grew and grew. Last year he raised $75,000 and this year at the Career Pathway Celebration, Herklots presented a donation to Karen Lagace, KHS Career Coordinator, in the amount of $85,000 for the Learning for Life Fund, bringing the total amount raised since 2005 to $330,000.

Michael Herklots is truly an inspirational alumnus and motivational speaker! He has inspired KHS students and alumni to not only strive to be their best, but to give back in any way they can to their school. One 2009 KHS alumnus, who has a degree in Nursing, was so inspired by the Celebration and Michael Herklots, that she wants to go back to school to become a teacher and help reinstate the Allied Health Pathway in the future. Another, alumnus from the class of 2011 would like to follow in Michael Herklots footsteps and also hold fundraisers to help support the Learning for Life Fund.

The Learning for Life fund is a supplemental fund, which helps KHS Career Pathways partially fund student organization competitions, job shadows, speakers, field trips and events within each of the 22 Career Pathways. Students must fundraise for any of these events or activities and then apply to supplement for any funds they could not raise. Students greatly benefit from the donations that support KHS Career Pathways, which enable them to explore their personal career path!