Joe Duncan, 2010 Grapevine High School graduate, visited Heritage Elementary School on Tuesday, October 13, 2015, to share how his education in GCISD helped him succeed in accomplishing his goal of becoming a firefighter in the Memphis Fire Services. Joe attended Timberline Elementary, Cross Timbers Middle and Grapevine High school before completing his studies as an EMT and Firefighter 1.
Duncan discussed with the students, who ranged from third grade through fifth grade, the five areas of focus in the GCISD Portrait of a Graduate. He explained how each element of the Portrait prepared him for a career in his chosen field. He reached his goal by being: 1) an effective communicator, 2) a collaborative worker, 3) a skilled problem solver, 4) a self-regulated learner, 5) a global citizen.
"The quickest way to solve a problem is to work together," Duncan said, sharing with the students how each of these areas play an important part in his success and continue to be a part of his everyday role as a member of his fire team.
In addition to the Portrait of a Graduate discussion, Duncan donned his firefighter gear and assumed live action poses while the students did quick gesture figure drawings. Various pieces of music accompanied each position he held, from "Fanfare for the Common Man," by Copeland, to the theme from the "Rocky" movie and the "Imperial March" from Star Wars. Each musical selection added to the mood of the room, while the students worked their drawings.
Before the students returned to class, Duncan led them through a few firefighter exercises he did as a trainee in Memphis Fire Academy and continues to do to stay in top form for his strenuous job.
"Seeing the complete cycle of a GCISD student is exciting for our students, as well as the numerous teachers who support each student as they work their way through the GCISD Portrait of a Graduate," said Pamela Duncan, Heritage ES art teacher and mother of Joe Duncan.