By Tamas Mondovics
Public schools throughout Johnson County welcomed visiting speakers into their classrooms last week as part of the annual Career Day program. Doe Elementary School also welcomed visitors to their classrooms who become teachers for the day representing 25 businesses and three colleges. The question of who benefits more, the students or the volunteer speakers, is yet to be determined as Career Day brings area residents including professionals and hobbyists from all walks of life into local schools to demonstrate the benefits of getting an education. As part of the day’s activities, visitors include active members and veterans of the United States Armed Forces, police, firefighters and paramedics, animal trainers, attorneys, business professionals, chefs, elected officials, entrepreneurs, musicians, and school board members.
While most volunteers worked hard to bring the children something special, some that did not have to press too hard to spark the student’s interest and, in the process, stir their imaginations, perhaps motivate some to follow the presented career. According to school officials, every table had items for the students, from treats and suckers to American Airline pins, the student’s bags were overflowing.
Joining the day, Mountain Electric had a line truck, which took teachers up in the bucket. The fun didn’t stop there as students were able to explore an ambulance, a state trooper cruiser, an 18-wheeler cab, several fire trucks as well as a propane tanker. Northeast Correctional Complex brought a bloodhound that was the perfect addition as well as a favorite with the children.
“Hosting a career day served as a great opportunity for our students to learn about some of the many job opportunities that are available in our county,” said event organizer, Misste Phillippi, who was assisted by her colleague, Sadie Lundy. “We also included colleges so that the students could begin thinking about their next step after high school. It’s never too early to start planting those seeds.”
Phillippi emphasized the importance of including a wide variety of businesses because students are all so unique with different interest.
“We hope that something sparked an interest in our students,” she said. “Whether it be auto repair, pharmacy tech, or flying airplanes, our hope is that everyone found something they could envision themselves doing in the future.”
As expected, positive comments from both students and teachers were the order of the day, including Phillippi’s thoughts summing up the event when she said, “The students had a wonderful time and gained knowledge that can only come from hands-on learning. We would like to thank all of the businesses and colleges that attended as well as everyone who worked to make this event amazing.”