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Middle School Career Day Exposes Students to a World of Possibilities

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

From speech therapy to journalism, engineering to toxicology, politics to stand-up comedy, some 20 career options were on display for Heathwood 5th-8th graders on January 31 at this year’s Middle School Career Day.

“Middle School is the perfect time for kids to explore potential career paths, as they are open to new ideas and have grand expectations and optimism for their future,” said Middle School Guidance Counselor Stacy Gross, who coordinated the event, “We are blessed with the opportunity to offer our students the chance listen to our speakers while also engaging in meaningful dialog in a small group setting during our Middle School Career Day here at Heathwood.”

Students’ responses to the sessions they attended confirmed Mrs. Gross’s assessment, as comments like “That was fascinating,” were overheard in the hallways.

Speakers for Career Day 2017 included four Heathwood alumni, Mel Pennington, Asheley Scott, Stephanie Sox, and Betsy Murphy, as well as many Heathwood parents and members of the larger community. Thank you to all who took time to share their experience with our students:

  • Ashley Clarke, Katherine Blanchard, McNair Zervos—POUT Columbia
  • Asheley Scott—Architect
  • Kyle Clampitt—Engineer
  • Danyele Gardner—Dance Studio Owner
  • Tom Falvey—SC State Museum
  • Stephanie Sox—Cardiac Nurse
  • Orson and Dianna Ravenell—OBGYNs
  • Betsy Murphy—Speech Therapist
  • Columbia Fire Department
  • Michael Goodwin—Comedian
  • Mel Pennington—Funeral Director/Mayor
  • Jill Michels—Toxicologist, Director of Palmetto Poison Center
  • Matthew West—Merchant Seaman, graduate of Merchant Marine Academy
  • John Thomas Rawl—Personal Trainer/Health and Wellness
  • Investigator David Collins: Firearm and Tool Mark Examiner, RCSD
  • Bernie Hiller, The State
  • Butch Bowers—Military Service and Law
  • Paige Edwards & Andrea Reynolds—Real Estate

Each student attended five sessions where professionals shared their career experience—what they do on a daily basis, what education and training it took to put them on their career path, and what they find rewarding about their jobs—and then answered questions.

“Mrs. Gross has organized a chance for our students to learn about the connections between developing passions, fostering curiosity, furthering one’s education, and finding a path in life that is fulfilling. This has been an amazing experience to hear how these professionals found their calling and to begin thinking now about what life ahead could be,” said Middle School Head Suzanne Nagy.