Staff Spotlight: Rob Stewart, Advanced Learning Specialist

While many graduating high school students plan to attend college, there’s no shortage of alternative paths that students can take. At Options Schools, we help our students explore all of the possibilities after high school and get them on track to their goals & dreams.

The 2021-2022 school year is nearly two months underway. As our upperclassmen begin thinking about what’s next after graduation, we sat down with Advanced Learning Specialist Rob Stewart to talk about his role and how Options can prepare students to navigate life after high school, driven and confident.

If you’d like to learn more about our campuses or online learning program, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today!

What is your history in education?

I went through the Transition-to-Teaching program and got an English degree and didn’t know what I was doing with it. Teaching was an option, and it seemed like something I could actually do. I had some internships and gained teaching experience at Arsenal Tech and Fall Creek Valley. That’s where I did my student teaching. I did some substitute teaching ‒ and then Options hired me.

What made you consider education?

It’s not particularly easy to get a job with an English degree. My step-sister went through the Transition-to-Teaching program. She told me about it. Initially, I saw it as a career opportunity to build upon, and then eventually, I began to think about the kind of educator I would’ve wanted when I was younger and how I could become this educator.

What has it been like being here for a decade?

Initially, I came inexperienced. When I first got here, the focus was to build a class, keep the kids engaged, raise test scores, and get an English curriculum going. Eventually, I started moving, gained a voice here, and came up with new ideas and ways to help. Now, our focus is on preparing students for beyond the classroom.

I’ve helped with Options’ evening school. That was the first online learning program we created. As I stayed longer, I became a mentor to other teachers and helped develop curriculums for different types of diplomas. I brainstorm a lot of different things and ideas. Now I’m in the role of Career and Academic Advisor. I look at things we need and see where I can help and fill in those pieces.

What has it been like with your current role?

We’re good at getting kids who don’t have a shot to graduate ‒ but what’s after that? We weren’t certain what their next steps could be. I wanted to focus on that.

I was the first to establish adult credit here. This is really great. This is something we can do. Ever since then, I’ve been adding more to my plate and we’re trying to expand that to our students. College credit courses are not meant to single out college-ready students. Students who pursue trades can also get college credit.

Historically our students don’t typically jump straight into a four-year university. I think it’s nice to create longer transitions for our students, implement career classes, figure out where kids want to go, and then be that transition to where they’re taking classes here, feeling comfortable, and then they have the confidence to finish these classes when they move on.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I spend a lot of time with my family. I have three kids. In my spare time, I play video games. I was really into NBA 2K when I was younger. I was one of the best players in the world and I was winning tournaments weekly, but I don’t play nearly as much now.

Helping Our Students Explore All of Their Options

Every student is unique in their post-high school pursuits. Whether your student is considering college, vocational school, the armed forces, work, or is undecided about their next steps, Options Charter School is here to get them where they want to be.

We’re unlike conventional high schools. At Options, our students learn at their own pace and receive the guidance they need to set down on the path to success. If you’d like to learn more about our campuses or online learning program, contact us today! We look forward to speaking with you.