Mt Pleasant News

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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 22, 2018

Making a career of it

New London students find new opportunities at Friday’s career fair
Mar 27, 2018
Photo by: Gretchen Teske Students take a look into their future at the career fair held in New London High School on Friday, March 23. The all day career fair showed students professions in health care, law enforcement, real estate and even tattoo artistry.

By Gretchen Teske, Mt. Pleasant News


NEW LONDON — Fifth through 12th grade students from New London were given the opportunity to seek out information about careers as well as schools during a job fair Friday, March 23.

The career fair began at the start of the day on Friday with students attending the morning session and students from sixth through 12th grade attending in both the morning and afternoon. The all day event was held in the New London high school classrooms.

Principal Scott Kracht says he wants to the students to, “just (get) an idea of what they want their career path to be.”

Approximately 50 presenters were at Friday’s event with their careers ranging from national guard, construction and real estate to tattoo artists, optometry and funeral home director. “I think we need something like this once a month,” said substitute teacher Ed Webber.

The school decided on which careers to bring in by brainstorming and asking students which careers they would like to see. “We polled the student council,” said language arts teacher Jennifer Campbell.

The presenters and schools brought in were specifically chosen to peek the interest of students.

“We’ve got a really good assortment,” said student ambassador Maclane White, who was most excited about the bio medical technology presentation. “Obviously in New London we don’t have a huge lab so that will be cool”.

Among the assortment was City Attorney of Dubuque Crenna Brumwell. She was hoping to communicate to students, “how diverse the field is. It’s not what you see on TV.”

The city atourney practices many kinds of law in her field and was encouraged to see young faces in the presentation. “I think it’s awesome they’re starting at a young age,” she said.

Middle school associate Tina Kienlen was encouraged to see young students in attendance. “I’m hoping when they get older, it kind of gives them more of an edge,” she said. “It’s a good starter for them. It gives kids exposure, and it’s more realistic.”

Lilly Gallup is a fifth-grader and was most excited for the veterinarian and nursing sessions. Gallup has a few ideas of what she wants to be when she grows up, but knows she wants to be a nurse because of her mother who is an RN or a veterinarian because of her two dogs and cat at home.

Many staff were hoping to see students gather interest in trade programs. “One thing that I notice is there’s not enough vocational classes in virtually every school in Southeast Iowa,” said Webber. “What we have is great because it’s growing, but we need more.”

Mike Harris from Carl A. Nelson Company echoed that sentiment. “I think it’s just that there are good careers in the trades. There’s not a lot of people interested, so there’s lots of opportunity,” said the general superintendent.

Carpenter John Delany was not only impressed with the turn out, but the attentiveness of all students. “(They’re a) really good group of kids,” he said. “Very well mannered. No one has cut up yet, and that’s unusual.”

For Delany, going to career fairs gives him an advantage as well. He says they are getting good quality applicants which will help improve the field. “We’re getting A and B students.”

Curriculum director Allison Lair was, “most excited for kids to get the chance to see careers they’re most interested in. It gets kids to know more about trade positions,” she explained.

Lair says this career fair is wildly important for the students to be able to participate in. “This is one of the most important days of our school year,” she says. Lair just wants the kids to know that no matter your interest, there are jobs available.

Iowa State Patrol Trooper Jason Marlow talked to the students about the responsibilities of police officers. “The most important thing in being a good cop is being able to communicate,” he said.

During a class activity, he spoke about the importance of treating other people fairly. “One of the things we’ve got to be able to do is treat people fairly regardless of who they are.”

Nick Powell, a fifth-grader is not convinced he wants to be on the police force just yet, but likes what Officer Morrow had to say. “It’s telling the truth and asking people questions,” he says.

Principal Kracht says he would like to see the career fair become a biannual event and is hopeful for its success in the future. “It gives them opportunity,” he says.

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