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FCS Alumni Spotlight

FCS alum’s co-op opportunity led to a great career

By the time she graduated from Franklin County High School in 2004 (via Hearn Elementary and Elkhorn Middle), Shannon Woodard was well on her way to a successful career. Shannon had accepted a cooperative education opportunity during the second week of her senior year, and is still employed by the same organization! It just goes to show that high school opportunities truly do lead to lifetime success.

Today, Shannon Woodard Bright is director of communications for the Associated General Contractors of Kentucky (AGC), one of the state’s largest and most influential trade groups. But Shannon didn’t start out in that lofty position. As she tells it, she was “in the business track at FCHS when AGC called and asked if I’d like to co-op with them. So I started out doing office support work during my entire senior year.”

Upon graduating, Shannon enrolled at the University of Louisville to study business and international marketing, but she kept working part time at AGC and full-time during fall and spring breaks, holidays and as her schedule permitted. The experience was paying off both financially and professionally.

Eventually, Shannon transferred to the University of Kentucky and in 2010 earned a bachelor of arts in Fine Arts. But her interest in business – and specifically in staying at AGC – continued, so she accepted an offer of full-time employment from AGC Executive Vice President Richard Vincent.

“I am so thankful to Richard for offering me a great opportunity and allowing me to grow during the past 15 years. I started here when I was 17, so I’ve spent half my life here,” she adds.

As Director of Communications, Shannon is responsible for AGC’s marketing, website, newsletters, publications, events, and social media, just to name a few. For seven years, she also has served on the Kentucky Construction Career Choice Council, an organization that sponsors an annual event, Career Days which attracts more than 2,000 high school students from throughout Kentucky. Participants learn about careers in the construction industry, network with the owners of construction businesses, and get hands-on experience with some construction equipment.

 “I also appreciate the fact that I had a great group of teachers at FCHS,” says Shannon. “Teachers like Mr. (Deron) McDonald and Ms. (Gayle) Green, along with my exposure to the school store, really helped develop my interest in business.

“As a teen, I didn’t really care about the career clusters and career options, but they really do make a difference. Today, I like to go to the vocational school and encourage the kids to stay with it, to pick a path in what they enjoy, even pick up a trade and then stick with it. School always came fairly easy to me, I always made great grades, I will say I wish I had paid a little more attention and focused more in high school and college, and I like to share that bit of wisdom with them!”

In fact, one of the things Shannon loves about working at AGC is the opportunity to give back by being involved in the community. She serves on the board of Franklin County Community Education Advisory Council, which works with students throughout the Franklin County Schools to improve their employment skills and prevent dropouts. The council sponsors five events each year to help students prepare for the workforce.

Given her interest in sharing her own experiences, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see Shannon in any of the Franklin County Schools this year.


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