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Sunday, May 26, 2024


Career ‘Seeds’ Planted At Sandman Consolidated

Senior Animal Keeper Kendra Verity

By Jim McCarty

COLD SPRING – Snakes, FBI agents, optometrists, and firefighters normally have very little in common, except on Career Day at the Charles W. Sandman Consolidated School. 
Each year, fifth and sixth graders welcome a diverse collection of professionals who introduce the students to a wide range of careers. They encourage questions about their professional lives.
This special day is designed to expose students to a wide range of professional opportunities that they should consider during their early school years; sometimes the seeds of a career choice will take many years to germinate and grow to maturity.
Veterinarian Dr. Nancy Reilly of Cape May challenged her class by asking if they would give their pet dogs a chocolate bar as a treat. Students soon learned that dogs and chocolate do not mix, and that treat can seriously harm their pet. 
In another room, Firefighter Brandon Nash demonstrated how to quickly don firefighting equipment, as Lt. Jeff Laag explained the job of a modern firefighter and showed photos of a fire engine from the 1920s.
Senior Animal Keeper Kendra Verity of the Cape May County Zoo brought her ball python to class, and showed the pupils that snakes are not slimy at all.
Most students overcame their fear and touched the snake with sheepish grins as others patiently waited their turn.
FBI Special Agent John Montgomery told the class that his morning began by arresting a person wanted for bank fraud just before his appearance at the Career Day. He advised students that even FBI agents have quiet days.
These and about 20 other presenters from sports writers to pharmacists gave their morning March 20 to the school’s fifth and sixth graders as an investment in the youth of their community; two hours well spent by the looks of the students.
To contact Jim McCarty, email

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