Westhoven Clears a Path as Pathways Coordinator

Westhoven helps students experience opportunities outside of school, including job shadowing, internships and other ways to get academic credit.  

Pathways+Coordinator%2C+Daniel+Westhoven

Alex Collins

Pathways Coordinator, Daniel Westhoven

Alex Collins, Ranger Review Reporter

Daniel Westhoven is the Pathways Coordinator at Greely High School.  He works with students from all grades to help them experience opportunities outside of school, including job shadowing, internships and other ways to get academic credit.  

Mr. Westhoven job entails many duties.  One of those is constantly reaching out to different businesses within the community to make contacts so when students ask if they can job shadow or intern in a certain field, the connection is already there.  When a student does reach out with an interest, Mr. Westhoven sets up one day “meet and greet” with a company and the relationship between the company and the student goes from there. If students realize through the experience that they are not interested in a certain field, then Mr. Westhoven goes back to the drawing board and works to find different opportunities for them.

“I see my role as partnering with students and helping them explore a possible dream or a real extreme interest that they may have,” said Westhoven. 

Mr. Westhoven believes these experiences are important because they allow students to learn in other environments besides the traditional classroom setting.  They also give students an idea of what jobs are out there for them after high school or college. 

“It gives an honest perspective of what really exists around them in certain industries and especially in southern Maine,” said Westhoven.  

Some students have already met with Mr. Westhoven and expressed their interests about what they want to do after college.  One of those students is Catie Briggs, who planned her pathways career the end of her junior year so that she could intern at at the Storey Smith Pediatric Clinic.  

Briggs has always been interested in working in the medical field after she graduates and this internship at the clinic reinforced that idea.  She also feels that she was well prepared for the internship herself, as Westhoven was there to help guide her through the process.

“I definitely feel that I have benefitted from it.  I originally wanted to go into physical therapy and after doing this, I realized it’s not what I want to do, so that was beneficial,” said Briggs. 

Additionally, an advisory committee is looking to revamp the current advisory program for next year in order to encourage and inform other students about experiences and opportunities outside of Greely High School. 

Principal Hoffmann, a member of the advisory committee,  wants the advisory program to be a more consistent experience for students and “become welcoming communities for all students.”  He hopes that advisories will  “have meaningful conversations and develop plans that will allow students to explore community service opportunities and careers of interest.”

All four grades will have separate goals, and Hoffman and Westhoven are hoping that all juniors will be able to participate in a field study.  The new advisories will be longer but will meet only twice a week. This extra time will allow students to have more time to engage with their peers and to learn and participate in other activities.  

“The vision…is to help students to prepare for what comes next,” said Westhoven. 

Hoffman also wants student input on the new advisory program and encourages students to reach out to him if they would like to help.