Eighth graders explore potential careers as part of annual Beaver Local event

CALCUTTA — Most presenters emphasized two pieces of advice: the importance of communication in any field that one pursues and having passion for that field.

Beaver Local Middle School presented its annual career day for eighth-grade students Friday and invited area professionals to come in and share information about their career paths with students.

According to guidance counselor Anne Eisenhart, students had been gearing up the past month for the event, which culminates a section that they did on career paths. Students were dressed for success, toting folders and pens from session to session as they traversed through the eighth-grade pod, hearing about everything from becoming an architect to joining the armed forces.

Dr. Amy Chronister, a veterinarian at her own Sunny Ridge Veterinary Clinic in Rogers, was accompanied by Oscar, as she explained her journey into veterinary medicine to an attentive crowd. She welcomed the opportunity to the students, many of them who was interested in the field, to shadow her in her large and small animal veterinary practice.

“When you pick a career, you want to pick something that fulfills you as a person,” she cautioned.

Chronister also emphasized the hard work involved, especially with owning one’s own practice. She explained that while she spends a lot of time in the physical clinic location, her practice takes her out a lot in the field. It makes for some very long days sometimes, recounting how she spent 15 hours on the road during pregnancy checks on horses throughout the Tri-State Area.

Because of that, Dr. Chronister emphasized the importance of budgeting one’s time wisely. “Veterinarians have a high incidence of burn out,” she explained, adding that some of her hardest days are when she has to discuss the death of a pet with an owner.

Todd Leasure, an executive chef at an area health care facility, became interested in the food service industry around the youth’s age, while assisting with meal preparation for his family after a parent returned to work. Bit by the bug, he explained his educational and career background and also reiterated the passion message.

He explained that as Julia Child said, “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”

Discussing food service as one of the largest employment fields in the United States, he explained it represents 10 percent of the American work force – only preceded by government operations.

People are increasingly dining out due to their busy schedule. “I’ve been in the industry for 35 years. I am passionate about what I do, and it has been given a great life. It is tough when residents don’t always listen to dietary recommendations we make but good communication and leadership skills is important,” Leasure added.

The annual event has become like a coming-of-age tradition at Beaver Local, but it is more than that.

Eisenhart explained that the Ohio Department of Education now requires middle school career exploration and this satisfies this need. However, this year was a little different. The event has been expanded to a full day, allowing OS Hill expanded time to cover careers in the transportation industry.

Other presenters included Mary Browne, civil engineering field; Mike Persohn, athletic training; Maria Boyd and Debbie Hummel, physical and occupational therapy; Janet Peterson, nursing; Columbiana County Common Pleas Judge Megan Bickerton, who spoke on careers in the field of law; James Briggs, careers in law enforcement; Dr. Jaime Swearinger, dentist; Dr. Andrea Eisenhart, physician; and Jesse Janosik, wildlife officer.