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The New Testament Christian School held Career Week for their 7th – 12th grade students last month, offering presentations from numerous local business owners, a tour of the new Hospital in Madison, a field trip to the University of Florida and mock interviews that included tips on how to land the perfect job.
Career week started on Monday, April 21, with a tour of the new Madison County Memorial Hospital on 309 NE Marion Street. Ted Ensminger, the Coordinator and Director of Marketing for the hospital, said the students from New Testament was the very first public tour of the hospital and students and instructors were able to tour the entire facility. The tour included the emergency department, operating rooms, radiology and lab departments, all of the behind the scenes maintenance areas and inside the three different types of patient rooms the hospital will offer. Ensminger said most students seemed impressed by the sheer scale of the building and overall flow of the structure, but it was the new helipad that was their favorite, causing imaginations to soar.
Tuesday was the biggest day of Career Week as the school had numerous guest speakers from many different career fields speaking to groups of students throughout the day. The speakers presented their careers to students from 8:30 a.m., all the way through 2:30 p.m., with only a few breaks, giving students a full day’s worth of information. They heard from Wayne Conger, Clinical Psychologist; Sgt. Jake Burgess, National Guard; Judi Wyche, Entrepreneur; John Grosskopf, President of NFCC and Darren Baxley, Veterinarian, to name just a few.
Tuesday was more than just discovery of different career fields. Some of the speakers shared stories of how God changed their career plans “mid-stream” and in doing so, changed the course of their lives. The message, said Nancy Taylor, a teacher at New Testament, was for students to remain open to changes God may have for them in their careers as well as in their lives. She further said that two scriptures in the Bible, often discussed with students, are both relevant to this suggestion. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope,” and Colossians 3:23 “Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” NLT
The next day was a treat for students as they traveled to Gainesville in order to tour the campus of University of Florida where they received an overview of the university’s programs and admissions process.
Career Week concluded on Thursday with Becky Bennett,
4-H Extension Agent in Madison, visiting the school to speak on her job as a County Extension Agent. She also gave an overview of the different extension agent jobs: Agriculture, 4-H and Family and Consumer Science, which is the specialty of Extension Director, Diann Douglas and also discussed career camps and programs available through 4-H.
The day ended with mock job interviews where students “interviewed” for one of five different jobs: marketing/sales representative for a fashion magazine, firearms safety instructor, crime scene investigator, educational program coordinator for an art museum and pediatric nurse. The five positions selected were to offer a variety of career interests expressed by the students. Three local residents and businesspersons conducted the interviews: Ralph Gray, owner of Suwannee River Supply; Jane McClung, who has a variety of career skills and Gary Webb, co-owner of Greenville Timber. After the interviews, these three shared basic tips on how to improve the student’s chances for landing the perfect job.
At the end of New Testament’s Career Week, Taylor said one of the more memorable moments that stood out for students was the trip to the University of Florida. She said all the older students enjoyed seeing the university and one high school student in particular became even more emphatic she would be attending UF and now had plans on becoming a Veterinarian. The younger students also had some excitement as they were enchanted with the Humvee and other military equipment brought to the campus by Sgt. Jake Burgess of the National Guard.
Jenny Starling, one of the co-principals at New Testament, said Career Week at the school was even better than she imagined. “We had some really fantastic speakers and the kids surprised me.” Starling said they were very attentive to the speakers, asked really good questions and engaged in good conversations on the subjects presented. “The kids truly impressed me.”