JOB SHADOWING: AHS students explore careers

Published 11:28 pm Thursday, April 27, 2017

Andalusia High School students had the opportunity to get hands-on experiences and career exploration at various businesses in Andalusia and Opp on Thursday.

Part of the family studies and community services 1 class taught by Jana Clark, the students were able to visit a variety of businesses of their choice and spend the school day learning from professionals in these local fields.

“Pretty much anything is considered community services if it helps people,” she said. “They are helping people in some way by helping them live a better life.”

Clark said that career exploration is part of her standard in the class.

“We do that through Powerpoint and then the job shadowing gives them a hands-on experience.”

Clark, who is a Florala High School graduate, said that they did job shadowing while she was in school and it’s something that left a good mark on her.

“It lets them see early on this is what I want to do,” she said. “They don’t have to go get a degree and realize five or six years down the road this isn’t what I want.”

Junior Keaun Samuel has been around the fire department for most of his life, so it was a natural choice for him to choose the Andalusia Fire Department as the place he would job shadow on Thursday.

“My dad has been a firefighter for as long as I can remember,” Keaun said. “It’s something I think I would like to do if I don’t make it in basketball.”

Keaun’s father, Capt. Eric Samuel, has been with AFD for 15 years, and has brought Keaun to the station on many occasions.

“He has been coming up here for pretty much his whole life,” Eric said. “All the guys on my shift know him, just like I know all of their children. We are like a big family up here.”

For Keaun, the family-style atmosphere is his favorite part of being at the fire station.

“Everyone up here is just like a family,” Keaun said. “They joke with one another and just enjoy being around each other. I really enjoy that part of being up here.”

Keaun said that on Thursday he spent a lot time learning different things about being a firefighter.

“We have checked the trucks and studied the map of the city,” Keaun said. “I’ve really just been learning the streets and how to operate the pumps.”

During his day job shadowing, Keaun got the chance to see the firefighters in action as they responded to a fire alarm at a local residence.

“He can’t go out on calls with us, but he was able to see us in action, so to speak,” Eric said. “There is a lot of fun at the station at times, but when that alarm goes off, it’s time to go to work. He got a chance to see us all out and in the trucks in less than a minute.”

Junior Ryan McLeod wants to study graphic design and said Thursday morning he was interested in animation and hopes to study at Troy University of Full Sail University.

He spent the day shadowing Star-News graphic designer and creative director Erin Wingard and magazine editor and principal designer Kendra Majors, along with publisher Michele Gerlach.

“I like drawing and I’m good with being creative,” McLeod said.

Ryan McLeod job shadowed at the Andalusia Star-News Thursday.

While at the Star-News, McLeod learned the basics of pagination and had the opportunity to create two print advertisements. He also learned a little bit about Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator.

“I learned how to create an ad, and I learned how to use a few different things,” he said. “Today has made me want to major in journalism and maybe one day work for the Andalusia Star-News.”

Gabby Godwin visited with Heather Owen at LBWCC on Thursday.

Gabby Godwin shadowed LBWCC Director of Recruitment Heather Owen.

“Ms. Heather is my Phi Theta Kappa adviser,” she said. “So, I was interested in what she did at the college. Her career would be my second choice, if I couldn’t be a special education teacher.”

In all, 23 students participated, including:

  • Ashley Bulger, who went to Straughn High School’s science department;
  • Dallas Carnley and John Pryor, who spent the day at Gentleman’s Technology;
  • Tori Carpenter, who learned about photography with Vicki Popwell;
  • Timothy Clark went to Opp to LBWCC to learn more about automotive mechanics;
  • Nick Creamer and Blake Fueston learned about diesel mechanics at LBWCC;
  • Hunter Hudson visited LBWCC to learn more about a welding career;
  • Kayley Williams and Macy Martin spent the day learning about ultrasound;
  • Elizabeth Cook and Gaby Jenkins, went to Salon Utopia to learn more about the field of cosmetology;
  • Kirsten Crenshaw and Shaquene Robinson spent the day at Dr. Maddox’s office;
  • Jake Jackson, Alyson Jernigan and KeAunna Tillis shadowed at Dr. Boyington’s office;
  • Tyra Price and Brittany Williamson learned from registered nurses at Andalusia Manor; and,
  • Olivia Smith learned more about occupational therapy from Tom Ride, physical therapist.


– Josh Dutton contributed to this report.