Lordstown alumni share careers

Tribune Chronicle / Bob Coupland Hayley Platt, a Lordstown High School alumnae, speaks about her career as a dancer to Lordstown students as part of the Lordstown Schools Alumni Speakers series that brings alumni back to the school to tell of their careers and what they did to get there. The series is held throughout the school year.

LORDSTOWN — Whether they are in law enforcement, performing on stage, working behind the scenes at a television station or traveling to different companies, a new alumni speaker series is allowing Lordstown High School students to hear about what former graduates are doing and how they got there.

Lordstown High School Superintendent Terry Armstrong said the alumni speaker series is held throughout the school year.

“The series lets our students hear from alumni who were once in the same classrooms they are now who tell of their career choices and what they have done with their lives. This really gives our students the opportunity to hear first-hand from our graduates of the choices they have made and the path that career choice has taken them,” he said.

Armstrong said the series is held once or twice per month and has included a law student, engineer, police officer and television producer.

One of the most recent speakers was Hayley Platt, who is now a professional dancer.

Each session is focused on a specific field such as careers in law.

“Students heard from a police officer who is a member of the local SWAT team and another who is a resource officer,” he said.

A goal of the program is to create career awareness and what preparation and education are needed for that career.

“I have had students come to me to see if they can shadow a recent speaker we have had,” he said. “I tell the students the people speaking to them were once sitting in desks at this school.”

Platt, who graduated in 2007 and had Armstrong as a government teacher, said she likes being able to share with students what she did to prepare for her career as a professional dancer.

Platt obtained a bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University and was a member of the YSU Dance Ensemble, taking part in performances at different events. She also has been a member of professional dance companies and organizations.

“I have been fortunate to have met a lot of amazing people in my life. They have given me a lot of advice,” she said.

Platt said there is no one clear cut way to become a dancer, noting everyone’s path is different.

“I tell people to figure out where they may want end up. With any career or goal and whatever you want to do with your life, work your way back on how you want to get there,” Platt said.

She said her goal in life since she was a child was to be a dancer.

“No matter what you want to do in your life it will take hard work and consistency. Dancing is very hard work and takes a lot of time and commitment,” Platt said.