Senior Interview Day
Lead by: Crystal Brunner and Anne Kidwell
About Senior Interview Day at Wamego High School
Wamego High School Senior Interview Day is held each year as a graduation requirement for the senior class. The event originated in 1977 in the WHS business department and has since grown to include the entire senior class. Typically, over 70 volunteer interviewers from the region provide over 300, fifteen-minute mock interviews for over 100 WHS seniors who will go on to utilize this experience to prepare themselves for life beyond high school. Interviews take place in person and sponsors are working to incorporate Zoom interviews as they become part of the 21st century job world. Seniors prepare professional documents to share with interviewers consisting of a cover letter, resume with references, and a completed job application. Interviewers share evaluations of student documents as well as student interview performance, and that feedback is then returned to students. In turn, students also practice writing thank you letters and addressing envelopes to mail to our community business partners. In all, the experience serves to help our seniors prepare for the next step in their careers, whether academic or professional.
History of Senior Interview Day at Wamego High School
The initial idea of having seniors participate in mock interviews began in 1979 when Wamego High School’s Mrs. Dawson thought her business class students needed practical knowledge and experience preparing for job interviews. This was after she heard that a young woman had showed up for a job interview at the Balderson plant, now Caterpillar, with rollers in her hair. For several years, only the students in senior business class participated.
Dr. Norris Wika, superintendent during the 1980s, was a strong supporter of the program and proposed to the Board of Education that they recommend all Wamego senior students participate in Senior Interview Day as a requirement for graduation.
Since then, many business members in the community have been committed to participating in the program. One of those business members was the former editor of the Wamego Times, Mr. Hod Dendurent. He served as an interviewer every year until his death in 1983. In 1984, the Senior Interview Day program was named the “Hod Dendurent Interview Day” in his memory.
Mrs. Dawson organized the Hod Dendurent Interview Day for 15 years. For the next 7, Mrs. Judy Hess, the Wamego Business Instructor, organized the event. Mrs. Janet Sylvester organized it until 2013, and she is credited for adding the etiquette luncheon to the event in 2002; the luncheon served to prepare students who would attend banquet dinners for scholarships or interview over lunch. In 2014, WHS Counselor Jina Kugler and Wamego Technology Center Director Jana Lindley took on the event together as co-coordinators; the two even coordinated Zoom interviews during our hybrid school year in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2022, the torch was passed to our CTE Coordinator, Crystal Brunner, and Senior English Teacher, Anne Kidwell, who have continued to cultivate the program to meet the demands of the 21st century workplace. Today, it is still a graduation requirement and invaluable experience for all seniors at WHS.
We would like to thank the following sponsors and administrators for their support of WHS Senior Interview Day:
Pott. County Economic Development Corporation, USD 320 Food Services Director Laura Fails, USD 320 Superintendent Rob McKim, Wamego High School Principal Julie Schrum, and Wamego High School Assistant Principal and Activities Director Travis Graber