MARCH 18, 2010

The famous words of wisdom “It takes a community to raise a child”, and I would also add that, it takes a child to build a community were both evident at Potsdam High School on Thursday, March 18th.  Community members, professionals, administrators, faculty, staff and students all came together to create an amazing second annual Historical Job Faire/Renaissance Day at Potsdam High School.  Lisa Dunkelberg, Middle School Science Teacher, kicked off the day by embracing the concepts of the renaissance and advancement of humanity with a presentation the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia.  The keynote captured the zeitgeist surrounding both the Olympic games, as historical and modern event, and the mood of the Renaissance, a period of time that has yet to be equaled in human history. 
Mrs. Dunkelberg was followed by a series of career and artisan presentations for students by local professionals and community members sharing their career endeavors.  Students had the option to see and learn a great deal from a variety of presentations:  Associate Director of admission at St. Lawrence University, Mr. Chad Tessier, spoke on how to best prepare for college; Mr. Chris Cowen, spoke on a growing career field in the North Country, being a  United  States  Customs Officer; Mr. Bill Knoble explained  his own pottery business, as well as, performing a demonstration on pottery making; Mr. Bob Durocher from St. Lawrence University spoke on pursuing sports careers at the college and professional levels.  Mrs. Leigh Stark, business teacher at Potsdam High School, spoke on running a family business, “MVP Sports”.  Mrs. Stark was accompanied by one of her student’s, Arian Mahmoodi who shared his ventures into a successful internet business; Dr. and Mrs. Rubio educated and entertained students with their presentation on Renaissance Music.  The Potsdam Rescue Squad explained and demonstrated the work and equipment used by the Rescue Squad in helping everyone in the community!
The middle of the day saw 9th grade students actively participating in a Historical Job Faire, where they were introduced to the audience and interviewed as Renaissance people, Reformers, Explorers, Scientists, Absolute Monarchs from the 14th to 18th centuries.  Students had spent the weeks before the Historical Job Faire researching and preparing resumes, business cards, costumes and props so they could be completely in character and pursue their desired career at the Job Faire!  Student participation in the Historical Job Faire was distinctly enriched this year by wonderful presentations given earlier in March by Mrs. Robin McNameria on practical approaches to costume making and Mrs. Jai Fiacco, from the “One Stop Career Center”, presenting on approaches to getting a job (resumes, interviewing, and personal presentation)
The 9th grade students considered a session of wandering performers and artisans, sharing their talents, one of the highlights of the day!  In the library, painters and sculptors, Ellie Hawley, Ben Greer, Casey Dillon, Emily Bradshaw displayed and worked on their artistic creations; McKenzie Toth performed amazing gymnastic skills; Tyler Belleau played the guitar and sang his own original songs; Micah Caraballo sketched pictures of students; and Taylor Dow braided hair.  Students were also able to listen to the vocal music of the Rachel Hartman, Kate Waters, Katja McCall, Maddie Ball, Crystal Myler, Seth Hinman, Drew Gruneisen, Ben Stone, Michael Burns; the Freshmen Flute trio of Miki DiMatteo, Kelsey Travis and Gina LoMastro; and the Freshmen Trumpet trio of Sarah Marie Choong, Jason Cardinal and William Baker-Hastings in the auditorium.  Students loved seeing and hearing their classmates perform!
A final session of renaissance speakers, artisans and career speakers was held in the afternoon.  Very inspirational presentations were given by District Attorney, Nicole Duve , who spoke with students about politics and law;  Jessica Stewart gave a history, explained techniques and gave a demonstration on traditional belly dancing, while at the other end of the building her husband, Dr. Alexander Stewart, presented a power point and discussion on his tour of duties in Iraq and Afghanistan and his professional work as a geologist (he also shared his study of scorpions in Iraq and Afghanistan, which students found exciting!) – Dr. Stewart and his wife are definitely a “Renaissance Persons”!   Vicki Strader from Community Bank shared careers in investment and banking with students, as well as, Stacey Woodward and Robert Green coming from Canton-Potsdam Hospital to explain the diversity and kinds of careers available in the medical field for students.  Members of the Potsdam High School community also contributed their expertise to the afternoon: Latin Teacher, David O’Neil, worked hard to put together an exciting hands on presentation for students on Cryptology;  Teacher Learning Center Director, Cassidy Mattimore, worked with students on “The Art of Public Speaking and Interviewing”; and Model UN advisor, Julie Lattimer, along with students Maya Holsen, Hui Yang, Ben Aldrich walked students through the heart of “Renaissance Land”, their trip to Italy.  Mrs. Madeja’s student teacher, Tiffany Conn, also did a wonderful presentation on the modern day work world stressing support systems, how many different career changes you may have to make and being prepared to deal with an ever changing work world!
The day ended with a masquerade dance sponsored by the Freshmen class.  The activities of March 18th were definitely enjoyed by all! Leslie Sutter’s photography students:  Monique Cornett, Natalie Carranza, Hui Yang, Andrew Mattot, Emily Bradshaw, Allyssa Chambers, Madison Laubschar all did a wonderful job of documenting the day’s activities.  Many, many people are to be thanked for the success of the day including but not limited to the background work both the PTSA (supplying refreshments for our guest speakers and thank you gifts), as well as, the High Student Leadership team f(or hosting guests and introducing them to their audiences) did throughout the day.

Renaissance Day Slideshow