In an effort to expose students to as many professional pathways as possible as quickly as possible, the Windsor Central School District sent its entire 5th-grade student body to Broome-Tioga BOCES to explore career and technical options.
Industries included Hospitality, Culinary Arts, Video Production, Health Sciences, Cosmetology, Auto Tech and Heavy-Equipment Operation.
“I thought it was fun because of the heavy equipment,” said 5th grader Brody Mawhiney.
“There are a lot of good careers in heavy equipment and construction. Guys are retiring and there aren’t enough people. I talk to people in the industry and there just aren’t enough diesel mechanics and laborers,” said Dan Coleman, Heavy Equipment Repair and Operations (HERO) teacher.
5th grader John Helstein’s favorite station was welding. He plans to enroll in the Occupational Education program at BOCES in high school.
“I’ll do half days at BOCES and half here, then I’ll go into the Marines,” said Helstein.
The teachers at BOCES wanted to make sure students’ perception of careers matched the reality.
“Video production is a real career, but there’s more to it than being a YouTuber,” said teacher Rod Wankel. “You need to be able to do a bit of everything: shoot, edit, direct, write, act.”
This trip was an example of the District’s growing efforts to develop clear professional pathways for students through not only classroom coursework but off-campus experience in collaboration with community partners.
“The collaboration with the BOCES Career and Tech Ed Center is a great extension of the Career Days at the elementary schools. More importantly it lets incoming middle school students start to think about their careers and get a hands-on opportunity to explore their interest,” said Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Scott Beattie.
“We hope that this is something the district will continue to do with the students, because it really got many of their wheels turning in their heads about their futures,” said Weeks Elementary teacher Lindsey Hendricks.