By VINCE REMBULAT
James Bryson was once a student at Brock Elliott Elementary School.
He went from there to Sierra High, where also played sports, to becoming a California Highway Patrol officer.
“Learn as much as you can,” said Bryson, who was one of 25 guest speakers at Friday’s annual College and Career Day at his old stomping grounds.
Third-grade teacher Donna Goulart, who helped coordinate this year’s event consisting of folks from the community coming in and planting the seed of possible future careers to the first- through- eighth- grade students, requested Bryson, a former pupil, to be among the guest speakers.
He was able to comply, bringing along a 1995 Brock Elliott class portrait of his days in Goulart’s class.
“It’s great for our current students to see someone who is from here come back for career day,” said Goulart.
Students heard presentations from a variety of professions, including nursing, dentistry, and firefighting, to name a few.
“We even had someone from Lawrence Livermore National Lab,” Goulart said.
The star of the day may have been the one standing on four legs.
Max is an 8-year-old Belgium shepherd of Officer Jason Massey, a 15-year veteran of the Manteca Police Department.
Before bringing in his K-9 Unit partner of the past seven years, Massey expressed to second-grade students in Lori Kinlaw’s class the importance of going to school.
“Listen to your teachers,” he said. “I didn’t like math when I was in school, but I have to use algebra today in my job.”
Ditto that for reading and writing. Massey, who grew up in Riverbank and served in the Air Force, has to read and write reports as a big part of his job.
Students, however, were excited to see his partner Max.
They learned that dogs have a keen sense of smell that’s “a million times better than ours,” Massey said.
His dog also has a Kevlar vest available for his protection during potential dangerous assignments.
Youngsters were particularly interested in petting and being around Max, who Massey initially purchased from a Stockton police officer.
“He loves to work,” Massey said of his dog.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail email@example.com.