School children get eyeful at Vehicle Career Day

Passersby may have wondered about the flashing police lights on High Street in Killdeer last Thursday, May 19.


By Jennifer Strange

For the DC Herald

And they may have noticed the street and Killdeer Public School parking lot were both closed off and filled with bumper-to-bumper vehicles of nearly every type imaginable—from a professional race car to oil industry semis to horse trailers, ambulances, fire engines, cranes, tractors and even a cement mixer.

This was KPS’s first-ever Vehicle Career Day. For two hours, instead of sitting at their desks, 280 K-8 graders rotated from vehicle to vehicle for short chats with regional and local professionals from dozens of fields. An air horn was sounded every five minutes to prompt the students along to the next station.

“The idea is for students to learn more about other careers by getting an overview of what that job is all about,” said K-12 school counselor Courtney Vettel, who coordinated the program with third-grade teacher Clayton Johnson. “Putting a job with a vehicle gives students a face they can see out in the community and makes it little more real for them.”

Vettel was inspired to bring Vehicle Career Day to KPS as a way to expand students’ imaginations about what’s possible in their lives, with a special focus on local jobs.

“Most kids can only name a few different careers: cop, farmer, nurse, teacher,” she said. “We hope this introduces the students to careers they’ve never heard of and broadens their horizons.”

Professionals were asked to present a short summary of their work life, including positive and negative aspects, schooling and training requirements and how the job helps the community.

Darci Schettler, a vet assistant and equine massage therapist, brought Miss Paisley to the event. An Australian red heeler, Miss Paisley provided students with a hands-on opportunity to hear from Schettler what it’s like to work with animals as a care provider.

“Today she gets to meet all the kids,” said Schettler. “She’s really good with people and is a perfect dog for things like this.”

As the morning wore on and the sun got warmer, Schettler gave Miss Daisy a break and brought an eager beagle in for the last hour or so.

Students and professionals got a break, too, as Vettel made the rounds with donuts and juice boxes. About 30 professionals participated in Vehicle Career Day. Brock White Entertainment provided deejay services throughout the educational event.

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