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Jul 02, 2017

Career Day at Lincroft Elementary School

By Les Pierce

Career Day is a program in which local professionals graciously volunteer their time to discuss their respective careers with fifth grade students at Lincroft Elementary School. The speakers discuss the pros and cons of their vocations and share opinions as to what school subjects are most relevant to their respective fields.

This year, Joe Hess quickly captured the interest of students when he arrived with his work partner Vale, a four-year-old Labrador retriever. Vale is a bomb sniffing dog and Mr. Hess is his assigned handler and trainer as an employee of MSA Security. Prior to the students arriving at the classroom, Mr. Hess hid some explosive simulation materials, the type used for training, in three different locations of the room. Midway through the presentation, Vale was prompted to search for the training aides and he successfully found the mock materials.              The pair very often works at the World Trade Center and they have also provided services at National Football League games, baseball games, and the Chicago Marathon, according to Mr. Hess. He also explained that the Labrador retriever is an excellent “food reward dog” and their robust appetite can keep them on the job for up to 12 hours if needed. They are virtually full-time partners, as Vale lives at home with Mr. Hess, where they practice with hide and seek games several times a week.          Vale was initially trained as a Seeing Eye dog. However, he failed to complete that training because of his penchant for sniffing everything he encountered. As Mr. Hess explained, it was ironic that this habit made him a competent sniffer and a career change followed. Everyone had the opportunity to pet Vale as they exited the classroom.

Orthodontist Dr. Patrick T. Cuozzo started his presentation by explaining how many different jobs are performed to support the orthodontic services he provides. He pointed out that in addition to an office manager, there are hygienists, a receptionist/scheduler, and billing and accounting personnel on staff. He then stressed that not everyone is a candidate for braces. Citing himself as an example, he exclaimed, “My father was an orthodontist and I never wore braces!” Dr. Cuozzo showed photos of patients who required braces, and explained what condition in the photo indicated the need. Then he showed before and after photos that illustrated some amazing results. He specified the years of schooling required to become an orthodontist. He also divulged that in addition to his father being an orthodontist, his grandfather was a dentist. In closing, Dr. Cuozzo stated with a wide smile, “I love what I do.”

Presentations were also given by Wagner College athletic director Walt Hameline, assisted by basketball coach Scott Smith, scientist Karen Whitaker, and Middletown Township Deputy Mayor Stephanie Murray.

 

 

Pictured – Handler Joe Hess and his partner Vale with Lincroft Elementary students Amanda Moore and Daniel Cassidy