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Seniors ‘wow’ adults in mock interviews

For The Madera Tribune

County Assessor Gary Svanda (ABOVE) and MUSD Trustee Reuben Mendoza (TOP) interview Madera South students in mock interivews. Svanda is interviewing Leannndra Gonzalez and Mendoza is interviewing Sarahi Guerrero.


Seniors at Madera, Madera South, and Mountain Vista high schools got a taste of the work-a-day world last week, and in the process testified to how well they’ve been prepared to become tomorrow’s leaders.

As part of their English classes, the students underwent mock job interviews while dressed in business attire. They sat ramrod straight, looking their interviewers squarely in the eye.

According to coordinator Tim Riche, work experience teacher for Madera Unified School District, 93 adult community volunteers took on the role of interviewer. They came from groups like Madera Rotary, Lions and Educational Employees Credit Union. Some were political leaders and others military recruiters. Many donated the entire day for the interviews.

Riche said the volunteers were lavish in their praise of Madera’s senior classes. After conducting several interviews, one commented the future was not as dim as previously thought; “Our schools are doing a good job of teaching things that are relevant.”

The interviewers also had high praise for individual students, such as one interviewed with the help of a sign language interpreter and another who had been here for only six months and barely spoke English.

One interviewer cited numerous students who knew exactly what they want to do after completing their education because a teacher had inspired them.

Some of the interviews brought tears to the eyes of the interviewers because “their stories were so touching and inspiring,” Riche said.

According to Riche, all of the volunteer interviewers asked him to make sure they were invited back next year.

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