FAIRFIELD, NJ — Fairfield’s Winston Churchill School was full of activity on Career Day, Wednesday, March 29, as fourth, fifth and sixth-grade students and guests prepared to participate in this annual event.
Student Council members were at the doors welcoming all guests and leading them into the school library’s reception area, where coffee and breakfast were set up for all presenters.
The breakfast was organized by the Home School Association (HSA). Food was supplied by Maschio Food Service and Zest, a new restaurant in town whose owner was one of the presenters. Lunch also was supplied by the HSA through Tavern 292.
More than 20 professionals and community leaders were invited to speak to the students about their individual careers and answer student questions. Presenters not only spoke about their occupations, but also described their education and the necessary qualifications needed to be successful.
Another important element of the event was that students learned how important their reading and math skills are in life.
Some presenters supplied samples, including Butch Lanzerotti of the Lyndhurst Pastry Shop, who allowed the students to sample the cake he decorated in front of them, and Tom Stewart of Bromilow’s Homemade Chocolates, who gave out chocolate eggs and bunnies.
Other presenters provided hands-on activities, such as allowing students to use stethoscopes. The gymnastics instructor also supervised fun exercises and activities.
The program began in the school auditorium with close to 300 students in attendance. Randy Patrizio from HDE Entertainment provided the upbeat introduction, along with Principal Raymond Santana. Also present was Susan Ciccotelli, Fairfield Township superintendent of schools.
From the auditorium, the students went to the first of four sessions.
The sixth graders got first choice of presenters. Fourth grader Avalon Warmington, who wants to be a veterinarian, said that she cannot wait until she is in sixth grade so she can have first choice and added that she enjoyed the program.
In the afternoon, students wrote letters to the presenters to thank them for sharing their careers and inspiring them.
The afternoon’s two keynote speakers were Morris County Sheriff James Gannon and David Corsaro, one of the top 200 magicians in the United States.
After the two keynote speakers, the "Dream Team" of Randy Patrizo and Alex Friedland of HDE Entertainment of East Hanover worked with the WCS student Culture and Climate team. Patrizo and Friedland worked with these students to showcase their skills.
They prepared a photo slideshow of the day’s events that was set to the Winston Churchill School song. At the end of the day, they also provided the entire student body with a dance party complete with light show and party giveaways.
Vanessa Mayer and Lindsay Hessenius served as Career Day co-chairs for the first time this year. Jaime Chavkin and Katie Prall, who were in charge of Career Day since 2010, passed the torch to Mayer and Hessenius.
“We truly appreciated everyone who volunteered to present to our students," they said. "Their willingness and excitement about participating in our school's Career Day did not go unnoticed. We are thrilled to start planning next year’s event, which is scheduled to take place in October 2017."
Mayer and Hessenius also encouraged those interested in participating and presenting to the students to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Career Day was a huge success,” said Fairfield school counselor Carly Crescibene. “Students were engaged and learned about a variety of careers. Students left Career Day feeling enthusiastic and optimistic about their future.”
She also said that Mayer and Hessenius did a “phenomenal job.”
Fifth grader Patrick Chippendale said that the day was “exciting,” and that he wants to be a computer programmer/graphic designer. Another fifth grader, Angela Britton, said that the day opened her eyes to different interests that might lead to a specific career, and she said, “Career Day shows us the path to get there.”
Michael Maglione, a sixth grader, said that it is important to learn about different careers, and added that he would like to be an engineer. Brielle DeMarco, who wants to be a gymnast, said that the day was “fun.”
“The day is not only fun, but it is a great opportunity for students to see what people do for a living,” said Lisa Smith, a member of HSA. “It is a way for students to explore different careers.”
The presenters included:
Accountant - Ms. Yamini D. Patel, CPA;
Baker - Butch Lanzerotti, Lyndhurst Pastry Shop;
Balloon Artist - Roseann DeFalco;
Business Developer – Carly Heissenbuttel
Chiropractor - Dr. Michael Sapienza, DC;
Chocolatier - Tom Stewart, Bromilow’s;
College Basketball Coach - Peter Marion;
Construction Engineer - Robert Ivers;
Doctor - Dr. Dena Lacara, DO;
Entertainment DJ - Randy Patrizio, HDE Entertainment, and Alex Friedland;
Firefighters - Captain Joe Przybylinski & guests - Fairfield Volunteer Fire Dept.;
Florist - Shaun Checke;
Graphic Designer - Andrew Mayer;
Gymnastics Instructor - Erin Gloor;
Makeup Artist - Dina Racciatti, Dina’s Kiss & Makeup;
Microsoft Consultant - Dan Quinones;
National Guard Veteran - Mo Cheema;
Newspaper Editor - Russ Crespolini;
Police Officer - Sergeant Chris Oswald;
Restaurant Entrepreneur - Luciana Contuzzi, ZEST;
Retail Store Manager - Ms. Jonanne Miller;
Robotics Camera Operator – Tom Corigliano;
Teacher - Terri Baccaro; and
Veterinarian - Dr. Mark Salemi, DVM.
Before Career Day, the students prepared for the event.
“All grade levels, fourth-through-sixth, at Churchill School created a slide presentation on Google slides," said Jen Perrone, computer teacher. "They used their computer periods to research different careers and added two-to-four facts per slide."
In the end, after adding transitions, animations and images, the students designed a Google slide presentation.