Over 40 Presenters Share Expertise on Career Day

Veterinary Science. Public Safety. Acting. 

Middleburgh Jr./Sr. High School students explored these and many other future opportunities during Career Day on March 16. A diverse group of over 40 experts visited the school to discuss their occupations and answer student questions.

Organizers broke career paths down by “career clusters,” including: business, education and training, human services and manufacturing.

Representative Chris Tague (New York 102) delivered opening remarks.

“Events like Career Day are so important because they are opportunities to spark students’ imaginations about how they can combine their passion with a means of making a living,” Tague said. “Building a career from a place of inspiration, creativity or by fostering a skill or value is a wonderful place to start when the entire world is in front of you, or you feel like you have no idea where to begin.”

The MSCD Counseling Center, including guidance counselors Kelly Pacatte and Paul Pierce and staff member Laurie M. McGeary, organized the event. Principal Matt Sloane and Board of Education Member Vicki Hoerz provided additional assistance.

“Career Day is important because it exposes students to careers they may not have thought of, but that are very interesting,” Pierce said. “Career day also enlightens students on what education is necessary and what skills are important to be marketable for a chosen field. Our presenters were engaging and made the day enjoyable for all the students.”

The presenters offered candid discussions on salaries, benefits and job security for their fields, why they enjoy their professions and what challenges they have faced. 

Students asked questions at the end of each presentation and developed a broader understanding of the economic marketplace.

“I thought Career Day was interesting,” Junior Stuart Shaul said. “I didn’t realize how much the trade professions work together.”

“If you go into skilled trades, private companies are more ‘moveable’ and hands-on,” Senior Chloe LaBombard said. “Once you are in a job, you never stop learning.”

Not all of the Career Day discussions focused on the future. Many presenters talked to students about classes they could take and school clubs they could join to prepare themselves for college and career. Some presenters outlined current opportunities to volunteer or apply for summer jobs with their organizations.

MCSD thanks the following presenters for sharing their career experiences with students.

Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources  

  • Sarah Hooper; Schoharie Valley Farms, Barber’s Farms
  • Richard Ball; Commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets

A/V Technology & Communications  

  • Giuliana Bruno; anchor, News 10 ABC
  • Tom Gruning; electrical engineer, music studio equipment 
  • Patsy Nicosia; journalist, Times Journal


  • Chris Hubbard; owner, Hubie’s
  • Joe LeRoy; investor relations, Fenimore Asset Management 
  • Lisa Tennison; owner, Four Star Realty


  • Suzanne Fine; professor (Early Childhood) SUNY Cobleskill
  • Ryan Irwin; professor (History) University at Albany 
  • Kris Wood; elementary teacher, MCSD 

Fine/Visual and Performing Arts   

  • Boris McGiver; actor (Law and Order, Empire Boardwalk, Serpent and others)
  • Teresa Norfolk; retired MCS Art Teacher 
  • James Smyth; Smyth/Cid Pottery 

Government and Military  

  • Mike Hartzel & Emily Hartzel; Safety Head of Emergency Management/Preparedness 
  • Wesley Laraway; MCS teacher (Social Studies) and Supervisor, Schoharie County Board 
  • Staff Sergeant Rich Pangan; US Air Force
  • New York State Assemblyman Chris Tague; District 102

Health Sciences   

  • Dr. Diane Biederman-Brynda; veterinarian and owner, Schoharie Valley Veterinary Clinic
  • Katlyn Rohr; veterinary technician,  Schoharie Valley Veterinary Clinic
  • Nicole Dunn; physician’s assistant, Bassett Healthcare
  • Heidi Koopmann; RN, Bassett Healthcare
  • Heidi Zandri; LPN, Bassett Healthcare

Human Services 1

  • Sierra Diamond; social worker, MCSD
  • Justin Hamm; Executive Director, Schoharie County Council on Alcoholism & Substance Abuse
  • Kiah Powell; Program Manager, Lexington ARC  

Human Services 2

  • Brian Kavanaugh; masseuse, Center for Natural Wellness 
  • Roger Palmatier & Aida Meledez; owner, Iron Horse Tattoo Studio 
  • Chris Kenyon; Minekill State Park

Information Technology  

  • Cameron Erickson; principal consultant/data specialist, Camelot Solution
  • Christie Hall; cyber security, New York State Technology Enterprise Corporation
  • Joe Welch; Midtel 

Law, Public Safety

  • Melissa Burgess; officer, Environmental Conservation 
  • Sean Smith; Deputy Director New York Prosecutors Training Institute
  • Rebecca Brisley; Schoharie Co Sheriff Dispatch
  • Investigator Dan Smith, Schoharie County Sheriff Dept.


  • April Dunn; Human Relations Dept., Haleon
  • Ethan Keidong; electrical engineer, Haleon
  • Josh Anderson; Precision Valve & Automation

Skilled Trades: Automotive 

  • John Cronin, diesel mechanic
  • Rob Dawes; sales, Lia Honda 
  • John Keltey; service manager, Lia Honda  

Skilled Trades: Carpentry, Construction and Electrical 

  • Nicholas Wilsey; electrician, Aaron’s Electric 
  • Chris Manus; Union of Operating Engineers, IUOE Local 158