Jemison Elementary explores careers

Published 11:10 am Tuesday, May 16, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Jemison Elementary students spent the day exploring possible careers during the annual career day on May 15.

Guidance Counselors Kara Cleckley and Teresa Knott start scheduling speakers about a month and a half before the event.

“We just hope they (students) get an idea of the importance of staying in school, getting an education [and] different career choices,” Cleckley said.

Knott said she hoped students would see a career at the event “that they would love.” She said she enjoyed watching the children’s excitement during the event each year.

“They get to see things they maybe have never seen before, like marine patrol or the forestry people. It just gives them ideas about jobs they don’t see every day,” Knott said.

The counselors said the students usually enjoy the presentations that have hands-on aspects.

In deciding who to invite to career day, the counselors start by asking the students’ parents if they would be interested.

“We think that is very important to have the parents involved. It kind of helps the students relate a little bit more,” Cleckley said.

Once they know which parents are interested, the counselors contact people in the community to fill the remaining spots.

A variety of fields were represented including police, fire, law, research, medical, business, art and more.

Frank Davis of the Chilton County SWAT team showed students the equipment they use “to try to make contact with the bad guy.” City of Clanton Police and the Jemison Fire Department were on hand to show the equipment they use and explain their jobs. Nineteenth District chief deputy district attorney C.J. Robinson used students in examples of what he does and how a case unfolds in a courtroom.

“Most police officers spend 90 percent of their time in a patrol car, chasing down bad guys and 10 percent of their time in a court room,” Robinson said.

He explained that in his job he spends 90 percent of his time in a court room.

Students had a hand-on feel for the baking industry during a presentation by Kristi Ramsey of Cupcake’s Bakes by decorating cupcakes.

During artist Don Castillo’s presentation, students were impressed with his skills as he drew caricatures of some students.

“He can draw the coolest characters, and he draws them in seconds,” Cleckley said.

Castillo encouraged students who enjoyed drawing to continue practicing, so one day they might have a career in the field.

Allie Sorlie, Alabama Museum of Natural History at the University of Alabama, showed students the fossils she gets to work with.

“My job at the museum is called education outreach coordinator, which means I go to schools and visit … sometimes schools come to have field trips and I help give tours and I give programs [to students],” Sorlie said.

She said one of the favorite parts of her job is showing fossils form the museums to students.

“Because of the soil and the rock you have here in Jemison, you are probably going to find a lot of shark teeth,” Sorlie said.

She commented that fossils from an aquatic dinosaur may also be found in the area.

Representatives from the Alabama Emergency Management Agency talked about their jobs and the different types of weather warnings in Alabama.

Career Day ended with a special presentation by Martial Arts Instructor Sean Gilham.