At Old Mill, Signature Program All About the Money

The high school kicked off its new International Economics and Finance program Tuesday night.

Old Mill High School students will soon get some lessons in money, now that the school has introduced its new signature program to the community. 

The school formally launched the International Economics and Finance signature program Tuesday, unveiling plans to create a four-year pathway for students interested in pursuing careers in those fields. 

Old Mill has partnered with numerous business and community groups including local hotels and malls, major companies including Northrop Grumman, and banks including the Bank of Glen Burnie and State Employees Credit Union. 

"This is a great partnership," said school board member Deborah Ritchie. "It brings a uniqueness to the school, but also helps businesses connect to the school and their future workforce."

Stacey Smith, the school's administrative liaison to the program, said the staff is working to finalize a list of courses to create a four-year plan for students to follow.

"It's another pathway we're creating for students," she said. 

The school already has infused overlays into the curriculum and will have an introductory course in place for 10th graders next fall. Once the program is fully in place, seniors will be required to complete a capstone project or internship before graduating. The school plans to blend much of the curriculum with lessons learned in Advanced Placement or Internationale Baccalaureate classes. 

"There will be a lot of opportunities," said Virginia Langford, the signature program's facilitator. "There will be field trips, job shadowing, internships."

School officials have spent the last 18 months building relationships in the community to create a "stakeholders team," involving many company and community leaders. 

Tuesday's launch featured an expos with many of the stakeholders, as well as a keynote speech from financial planner Robert Brokamp, who spoke about the dangers of debt and the benefits of investing. 

The International Economics and Finance Signature Program is the 11th signature program in Anne Arundel County Schools.

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