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Career Day at McNeil Elementary!

Article|
Shane Mauldin|
Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Family medicine physician Dr. Jaclyn Barnard talks with McNeil Elementary students during the McNeil Elementary Career Day on May 3, 2024.

Family medicine physician Dr. Jaclyn Barnard talks with McNeil Elementary students during the McNeil Elementary Career Day on May 3, 2024.

McKinney, Texas – The kids all wanted to see the Bobcat do its thing. To be clear, not a wild, feline bobcat; rather, the ubiquitous construction machine known as the Bobcat whose habitat spans work sites across Texas鈥攁nd whose population surely outnumbers its furry namesake.

It was career day at McNeil Elementary, and there was something for everybody, a chance to learn about careers ranging from heavy equipment operator to doctor to chef to videographer to florist鈥攁nd points in between.

group of elementary students gathered around a Bobcat tractor with teacher and male presenter

The Bobcat demonstration was a crowd favorite during the McNeil Elementary Career Day.

鈥淎t McNeil, we鈥檝e been thinking about doing a Career Day for a few years,鈥 said McNeil Principal Tracy Meador. 鈥淲e got together a couple of months ago with our PTO president and started planning it, and it just all came together beautifully,鈥.

They connected with local businesses such as Chick-Fil-A and H-E-B and family members of students and former students whose volunteer spirit resulted in 12 career stops for McNeil kids to rotate through. Counselor Dawn Jones helped coordinate and guide the effort, and she said that she wanted to include careers that might be new to their students, that they hadn鈥檛 already learned about in class.

鈥淚 wanted to see the kids have an experience that they might not get anywhere else,鈥 she said. 鈥淚 just wanted to spark their interest.鈥

young male elementary student excitedly raising his hand to ask a question at the HEB station

At the H-E-B booth, students eagerly engaged in discussion about careers.

As the students made way around the school in groups with career passport cards to be stamped at each career station, toting bags donated by H-E-B, it was clear that different careers resonated with different kids.

But, when they reached the construction station set up along the east side of the school, and Buddy Flaherty fired up the Bobcat and began raising and lowering its front bucket and maneuvering about, it stole the show鈥攅ven among the adults.

And, while many of these students may not pursue a career in construction or heavy equipment operation, some of them might have been inspired to do just that. Or at other stations to become a florist or doctor or to join the ranks of our military.

鈥淥ne of the things that I love hearing them say every time they see me is, 鈥楳s. Jones, thank you so much. We love this!鈥欌 said Jones. 鈥淪o that鈥檚 been such a joy. I hope they take away just one little tidbit, one little thing about a career that might inspire them in high school or beyond.鈥

More McNeil Career Day Photos

group of students with HEB mascot

students in a group trying standing yoga stretch

McNeil female student in a line waving to someone as she walks by

presenter at McNeil career day talking to a group of students in a classroom about career options

male McNeil students looking at a medal that the presenter is showing them at the military booth during career day

florist presenters at table holding up an item as they talk to a group of students

colorful array of flowers in pink, yellow and light pink

Dawn jones and principal tracy meadow standing with HEB mascot for a photo

presenter talking to group of students in a classroom about videography

group of female McNeil students at doorway leaving classroom for their next station

student looking at camera equipment at photography career booth as presenter stands behind the table

chef presenter in the McNeil courtyard leans across table where students are seated reaching for an item as he talks about careers as a chef

girls excitedly raising their hands at station presented by a chef

student smiling at camera as she walks with classmates to their next station

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