NCSD Student, Bailey McCartney, learns from NCSD Professional Mechanics as part of Job Shadowing Opportunity!

As the first Pathways Innovation student to complete a job shadow opportunity in partnership with a District department this academic year, Bailey spent time over the duration of two weeks learning from Natrona County School District Senior Mechanics Todd Zenow and Doug Hansen. 


Pathways Innovation Center, Career Facilitator, Mr. Sallade, has worked diligently to put all the pieces together to create a job shadowing opportunity for students. “Students study concepts and procedures in the classroom and then learn to apply that knowledge in our labs and shops. Shadowing provides the next step where students can move out into the community and job site to see actual results of what they have been learning and practicing,” shared Mr. Sallade.


To make a direct connection for an exceptional learning opportunity, Mr. Sallade had to look no further than across the district towards the expertise and professionalism of his tremendous colleagues. The Natrona County School is grateful to employ dedicated and outstanding trade professionals in the areas of plumbing, welding, electrical, building maintenance, grounds, food service, transportation, HVAC, fabrication, and more!  


Syd Webb, Director of Transportation, expressed his admiration and appreciation for the partnership with schools to help provide opportunities for students to excel, “Bailey assisted installing an in chassis camshaft repair, a steering gearbox, and numerous cameras/GPS systems in our buses. She took her classroom knowledge along with her mechanical training and excelled in a large mechanic environment.”


A great learning opportunity for all involved Bailey’s time spent at the NCSD Bus Garage was valuable for all involved, "These types of learning environments also encouraged our mechanics to step into the role of a mentor/trainer to lead in an extremely valuable and needed field,” reflected Nick McClure, NCSD Equipment and Maintenance Supervisor.


"It was a great opportunity for Bailey to learn in an environment outside of a textbook and then apply those skills to repair vehicles competently," shared senior mechanic Todd Zenow, who offered his time to assist Bailey in her shadowing experience.


Bailey plans to attend Casper College to pursue Diesel Technology in the fall; however, she has been driving towards her continued successful future for many years. During her senior year, Bailey enrolled in classes at Pathways Innovation Center to help propel forward her career and educational goals after graduation. Bailey has taken various courses to help prepare her for her career and college preparation choices, including courses in Agriculture, Ag and Natural Resources, Agribusiness Management, Engine Fundamentals, Auto I, Auto Drivetrains and Axles, Auto Electrical and Electrical Engine Performance, and Welding I.


Focusing not only on the direct learning experience a job shadow provides, Bailey shares it is also another way for students like herself to get a better understanding of what they do and don’t love about a potential career choice, “Everybody can get hands-on experience and see if they actually enjoy the field that they want to go into. You get to be here with someone who has done this for years, and you get to figure out if this is something that you really want to do.” 


Bailey is quick to mention this isn’t her first shadowing experience, as she has been learning from her grandfather, an experienced and expert mechanic, for many years. Her face lighting up with a mixture of pride and love, Bailey recalls years spent “getting her hands dirty” growing up learning from the best, “My grandpa has been doing this for a long time, and I’ve been right there with him. So it is exciting being here today, learning how they do stuff, taking the benefits of them, showing them what I know, and learning from them.” 


During her time at Pathways, Bailey mentions amongst some of the tremendous benefits of hands-on learning and career preparation; she also found an opportunity to grow as an individual, “Troy Corson, Pathways Auto teacher, is amazing, is always checking on us, seeing how we are doing and that we are feeling our best, he wants everyone to learn. I’ve learned more about myself and my ability to do things than I would have learned on my own.” 


With her steadfast resolve to continued learning, growth, professionalism, teamwork, and creative problem-solving, Bailey is sure to have a continued bright future, and likely someday, it will be her imparting wisdom, professionalism, and expertise onto a young shadow of her own. 


Thank you for sharing your talents, time, and exceptionalism with us Bailey, we wish you continued success!