Seventh- and eighth-graders of Kenneth Henderson Middle School got a glimpse of their possible futures Thursday morning at the school’s campus-wide career fair.

Organized by KHMS counselors Kellie Pitts and Breann Dennis, the fair consisted of three 35-minute time slots, during each of which students would visit one of 22 career presentations. Students selected their top six choices beforehand and were given schedules based on their decisions, Dennis said.

After the sessions, Pitts said, the students will write a letter to their favorite speaker, thanking them and relaying what they’d learned.

Students had the option to listen to many professionals who either work or once lived in Garden City. Classrooms were headed by a lawyer, nurse, farmer, detective, writer, physical therapist and detective, among many other speakers. Most of them work in Garden City, though some, like Los Angeles comedian and actress Emily Isabel Herrman, had grown up in the area and now live elsewhere.

During their second session, students sat in desks around their respective classrooms, listening to their speaker.

In KHMS teacher Andy Pott’s session, he talked about teachers’ long workdays students don’t see. Progressive Insurance claims supervisor Patricia Walters brought out a lifesize car grill. A room full of kids giggled as editor and reporter Layton Ehmke staged reporting scenarios, asking the kids to act out different strange situations.

“It was cool,” said eighth-grader Natalia DelaTorre-Pina of her sessions. “I liked the nail tech session because she really got into detail. She talked about cosmetology school and the time it takes.”

This year’s career fair is the first at KHMS in three years, Pitts said. Ideally, she and Dennis hope to hold one every other year, so every student who passes through the school gets to experience it once.

Pitts said she hopes the students were able to connect with local jobs they may not know about and professionals right around the corner. One student, for instance, was excited to find out that KHMS coach Jacob Huth was also an accomplished chef.

Pitts hopes the fair also can help students connect their career plans to what they’re learning at the middle school.

“Some of the speakers are talking about their own education, probably (going back) to high school and middle school...” Pitts said. “(The students) listen to the tasks and duties of these jobs and relate them to classes they’re in now.”


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