Educator helps pave the road through college
Nancy Shipley, supervisor for District 128's Business, Applied Technology and Family and Health Departments, teaches two classes per day and is the district's Vocational Department supervisor. | Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 2, 2012 10:12PM
The transition from high school to college is almost as difficult as it is from college to the workforce, but Nancy Shipley has been helping Vernon Hills High School’s students through that predicament for more than 10 years.
“I have a passion for helping students follow through with their education post-high school, whether it be vocational or technical school or college,” Shipley said.
As the high school’s applied arts supervisor and vocational director, Shipley has worked tirelessly to prepare students for their future through a combination of internship and business programs.
After taking on an additional role as the chair of the GLMV Chamber of Commerce’s Dollars for Scholars program last year, Shipley’s also been focusing on ways to help students afford their college education.
“Students get more help their freshman year (of college), and it dwindles off after that,” Shipley said. “Sometimes it has such an impact that it forces them to quit school.”
The chamber’s DFS program is an affiliate of Scholarship America, a national nonprofit student aid service organization that has awarded $2.7 billion to 1.8 million students since 1958. The chamber’s local chapter offers scholarships to students in Libertyville, Mundelein and Vernon Hills High School.
She explained that the program’s goal is to continue to help those students through all four years of college. So far, Shipley has raised $1,500 from area businesses for this year’s scholarship fund, and is committed to surpassing last year’s $3,500 total with the help of its second annual “Battle of the Bands” in February.
“Nancy’s passion and enthusiasm for education is infectious,” GLMV Executive Director Alese Campbell said. “We greatly appreciate all she has done to help the Chamber provide opportunities for education to local residents.”
Shipley’s devotion to career-related education has proved to benefit past students in a big way.
Her district-wide business internship program was a large part of the reason former VHHS student Brain Rhoades was able to land his current job at Microsoft.
Had Rhoades not enrolled in the program that had him starting and leaving school early to work at Baxter Credit Union in Vernon Hills, Shipley explained that it likely would have been more difficult for him to compete with applicants from renowned technical schools.
Some of the program’s other interns have landed jobs at places like Advocate Condell Medical Center and Grainger Industrial Supply.
A decline in enrollment in the business internship program during the past few years has forced her to suspend the effort. She attributes the reduced interest to more students taking
Advance Placement classes and participating in additional extracurricular activities in an effort to stick out to colleges.
Shipley continues, however, to facilitate the development of programs that help students reach their full potential. Some of those include Program Assisting With Success (P.A.W.S.) and her Career Advisory Council’s interview project that allows students to gain experience with professional interviews.
“I think everyone deserves a positive high school experience,” Shipley said.