Career Week at SES asks age-old question, ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ |

Career Week at SES asks age-old question, ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’

Sopris Elementary School teacher Katherine Houchin talks to Principal Dave Lindenberg about his decision to become school administrator, during an all-student assembly to celebrate Career Week at SES on Monday.
John Stroud/Post Independent

Two marine biologists, two large animal veterinarians, a plumber, a photographer, a lawyer, a television reporter, a nurse, an actor and a fashion designer.

Ask the Sopris Elementary School fifth-grade leadership team what they want to be when they grow up, and that’s what they’ll tell you — at least on this particular day.

The Glenwood Springs school, from kindergarten all the way up through fifth grade, has been asking students this week to give some serious thought to that question.

It’s all part of preparing younger students to make the transition to middle school and then on to high school when career path and college choices are ultimately made.

“Getting an early perspective on what life looks like and where they’re headed is really important,” SES Counselor Megan Rentz said. “Right now, we’re just wanting them to get excited about their futures.”

The idea arose from some of the end-of-school-year discussions last spring, and what seemed to be missing from the school’s counseling program, Rentz said.

Sopris’ first career week invited a sampling of professionals from the community to come in Monday during the all-school crew assembly and talk about their jobs. Included were a firefighter/paramedic, a newspaper reporter and the city’s mayor, who spoke about what it is they do, how long they’ve been doing it, when and why they decided to do their particular job.  

Rentz even offered that, when she was in kindergarten, she really wanted to be a nurse, “so that I could help people” — except for that “blood and guts” thing.

“So, I decided to be a counselor instead, where I get to help kids every day,” she said.

SES Principal David Lindenberg was asked why he became a school principal.

“The thought never actually crossed my mind,” Lindenberg said of when he was in elementary school.

But, “I love being able to come to school every day and having all of you in my family. We have a big family here,” he shared with the students.

Rentz said the Career Week lessons are age-specific, including lots of books and activities for the younger students and more interactive exercises with the older students.

“The older kids are talking with their peers about what they want to do for college, or career,” she said. “It’s just a chance for them to talk and learn, and then hopefully go home and talk to their parents, as well.”

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