For over 100 juniors at Kenai Central High School last week it was a legitimate day to skip classes and take a look at what the "real world" may have to offer them a few years down the road.
For the last few years the well organized program known as Job Shadow has offered KCHS Juniors an opportunity to choose a field that they are interested in as a future career and experience what that profession is like in the local community.
Interested in becoming an executive someday, KCHS junior Nick Boyle wonders why he is the only one wearing a tie as he shadows a staff meeting with Borough Mayor Dale Bagley, Finance director Jeff Sinz and Administrative Assistant Ed Oberts.
The program is a partnership between the Kenai Chamber of Commerce, The Peninsula Job Center, KCHS, and the community of the Central Peninsula, and is also designed to increase student awareness of job opportunities that may exist in the area after they complete their education.
KCHS junior Lindsey Taylor hands new born Joshua Tree to his mother Julie at CPGH during Job Shadow day last week.
After an early breakfast at the KCHS cafeteria, the students and their matches were off to the work-a-day world on the Kenai Peninsula. Some headed to doctors offices and dental clinics, others out the North Road to the industrial complexes, and some interested in the news media ran into each other covering the day where they were making the news.
Peninsula Clarion reporter Jenni Dillon found herself answering questions from broadcasting journalist shadow Kamela Brewer, "It's a little different to have someone else with me, but it's a great opportunity to help a young and up and coming journalist," said Dillon.
KCHS Job Shadow students TJ Hancock and Kenny Dormady, watch a computer generated training fire be extinguished last week during Job Shadow day.
Kari Palm was shadowing Dillon and said, "I hope to find out if journalism is as wonderful as I thought, is it getting into peoples faces, getting first hand information and being part of the action rather than hearing about it after the fact." In an article she wrote for last Thursday's Clarion Palm concluded, "Thanks to the job shadow, I have determined that journalism could be the career for me."
The Job Shadow day finished with a special meeting of the Kenai Chamber of Commerce at the Diamond Rose that included brief addresses by KPBSD Superintendent of Schools Donna Peterson, Chamber President Cherie Brewer, Kenai Police Chief Chuck Kopp, and School Board member Margaret Gilman.
KCHS junior Kamela Brewer interviews Sgt. Glenn Godfrey and Lt. Steve Bear with Alaska Department of Wildlife Protection.
Prior to the luncheon Kamela Brewer interviewed Dr. Peterson for KSRM radio news and asked if she had plans of expanding the Job Shadow program to junior classes at other district high schools, "That's a great question and of course we do. We want to expand this beyond KCHS and to other schools certainly in the district, it's an idea that's growing throughout the state and it's wonderful to be able to talk about the professionalism and the activities of the junior class at Kenai Central to other superintendents in Alaska. This has been a great experience for all the community members, the students, and certainly the school district, everybody wins with programs like this," said Peterson.
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