Racine, Ohio - Music, balloons, and smiling faces… Tornadoes were welcomed to school with rotating energy for the Career Palooza at Southern High School on Friday, March 17, 2023.
Southern High School National Honor Society members cordially welcomed guests by helping them unload materials and directing them to their designated rooms. Members helping were: Jake Roush, Hannah Smith, Layne Reuter, Lizzie Herrera, Terin Reiber , Ava Roush, Lauren Smith, Brayden Otto, Chloe River, Gracie Hill, and Lexi Smith.
More than a dozen professionals from various career fields and colleges graciously dedicated their time to educating students in rural Meigs County.
At one of the stations was instructor James Mackie of Cement Masons JATC 536. He gave the students a very cool demonstration by showing them the concrete pouring process.
Other features of the Career Palooza included an X-Ray Technician, welding simulation, drone showing, career games, and interactive displays.
Leaders from the National Weather Service, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Bellisio, Project RISE (through the Athens-Meigs Educational Service Center), American Electric Power’s Drone Department, AEP River Transportation, military branches (Army, Marines, and Navy), Washington State Community College, Meigs County Emergency Medical Services, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Pomeroy Police Department, Ohio Means Jobs of Meigs County, and Buckeye Career Center delivered compelling presentations to show the students the endless career options accessible to them.
Inspirational visitors also included Hocking College, Marshall University, West Virginia University-Parkersburg, and Rio Grande.
After a day of preparing tomorrow’s workforce for their futures, presenters enjoyed a catered lunch thanks to the generous support from Linda Diddle and Southern Local School District. Powell’s Food Fair in Pomeroy prepared a delicious meal and even donated extra food and supplies to show their support.
Generosity for the Career Palooza was far from over though. The administration and staff members were utterly blown away by the community’s support in providing prizes for the students for the event.
Donors include Starbucks of Athens, McDonald’s of Pomeroy, Athena Grand in Athens, Blackburn Hill Church of Christ in Athens, Taco Bell of Pomeroy, Wendy’s of Pomeroy, KFC in Pomeroy, Project RISE, Darrell Norris & Sons Greenhouses, Mark Porter (both locations in Pomeroy), State Support Team Region 16, The Herbal Sage Tea Company, Skyline Bowling Center in Gallipolis, Vicki Stevenson, First Baptist Church of Racine, Kim Hupp, Bianca De Santiago, Tricia McNickle, Roadside Hotspot, Heather Dailey-Johnson with Chicly Confident, Jonna Turley, Beth Bay, and Alan Crisp. Thanks to everyone who helped, in case anyone was overlooked.
A special thank you to Southern Local Schools Superintendent, Tony Deem; Southern High School Principal, Daniel Otto; Career Coach, Beth Lanning; and Southern High School Guidance Counselor, Russ Fields; for dedicating their time to make Career Palooza a success.
Our appreciation also goes out to Christi Hendrix, treasurer of Southern Local School District, for all her hard work.
It was also a blessing to have support from the kitchen staff, custodial professionals, and many others who cared about the success of the event.