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School Career Day
Mr. Terry Fator, celebrity ventriloquist, visited Lomie Gray Heard Elementary School to educate students about his career as an entertainer during the first-ever “Career Event” held at the school May 18. Mr. Fator entertained students with bits from this Las Vegas show, which he performs nightly in the local area. The purpose of the “Career Event” is to expose students to a variety of career fields in effort to encourage and motivate them to continue their education and pursue a profession they are passionate about.
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Career day at elementary school brings in professionals, celebrities

Posted 5/18/2009   Updated 5/18/2009 Email story   Print story


by Capt. Amanda Ferrell
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

5/18/2009 - Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.  -- More than 40 professionals representing a variety of Air Force and civilian career fields are speaking with students about their career choices during the first-ever Lomie Gray Heard Elementary School "Career Event" this week. 

"This week's event exposes our students to a variety of career fields and professions," said Ms. Traci Dyer, elementary school principal and education advocate. "An event like this, which educates our students about future opportunities, can hook a student's mind and help motivate them to work hard toward a goal or career they are passionate about." 

There has been no shortage of passion or excitement as visitors such as NASCAR driver Jeremiah Wagner and celebrity entertainer Terry Fator took stage to talk with students about the hard work and dedication that lead them to professional success. 

"Our visitors have been great," said Ms. Terry Ann Coletto, school counselor and event organizer. "And the students are excited to hear from each (professional). Many older students have been asking questions to learn more about specific careers - both in the military and civilian sector." 

Students from kindergarten to fifth grade have the opportunity to learn about various career fields, although many students already have ideas about their future. 

"My favorite presentation was the bomb squad and the drug-sniffing dog," said Corey Cranford, first grade student. "But I already know I want to be an artist, because Art is my favorite class." 

To be an artist, creativity is essential, which has been the event organizer's approach to the event. 

"The process began 10 weeks ago when I started making calls to professionals in the community," said Ms. Coletto, who received significant support from Col. Greg Dodson, 99th Mission Support Group commander, while planning the event. "We reached out to organizations on base, as well as top professionals in the community." 

The feedback and response from professional volunteers was overwhelming, said Ms. Coletto. 

Guests from the community included a district judge, attorney, broadcast personality, newspaper reporter, children's book author and the concert master from the Las Vegas Philharmonic, said Ms. Coletto. Also, Nellis Airmen representing Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Security Forces and the base hospital participated in the career event to share their insight and military experience with students, she said. 

The event benefitted both guest speakers and students alike; as many professionals left feeling as though they made a significant impact on the elementary students. 

"It was a unique experience," said Mr. Andrew Taylor, reporter for the Sunrise View newspaper and guest speaker. "It was great to sense their interest and excitement in what I do for a living. I think it's a great opportunity for the students, and I wouldn't hesitate to participate in the event again in the future." 

While next year's "Career Event" is not officially confirmed, Lomie Gray Heard administrators are hoping to organize a similar opportunity again next year with hopes of repeated success.

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