by The Herald Staff

Taking charge of their education, the West Franklin High School student council produced their first annual “Student Development Day” on Monday.

“The concept was to expose students to a variety of career areas and to include some informational and fun sessions by bringing in guest speakers,” said Susan Zentz, West Franklin High School stuco advisor.

The day-long event featured over 50 guest speakers, many of them alumni from West Franklin, Williamsburg, and Pomona High Schools.

“Students were able to interact via video conference with a nail artist in Las Vegas, the editor-in-chief of Culture magazine in St. Louis, and the Creative Director of a digital marketing agency in Virginia,” Zentz said, adding that career sessions included agriculture careers, medical fields, veterinary science, wildlife biology, law & criminal justice, public safety & security, construction trades, audio-visual, technology, graphic design, and engineering. “Students hearing information from professionals in their respective fields has more impact than when they just hear it from their teachers.”

Along with serious career info, students were also exposed to everyday life skills mixed in with fun activities.

“Other sessions included basic car care, line dancing, self defense, the life of a college athlete, career skills, first aid, and how to do laundry, just to name a few,” Zentz said. “We wanted to provide students with not only career speakers but other sessions that would be both fun and hands-on for the students.”

According to Zentz, the idea for the Student Development Day was inspired a year ago by a Facebook post from a high school in a neighboring state.

“Our Student Council started talking about this project last year, and today we were able to pull it all together,” Zentz said. “Every speaker we talked to about attending our event was enthusiastic

about sharing their knowledge with the students. We are so grateful to them for taking time out of their busy schedules today.”