Glenwood Junior High hosts career day with 70 speakers

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Glenwood Junior High School had their third annual career day on May 17. The school's PTA brought in 70 speakers to the event. Pictured are speakers, from left, (front) humane agent Jessica MacMurchy, Sara Chill of Siffron, photographer Amanda Joy Bachinger, trustee Thomas Costello, business coach Scott Couchenour; (back) dog trainer Tim Patrick, corrections officer David Olsavsky, nurse Shane Pelanda, VP of Operations with L. Calvin Jones and Company John Russell and magistrate Dan Dascenzo.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Tracie Balentine, the PTA president, said that she invited speakers of various fields to the event, including a dog trainer, stuntman, politician and insurance agent, in order to give the students a chance to get many different perspectives on how to be successful. Pictured, Elliott Giles, president of Youngstown Youth Flag Football Association, answered questions at the end of his presentation.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Tracie Balentine, the chair and organizer for Glenwood Junior High School's career day, set up a couple large group talks as well as smaller group talks during the day. She spoke to all the students at the beginning of the day, as did Joe Schiavoni at the end of the day and Steve Cocca and Ron Moore spoke to a large group of students during lunch. Pictured, Cocca brought pizza and talked to the children about owning a business and his history growing up in Boardman.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Each eighth-grade classroom at Glenwood Junior High School had two speakers in a single period, which resulted in students seeing anywhere from 12-15 speakers during the day. Pictured, judge Anthony D'Apolito spoke to students about getting involved and helping others.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Each of the eighth-grade students wrote down the name, career and education of each of the speakers they saw. The PTA wanted to expose the students to many fields to motivate them and build their knowledge base of what professions are available.

By ZACK SHIVELY

zshively@vindy.com

Glenwood Junior High School had their third annual career day for the eighth-grade students on May 17.

The day featured 70 speakers, who spoke for small periods of time throughout the school day. Each student saw between 12 and 15 speakers during the day. All of the students saw keynote speaker Joe Schiavoni talk at the end of the day.

“The biggest part is that the kids see 70 people who want them to be successful,” said Tracie Balentine, the school’s PTA president. She led the event with the organization. She also spoke to the students at the start of the day. She works as human resources manager, so she talked about skills and other qualities that employers look for in potential hires.

She considered the project a capstone for the students before they head into high school. The students had to be engaged with each speaker and had to complete a small sheet for a completion grade.

A speaker at the event, business coach Scott Couchenour said that he works mostly with people in their 50s and 60s who are trying to convert their dreams into projects. He wanted to motivate the students to work on their dreams when they are young and not wait until they are older.

The students did not choose the speakers they heard from, but each period had two people present, leading to the students receiving advice and information from a variety of professions.

The speakers represented numerous fields, including funeral director Candy Rivera, dog trainer Tim Patrick, prison librarian Maureen Frost, stuntman Johnathan Yurco and quality engineer Ivan Bosnjak. The students also heard either Steve Cocca, owner of Cocca’s Pizza, or Ron Moore, a local artist, speak during lunch.

“Their choices and interests now will affect their future,” said photographer and business owner Amanda Joy Bachinger about the speaking to the students. For those interested in the arts, she wanted to tell them: “It’s a wonderful job that’s fulfilling, but it also takes grit.”

Balentine also wanted the students to know that they can reinvent themselves or travel a different path if they want. Schiavoni, who worked as a lawyer prior to his movement into politics, spoke on this point, noting his shift from the senate race to the race for governor. In inviting so many speakers from various fields, the students learned what it takes to shift from one job to another.

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