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Doug Huntley, superintendent of Queensbury Union Free school district. Photo courtesy Doug Huntley
Doug Huntley, superintendent of Queensbury Union Free school district. Photo courtesy Doug Huntley

Should schools teach career-specific skills earlier?

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Monday at St. Lawrence University, officials, educators and community leaders will gather for the 12th annual North Country Symposium. This year, the day-long conference will focus on sustaining the North Country's schools and ask how education can be more tightly woven into the fabric of North Country life.

One of the keynote speakers believes students need to begin pursuing the skills they'll need for a career earlier. Doug Huntley is superintendent of the Queensbury Union Free school district near Glens Falls, and a former superintendent of Massena Central schools.

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Huntley told David Sommerstein New York needs to move beyond the “one size fits all” standards based education of Regents diplomas and No Child Left Behind.

Instead, he says some, but not all, students should seek out career pathways early in high school, what's known as "an early college high school model", Huntley says, "for certain students, students who have an aptitude for hands-on learning, let’s say. They would begin a relationship with business, higher education, and the public school early in their high school career."

Huntley says Queensbury is already working with the local community college and several businesses to provide internships and mentoring opportunities.

Huntley will be one of the featured speakers at Monday’s North Country Symposium at St. Lawrence University.

Click "Listen" to hear David Sommerstein's full conversation with Doug Huntley.

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