Manitoulin Secondary School hosts successful career day

MSS career day Petty Officer 1st Class Morris Wadge, Corporal Nathan Farquhar and Petty Officer 1st Class Ron Fisher brought the joys of life in the military to the students of Manitoulin Secondary School. photos by Michael Erskine

M’CHIGEENG—Students at Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS) got a leg up on planning their future careers when 32 presenters took part in a career day event at the high school.

In a rotating series of presentations held in various classrooms throughout the school, and outside locations where appropriate (paramedics, heavy equipment operators and arborists, for example), presenters from a wide range of occupations explained what their careers entailed and what students could expect should they choose that career path.

Paramedics demonstrate their trade during the Manitoulin  Secondary School Career Day. photo by Susan Whynott
Paramedics demonstrate their trade during the Manitoulin
Secondary School Career Day.
photo by Susan Whynott

“I am going to subvert some young minds into a life of farming,” laughed presenter Max Burt, of Ice lake, as he headed into his presentation. Following the day’s events, Mr. Burt noted that there was a good reception amongst quite a number of the students.

“We helped make some of the students aware of the career possibilities, both full-time in the regular forces and part-time through the reserve,” said Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Ron Fisher, who was presenting along with Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Morris Wadge and Corporal Nathan Farquhar, who grew up on Manitoulin Island and is an alumni of MSS.

Corporal Farquhar was not alone among the presenters in being an MSS alumnus. “Of the 32 presenters, 17 were former MSS students,” said organizer Susan Whynott. “I think that having so many former students presenting really added a lot.”

Engineer Zack Meeker regales students with tales of the iron ring, what led him to become an engineer and the pathway to a  successful career in the field.
Engineer Zack Meeker regales students with tales of the iron ring, what led him to become an engineer and the pathway to a
successful career in the field.

Each student involved in Career Day had the opportunity to choose which careers they were most interested in learning about. The schedule had the presenters meeting with approximately 10 to 20 students in 30-minute time blocks. The students then rotated to the various classrooms, following a schedule created for him or her based on their career interests. The presenters remained in one location and hosted up to three morning and three afternoon sessions, coming in contact with a variety of students ranging from Grade 9 to Grade 12. A MSS staff member was assigned to each presenter for the entire day to ensure that the day ran smoothly. Lunch was provided and available at the school.

Typical sessions started off with the presenter sharing their story with the students. Ms. Whynott explained that students had previously indicated they were interested in finding the answers to the following questions: When you were their age, did you know what you wanted to do; What education do you need to do your job and what is a typical (if there is such a thing) day like; and What are some advantages and disadvantages of your career?

“I cannot thank you enough for taking the time out of your busy schedules and/or giving up a day’s wage to come to MSS and take part in Career Day 2016,” said Ms. Whynott, in her note to the career day presenters.

Speaking later, Ms. Wynott added that “Manitoulin businesses have always been supportive, whether it is in providing opportunities for students in the co-op program or in coming in to talk to the students. We have been extremely lucky.”

The Expositor took part in the Career Day as a participant and found the students to be engaged and inquisitive, with excellent questions about what being a journalist is like and how to prepare for a career in the journalism field.

The list of presenters taking part in the MSS Career Day event included Zack Meeker, engineering; Stewart Simpson, funeral director; Mike Varey, heavy equipment operator; Mike Erskine, journalist; Janelle Proulx, lawyer; Tamey McAllister, Manitoulin Transport; Given Cortes, massage therapist; Kevin Closs, musician; Paula Fields, nursing; Jennifer Belanger, paramedics; Kyle McDermid, personal trainer; Cassie Esposto, pharmacist; Lesley Green, physiotherapist; Marie Ford and Murray Still, policing (OPP and UCCM); Frank Kane, psychologist; Alison Orford, social worker; Nicole Fox, teacher (elementary); Jo Paquet, veterinarian; Heather Hall, accounting; Max Burt, agriculture-food science; Craig Timmermans, alternative energy; Mike Leande and Maria Diebolt, arborist; Joe Moor and Jeremiah Pulsifer, automotive service technician; Wayne Legge, business-entreprenuer-sales; Ron Fisher, Canadian Armed Forces; Steve Hill, carpenter; Greg Niven, chef; Laurel LeConte, dietician; Kelly Timmermans, DJ-event planner; Ben Quackenbush, doctor; Joe Cooper, Domtar, and Dave Hall and Jamey Van Horn, electrician.