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Board of Education Regular Meeting, Monday, June 10th at 6:00 pm in the Media Center at E.F. Rittmueller.
The agenda will be posted on Friday, June 7th.

Yes, April brings its fair share of showers.

But ask any of our 3rd through 11th graders and they tell you April also brings its fair (or unfair) share of standardized tests and assessments.

EFR Principal Christine Fry no doubt would agree –

as monitoring, securing, and boxing up test materials have taken over her office!

The merry month of May probably cannot get here soon enough for our administrators, teachers, students, and parents.

But, as important as tests and assessments may be in the learning process, they aren’t the be-all, end-all.

As Carol Dweck, the author of Mindset, reminds us, the game of life is a long one and never ends.

Students need our encouragement and support in developing the resiliency, attitudes, and skills that will enable them to successfully tackle their future dreams and challenges.

You can be proud of how our staff helps our students prepare for what’s ahead.

I know I am!

Monday’s “FHS Senior Symposium” was a shining example.

For several weeks leading up to the Symposium, every senior has been researching their choice of a specific career as well as job-shadowing a community mentor experienced and knowledgeable in that career.

The after-school Symposium on Monday was the time when seniors had the opportunity to showcase what they learned to parents, community members, and each other.

The first “FHS Senior Symposium” was 14 years ago.

The first “FHS Senior Symposium” was created by FHS Principal JoLynn Clark and English teacher Aaron Toth.

And they’re still the driving forces behind this event today.

According to JoLynn and Aaron, a career project of this kind (with its big wrap-up at the end) combines hands-on research and experience in a way that helps students see the real world of work and causes them to think about what they may—or may not—like to pursue after high school.

I couldn’t agree more.

More than 120 seniors presented at the Symposium.

I’m sure you would’ve enjoyed chatting with each one.

Allow me to introduce you briefly to 18 seniors to give you a sense of what this event was like.

Riley Hubbard – Financial Advising

“Once I entered high school, finance became a strong interest area of mine. I learned a lot by job-shadowing at Edward Jones and everyone there couldn’t have been nicer to me. I saw that good communication was as important as good analysis – and I think this will help me as I go to GVSU to study Finance.”

“I’ve been studying Welding & Fabrication at the Saginaw Career Center (SCC) for two years. I job-shadowed nearby at MKR Fabrications and after graduation, I’ll work there this summer. I hope to eventually take my skills to Wyoming where some big-scale mining operations offer a lot of opportunity.”

“I’ve always been interested in business and the business classes and DECA here at school helped grow my interest even more. I interned at Judd Insurance with Steve Pickleman and I saw how listening to clients and paying attention to details matter. I’m looking forward to majoring in Business at Hope College and also running track.”

“My grandparents live out in the country and I think this is where my love for plants took root. When COVID hit, my mom and I started getting into gardening big time… and we’ve kept at it ever since. She shares my love for horticulture and in a year or so (while we’re growing our inventory now), we hope to open a retail store that sells plants and flowers.”

“Okay, I’ll admit it – I’m hooked on house-flipping and real estate shows on HGTV. When I job-shadowed Colleen Hetzer at Century 21, I learned right away you’ve got to be a good listener, communicator, and super organized. I definitely want to keep a career in real estate in mind after graduating with a degree in business management.”

“My grandpa has a landscaping business and I’ve always been fascinated by his machines and equipment. This is probably where my dream to become a heavy equipment operator began. I learned a lot at the Mike Young Buick & GMC Dealership in town, so my interest only grew. I look forward to going to AIS in Lansing to earn my necessary certifications.”

“I’ve been studying Law & Public Safety at SCC. I was thrilled to get an internship with the National Guard at Camp Grayling and I really took a lot out of the lessons I learned there, especially from all of the mental and physical discipline required. After I get my degree in Criminal Justice at Ferris, I hope to enlist in the US Army.”

“Through my SCC Co-op, I’ve been learning on the job at Cardinal Machine in Clio. I never really knew about the place, but I’m on the FHS Wrestling Team, and our coach is a co-owner, and he introduced me. I love learning about machining, assembly, and engineering. Of course, when I start working there after graduation, I’ll be doing newbie stuff. That’s okay. I know I’ve got to pay my dues and get experience over time.”

“From playing drums in our marching and concert bands, I knew that a ton of stuff goes into day-of-performance event staging and promotions. So, I thought I’d research and job-shadow with the Saginaw Spirit and the experience was well worth it. Maybe I’d like to work at a concert venue someday, but soon I’ll be studying music performance at Flint U of M.”

“As a tennis player, I’ve always been thinking about a career in athletic training. I had a great experience job-shadowing the former SVSU head trainer Joshua Eddy, and even got the opportunity to assist at two SVSU games. After graduation, I’m going to get my degree in Kinesiology and go after my dream!”

“I interned at our family business, Bernthal Packing, which was started by my great-grandpa. I’ve always enjoyed working there (most days), and I like the hands-on aspect of the trade. My dad has encouraged me to go to school and learn more before deciding whether to join the family business. So I’m going to go to U of M Flint to study actuarial science… and then we’ll see.”

“For three years I was in competitive dance, and I’ve always loved dancing. I appreciated all that I learned from Jamie at Extreme Dance Arts – and the experience helped me see the possibilities beyond dance. I’m going to go to GVSU to study physical therapy and perhaps get into sports medicine.”

“Chuck Stadley owns Lazy Dog Pizza and several other businesses. From him, I saw how building a business is far from easy and that it takes time. But I saw how grit and sticking to what you believe can pay off. I’m going to work at The Fortress golf course this summer to earn money before going to Northwood Institute to study Entrepreneurship.”

“Birds of prey – like eagles – have always been interesting to me. I’ve especially enjoyed studying owls ever since I can remember. I interned at a reserve near Interlochen for several days – and one of the things I learned is that I may not be able to build a career in this field. So, I’m going to eventually start at Delta College and see what opportunities arise.”

“At first I thought I wanted to pursue a career in medicine, but I’ve always had a love for working with little ones. So, I’m going to go to SVSU to study Elementary Education and minor in Early Childhood Development. I job-shadowed Kindergarten Teacher Mrs. Taylor at List and she’s incredible. I saw how even kindergartners have their own opinions and aren’t shy about sharing them.”

“I had an incredible experience at Nexteer Automotive in Saginaw. I saw the components and processes that all have to work together in various steering systems and this affirmed that engineering was the field for me. I’m going to go to U of M Flint to study Automotive Engineering and hopefully someday, I’ll be able to work in an industrial setting.”

“With dentistry in mind, I’m going to go to Detroit Mercy and study bio-chemistry for my major this fall. Job-shadowing Dr. Brea at Birch Tree Dental in Fenton was eye-opening for me and I enjoyed every aspect of that career. I hope I can help out there this summer by cleaning and helping with sanitizing… anything to stay engaged with this field.”

“My dream job is to be a middle or high school band teacher. I’ve enjoyed being in band here – it’s like family, and I love the energy. Job-shadowing with Mrs. VanderGraaff with our 5th-6th-7th-and 8th-grade bands was a blast. I’m eager to study instrumental music at CMU this fall.

In closing –

Thank you for reading this super long email.

But our seniors are worth it, and I hope you can be proud of how well YOU, our community, and FSD have prepared them.

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