WCMS holds Career Day
Woodford County Middle School’s (WCMS) annual Career Day on Friday, March 2, featured nearly two dozen adults from a wide variety of professions talking to students about their careers.
For Erin Schreiner, a 2006 graduate of Woodford County High School and a Kroger pharmacist for three years, it was an opportunity to give back to kids in her hometown.
Questions included how many prescriptions she filled each day, how many years of school were required, and whether being a pharmacist was a hard job.
“(In) middle school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do or the options … out there. It’s important, as a pharmacist, to show them what we do – we do more than just count pills,” Schreiner said with a laugh.
Kelli Kearney, a juvenile prosecutor in the Scott County Attorney’s office, said she enjoyed being able to tell kids about what goes on in and out of court.
“Kids are usually curious about the most serious crimes that we deal with, especially with juveniles … They have a lot of questions about that – what are the typical things I see from kids in court,” Kearney said. “We see some robberies and things like that in juvenile court, so they’re usually interested in knowing what kids their age are doing.
“They always want to know, has anything exciting happened in court, like (have) any fights broken out when I’m in court or anything. So, usually our courts are pretty controlled. The bailiffs do a good job, so I haven’t experienced anything like that in Scott County,” Kearney said.
Kearney, who also appeared at last year’s WCMS Career Day, said many students want to know how many years of school it takes to become an attorney.
At a nearby table was long-time Woodford County resident Nicole Ishmael, who runs the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP), which assesses and accredits emergency management programs across the U.S., Canada, Australia and the Caribbean.
On her table were a pair of two-liter, taped-together soda bottles that she used to stir up a tornado vortex.
“Homemade science, right there,” Ishmael said.
Ishmael said she was impressed with the knowledge students had gained during school natural disaster drills and their interest in helping their families prepare for them – though some still had a bit to learn about geography.
“I have had some who’ve said, ‘Well, what happens with a tsunami?’ That’s probably the funniest one, because a tsunami is certainly not a hazard that we face in Woodford County. If we did, we’d probably all be in trouble …” Ishmael said.
Ishmael said she had a seventh-grade son at WCMS who teases her about her “boring job,” in part because she does much of her work at home.
“He gets to listen to a lot of conference calls that I’m on, but he also says that it’s neat, all the places that you’ve been,” Ishmael said.
Perhaps the toughest questions were aimed at Pastor Todd Lester of the Forks of Elkhorn Baptist Church.
Among them were “What is faith?”, “Is it easy to be a minister?” and “Why did God let my sister die in a car accident?”
“The part about being a minister that’s not easy is that you have to minister to folks at their worst, or lowest,” Lester said.
As for the student whose sister died, Lester said, “I told him that we live in a broken world, a fallen world, because of the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. That’s when death came into the world – sin, sickness, free will. And I said, ‘Unfortunately, we can’t always stop the pain. We try to minister and help people through it, and point them to a greater strength than our own.’ He was a sweet young man.
My heart went out to him. He teared up.”
Lester said another child told him he was an atheist, and had he known Lester was a pastor, he wouldn’t have come to his table. Lester said he asked the boy’s name, how he was doing, and gave him the red ticket for a later drawing that presenters gave to children who asked good questions.
“And I said, ‘Man, I pray that you’ll know one day that there is a God,’ but I didn’t try to hammer him over the head with the Bible,” Lester said.
School counselor Kelly Sayre, who organized the event, said it’s one that children remember from year to year.
“Kids are in the moment and they don’t really think a lot about the future. They’re trying to just make it from one period to the next. So it’s nice to get them to concentrate on the future for just a little bit and start thinking about how what they do today in class connects to what they want to do in the future,” Sayre said.
Sayre noted that many of the presenters brought props, one of which was more likely to be found in a biology class. “They love anything hands-on. Like, they’re over here getting their hearing tested from the speech pathologist. So, yeah – it’s fun to watch them explore. We’ve got eyeballs over there,” Sayre said.
Sure enough, on the other side of the gymnasium, there was a tray with three pig eyes, brought not by the purveyor of a haunted house’s “feel the guts” exhibit, but by an ophthalmic technician.