Careers explored at Phoenix Middle School

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If you don’t know Christopher Stringham, you may want to get to know him.  Stringham, has an upbeat, friendly personality that endears him instantly to the people around him.  Chris, as he prefers to be called, has been a pharmacist at Walgreen’s in Delavan for the past six years.  On Thursday, November 20, he volunteered his time to come in and share some of the responsibilities and perks a pharmacist has with 8th grade math students at Phoenix Middle School.  Chris fielded questions from students about the kinds of medicines people use, what college classes are necessary to get into pharmacy school, the amount of time needed to become a pharmacist, and some of the opportunities associated with a career in pharmacy.

His visit to Phoenix was a part of an enrichment activity for students who are performing above grade level in mathematics.  The class lasts 40 minutes and is an extension to the regular math curriculum provided for the students.  Steve Fouts, the enrichment teacher for this class, is new to Phoenix this year after serving as a 5th grade teacher at Turtle Creek Elementary for the past nine years in the district.

“When I presented my idea for bringing in guest speakers to Associate Principal Jim Karedes at the start of the year, he was very supportive of the idea,” Fouts said.

On the first day of class Fouts had students share any and all career fields they thought they might like to have.  He now uses this list to search out people who are in these career fields, or related ones, to encourage his students to pursue their goals and dreams.  Fouts is currently in contact with and searching for several other area business professionals in an effort to help his students.

“I want my students to be able to see that the skills they are learning in school are relevant in the real world.  By having professionals come in and share what they do, students can make a direct connection between what they can already do, and what they are capable of.”

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