NTHS showcases variety of professions at Career Day


Marissa Ho

Junior RJ Franzen of Allentown listens to a speaker from Goodsports USA at Career Day.

Isabella Ji and Ella Lukowiak

Students had the opportunity to listen to speakers with careers in the communications field and beyond on Friday, Feb. 22 during the annual Career Day, hosted by SkillsUSA and the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS). This year, the club welcomed 17 speakers to talk about their professional experiences.

Students attended classes during the first half of the day. After lunch, they viewed a program to decide on speakers that interested them and sat in on six 20-minute sessions.

Senior and SkillsUSA/NTHS president Connor Martin of Spring Lake Heights said that principal James Gleason wanted the event’s speakers to have participated in the senior mentorship program. The council selected 17 contacts of interest that would speak at the event.

Martin said the donations earned from Career Day will go towards SkillsUSA state competition fees. The success of the event allowed the council to cover about 70 percent of the competition cost, Martin said.

Along with the new selection criteria for speakers, the event also underwent a change regarding its date. While past Career Days took place in November, the event was pushed until February this year.

Gleason and the council agreed on the later date to avoid scheduling conflicts in the fall, Martin said.

February is National Career and Technical Education Month, which is a perfect fit for the mission of Career Day and SkillsUSA,” Martin said. “Additionally, SkillsUSA has two other events in November, making a third very difficult.”

Speakers included Minding Your Mind specialist Katya Palsi, Monmouth County municipal judge Mary Casey, FM radio host Victoria Keelan and ABC News radio frequency engineer Robert Bonardi.

Freshman Carla Vreeland of Matawan said the speakers were impactful.

“My favorite was the mindfulness one,” Vreeland said about Palsi. “I thought she was a really powerful public speaker and it felt very personal and like she was talking to each and every person individually.”

At the end of the day, students gathered in the cafeteria to listen to the keynote speaker, Amanda Zukofski. Zukofski attended CHS and now serves as a product designer for an online investment platform, Betterment.

“I think it’s best to take this time to figure out what you’re interested in by just trying a bunch of stuff and then going for it,” Zukofski said during her keynote speech.

Sophomore Francesca McCaffrey of West Long Branch said the event offered a sense of relief for the future.

“I think the most important thing I learned is that you’re not most likely going to end up where you think you’re going to,” McCaffrey said.