- Associated Press - Saturday, May 28, 2016

STERLING, Ill. (AP) - Rock Falls High School senior Anna Musselman remembers her first Career Quest at Whiteside Area Career Center. She was shy back then, and had an interest in teaching little kids, which was solidified by the tour of the facility.

Now she’s an 18-year-old ramping up for college and wrapping up a year in Mary Sue Neubauer’s early childhood education program, which has taught her that her passion was true, but that she’d rather teach elementary than preschool or kindergarten.

“I found that out through my internship at Jefferson (Elementary School in Sterling),” she said. “Yeah. Definitely older kids. They have a better sense of independence.”

She could empathize with the eighth-graders she led on a tour Wednesday morning, about a half-dozen of the more than 1,400 kids who are taking part in the 3-day event that wraps up midday Friday. Her youngsters were quiet. They had interests, “but I sort of had to pull info out of them by asking them questions.”

Not so in the afternoon, when she showed seven students from David L. Rahn Junior High in Mount Morris around. That included the veritable firecracker Jacob Christensen, who had a question - and answer - for every situation.

He let the building trades students know he’d already used a miter saw to build a birdhouse. When commercial foods instructor Joe Hunt asked who likes macaroni and cheese, Jacob twisted and growled, causing “Chef Joe” to mistake his reaction.

“You don’t like mac and cheese?” Hunt asked.

“No, it’s my favorite,” the 13-year-old replied. “But now I’m hungry.”

He was quick to earn brownie points when Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities facilitator Le Hartman asked who the salesperson was in the group. He pointed at her. After she explained all the areas of business kids learn in CEO, she asked the kids for a question before she’d let them go.

Jacob’s hand shot up.

“Now, he’s the salesman,” she said.

He asked whether CEO actually stood for creating entrepreneurial opportunities, and she explained it’s just a clever acronym. He followed up asking if any CEO students worked at the career center, and she told him, “No,” as the next groups filed in.

As the group entered the criminal justice classroom, Musselman told Jacob he’d get to wear goggles to simulate what it’s like to be drunk.

“I never drink and drive,” he responded. “I only drink Mountain Dew. And water.”

Given his expressed interest in all areas, the jury’s out on which WACC course Jacob will take when he’s a junior, but it sure was fun to get a sneak preview.

During the CEO Trade Show on Tuesday, criminal justice instructor Bruce Luther said most kids leave the center amped up to take criminal justice. Such was the case for Musselman’s tourists, especially Ryanne DeHaan, daughter of Oregon Police Chief Darin DeHaan.

Luther, however, warned that seeing air stock guns and putting on drunk goggles doesn’t show the whole scope. There’s a lot of paperwork that goes into policing, and jobs aren’t landed easily.


Source: The (Sterling) Daily Gazette, https://bit.ly/1rAekBh


Information from: The Daily Gazette, https://www.saukvalley.com



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