Oakland students get schooled in careers

Published 10:41 pm Friday, November 5, 2010

The men and women in front of the chalkboards at Oakland Elementary School on Friday weren’t your normal teachers.

Dozens of parents volunteered their time at the school’s career day to show the students where education can take them.

“It’s good for students to see and understand what the end result of going to school is,” said Angela King, a guidance counselor at the school who organized the event. “Too often, children don’t understand why they’re going to school. We want them to see where studying and hard work can get them.”

Email newsletter signup

Each class heard from three different speakers about their professions.

Fire fighters, a nurse pediatrician, a chef, employees from Suffolk’s Parks and Recreation department, police officers, insurance agents, a pilot, modeling and simulation analysts, a member of the U.S. Navy and a singer were jut a few of the professions the students learned about.

Kelly Herrington, a pastry chef and graduate from Johnson and Wales University, shared her profession with first graders by dipping pretzels in chocolate and decorating them with sprinkles.

“I hope kids learn that there’s no right or wrong in the kitchen,” Herrington said. “The sky is the limit. You’re never too young to help mom out in the kitchen.”

It wasn’t just adults who shared their careers. Tyler Layne, 14, a past Radio Disney star, began his career at the age of 10.

Third-graders were in for a special performance by Tyler, who sang his newly written song “Over the World” and signed CDs and cards for the students.

In second-grade classes, students learned about what U.S. Navy pilot Patrick Dziekan does all day.

Kobey Baldwin said his favorite part was putting on Dziekan’s helmet. His classmate Ivan Allen enjoyed the music video, which Dziekan said was made by men on deployment.

First-graders Kyle West and Wyatt Hamlin were still jabbering with excitement on their way to the cafeteria as they talked about police officers that came to talk to his class.

“We talked about what kind of dogs they use,” Wyatt said.

“They’re German Shepherds because they run fast,” Kyle added.

“And because they’re the third-strongest biters,” Wyatt said.

“I want to be a police officer when I grow up,” Kyle said. “I have to finish school and high school and another school.”