A Day to Remember
Government and Education Day was certainly a day to remember. The YLH Class 6 started the day off at the Highlands County Courthouse. After learning about the many jobs and immense budgets held by Clerk of Courts Bob Germaine, we began a game of “ask or be asked” with Judge Estrada. His many past experiences makes him a very interesting person to listen to. I don’t think anyone will be forgetting about the parrot case any time soon. After that, we were visited by the recently elected Sheriff Blackman. He gave a brief summary on all the different branches of the Sheriff’s department as well as a sneak peak of the jail we were going to see later that day. Our last visitor inside the Courthouse was Kathy Perez from CSI. Unfortunately, the video presentation she had set up was not working, so we had to make due with a picture presentation. One thing I learned from her is that you do not need to be a police officer to work in CSI. In fact, she herself is not a police officer! After this, we headed to the back parking lot of the Courthouse to view the weapons and tools used by the SWAT team. Everything they bring on missions is specially designed to save lives in any way possible. From there we were led by our tour guide Lieutenant John Barcinas over to the county jail where we met up with Lieutenant Murphy for a tour around jail. While the jail lunch may have been a hit or miss among the students, the tour was certainly impressive (as well as a great reminder to stay out of trouble). While eating lunch, we watched as Sergeant Albritton showed off his K-9 units stunning obedience. Next on our list was to visit South Florida State College. Our first stop at the college was a show by Dr. Peter Hamlet for some Chemistry Magic. His performance included everything from color changing chemicals to chilly liquid nitrogen, all while teaching us why the magic happens. After that we toured the nursing facilities on campus. The small section we were able to see included several extremely life-like animatronics that medical students could practice on. These make learning to be a nurse much less stressful. Next we took a short walk over to the dental building to view an unexpectedly large dental program. The program has a large on-site clinic that can hold as many as 12 patients at the same time. Our final stop was a drone demonstration by a college student who spent over 2 years with his class modifying and perfecting a drone. The drone was capable of flying further than any of us could see and was equipped with an on board camera. Our last day out exploring Highlands County was certainly one to remember.