On December 9, 2015, POLYTECH High School hosted a special panel discussion for ninth-grade students in preparation for their upcoming decision of which technical area to choose as a major for the remainder of their high school career. The professionals were specifically invited to serve on the panel because they work in nontraditional fields based upon their gender. The idea for this assembly came from the work that POLYTECH has done with the NAPE.
In their freshmen year, students at POLYTECH rotate through each of the 21 career areas and then choose one as a major. This student assembly was designed to encourage students to ignore stereotypes and follow their interests and skills. As Elayne Starkey, Chief Security Officer for the Delaware Department of Technology, said during the panel discussion, “Follow your passion and find something that when you do it you lose track of time.” Zach Vogl, a registered nurse with Christiana Hospital and a 2009 graduate of POLYTECH, told students, “I was the only male in nursing class, but it was a choice that has changed my life.” POLYTECH counselors encourage students to pursue a career area that reflects their interests and skills and challenge them to keep an open mind by considering career areas that might be nontraditional based on their gender.
POLYTECH thanks the participants in the assembly and the employers that enabled them to participate.
Kristin Conway, P.E., Senior Engineer, Century Engineering, Inc.
Eric Shane, Math Specialist, Shields Elementary School, Cape Henlopen School District
Zach Vogl, Registered Nurse, BSN, Christiana Hospital
Maureen Rozanski Director of Interiors Buck/Simpers Architect & Associates
Elayne Starkey Chief Security Officer Delaware Department of Technology