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Going for Gold at the Job Olympics

Lewisville ISD celebrates 15 years of student success through functional career training.

Lewisville ISD students are seeing gold after the district recently hosted its 15th annual Job Olympics.

LISD high school students competing in the milestone Olympiad showcased their skills in events aimed to provide meaningful activities for students with a cognitive disability. LISD Life Skills courses available across the district provide opportunities for students to learn functional skills such as folding laundry, sorting mail, data entry, vacuuming and more. Students also learn effective tips for interviews and how to complete job applications.

Shannon Goheen, LISD Program Interventionist and one of the progenitors of the Job Olympics, described the importance of teaching functional skills through the various events.

“Practicing tasks for the event provides Life Skills students with meaningful opportunities to build functional skills that have a positive impact on their adult outcome. The competition gives them the chance to be recognized for their strengths, when they may struggle with academics in school because of their disability.”

Support for LISD special education students into adulthood is overseen by the district’s Transition Services team, which includes the Focus on the Future post-secondary preparation program and Project Search post-secondary internship program. Life Skills courses, transition programs and the Job Olympics are designed to prepare students to thrive in the workforce after high school.

“We have seen Job Olympics' impact acceptance and a better understanding of individuals with disabilities, as evidenced by employment placements through our 18+ programs, Focus on the Future and Project SEARCH,” explained Kristin Strange, Program Interventionist for 18+ Transition Services. “Practicing employability skills while in high school better prepares students for job outcomes by the time they finish high school or participate in these programs.”

Over 200 students from every LISD high school and the Student Success Center participated in this year’s Job Olympics, making it the largest iteration to date. More than 90 community volunteers and LISD staff members were on hand to support students and assist with the event.

“Volunteering at this event just makes my year so much more special,” said volunteer and LISD DAEP teacher Frank Scaparra. “I don’t see a single volunteer not enjoying this atmosphere. It’s fantastic. There isn’t a person here not enjoying it. It’s great to see students here participating and preparing for their futures in the workforce.”

 “It is a chance for students to come shine and be successful,” said Katie Fulkerson, LISD Program Interventionist. “We get to celebrate everyone’s hard work and achievements and you can see it in the energy and the enthusiasm in all of the students and staff that come together for this event.”

“This is the best day of the year in LISD.”

Click HERE to view photos from the 2024 Job Olympics.

Lewisville ISD's Special Education department is committed to providing quality programming and services to students with disabilities through collaborative partnerships with parents and staff. Learn more about these supports by checking out or visit Best Schools in Texas for more information about joining the Lewisville ISD family.