By Terry Groover
Yukon Middle School’s eight-grade students received a hands-on lesson in getting a job last week as part of career day at the school.
More than 50 local business leaders, as well as lawmakers and members of the military took part in the four-hour event May 5.
Career Day was the idea of Superintendent Jason Simeroth, who suggested the event to a couple of teachers two years ago.
Originally, Career Day was focused on students in the sixth grade. However, it was changed this year to involve eighth-grade students, some of whom could have summer jobs this year, said sixth-grade teacher Debbie Callison.
“It gives them the beginning experience,” she said.
The students went through the hiring process, which included preparing a resume, completing job applications, dressing for interviews and going through the interviewing process.
Callison said the class encourages students to speak properly, avoid using slang while interviewing and to arrive prepared.
The class also exposes students to a variety of career and educational choices.
“Not every student is going to go to college,” Callison said.
Some students will go to trade school, others will enter the job market and others will decide to join the military.
But getting a high school diploma, she said, likely will not be enough education to survive on.
“We want them to think about their future and what type of job they want after high school and what that entails. You can’t just go to high school. You won’t make a very good living without some type of educational background,” Callison said.
More than 600 Yukon students participated in career day activities. There were 59 business participants, most from Yukon-area companies.
That type of support from the community was terrific, she said.
“The real benefit of this was the kids get an opportunity to see what is out there,” Callison said.
Those participating in career day included law enforcement, retailers, architects, the military, audiologists, healthcare workers, legal, and politics.
Four members of the Oklahoma Legislature were among those speaking with students.
Rep. Rhonda Baker, R-Yukon, is a former Yukon teacher who won her seat in the Legislature in November. She said it was an honor to return to her school district to speak with students.
“I was asked to come because I taught there as of November. Because they had me as a teacher, and I changed careers, (curriculum coordinator) Donna Morris thought it would be interesting for the students to hear about my career,” Baker said.
It was an opportunity for Baker and other lawmakers to explain how government works from first-hand experience.
Other lawmakers participating included Reps. Mike Osburn, R-Edmond, Tammy West, R-Oklahoma City and Kevin West, R-Moore.