Each year, graduates leave the halls of Geneva High School (GHS) to pursue careers in college, the workforce and beyond. In an effort to keep track of the major accomplishments, career successes and lives of these GHS grads, the school district is building a database with the help of Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Director of Conference and Events Erica Cooney-Connor, Director of Advancement Services Karen Reuscher and Ryan Sollenne ’15 – all GHS grads — are working to create the database as part of the Geneva 2020 Initiative. The networking tool will be used to connect students with community members who have internships, jobs, and mentorship possibilities. It will also allow for a direct communication stream that can be used to share information.
“There is a vested interest among alums to help,” says Cooney-Connor. “However, many of them have never been asked.”
First conceived by Geneva City School District Social Worker Susan McGowan, Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning Katie Flowers and Director of Development Casey Peterson, the database will serve as a depository of home and business data so that the school will be able to remain in contact with its graduates well beyond their departure from the school and the city.
“This database will make Geneva 2020 more efficient because we will be able to more easily tap into the resources of the Geneva alum network,” explains Cooney-Connor, whose son is a 10th grader at GHS. “In forming relationships with alums, we will be able to better prepare the high school students for college and careers; opening up possibilities of job shadowing opportunities and school-to-work readiness programs.”
Sollenne, a first-year student at Hobart, sees the project as a way to give back to the community. In order to gather the necessary information to be consolidated, a great amount of research must be done; and it is this research that Sollenne has begun.
“I’m excited to be a part of such an important project that will really benefit students who were in the same position I was in a year ago,” says Sollenne. “It’s also nice to help out both of my alma maters.”
“This database will allow the district to engage alumni and highlight the talent and diversity in the Geneva community,” says Reuscher, who manages the alum database at HWS. “By engaging the alumni, GHS can showcase and foster their connections with current students. GHS has much to celebrate and having an established database of alumni information will allow us to capitalize on this valuable resource and build future opportunities for current GHS students.”
This database will also help to generate alum excitement and participation in such GHS alum events as the baseball boosters, which I has an Alumni Baseball Game on Saturday, June 16, at the new baseball field behind North Street. We are really trying to get make this a big event to help kick off the Alumni involvement.
For those interested in learning more about the database project, Sollene will have a table at the Festival of Nations celebration at Geneva High School on Saturday, March 31st from 1 – 3 p.m. GHS alums are encouraged to stop by the table, and to lend a hand where needed. Caroline Wenzel ’05 is another alum who has jumped eagerly on board to help in this process.
In the photo above, Ryan Sollenne ’15 works on a Geneva High School engagement project with Director of Conferences and Events Erica Cooney-Connor (standing), Director of Advancement Services Karen Reuscher ’88 (left), and Susan McGowan (right), a social worker for the Geneva City School District.