Happy Valley Middle showcases dozens of careers in annual Career Day

The prospect of having to choose a career before graduating high school, real or otherwise, can be daunting for many soon-to-be adults. For students at Happy Valley, they got to get personal, up-close glimpses into how their interests could play out as careers in the adult world.

The whole of Happy Valley Middle School turned into a kind of fair Friday morning, as presenters from over a dozen businesses and organizations participated for the school’s Career Day.

Communication Coordinator and Media Specialist Audra Monroe said the Career Day was a chance for students to meet working professionals and get a hands-on look at careers in which they have an interest.

“It is an opportunity to ask questions about something they are interested in,” Monroe said. “They can explore something new.”

The Career Day lasted for most of the morning. Beforehand, students got to pick five out of the 12+ presenters they wanted to visit in blocks. Presenters included representatives from Snap-On Tools, Carter County Rescue Squad, Chick-fil-A and more. The Carter County Sheriff’s Office even brought a police dog.

She said having the students choose who they wanted to visit made a big difference.

“It makes it personal,” Monroe said. “They were more interested, and they pay more attention.”

School Counselor Ashleigh Drake said the experience was positive.

“It was great to give them a learning experience,” Drake said. “This was hands-on, outside the classroom.”

She said this was the second year the school put on Career Day, and they tried to get different businesses and organizations on the roster compared to last year so returning students could get something new out of the experience.

She said Career Day runs parallel to a Job Shadowing event next week for the eighth-graders, in which they get to go to the actual job locations and see how the job works on a daily basis.

“We hope to do this every year,” Drake said.

Monroe said they attempt to tie in the careers they showcase into their CTE programs at the high school, so students interested in what they saw can go into high school and get the tools they need to succeed once they graduate.

“When they reach high school, they can take advantage of opportunities at the high school level,” Monroe said.

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