Schools Rule: Jackson teacher prepares students for the work force

Jackson teacher prepares students for the work force
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 6:30 PM EST
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JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) - A teacher at Northwest Community Schools has dedicated her career to preparing students for the workforce.

The Jackson Area Manufacturers Association has awarded Randi Watts with the Educator of the Year award. Watts has been an educator for the last 21 years, but she wasn’t always an educator. She began her career in business.

Watts started off at her family business, Tri-County Water. During her time there, she realized what was important for employees to know when starting their careers.

“In the process of hiring and working with employees and so forth, I often thought, ‘What are we doing to prepare these people so when they come to business they know what they need to do?’” Watts said.

As an educator at Northwest High School, she helps students by preparing them for the work force -- a job, she said, she was meant to do.

“I really thought that I could help people be ready for a career and I thought that as my place,” Watts said. “I’ve been very passionate about trying to bring those kids of connections into the classroom.”

Watts has dedicated her teaching career to helping students become college and career ready. It’s her background in business that sets her apart from other teachers.

Working with Jackson businesses, she helped start the PACT Program, where students master personal management, adaptibility, communication and team work.

“We wanted to find a way for students to realize that some of the things they’re doing in school will actually transfer over into the work force,” Watts said.

The Jackson Area Manufacturing Association awarded Watts with the Educator of the Year award for her dedication to preparing the future work force.

“I’m very honored to be able to represent all of us in education that are trying to work to prepare our workforce,” Watts said.

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