Camelot Staff Profile – Kelly King, Preparing Students for the Next Big Step
Kelly King, director of student services at Excel Academy North in Philadelphia has been with Camelot Education for four years. She started her career at Camelot at Excel Academy South as a science teacher.
She graduated from Marymount University with a degree in school counseling. Now, as director of student services, she helps students prepare for their post high school lives.
“The bread and butter of what I do is really help them prepare for what they may want to do once they leave high school,” she said. “They’ll need assistance filling out college applications, some want to go into the military or trade schools and I connect them with recruiters. I also help those who want to enter the workforce to find jobs. There’s a lot of one-on-one interaction, as you can imagine because some are going through struggles, either academically or personally.”
In November, Excel Academy North will be hosting a College and Career Fair, to expose the students to the many opportunities open to them. “They need to know there are limitless possibilities for them; that they have plenty of career choices.”
On average, students at Excel gain two years of academic growth for every year there. She said Camelot is able to accomplish that by giving its students longer class days. The students have five 90 minute classes per day.
“They come here from all different levels,” Kelly said. “Some might read at a fourth-grade level. Others have difficulty with mathematics. It’s difficult but rewarding, for them and for us. Because Excel is located on the top floor of the Camelot Academy transitional program, we do see a few students move into our program. But not too many; we know some will benefit from the additional help we can give them.”
She said that what she loves best about helping these kids succeed is graduation and when some return to Excel Academy for post high school assistance when they leave.“We have two graduations a year; one in February and another in June. These kids are glowing when that happens. They know they’ve accomplished something. For many, they might be the first person in their families who have graduated,” she said. “Others will return to us after a few months once they graduated. They tell me they thought they didn’t want or need to go to college. Later they see that they really need it. They just needed some time to really figure that out. My response to them is, ‘Well come on, nice to see you. Let’s get this done.’”