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THS Grads Share Career Path Advice

"You Don't Have to Be What Everyone Else Expects You to Be" ~ Dan Wrenfrow Class of 1977

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First Career Day at Thayer High featured THS graduates.

First Career Day at Thayer High featured THS graduates.

First Career Day at Thayer High featured THS graduates.

Seira Murray, Graphic Design Editor

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Recently at Thayer High School, the students experienced their first ever Career Day. “The purpose of this event was to show the students some of the career clusters out of the seven career paths,” said Adam Rouse, THS counselor. The seven career paths are Industrial and Engineering Technology, Human Services, Natural Resources Agriculture, Business Management and Technology, Arts and Communication, and Health Services. “In each career path you have the clusters which consist of the different aspects of the path,” Rouse said.

Several Thayer High School graduates came to speak to the junior and senior high students. The students were able to listen to the graduates explain what their respective careers consisted of and how they selected their career path. Broc Barton, business owner and THS graduate of 2004, told students that a professor once told him that one’s destiny is the meeting point of their natural skills and their talents and passion.

“You don’t have to be what everyone else expects you to be, just be you,” said Dan Wrenfrow, THS graduate of 1977, and current manager of Harps Grocery in Thayer. Wrenfrow started working in grocery retail at the age of 14 (when 14 year olds were allowed to be grocery carry-outs) and now works for a large chain of grocery stores. “There are 87 stores with Harps. They look for people to go into management training if they are good employees. A young man now owns his own store with them and is only 26 years old. This is because he was an employee with a strong work ethic,” Wrenfrow said.

Jared Underwood, THS graduate of 2000, currently runs an insurance business in Thayer, his hometown. He said he worked seven days a week for Jiffy Lube at one point in his life and realized that he was not able to spend time with his family. He moved back home and studied for his insurance license. He is now able to have more family time and raise his family in an environment he loves. Underwood encouraged students to keep track of their credit history and pay their bills. “Your credit score is tied into your insurance buying plan. You need to always pay your bills.”

With 50 years of knowledge obtained since graduating at THS, Bill Franz, a local CPA (Certified Public Accountant) told students to start early to plan for their retirement. “My wife was a counselor at THS and has a good retirement plan now. You need to select a career path that has a retirement plan for you,” Franz said.

Leanne Turner Albritton, a THS grad, said that today’s technology has opened up so many doors. “If you are technologically trained, you can take your job with you in today’s world of careers. While my husband was in the Air Force I was able to work from England on my computer and send my work back to the U.S.,” Albritton said.

Mrs. Shelley Underwood, FCCLA sponsor at THS, said the career fair was a wonderful opportunity for students to become familiar with career options for their future which they may have never thought about. “Many schools offer career fairs, but ours was unique in the fact that all presenters were graduates of Thayer High School,” said Underwood. “It was great to see former students, as some said, ‘give back to their school’ and share their career journeys.”

The presenters for the career fair were:
Kristen White – Nursing
Jacob Eckman – Chiropractic
Kristi Russell –  Health Services
Brett Ward – Dentistry
Taylor Fuselier – Military Nursing
Melissa Pierce – Lab Tech
Warren McCoullough – Arts and Communications
Mike Harbor – Musician
Dustin Langston – Music and Real Estate
Stephen Clark –  Music, Technology, Business
Linden Caldwell – Graphic Design
Kevin Steed – Business
Dan Wrenfrow – Business
Jared Underwood – Business
Richard Dawe – Administration, Education
Bill Franz- Accounting, Business
Dasha Russell – Education, Accounting
Leanne Albritton – Accounting
Greg Langley – Veterinarian
Marty Crews – Cattle Business
Christa Cox –  Game and Fish Conservation
Mark Martin – Communication Technology, Farming
Gayla Olbricht – Education, Rolla S&T
Andy Mills- Equipment Operator/Business Owner
Gus Herbold – McDonald Douglas Aircraft Engineer
Ezra Manes  –  Aerospace Engineer
Jo Beth Smith – Cosmotology
Hunter Coffel – Barber
Brittany Collins – Cosmetology
Brenda Smith – Cosmetology
Luke Martin  -Law Enforcement
Jeremy Pounders – Law Enforcement
Stephen Bryant – Law Enforcement
Eddie Taylor – Fireman
David Masterson – Fire Safety
Chelsea Hameke – Counseling/Social Work
Megan Pitts – Counseling
Deanna King- College Education
Blake Allen – Coaching
Jessica Langley – Early Elementary
Ward Franz- Government Administration
Donna Martin- Government Administration
Broc Barton – Business Management

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