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Skaneateles Schools: Peeking into the future

In four years, Skaneateles' class of 2014 will begin preparing for new adventures -- many that will take place outside of the confines of the students' hometown.

During the next few years, those same students will have an opportunity while in high school to job shadow, and weed out, careers they would like to have. But, as eighth-graders this year, the students took Friday morning to learn about 18 different careers during the annual "Into the future" eighth grade career day.

According to the school's job shadow program coordinator Lori Ruhlman, there are hundreds of careers and the school tried to select from a wide range of speakers this year.

"Maybe you don't want exactly that job ... but maybe you can gleam something from it," Ruhlman said to the eighth grade during a morning assembly prior to breaking the students into groups.

She urged the students to listen to the speakers and think about themselves in terms of the career being talked about. They were told to be curious and ask questions while they had the speaker's attention.

Students were broken down into smaller groups and each speaker rotated into the various classrooms. In English teacher Ginnine Ranalli's classroom, student Grace Delasin was tasked with introducing each speaker as they joined the students for the 25-minute presentations.

Eagle Newspapers' City Eagle editor Ellen Leahy, a Skaneateles graduate, and local photographer Laure Lillie were the first to speak to the students in Ranalli's room.

"We're actually working artists," Leahy said.

After attending Cayuga Community College and working in the food industry for several years, Leahy returned to school at 35 and attended Wells College where she got a handle on creative writing and also journalism. While she had a background in creative writing, Leahy dove into column, feature and hard news reporting when she became the editor of the Skaneateles Press.

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