By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
SALTILLO – Saltillo Elementary School students will be a little better informed the next time someone asks what they want to do when they grow up.
The 770-student third- to fifth-grade school hosted a career fair on Friday morning. Thirty-six volunteers, most of them parents, spoke to the students about what they do for a living.
The speakers set up in various classrooms and students rotated to them for 20-minute sessions. Each class visited five speakers.
“We are trying to get them to think about setting goals, even at this young age,” said Saltillo Elementary School counselor Courtney Spencer. “…A lot of kids at this age want to be a pro athlete or a doctor. We want to show them all kinds of careers.”
Speakers included local business owners, military personnel, a truck driver, detective, judge and Tombigbee lineman, among others.
The students also dressed as what they hope to be. Many were football players or veterinarians.
“The best part was seeing the dude I want to be when I grow up,” said McKenzie Jones, 9, who wore a suit for the day. “He was a judge, and I want to be a lawyer.”
Fifth-grader Terry Wilkes, 10, dressed as a firefighter to honor his late father, a firefighter. He said he learned about construction and about fixing light poles but that he still wants to be a firefighter like his dad.
U.S. Magistrate Judge David Sanders said he was struck by the thoughtfulness of some of the questions he received.
“One student asked me if I was the kind of judge who handled cases where people ask for money or one who put people in jail,” Sanders said.
“In the fourth grade, it is fun to remember wanting to be a cowboy or an astronaut. It is also neat to point them in a direction they hadn’t thought about before.”