Fourth- and fifth-graders at Wellsville Elementary School were treated Friday to a visit from several professionals, who gathered at the school, 218 Ash. St., Wellsville, to share a glimpse of their jobs with the young students.
“They are very, very excited about it every year,” Katie Lynch, Wellsville Elementary School counselor, said. “This year, when we found out we were having it again, they were excited. Even the second and third graders start hearing about it and they want to do it immediately. I have to say that they have to wait until they are in fourth and fifth grade, so it is something for them to look forward to.”
Among the professionals building excitement on Career Day were Russ George, engineer with BNSF Railroad, Misty Kuntz, nurse at the Johnson County Adult Detention Center, Kristin Adams, with Auburn Pharmacy in Wellsville, Doug Carder, the Herald’s senior writer, Dr. Crista Wallis, veterinarian at Monticello Animal Hospital in Shawnee, and Christy and Tamalei Rice, with Rice Photography in Wellsville.
Rice fielded many questions from students, some that highlighted the fun side of photography.
“[The kids] asked about what type of animals we photographed,” Rice said. “A lot of them asked a lot of animal questions. This one girl, which was really funny, asked if we did selfies, so that was kind of cute.
“It was, overall, a good day and they were all very inquisitive and interested in learning,” Rice said. “We had a good time talking with them.”
The children always get a lot out of Career Day because it brings a different medium in learning about occupations, Lynch said.
A total of 111 fourth- and fifth-grade students were divided into six groups to listen to the six different 15-minute presentations from each professional. It was the fourth consecutive year for the event, Lynch said, though there have been some changes.
“The first year we did it, we had about 12 presenters come and I ended up splitting the classes into 12 groups, and they weren’t able to make it to all,” Lynch said. “They got to listen to six presentations and there were a whole ’nother group of them that got to listen to the other six, so they felt like they kind of missed out. So we decided we weren’t going to invite quite that many because we want all the kids to make it through and we don’t want to make a person give 12 presentations over and over again.”
Though Career Day focuses on some of the elementary school’s oldest students, the younger ones aren’t left out under Lynch’s watch.
“I talk about it with them as soon as kindergarten. I start telling them to not just pick one career, research as many as you possibly can,” she said. “I always say three to five careers that they can start looking into, they can ask their parents about those jobs, they can read books, they can get on the Internet with their parents at home and learn more about that job. By the time they get into high school, hopefully they can narrow it down to one or two. There are those boys particularly that always say they want to be a professional athlete and I say, ‘That is great to have that goal, but also have a backup plan.’”