Mr. Adam’s Law Enforcement classes at Anna High School have experienced multiple guest speakers this year, ranging from attorneys to firefighters to policemen and more.
“Speakers are a great way to showcase the job opportunities for the students in our career cluster,” said Charles Adams, the Principles of Law and Law Enforcement teacher at Anna High School.
Lawyer April Doyle and juvenile law attorney Debbie Benko were both guest speakers in the Law Enforcement classes. The pair explained the difference between juvenile and adult crimes and how that could affect the students. While speaking to students they also gave examples of cases that they had worked on and how the court system works for juveniles. The two speakers discussed how they are also both paid and court appointed.
Jeremy Vandagriff is an Anna alumni who was a guest speaker in the Principles classes. He is a Plano Firefighter who spoke about the different vehicles in the fire department, the different jobs of firefighters as well as the pros and cons of choosing firefighting as a career. He also went over the different pieces of clothing and how they protect the firefighter.
Guest speakers are becoming a more innovative way to bring real-life experiences to classrooms. They help to give students insight and perspective on their future in the law enforcement field.
“By having speakers with experience in these careers, it generates student interest in the various careers,” said Adams.
Greg Bowers works for the Collin County District Attorney’s office. He spoke to the Law 1 and 2 classes. Greg works with Crimes Against Children and his talk was at times disturbing, but very interesting according to Mr. Adams.
Matt Jones works for the Collin County Fire Marshal’s Office. He spoke to the Law 1 and 2 classes to discuss explosives, hazardous materials and arson. He also brought “Sadie” the Arson Dog and conducted a demo.
“Matt Jones was my favorite speaker this year,” said AHS senior Austin Casada, a Law Enforcement Two student. “His presentation was very informative, engaging and very interesting”.
Also present to speak were Michael Stiltz, who works for the Princeton Fire Department and discussed how to become a Firefighter; Chief Caponera, who works for the Anna Police Department and discussed crisis management; Trooper McDonald and Trooper Landeros who work for the Texas Department of Public Safety and discussed how to become a trooper and the jobs they perform; Pam Palmisano, who works for the Collin County Sheriff’s Office Communications and discussed dispatch services; Amanda Dixon of the US Coast Guard who discussed law enforcement job opportunities in the US Coast Guard; and Sergeant First Class John Arellano of the US Army discussed law enforcement job opportunities in the US Army.
“I think it’s important for the students to interact with people who are actually in the profession,” Casada said. “It allows students like me to go beyond our notes and slides. It gives us an opportunity to hear stories and information directly from people who experience it daily”.
Mike Combest works for the Collin County Juvenile Service and was also a speaker at AHS. He discussed the juvenile detention facility and juvenile criminal process. Deputy Langwell and Deputy Watson, who work for the Collin County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Team, discussed the function of the tactical team. They also displayed tools of the job and gave students the chance to hold and try on equipment, such as tactical vest, helmets and gloves.
“It turned out great,” said Adams. “The students showed interest in the careers and the duties they would perform in their future in law enforcement”.