Woodley Hills Elementary School was abuzz with excitement last week during its Career Day. The buzz came not only from the speakers who volunteered their time, but also from the Black Hawk helicopter that landed in the school’s open field. CW2 Jonathan Evan, 12th Aviation Battalion, arrived with a crew from Fort Belvoir and maneuvered the helicopter into position on the field.
Students from various classes took turns going out to view the inside of the helicopter and talk to the pilot and his crew. At the end of morning, most of the students gathered outside to watch the helicopter depart and head back to Fort Belvoir.
Other students listened to representatives from local police and fire departments, the U.S. Navy and the FBI. They heard from an optician, interior designer, beautician, meteorologist, environmental education director, artist, physical therapist, home developer, music producer, community specialist, chef, attorney, graphic designer and homeless advocate. Some of the students visited with Rodney Chambers, the decorated Amtrak police officer who successfully restrained a man threatening to throw a grenade at Union Station a few years ago.
“We had a wonderful turnout for Career Day,” said Kate Joiner, event organizer. “I feel like we couldn't have asked for more committed, engaging and enthusiastic speakers. Our speakers represented more than 20 different professions, and I was really impressed with their ability to get students excited and involved in learning about a wide range of career options. The only career exposure many of our students have is some awareness of what their parents or teachers do for a living, so I feel like Career Day is a great learning experience for them.”