From veterinary science to fighting forest fires, computer programming to nursing, presenters at the Escalon High School Career Day on Friday, Jan. 25 provided a wide range of options for local students to consider.
Many of the presenters were Escalon High School graduates, moving on from EHS to college and careers, and coming back to talk to students about what they are doing now and how they got there.
Travis James, a 2012 graduate, now works for the Department of Forestry and said that is a good choice if you “like fighting fires” but don’t want to go out on medical calls like more traditional firefighters do now.
Elementary teacher Jessica Towner offered some thoughts on the team mentality she has found at Dent Elementary.
“I’m one of six other kindergarten teachers,” she said, “so I had them to lean on.”
Teacher Dave Mangnuson admitted that while he doesn’t enjoy a lot of the paperwork required with his profession, he does enjoy connecting with students and helping them succeed.
Specializing in speech therapy, Kacey Cheary explained that she works to help students with their communication skills and has those she works with at the high school level as well as third through fifth graders at Dent and all grade levels at Van Allen Elementary School.
J.J. Felix is a paramedic with Riggs Ambulance and a 2007 EHS graduate.
“I really love what I do, I get to help people,” he said. “It definitely takes a certain personality to do it.”
Also talking to students were Escalon Community Ambulance staffers Alissa Allison and Nancy Humphrey-Houston, a 2013 EHS grad, with the trio illustrating their talk with some photos of training exercises and actual calls they have responded to in the past.
“I think it was awesome,” said teacher Gus Arzac of having the emergency services personnel talk to his classes. “They are local role models and I think it’s great to have community members willing to give back to the community in this way.”
Other areas covered in the Career Day were ag business, ag mechanics and welding, art/music teachers, automotive, chiropractor, dental, engineer, lawyer and real estate, to name a few.
Escalon Police Chief Mike Borges was also among the presenters.
“I thought it went very well, I talked to two different classes,” Borges said. “There were not a lot of questions but one good question was on the use of force and what happens (to an officer) after there has been the use of force.”
Organizers of the Career Day event wanted to provide a wide variety of options for the students to consider and said they were happy with the outcome.
Borges was also pleased.
“I was very happy and surprised to see the level of interest, especially considering the negativity surrounding law enforcement today,” Borges said. “It was uplifting; it gave me hope for the future.”