Cartersville Elementary School students learn about occupation options during Career Week


Elementary school students are learning more than reading, writing and arithmetic these days — they’re already thinking about careers.

Cartersville Elementary School had its third annual Career Week last week, and the 955 students had the opportunity to go to work with their parents as well as hear from speakers in all sorts of occupations.

“Schools across the state are required to provide elementary students with career-awareness experiences at every grade level,” school counselor Elaine Hite said. “Cartersville Elementary School began the weeklong career emphasis in 2014, and it has grown each year. CES teachers believe their students benefit from making a connection between what they are learning in the classroom to possible future career endeavors. The week was a great success.”

Monday was Job Shadow Day, when hundreds of students went to work with a parent, relative or adult friend to experience different careers firsthand.

“Many students participated in Job Shadow Day,” Hite said. “They accompanied their parent or adult friend to their work site for the day. In conjunction with the Job Shadow Day, students interviewed employees and submitted a written report outlining their experience.”

Hite said each grade level learned about job opportunities in a particular career cluster.

“The students learned from dozens of community and parent volunteers who came to the school to present their careers,” she said.

On Tuesday, third-graders heard from guest speakers in the hospitality and tourism, human services and energy fields: Nicole Masters, Bartow History Museum; Jessica Mitcham, Good Neighbor Shelter; Haley Minesinger, CASA/Bartow Advocates for Children; Ashley Patillo and Mark Sallette, Georgia Power; Lillie Read, Cartersville

Downtown Development Authority; and Derek Hampton, Justin Whitener and Ryan Bohannon, City of Cartersville.

Fourth-graders had speakers from architecture and construction, business management and administration, manufacturing and science, technology, engineering and math careers talk with them Wednesday: Donnie Bagwell, Ampacet; Jacob Burson, Lockheed Martin; Myles Chesley, Chemical Products; Luticia Hardy, Harbin Clinic Pediatrics; Lara Jeanneret, Lara J Designs; John Hudson, Greatwood Construction; Glen Jordan, Chick-fil-A; Heather Jordan, Shaw Industries; Austin Landers, Soethby’s; Jeff Mullins, Smith Douglas Homes; Cary Roth, Phoenix Air; Barry Turem, Squeegee Squad; and Mary Alred, Adam Thomas and Mike Weightman, Aquafil.

Fifth-graders, whose cluster includes jobs in government and public administration, marketing, information technology and finance, were visited Thursday by 4-H agents Kim Payne and Allison Perkins from the UGA Extension Service.

Hite said all the visiting community speakers were a big hit with the students.

“Each speaker did a wonderful job presenting hands-on information for and getting our students involved in their presentations,” she said. “Third grade enjoyed energy clusters; fourth grade enjoyed STEM, architecture and construction and manufacturing careers. [Fifth grade] enjoyed marketing and government and public administration. Ms. Payne and Ms. Perkins also did a spending game to help students better learn how to manage their money. The students really enjoyed this hands-on project.”

During the 90-minute tour, the entire administrative staff — Principal Dr. Marc Feuerbach, Assistant Administrator/Career, Technical and Agricultural Education Director Marc Collier, Assistant Principal Shelley Tierce and Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Darrell Demastus — spoke with students and showed them around the school.

“Dr. Feuerbach spoke to the half of the students in the auditorium,” Hite said. “A video regarding the CTAE program was shown, and then Dr. Feuerbach spoke about high school — course offerings and the CTAE department. Mr. Collier gave a tour to the other half of the fifth-graders. They visited the CTAE classrooms and were allowed to interact with students and teachers. Shannon Boyer and Valerie Webb helped to conduct and orchestrate the event.”

Also on Friday, all students were asked to dress up as their future career or dress for success.

Schoolwide, students completed career projects consisting of arts and crafts, research, portfolio development and oral presentations, Hite said.

“All grades completed research in the computer lab with our computer teacher, Tiera Smith,” she said. “The third-grade and fourth-grade students used their research to complete art projects representing their careers. Fifth-grade students used their research to begin their required career portfolios [and] did oral presentations of their career research.”

Ten-year-old Meredith Gaines said it was “cool to get to understand more about different career clusters and the different careers that are available.”

“It really helped me to think about the different opportunities that I will have when I grow up,” she said.

The fifth-grader said she enjoyed the visit to CHS “and seeing all of the different classes I can take when I get to high school.”

“It was like experiencing eight different jobs in one day,” she said. “I also enjoyed the UGA 4-H Extension presentation by Ms. Perkins and Ms. Payne. My favorite part was learning about marketing careers and how they use different colors in their logos to make people feel different emotions.”

Fourth-grader Kennedy Stevens said she thought Career Week was “awesome.”

“I always want to talk about careers with our computer teacher, Ms. Smith,” the 9-year-old said. “I also enjoy learning what my classmates want to be when they grow up.”

Kennedy said she also loved “getting to write about my career choice and giving it to my teacher.”

“I have wanted to be a pediatrician since I was 3,” she said. “I used to take care and work on my baby dolls when I was little.”

Gabrielle Culberson, 8, said she thought Career Week was “really fun.”

“It was cool to go to work with my mom,” the third-grader said. “I liked that we got to spend time talking about careers and what we want to do when we grow up.”

Every student at the school received a free 2016 Career Week T-shirt provided by community business partners Aquafil USA, Century Bank, Dynaflux, Farmers Insurance Bowen Agency and Shaw Industries.