Presenting as Professionals, in “What’s Cool at School”

Whats Cool at School

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — At Fertitta Middle School, a student competition is preparing students to present themselves as professionals. The program was developed by the Ron Clark Academy and teaches manners, professionalism, discipline and respect.

Students learn how to give a proper handshake, successfully interview, work a room and remain composed under pressure.

Fertitta Middle School Principal Dr. Cailin Ellis said, “We know that skills like communication and creativity and critical thinking and collaboration are going to be the skills that they’re going to need.”

Eighth-grader Amiya Trapp gave an example of how these attributes may come into play, “You may be having a job interview, you need your poise under pressure. You maybe need to present to someone in an elevator…therefore you should hire me!”

Students also meet with community leaders and local professionals — from members of the Raiders and Aces organizations, to the Fertitta family, to our own 8 News Now Weather Anchor Sherry Swensk!

Students have been given several different challenges to test their mettle throughout the process, and Sherry wasn’t just there to chat. She brought a journalistic challenge: how to handle breaking news.

“I came in and the camera and the microphone….and I was like…. Wow,” Amiya noted, “You must be on your toes! You have to be ready for something like this.”

Students handled different breaking news topics from Sherry with confidence and ease not usually seen from middle schoolers in a completely new and unexpected environment.

One hundred and seventy-eight boys and girls began the program in October. They are now down to eight students.

The final four from Fertitta will go to Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia, with Fertitta being the only school from Nevada going to Nationals for the Amazing Shake competition at the Ron Clark Academy!

Dr. Ellis could not be prouder, “I have seen them find that uniqueness about themselves, and really find something that shines about them and really bring that forward.”

Beyond learning life skills and the looming goal of a national competition, through the process, genuine friendships have formed.

Eighth-grader Paige Breuer described one of her favorite parts, “Just making new friends, and being able to experience new things!”

“They really take these opportunities long after they leave our middle school,” Dr. Ellis added, “and implement the skills that they learned at the National Competition in their daily lives.”

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