Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) highlights Job Shadow Day events annually throughout February. Today, the Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Kimberly Hill participated in the program and invited a group of fifth graders to shadow them during the first part of the Board meeting.
Shadowing the Board today were nine students from Billingsley, T.C. Martin and Mary H. Matula elementary schools. Principals chose students to represent their schools. Each student was randomly assigned to their shadow.
Participating from Billingsley were fifth graders Kindle Archer, Zebulon Davis and Selena Duson. Representing Martin were Julian Costa, Kalynn Gutrick and Karson Stewart, and representing Matula were Antonio Barrows, Isaiah McCloggan and Alivia Snyder. The students sat next to their assigned shadow for the first part of the meeting.
At the start of the meeting, Dr. Hill introduced her shadow, Antonio Barrows. Barrows got to practice public speaking skills by reading part of Dr. Hill’s Board report. Barrows was able to prepare in advance and was excited for his part. “I was able to practice and am ready,” Barrows said. Barrows’ classmate Isaiah McCloggan was paired with Board Member Tajala Battle-Lockhart and Alivia Snyder shadowed Board Member Jennifer Abell.
Martin student Kalynn Gutrick was paired with Board Vice Chairman Latina Wilson. Her classmate Julian Costa shadowed Board Member Michael Lukas, and Karson Stewart shadowed Board Member Elizabeth Brown. Before the meeting started, students met their assigned shadows and talked about how they could participate in the meeting.
“Please ask any questions you may have and enjoy your experience,” Board Chairman Virginia McGraw said.
Billingsley student Zebulon Davis shadowed McGraw. Davis’ classmate Kindle Archer shadowed DeJuan Woods Jr., Student Member to the Board of Education, and Selena Duson, also of Billingsley, shadowed Board Member David Hancock.
The shadows participated in the Board meeting from 1 to 3 p.m. and heard presentations about the CCPS fine and performing arts program, as well as a project status update. Some of the questions heard by the Board and CCPS staff during the meeting from student shadows focused on costs of schools and theater productions. Martin student Julian Costa asked a group of teachers presenting, “What is the best part of teaching?”
The student shadows used the experience to learn about how the school system operates and about the Board of Education. They were also able to see a performance from the Thomas Stone High School a cappella group, the ThomasTones.
Job shadow experiences allow students to explore careers. CCPS has coordinated the job shadow activity with Board members for the past nine years. Each year in February, students from all grade levels participate in job shadowing activities, both in their communities and at school.
Job Shadow Day meets the objectives for one of the school system’s focus areas, career readiness. Students participate in shadowing experiences throughout February. More than 5,000 CCPS students participate in activities annually.
Schools coordinate a variety of job shadow activities for students, ranging from guest speakers and career fairs, to working with community partners to build support for career partnerships. Students also participate in on-the-job training experiences.
The Boston Private Industry Council launched Job Shadow Day in 1996 as part of its school-to-work efforts. In 1998, a coalition including Gen. Colin Powell’s America’s Promise was formed to encourage national participation. CCPS joined the effort in 1999 and has participated annually.
Charles County Public Schools provides 27,521 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.