There are many important components to a child's education, one of those being music. Since 1985, March has been designated as Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM) by The National Association for Music Education. According to the National Association for Music Education, "the purpose of MIOSM is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children â€“ and to remind citizens that school is where all children should have access to music."
Over the past 11 years, Carrie (Troha) Takarsh has been instructing sixth grade students in science and language arts at Aylor Middle School in Stephens City, Va.
Also during that same period, she has coached cross-country and mentored students through the school's Spartans Helping Spartans program.
"Itâ€™s exciting to watch the students grow during their first year of middle school. As they make the transition from elementary to middle, they change emotionally, socially and physically," Takarsh said. "The difference in nine months is amazing!"
Katie Butler, 28, is very familiar with the term "frequent flyer" as she travels between Benezette and Chicago as part of her job with Ryerson, a worldwide metals distributor.
"My job requires about 90 percent travel, so you never know where you are going to find me from one week to the next. I have actually traveled to 23 different states for work in the past four years," Butler said. "I would say at least 60 percent of the time I am in Chicago, but I don't officially live there. I am only in Benezette about eight days a month at the most."
Although only a freshman at Point Park University in downtown Pittsburgh, Marina Weis, 18, of St. Marys, has already made a promising start in her journalism career.
As the current assistant news editor at the university's newspaper, The Globe, Weis jumped headfirst into her journalism studies.
Last semester, Weis was hired as a work-study student reporter as part of the school's Innocence Institute, an investigative journalism organization which scrutinizes claims of innocence from inmates in Pennsylvania's state correctional facilities.
Very few people are fortunate enough to turn their hobby into a successful career; however, that is just what Amy (Allegretto) Price, 34, did four years ago. As the sole owner of Priceless Expressions Photography, Price focuses exclusively on outdoor photography in natural light.
"I'm very happy with what I do, the hours I work and the clients I encounter. It's nice to see my business growing a little each year," Price said. "Each year brings new clients, which is always good. I love my repeat clients just as much!"
Some people find it difficult to take a drawing on paper or the computer and make it a reality. But for mechanical designer and St. Marys native Steve Reed, it is part of a normal day on the job.
"I am a mechanical designer; this means that I use my drawing skills and understanding of mechanics to create visual plans that help the engineers understand how to create a mechanical product," Steve explained. "I enjoy this because when I get an idea, I can draw it up on the computer and when I am done, I get a 3-D model of exactly what I want.
For the past three years, St. Marys native Rachel Wolfel has been serving in the United State Air Force. She currently holds the rank of Senior Airman and is stationed at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Ga., and works in the 23rd Civil Engineering Squadron in the Engineering and Design shop at the base.
St. Marys native William O. Zelt, who now resides in the high country of Colorado, became interested in woodcarving at a very young age, and now that he is retired, is enjoying woodcarving more than ever.
As a system engineer, former St. Marys resident Dave Burdick, 39, recently began working as a technical sales specialist for IBM, the multinational technology and consulting firm.
"I work to educate customers and get them what they need to keep purchasing IBM equipment," Burdick explained. "I keep customers informed about what they are going to be buying."
Prior to starting at IBM, Burdick left a longtime position at Carolinas Healthcare System where he worked in the IT field there for 16 years.