Students career shadow for a day |

Students career shadow for a day

by Teri Vance

Nevada is one of only two states in the nation to have a student advisory council for the Job Shadow Day.

“Nevada wants all of its kids to graduate from high school and go to a community college, university or another type of training,” said Charlotte Curtis, Nevada’s School to Careers coordinator.

Curtis said the program emphasizes job awareness in elementary school, job exploration in middle school and job experience in high school.

Gov. Kenny Guinn had proclaimed Wednesday as Groundhog Job Shadow Day in which students were encouraged to go to work with their parents or another professional.

“The transition of Nevada’s students to the work place is a primary concern for educators, parents, businesses and government,” said Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt. “Programs like Groundhog Job Shadow Day are excellent opportunities to show students the relevance of their education.”

Groundhog Job Shadow Day is part of the national School to Careers program which sponsors various activities that promote students to focus on moving into a career.

Members of the student council were given the choice to shadow any person in the state.

Elko High School senior Justin Strachan chose to shadow Hunt.

“I loved it,” Strachan said. “I got to go to an Interim Finance Committee meeting and I got to see how the wheels really grind.”

Strachan said he plans to attend the University of Nevada, Reno next year to pursue a medical career but is interested in politics as well.

The shadowing program can work both ways.

Katie Chantrill, a senior at Spring Creek High School and member of the student advisory council, said she had considered becoming a doctor.

“Last year, I job shadowed to be a doctor and found out that’s not what I wanted to do at all,” she said. “This year, I shadowed a museum curator and found out it’s exactly what I want to do.”

Chantrill shadowed Eugene Hattori, curator of anthropology for the state museum. Chantrill was offered an internship next year when she attends UNR to pursue a fine arts degree.

Greg Marangi, the regional coordinator for School to Careers, said the target group for this year’s Groundhog Shadow Day was eighth graders.

He said that last year 472 Eagle Valley Middle School students participated in the program.

“It was such a success so we thought this year we’d focus mainly on them,” Marangi said. “It’s a way to show them that what they study in school translates into skills in the business world.”

He said they encouraged students to interview their parents and learn more about their parents’ occupations.

“Kids gain a work ethic from home, not from school,” he said. “This creates a partnership between school, parents and students.”

Marangi’s 13-year-old daughter, Alexa, shadowed him for the day.

“It’s been fun,” Alexa said. “He works a lot and communicates with a lot of people and that’s what I would like to do.”