On Wednesday, August 31 the Lincoln Academy junior class heard from more than a dozen local professionals who came to campus to talk about their careers and answer student questions about the necessary preparation for their vocation. Career Day is an established part of orientation for LA juniors, who spend their first day of eleventh grade looking ahead to life after high school. Each class at Lincoln Academy has its own annual orientation: while juniors explore career interests, seniors experience a day of teambuilding at Camp Kieve, sophomores participate in community service, and freshmen learn the nuts and bolts of high school with their new advisors.
Alison Welch is a Lincoln Academy French teacher and serves as the Team Leader for the junior class. She coordinated the event. “The goal for the Career Awareness Day is to have students start the school year thinking about life after high school, and possible options available to them. And as they begin to formulate a plan for their future, students may be more conscience about choices they face on a daily basis.”
Speakers were chosen based on student responses to a survey sent out last May, asking about their interests in “life after high school.” Welch cast a wide net in search of speakers that would engage the Class of 2018. “We invited individuals who represented at least 30 different fields.”
Fifteen speakers came to the Career Day event on August 31. They included: Megan Deraps, Lincoln Academy’s Athletic Trainer, Eric Duffy, Lincoln Academy’s new school nurse, who has worked as a teacher, wilderness trip leader, and emergency room nurse; Dr. Rifat Zaidi, an Orthopedist at Lincoln Health, and his daughter Izzy Zaidi, an LA graduate and current pre-med student; Lisa Katz, a local therapist and social worker; Lorna Fake, a second grade teacher at Great Salt Bay School; Larry Bartlett, a Civil and Environmental Engineer; Rand Maker, a law-enforcement officer; Alan Davis, a Computer technologist; Carter Newell, a Marine Biologist and aquaculturist; Dean Lunt, a Publisher; Scott Sell, a filmmaker from Rockland; Myles Jordan, a musician and the cellist in the DaPonte String Quartet; and Darren Flanagan, a teacher at Lincoln Academy who has also worked as a financial advisor.
After hearing introductions by the speakers, students got to choose two that they wanted to hear more about.
“Going into Career Day, I didn’t really know what to expect,” said junior Levi McAtee, “The two people I met with (Mr. Duffy the nurse and Mr. Newell the marine biologist) had two things in common. It was clear to me that the two of them were both happy with their career choice as well as passionate for it. After listening to them both, I realized that if I am going to be genuinely happy with what I do, I need to choose something that I’m passionate for. Something that will give a sense of purpose and fulfillment everyday. So while I still have no idea what career it is I’m looking for, at least I’m starting to get a sense of what it should be like when I do find it.”
Helen Newell is another junior who participated, and she commented, “for me, Career Day helped clarify and clear up the uncertainty I was experiencing on what I was seeking. Myles Jordan, who spoke about being a professional musician, spoke both directly to me about his journey as well as giving me insight on my own personal path.”
According to Head of School David Sturdevant, Career Awareness Day “gives students a chance to ask questions about real world applications of subjects they are studying, concepts they are learning, and skills they are gaining. It also exposes students to different ideas about possibilities related to traditional and nontraditional courses of study, apprenticeships, and more. Often, students don’t realize what people do, what they need to know in order to perform their job, or how they prepare for a career. It’s also possible that students may learn about a career they never knew existed. We hope that students leave Career Day sessions with questions and ideas that will prompt them to learn more about the possibilities that wait for them when they leave LA.”