A Hands-On Approach to Life Beyond the Classroom (Contains Video)

As we’ve mentioned before, arguably, one of the main purposes of education is to prepare students for life beyond the classroom—the component of daily living that involves supporting one’s self by means of employment.

Colchester Middle School recently hosted its annual Career Carnival, granting students the opportunity to engage in a number of college- and career-related conversations and activities. Please click here for a video of a day in the life of Colchester School District, which includes footage from the Career Carnival.

With the goal of connecting school and skill sets to students’ lives beyond graduation, the event was designed to demonstrate the vast opportunities awaiting the students and the ways in which those various opportunities combine to make a community and an economy thrive.

A committee championed by CMS’s Kara Pawlusiak that included teachers, parents, and engaged community members organized the event (as is affirmed by the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017, which specifically encourages community involvement in our schools). Community representatives from an array of industries supported the effort, providing career-oriented, hands-on activities and real-world challenges in order to demonstrate what their jobs actually entail.

The 2014 Career Carnival presenters spanned an immense variety of career fields:

Chef Christine Frost from the Essex Cook Academy

culinary 3_s

Keith McGilvery and Jennifer Reading with WCAX
Brent Hallenbeck with the Burlington Free Press

WCAX's Keith McGilvery and Jennifer Reading offered a presentation about communications to students

WCAX’s Keith McGilvery and Jennifer Reading offered a presentation about communications to students

The Arts
Abby Manock
Andy Duback with Duback Photography
Libby Davidson with Starflower Studio

art 3_s

Danielle Vardakas-Ducko with Honest Yoga
Jen Barden with Spotlight on Dance
Sarah DeGray with REV Cycling Studio

Wendy Sorrell with the UVM Extension’s 4-H and Youth
Dr. Nancy Frantz with Milton Veterinary Hospital
Joan Powell and Sam Bigger with the Farmhouse Center

Lola the therapy dog pitches in

Lola the therapy dog pitches in

Health and Wellness
Dan Curry with Appletree Bay Physical Therapy
Jessica Barrow with Champlain Valley Area Health Education Center
Dr. Thomas Ruescher with Timberlane Dental Group
Dr. Jessica Stadtmauer with Mountain View Natural Medicine

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
Mark Lagerquist and Bob Zwonik with IBM

Information Technology
Ed Booth

Law and Public Safety
Jeffery Fontaine with the Colchester Police Department
Michelle Bourgeois with Colchester Rescue
Attorney Matt Shagam

The US Border Patrol landed a helicopter on the CMS/MBS green, much to the delight of the amassed crowd

The US Border Patrol landed a helicopter on the CMS/MBS green, much to the delight of the amassed crowd


Marketing and Advertising
Peter Mitchell and Jordan Carrell with Burton Snowboards
Lindsey LaCross with WPTZ

Banking and Finance
Betty Koshinsky with People’s United Bank
Trish Phelps with Vermont Federal Credit Union

Building Design and Construction
Jason Lavoie and Austin Chagnon with Lavoie Plumbing and Heating
Matt Pinard with Pinard Electric
Tricia Roy with Smith Alvarez Sienkiewycz Architects

Career Carnival_s

Tech Programs and Military
Center for Technology, Essex
Pilot Philip Small with the Army National Guard
Garrett Greer and Seth Fiore with the Department of Homeland Security


Auto and Aviation
Keith Schnabel with MasterTech Automotive
Rick Sylvester and students with Burlington Technical Center’s Aviation program

To learn more about what Colchester School District offers to help prepare students for their careers, please click here to read our primer about it, and be sure to check out an article about it in the May 2014 issue of Currently Colchester.

Many thanks to all of the community volunteers who helped to make this event possible!

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