CONWAY — Elementary and middle schools in SAU 9 and SAU 13 presented a unified Career Day for the young students of Mount Washington Valley on June 4. The event was the result of several months of collaboration among the school counselors in both SAUs and included participation from building principals, school nurses, family liaisons, teachers and support staff.

Victoria Hill, school counselor/family advocate at Jackson Grammar School, said more than 50 community members volunteered their time to either create a video for the Career Day website or to present live. The result was a true community event that demonstrated the best of what the valley has to offer. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the presentations were pre-recorded or live-streamed talks with local professionals explaining their educational background and training, a typical day on the job and the highlights of their chosen careers.

“MWV’s diverse career options provided a wide array of learning opportunities to suit each student’s interests, including an Olympic skier, a dog trainer, civil engineer, author, mechanic, mountain guide, farmer, musicians, doctors, firefighters, food service workers and more,” said Hill. Career Day began several years ago as a smaller project involving the Conway elementary schools and has now grown to include nine schools (Josiah Bartlett Elementary School, Jackson Grammar School, John H. Fuller School, Conway Elementary School, Pine Tree Elementary School and Kennett Middle School in SAU 9, along with Freedom Elementary School, Madison Elementary School and the K.A. Brett School in Tamworth for SAU 13) and more than 1,200 children.

According to Hill, the event offers students “the opportunity to take a career interest inventory that matches their strengths to possible career paths and to learn about job opportunities they might not have considered before. It also offers a glimpse into the work involved in running a business or turning a talent into a career.”

The in-person presentations, held outside this year, gave students a chance to put their job skills to the test by creating with flowers, food and art supplies. “The success of the day was thanks to the myriad professionals of Mount Washington Valley who volunteered their time and skills to help students get excited to enter the workforce,” said Hill. “The future looks bright for these kids.”

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