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Career Day enlightening to Phillips students


Mayor Ravenstahl explains about what it takes to be mayor of a major American city to third graders at Pittsburgh Phillips as the children display the Pittsburgh Promise logo after his Career Day presentation.

Pittsburgh Phillips hosted their semi-annual Career Day on Friday, May 1, with a true cross-section of presentations from 37 different presenters.

Special guests included Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, State Representative Jake Wheatley, Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers President John Tarka and Firefighter/Pittsburgh School Board Director Floyd McCrea.

Mayor Ravenstahl spoke about his duties as mayor and also about his involvement with The Pittsburgh Promise. He encouraged the children to work hard to become "Promise Ready" so that they will be in position to take advantage of this unique scholarship opportunity. (More information about the Pittsburgh Promise can be found on the district website at

Many Phillips parents also participated including Attorney/Executive Director Scott Hollander, City Planner Josette Fitzgibbons-McCullough, Biologist Debe Griffin, Author Michelle Margittai, Architect Peter Margittai, Attorney Tammie McClung, Personal Trainer Dale McCullough, Audiologist Catherine Palmer, A+ Schools Executive Director Carey Harris, Firefighter Robert Geyer and Graphic Designer Ted Williams. The children participated by hearing a series of presentations, asking questions, and writing about their reactions to what they learned in their Career Day Journals.

The presenters did an outstanding job of not only exposing the children to such a wide variety of professions but engaging them in meaningful discussion about the persistence and dedication necessary to accomplish their dreams. The event was planned by Phillips Kindergarten Teacher Jennifer Beck-Bennardo, who coordinated a very difficult schedule with all the presenters.

Presenters taking the time to invest in the future of the children by volunteering to

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participate and making the event so special included:

• Luke Ravenstahl, Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh;

Jake Wheatley, State Representative;

• Mike Castillo, Manager of Corporate Infrastructure & Support, Eat N Park;

• Kelly Cavanaugh, Teacher, Children's Hospital of Pgh. Family Connections;

• Lori Cherok, Nutritionist, University of Pittsburgh;

• Melanie Cook, Asst. Dean of Students, West Virginia University;

• Kelly Donlan, Optometrist;

• Josette Fitzgibbons- McCullough, City Planner, Urban Redevelopment Authority;

• Ron Francis, Heinz Field Suite Attendant;

• Christine Gaus, Community Service/Brashear Assoc.;

• Ryan Gavatorta, Duquense University Asst. Director of Sports;

• Robert Geyer, City of Pittsburgh Firefighter;

• Debe Griffin, UPMC Biologist/Bone Marrow Transplant Lab. Tech.;

• Carey Harris, Ex. Director of A+ Schools;

• Attorney Scott Hollander, Ex. Director Kids Voice;

• Attorney Alan Horowitz, Federal Government, Health and Human Services;

• Dean Kostas, Owner Pittsburgh Steak Co.;

• Florri Ladov, Reading is Fundamental director;

• Michelle Margittai, Author;

• Architect Peter Margittai, Peter Margittai Architect LLC;

• Sal Marsico, Coach, ref, retired teacher;

• Trent Mason,Riverset Credit Union Marketing Director;

• Attorney Tammie McClung, McClung Law;

• Floyd McCrea, City of Pittsburgh Firefighter, School Board Member;

• Dale McCullough, Personal trainer;

• PJ Musick, Dyanvox Technology Tech. Liaison, R&D;

• Bill Nason, Retired pilot;

• Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post Gazette Columnist;

• Catherine Palmer, UPMC Audiologist;

• Kenja Patterson, Banker with First Commonwealth of PA Bank;

• Jeff Podobnik, Senior Directory, Pittsburgh Pirates Security and Contract Services;

• Alan Rader, Terra Design Studios Landscape Architect;

• Sister JaniceVandernec, Community Services;

• Attorney Marc Taiani, Allegheny Attorneys;

• John Tarka, Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers Union President;

• Ted Williams, Graphic Designer/Mountain Climber; and,

• David Wilson, Pittsburgh Conservancy School Grounds Greening Program Director.

Event sponsors were: Piper's Pub, Breadworks, Folino's Restaurant, The Pittsburgh Steak Company, Eat N Park, and The Mediterranean Market.


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