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1st-ever first responder course in Center School District gives students new career opportunity

Posted: 6:15 PM, Sep 19, 2023
Updated: 2023-09-19 23:17:57-04

VOICE FOR EVERYONE | Share your voice with KSHB 41’s Megan Abundis

During critical law enforcement and fire department staffing shortages, a high school class is creating new learning pathway opportunities.

It’s the first-ever program in the Kansas City area made for high school students to fill the job gaps, and provide a career opportunity — an option outside of college.

KSHB 41 News Reporter Megan Abundis went to Center School District to learn more.

Only for a moment do students taking Nurse Roxanne Glover’s class in Center High School sit at their desks. Her classroom is for hands-on experience.


“You get to be up and moving; definitely not your regular health class,” said Brennan Eubank, a sophomore at Center High School.

With all eyes on Glover on Tuesday, she taught chest compressions.

“That mannequin should be close to you, it should be touching your knees,” she said to her class. “When you’re with a real-life person, you need to make sure you get up on that person.”


“Nurse Glover, she has a lot of experience — she’s really nice and she’s really smart,” Eubank said.

Glover has been a nurse at Center High School for four years and has a military service background, too.

Each Tuesday and Thursday, Glover pulls together 20 Center, Ruskin and Grandview high school students together for class — each of whom wants to learn about the first responder career field.

Because of Glover, students meet paramedics, firefighters and police officers from Grandview and Kansas City, even getting a visit from life-flight helicopter crews.


They get real career experience and real certifications to get a jump start.


“It feels amazing to know [that] soon, I’ll be in their spot teaching kids like myself,” said Michelle Garrison, a junior at Ruskin High School.

“We got to do it right — our goal is to save a life, so we have to use great body form,” Glover said to her students.


“She’s really strict about us knowing the right way to do it,” said Tajai Coleman, a senior at Center High School. “So if we jack around, she’s going to tell us, because it could be a real situation.”


“It’s a little bit of a weight lifted off my shoulders — if anyone were to have a medical emergency, I know what to do,” said Eubank.

But for Glover, her gratitude comes from her students knowing what providing help really means.

“Hopefully an atmosphere of caring. That they know that I care, that’s what I hope,” she said.

The school district says juniors who complete the class have the opportunity their senior year to keep up their jump-start, transferring to Herndon or Summit Technology Academy for specific first responder programs.