More than 430 freshmen from Ninth Grade Academy, Fayetteville High School and Riverside Christian Academy attended the annual Rotary Career Day Friday on the Motlow College Fayetteville Center campus.
Hosted each year for more than a decade, Rotary Career Day is a partnership presented by the Rotary Club of Fayetteville and Motlow State Community College here. It gives students an opportunity to learn more about a wide variety of career fields at a time when they are asked to begin planning for their futures.
“I think we had an awesome day,” said Lucy Williams, president of the Fayetteville Rotary Club. “Planning for the event began several months ago as students and teachers selected areas of interest – fields about which students would like to learn more – at this crucial time in their lives.
“We very much appreciate Ninth Grade Academy, Fayetteville High School and Riverside Christian Academy seeing the value of this event for their freshmen,” she continued. “And of course, we couldn’t do it without the hard work of Laura Monks, director of the Motlow Fayetteville Center, who is always instrumental in bringing Rotary Career Day together.”
Monks, a former Rotarian and current president of the Fayetteville/Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, noted that the event was initiated by Mike Russell, former director of the Motlow College Fayetteville Center and also a former Fayetteville Rotarian. When Rotary Career Day was first presented, juniors from across the city and county attended, but with increased emphasis on ninth graders making choices early, the focus changed this year to the freshman class.
“It is our hope that this event plants a seed with the freshmen at a time when they are making career decisions, not only about what colleges they might be interested in attending but also perhaps what technical schools they might like to attend,” said Mrs. Monks. “This is an opportunity for them to speak to the expert and learn from professionals’ first-hand experiences.”
As the event approached, each freshman registered to attend three of the sessions presented by 35 professionals.
“We very much appreciate each of our presenters who volunteered their time so that students might make better choices about their futures,” said Mrs. Williams. “We hope that many of the students were impacted by what they saw and learned here today.”
Presenters for the 2013 Rotary Career Day and their areas of focus include: Tonya Steelman, finance director for the City of Fayetteville, accounting and bookkeeping; Paul Johnson of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, aerospace careers; David Qualls, University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service agent, agriculture careers; Bill Stovall, Stovall’s Body Shop, auto body repair careers; Bob Swartzentrover, auto technology instructor at Tennessee Technology Center in Shelbyville, careers as an automotive and diesel mechanic; Sandra Morris, FirstBank, banking and finance; Richard Hardin, Hardin Home Builders, carpenter and builder;
Keith Sipek, chef at Huntsville Hospital, chef, restaurant, hospitality fields; Cathy Pitts, First Presbyterian Church Child Care Center, child care and day care professions; Dr. James Deaton, chiropractor; Jerry Taylor, information technology director, City of Fayetteville, computer and technology careers; Tina Freeman, Fayetteville School of Cosmetology, cosmetology fields; Beth Baker, dental hygienist with Dr. James Colbert; Chad Brown, shift supervisor and critical care paramedic, Lincoln County Health Facilities Emergency Management Services; Tom Bailey, civil engineer, engineering careers;
Mona Raines, manager, Goody’s Department Store, fashion careers; Michael Pendergrass, firefighter and fire prevention coordinator with the Fayetteville Fire Department; Carlotta Solomon and Dawn Millaway, radiology, Lincoln Medical Center, health careers; Keith Bills, industrial maintenance instructor, Tennessee Technology Center; Deputy Tull Malone, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department, law enforcement careers; Drew Wright, assistant district attorney general, 17th Judicial District, attorneys; Ingrid Williams, workforce development, Motlow College, leadership and job skills; Gina Warren, Fayetteville Public Utilities, marketing, advertising and sales;
Stanley Evans, SJS Machine, machine shop and tool and die careers; Jim Neale, retired military; Susan Compton, a nurse at Lincoln Medical Center; Jimmy Damron, pharmacist at Carter’s Drug Store; Patty Richardson, pharmacy tech, Carter’s Stone Bridge Drug Store; Laura Clark, physical therapist, Patrick Rehab Wellness; Scott Shelton, commercial pilot;
Kelly Holcomb, a former professional football player in the NFL, Blue Raider Hall of Famer, and color analyst with the Blue Raider Network; Dr. Rachel McCauley, psychology and counseling; Dr. Wanda Shelton, director of schools, Lincoln County School System, teaching; Dr. Jim Harwell, retired veterinarian; and Mike Thomas, owner of Southern Ironworks, welding.