As part of Career and Technical Education Month, celebrated nationally during the month of February, the V.I. Department of Education’s State Office of Career & Technical Education (CTE) sponsored a career day at Julius E. Sprauve Elementary School on Feb. 14 to introduce students to various career fields.
Nancy Callwood, CTE State Office director, said, “Students were given a tangible experience that they can begin relating their interests to careers. They were able to ask questions, participate in some hands-on activities, and overall, broaden their understanding of specific careers.”
A range of guest speakers were invited from both St. Thomas and St. John to present to students: • Shani Carbon, beautician and entrepreneur of Shani’s Beauty Salon • Eric Provost, barber and entrepreneur of Love City Barber Shop • Bob O’Conner Jr., entrepreneur and local icon • Clarence Stephenson, deputy fire chief on St. John • Doug Walters, fireman and taxi operator • Malcolm Sprauve Jr., boat captain • Donalyn Allen, speech pathologist • Duke Este, marine foreman • Sallie Baez, paralegal/office manager.
“Because this was done at Sprauve School and many of the presenters were from St. John,” Callwood said, “students were able to recognize and relate to those individuals they knew. They gained a better understanding and respect for what the speakers have accomplished.”
It was the first time Callwood’s office had sponsored the activity at the school; however, similar career days have been a part of Sprauve School for many years.
“Julius E. Sprauve School is actually my alma mater, and I can recall having career days back in the early 80s with both my business and math teachers, Clemmie Moses and Carolyn Challenger,” she said. “Speaking with those teachers and presenters assisted me in choosing the business field in high school, college and beyond.”
“I am hoping the students begin to think about their interests and learn that what they love to do every day can become a career for their lifetime,” she said. “I wanted them to get exposure and to continue having conversations with their parents, teachers and friends about what they heard on Career Day and what they see around them that could turn into a career.”