Job Shadow doesn't mesh with groundhog, but students still have their day

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By Lance Coleman
Senior reporter
Blount Today

Teens from across the area went to work for a day at area businesses and agencies as part of the annual Groundhog’s Job Shadow Day.

The day is traditionally on or near Groundhog Day, but was postponed for many area schools when schools closed due to weather.
A group of students from Alcoa High School spent the day at Alcoa Police Department and students from Heritage Middle School went to businesses and agencies throughout the county.

The event was postponed for Heritage Middle School students until Feb. 8 while Alcoa High School students participated on Feb. 6.

Holly Hatcher, community policing director for Alcoa Police Department, said 15 students ranging from freshmen to seniors toured the department. She credited AHS principal Scott Porter will helping to arrange the event.

Hatcher said the students visited four different divisions of the police department. Each division was represented by a person from that division.

Each officer talked not only about law enforcement in today’s society but the daily activities and responsibilities of personnel within each of those divisions. "There are responsibilities we’re required to conduct, but every day is so different in every aspect of each division," Hatcher said.

Hatcher said APD had been hosting students through the job shadow program for about six years.

Marie Richardson with Heritage Middle School said the businesses, agencies and government organizations worked well with the students. About 100 of the 230 students set up their trips and some even did their job shadowing work on Feb. 2, even though Blount County Schools were closed because of snow, she said.

"It was fantastic," said Richardson. "The businesses cooperated well. We still had 230 eighth graders participate even though we had to postpone it (to Feb. 6.)," Richardson said. "We’re still the only middle school that does this in the county."

Richardson said that in many cases parents have gotten involved and created job shadowing opportunities for their children.

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