Students at Bucknell Elementary School were handcuffed and given polygraph tests last week. They loved every minute of it.
As part of their annual Career Day, they listened to presentations by representatives from the American Lung Association, IRS, FBI, Mount Vernon Gazette, Fort Belvoir, U.S. State Department, U.S. Secret Service, West Potomac Academy, Partnership for Healthier Kids, United States Navy, Fairfax County Sheriffís Department, Inova, Mount Vernon Voice, McDonald's Corp., Fairfax County Fire Department, Sports Marketing and the Fairfax County Police Department.
Especially interesting was the group from the U.S. Secret Service. Several agents came to speak and show the students how to use handcuffs, bullet-proof vests and other tools of the trade. During the 20-minute interactive sessions, the students were able to try them all out. In the room with the FBI agents, students took a real polygraph test and had their fingerprints taken.
Prior to the presentations, the speakers were served lunch in the library. Pamela Mack, U.S. State Department, said she was planning to talk about world travel and the role of the United States Embassy. Officer Clift from the Fairfax County Police Department shared a table with LN1 Jason Blanchette, legal man first class who works at the Navy Yard. Blanchette was planning to talk about his work with submarine, while Clift was going to do one of the safety presentations that he does for the schools.
Rendell L. Long, a pilot with the U.S. Army at Fort Belvoir, was there courtesy of his wife, Cornelia Long, speech pathologist and one of the coordinators of the special event.
Long said that Shannan Jones was the main Career Day coordinator; Lois Luca, Augustine Hoskins and Wanda Thomas, assisted in the preparations as well.
"It's a great turnout from the community," said Cornelia Long.
Penn Daw Fire & Rescue was well represented by Firefighter Marc Saldivar, Master Technician Robert Burlingame and Master Technician James Low. They were planning to talk about their jobs.
"We'll give an overview of what we do, and what it takes to be a firefighter," Burlingame said. "We'll also stress the importance of school."
Representing Inova's Partnership for Healthy Kids were Julie Reynolds, Meryl Rukenbrod, Glicer Seufert and Laura Martinez.
"We go around to schools and talk about nutrition and staying healthy," Reynolds said.
WALT WHITMAN Middle School held their Career Day earlier this week. Susan Stentz, who coordinated the event with Michelle Williams, said that students selected their first four choices for two presentations given during sixth and seventh period.
"The kids had a great time with the transplant center director. He had the kids really excited about medicine, showing them the container that holds live organs," said Stentz, who was also happy that representatives from Fort Belvoir were able to make it.
She thought that Jay Matthewss' presentation was very interesting; among other things he spoke about working with Jaime Escalante, the math teacher depicted in Matthews' book, "Stand and Deliver."
On the schedule were: Chris Stevenson, nurse; David DeStefano, director of recovery service, Washington Regional Transplant Center; Dr. Reza Nikpour, chiropractor; Chuck Curcio, manager/owner of The Tortilla Factory; Bill Allen, auto technician, Sheehy Honda; Jay Matthews, journalist, Washington Post; Ronald Fitzsimmons, politician and lobbyist; Jennifer Rosinski, musician, Mount Vernon Orchestra; Valerie Six, computer technician; Josh McKee, construction manager; Barbara Dunnuck, cosmetologist; Andrea Zych and Mrs. Brewster, counselors; Major Woofford, Fort Belvoir; P.J. Humphrey, volunteer; Betsy Mathias, travel agent, Mount Vernon Travel; Karen Jenkins, artist, Mosaic Memories; Janice Olshesky, architect, Olshesky Design Group; Sharon Anderson, CIA; and Candace Anderson, application room.
"We got great reviews," Stentz said. "Some presenters were very interactive, the hairdresser did up-dos and the woman from Mount Vernon Orchestra brought her music."