Photo: Etowah High School seniors learn to tie neckties during an ‘Adulting 101’ rotation with Brandon “Mr. Bowtie” Hall on April 27. (Haley Brown, Etowah High School)
By Emma Kirkemier, News Editor
Etowah High School hosted “Adulting Day” for its seniors on April 27.
The school’s career technical department prepared for the event for months in advance, starting with the inspiration from Career Coach Haley Brown.
“We brainstormed and tried to come up with things we wish we would have known,” Brown said. “I wish I would have been taught ‘blank.’ This was a day to fill in that blank.”
After an industry panel with numerous local businesses, students were dismissed to 20-minute rotations where they learned practical skills like addressing an envelope, diapering a baby or changing a tire.
“Life skills” rotations included: Changing a tire (Ray’s Lawn Care), How to purchase a vehicle (Team One Hyundai), Budgeting/Credit card pros/cons (River Bank and Trust), Applying for a loan (Alabama Teachers Credit Union), How to write a professional email/address an envelope (Gadsden State Community College), Basic first aid/CPR (Attalla Fire), Parenting skills/How to change a diaper (Family Success Center), Tying a tie (Brandon “Mr. Bowtie” Hall) and How to string a weed eater (Ray’s Lawn Care).
According to Brown, “Tying a tie” was a crowd favorite, and Etowah High School’s own Agriscience Instructor Skylar Ray taught “How to string a weed eater.”
“It took a village,” Brown said. “It literally took our entire career tech department to pull this off.”
The department includes Brown, Ray, Career Technical Director Jennifer Jones, Work-Based Learning Coordinator Donna Giles, Health Science Instructor Stephanie Skelton, Cosmetology Instructor Canetha Bristol, Education and Training Instructor Katie Baker and JROTC Instructor Sergeant Noland Taylor.
Bristol was responsible for scheduling, while Skelton and others did “a lot of the leg work.” Brown reiterated that with academic teachers covering career tech classes for the day and other various partnerships, “Adulting Day” was, above all, a “team effort.”
“The career tech department planned the event, and then really the entire faculty and staff made it happen,” she said. “I’m so lucky and blessed to be in an environment and a school where we really love our kids.”
Brown also thanked Attalla City Schools Superintendent Jeff Colegrove, EHS Principal Nathan Ayers and EHS Assistant Principal Ryan McClendon.
The industry panel included representatives from Spire, Attalla Fire, Attalla Police Department, Bankston Motor Homes, Auto Doctor, the City of Gadsden Parks & Recreation Department, Hwy 77 McDonald’s, Cleveland Avenue McDonald’s, River Bank & Trust, Etowah County Sheriff’s Office, Alabama Power, Alfa Insurance, the Etowah County Coroner’s Office and the City of Attalla.
The industry panel took up the first hour of the day, during which students could ask questions to potential employers.
Brown praised her students for their enthusiasm during the day’s activities, pointing out that their attendance was entirely elective.
“At least 50-60 percent of them (out of 106 EHS seniors total) were at the event,” she said. “They just really impressed me. Several even got excused from work (daytime co-ops) so they could stay all day.”
Brown quoted Ayers’ signature catchphrase to sum up “Adulting Day.”
“He ends morning announcements every day with, ‘It’s a great day to be a Blue Devil,’” she said. “And this really was a great day to be a Blue Devil.”
All photos courtesy of Career Coach Haley Brown, Etowah High School.