Barnsdall High School students will have little excuse for being stranded with a flat tire this summer.
Coach Gary Cunningham went through the details last week for everyone who wanted to know how to change a tire. Cunningham’s flat-tire tutorial was just one of several life-skills classes that Barnsdall High offered on the next-to-last day of school this spring.
“We were just trying to think of something fun and informational and educational for our students,” school counselor Misty Farber said, explaining that the school asked students what subjects they would like to learn about, and then arranged for experts to be available to lead classes. This was the first year for Barnsdall High to offer this particular activity, Farber said.
Rebecca Fleming, who works for Strategic Contract Resources, a company that recruits personnel for the energy industry, led a session about resume-building. A little after 9 a.m. May 16, she had 13 youngsters of differing ages in front of her, and she cautioned them that their school days will be over before they know it.
“I’m going to tell you, it goes by fast,” Fleming said. She encouraged the youth to consider that college may not be the only route by which to achieve success in the workplace.
“I changed directions several different times,” she said, adding that what she loves about the job she does now is the people. “I love people.”
Fleming coached the members of her audience about being aware of the workplace culture of companies where they may apply for jobs, and remembering what may seem like small things when seeking work — a good handshake, and remembering one’s manners.
A session on interviewing for jobs, conducted by Chase Allcott, the owner/operator of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Bartlesville, built almost directly on the pointers Fleming offered.
Allcott, who spotted a current Chick-fil-A employee among the 11 kids in his classroom, went into detail about what he looks for when he makes hiring decisions.
“I can usually tell within the first 30 seconds of the interview if I’m going to want to hire you or not,” Allcott said. He taught the students the “Core 4” habits that Chick-fil-A cultivates in its employees. The Core 4 are: create eye contact, share a smile, speak enthusiastically and stay connected from the heart.
Other things he looks for include humility, a hunger to learn, intelligence, and a willingness to work as a member of a team, Allcott said. He also advised filling out the job application thoughtfully, spelling everything on the application correctly, dressing appropriately and being about 5-10 minutes early for an interview.
“I want to work with people where there is nothing below them,” Allcott said, emphasizing the importance of being willing to perform any task necessary. And he highlighted the importance of remembering to thank employers for job interviews. Very few applicants do that, and it makes a positive impression, he said.
In addition to job-related classes, Barnsdall High School offered its students a few hands-on, life-skill classes such as a session on babysitting and one on changing a flat tire.
“There’s nothing worse than putting a flat tire in place of a flat tire,” Coach Cunningham told his classes, as he stressed the importance of checking regularly to make sure one’s spare tire actually has air in it. He also covered other basics, such as checking to see if a vehicle has a spare tire when making a decision about purchasing it.
Another vital lesson for safety’s sake — if you replace a flat tire with a “donut” spare rather than a full-size tire, make sure you get to a repair shop as soon as possible.
“Do not drive on it very long. They are not very stable,” Cunningham said regarding “donut” spares.