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Thursday, June 20, 2024

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Career Day Gives Pupils Ideas for Future

Gabie Wolf

By Karen Knight

COLD SPRING – About 450 fifth and sixth graders at Charles W. Sandman Consolidated School whetted their appetites about potential careers from more than two dozen speakers on Career Day March 1, learning how “people eat with their eyes” to how to protect the wetlands and preserve nature to responding to police, fire and emergency calls.
“It’s an awesome chance to see all the options we have,” sixth grader Jenna O’Neill, of West Cape May, said as she helped her fellow students and speakers prepare for the event. She and 28 other student peer leaders made sure the speakers knew their way to classrooms where they spoke about their careers.
Dave Masterson, teacher of culinary arts at Cape May County Technical High School, began his presentation asking students “What do chefs do?” Answers ranged from competing in food contests to preparing and serving food.
“Chefs need to be creative and artistic,” the instructor said, “because people eat with their eyes. There needs to be a wow factor.”
He and student Gabie Wolf then explained how they used a butternut squash to make a table decoration, something that might be put on a cheese tray. They also engaged students in learning how to make roses from Tootsie Rolls.
The annual event, organized by the school for about the past 25 years, is a chance for students to learn about different occupations, according to Hannah Nelson, guidance counselor.
While many of the speakers have participated from the beginning, such as now-retired Superior Court Judge Raymond Batten, others, like Jeff Martin, an ocean marine biology teacher at Lower Cape May Regional High School and owner of Aqua Trails, participated for the first time.
“We try to match the careers with what students are interested in,” Nelson said.
“I want to be a forensic psychologist,” O’Neill noted, explaining the role as one that works with police to determine motives why a person commits certain crimes, as well as helping determine whether an accused person is fit to stand trial. “My sister is pursuing this at Rutgers and it’s something I’d like to do when I get older,” she added.
Fifth grader Allyson Walsh, from North Cape May, hopes to work in the police canine division. She was dressed as a police officer for the event because students were encouraged to dress as what they wanted to be when they are older.
“It’s exciting to learn what people do in their jobs, and what they had to do to earn their jobs,” Walsh added. She was looking forward to hearing from the private investigator, fire department and New Jersey State Police representatives.
She plans to keep her options open, and was going to listen to a pharmacist speak to the students about her career.
To contact Karen Knight, email kknight@cmcherald.com.

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