HMS students ponder future

Middle school combines Kansas Day celebration
with career readiness day

Staff writer

As a way to celebrate Kansas’s 153rd birthday, Hillsboro Middle School students spent the majority of Jan. 29 considering their distant yet imminent future and purpose in the world.

After a presentation given by former USD 410 teacher James Robb, students spent the morning listening to Hillsboro alumni talk about what sort of education and training they had to acquire in order to achieve their occupations.

During the presentations, students were separated into small focus groups according to interests indicated by a survey given prior to the event.

“Each group went to a different room and heard presentations from three alumni,” teacher Gita Noble said. “Some speakers used visual aids.”

Some presenters gave slideshow presentations to illustrate what their jobs entailed.

“Ryan Janzen brought along wire and his lineman tools to show how he works on electric lines,” Noble said. “Justin Friesen and Ronn Coates brought along samples attire made at Khaos Apparel to help show how they create designs and print logos onto clothing.”

Some alumni could not physically be present but still found ways give presentations to the students.

Corissa Magnus and Jenny Whisenhunt both made prerecorded videos for students to watch, while Chris Coryea scheduled a live conference call from London, England, to talk about his career there with Lockheed Martin.

Eighth graders Abby Sechrist, Callie Meisinger, Brodie Rathbone, and seventh grader Caleb Rempel said they all learned patience is a virtue in the quest for a dream job, because people tend to change employment a lot.

Alumnus Jon Christensen told them the average person changes jobs seven times within their lifetime.

After lunch, students split up into different groups and visited a number of different Hillsboro businesses.

Salesman Rod Hamm of Midway Motors said students asked him questions like “How many cars do you sell in a month?” to which he told them “It varies.”

At Hillsboro Police Department, chief Dan Kinning informed students of the physical, physiological, and academic training cadets need to complete before becoming an officer of the law.

He also answered student questions about pepper spray, Tasers, and lie detectors.

CEO Marion Regier welcomed students to Hillsboro Community Hospital with a short presentation.

She informed students that although most people generally think about nurses and doctors when they think about hospital jobs, she said housekeeping, maintenance, and secretarial positions were employment opportunities crucial to every hospitals day-to-day business.

Regier also gave students a tour of the radiology department and laboratory, in which they witnessed medical technician Lisa Hoffman draw blood from medical lab technologist Dwight Johnson’s arm as a demonstration.

Other businesses student groups visited included Rod’s Tire, Jost Welding, Emprise Bank, Container Services, Inc., Cooperative Grain and Supply, Lang Diesel, and Hillsboro Animal Clinic.

“The idea was to show students an array of employment opportunities within their community,” Noble said.

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