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Wingate Elementary hosts its first annual Culture and Career Day

Wingate Elementary hosted its first annual Culture and Career Day on Friday, March 4th. Students in kindergarten through second grade learned about different cultures and customs from speakers representing a variety of countries, while students in third through fifth grade enjoyed visitors’ presentations about different jobs and trades.

Culture Day presenters shared information about their country and culture including climate, customs, educational opportunities, types of food, dress, and jobs. Speakers also talked about the similarities and differences between the United States and the countries they represented. Many presenters wore traditional garments, spoke some of their native language, and allowed the students an opportunity to ask them questions about their countries. Presenters included Wingate University students and professors, parents of Wingate Elementary students, and residents from our surrounding community: Dr. Ann Moncayo (Ecuador), Ms. Marcy Francis (Dominica), Mr. Burak Akinci (Turkey), Mr. Marko Luetge (Germany), Mr. Jose Sequera (Venezuela), Ms. Moya Saltzgaber (England), Mr. CK Maiyo (Kenya), Mr. Paul Gallagher (N. Ireland), Mr. Junior Nyemb (Cameroon), Ms. Ute Witt (Germany), Ms. Mayi Faye (Senegal), Mr. Binyam Belachew (Ethiopia), Mr. Sam Allen (England), Mr. Gui Lima (Brazil), Dr. Jim Hastings (India), Dr. Susan Chen (China), Mr. Paul Grammaticopoulos (France), and Dr. Abannik Hino (Sudan).

Culture Day Presenter
Ms. Mayi Faye talks to a kindergarten class about some of the customs from her home country of Senegal.

“It was a unique day and an enriching experience to see our kids interacting with the different cultures and backgrounds that came into our school,” said second grade teacher, Kelly Marks.

Career Day presenters talked with students about the details of their jobs, including what the primary duties of the job are, the number of hours they work each week, the training/education required, and the beginning salary. These presenters brought in tools and equipment that they use at work, focused on the importance of education and staying in school, and answered questions from the students. Our presenters included: Mr. Jason Easter (firefighter), Ms. Mary Millhouse and Mr. Jeff Outen (detention officers), Ms. Stephanie Ferguson (Lowe’s department manager), Mr. Jason Baker (powerline construction), Ms. Candice Sturdivant (career counselor), Ms. Teresa Rogers (food inspector), Ms. Michele Morris (UCPS General Council), Dr. Mary Ellis (UCPS Assistant Superintendent), Ms. Crystal Crump (Register of Deeds), Mr. Chad Whitley (business owner), Ms. Harriette Griffin (florist), Ms. Barbara Nelson (University women’s basketball coach), Dr. Lynn Hernandez (physician), the Honorable Chris Bragg (District Court Judge), Mr. John Lowery (PE teacher and Forest Hills football coach), Dr. Kelly Collins (Orthodontist), Dr. Marsha Severt (veterinarian), and Mr. Myron Williams (realtor).

Teachers praised the event, noting that the Culture and Career Day speakers highlighted their own school experiences and promoted the need for and value of education throughout life. According to one teacher,

“It was a great way for students to learn how different and similar our cultures are and a great way to learn about topics that we don’t normally teach.” Ms. Schexnider, a fifth-grade teacher, said. “The speakers were passionate about what they do for a living and their enthusiasm was transferred to each child, which truly inspired our students.”

Wingate Elementary School is indebted to our volunteer presenters for sharing their time and insights with our students. Sandy Coggins, a guidance counselor at Wingate Elementary, coordinated the event which will become an annual program at Wingate Elementary School.


Written by: Eric Doan, Assistnat Principal of Wingate Elementary
Posted: Mar 15, 2011 by Eric Doan

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