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Farmington R-7 School District hosts 2023 Job Olympics

North County student Robert Murdock takes part in the 2023 Southeast Region Job Olympics held Nov 9 at Memorial United Methodist Church in Farmington. Submitted Photo

The 2023 Southeast Region Job Olympics was sponsored by Farmington R-7 School District and hosted Nov. 9 at the Memorial United Methodist Church in Farmington.  

A competition developed to promote transition and employability skills for a broad spectrum of high school students in special education programs, more than 80 students represented their schools in this year’s event: Farmington R-7 School District, Fredericktown R-1 School District, Ste. Genevieve R-II School District, Perryville School District 32, Central R-3 School District, North County R-1 School District, Arcadia Valley R-II School District, Bismarck R-5 School District, South Iron R-1 School District, and Special Acres State School.

Farmington student Kyle Gray enjoys some lighthearted fun at the Job Olympics. Submitted Photo

Competitions representing real-world job and employment situations are judged by business people from the community and professionals in education. Job Olympics is not only a fun and engaging activity with friends but also a pivotal part of the transition to a post-secondary lifestyle. Job Olympics provides an opportunity for students with developmental disabilities to showcase their talents to potential employers. Often, students with significant needs struggle to realize their vast array of options after graduation. These students possess an immense amount of potential. Job Olympics is an avenue for students to harness their abilities and show employers they are ready for the workforce.

Throughout the day, students compete against other students of the same age and ability level in the application process, interview process, and job task events. Tasks included bag stuffing,

Farmington student Gabe Kletti gets assistance with his tie. Submitted photo

silverware sorting, folding towels, rolling silverware, making change and stuffing/labeling envelopes. The goal of these events is to engage students in a wide variety of job skills that play to their strengths.

Students also wear appropriate professional attire, complete job applications, and participate in a formal interview with an employer that mirrors a real job interview. The goal is to provide opportunities for students to enhance their job skills, which leads to post-secondary employment.

Lisa Brotherton-Barnes is a staff writer with the Daily Journal. She can be reached at



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