One of my favorite days of the year is the kick-off for Groundhog Job Shadow at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences. Being the only school located on a working farm in Chicago and with its deep roots and animal and food science, CHSAS is the perfect place to host such an event. Founded by Colin Powell during his years at America’s Promise, Groundhog Job Shadow Day is held annually on Groundhog Day, February 2nd, which marks the beginning of a year of job shadowing opportunities for high school students.

CHSAS has been a leader in giving its students meaningful internships and shadowing experiences in a range of careers and it is an honor for the school to host the kick-off rally on behalf of the Chicago Public Schools and its Office of Education to Careers.

Ryan Jameson, Senior and FFA Chapter President, shared “The Legend of the Groundhog” with the 200 juniors and seniors in attendance.

CHSAS had a very special Groundhog this year. The report matched that of Punxsutawney Phil, who did not see his shadow, thus forecasting an early spring.

The CHSAS Groundhog is joined by Eli’s Marc Schulman, co-chair of the CHSAS Business Advisory Board, CHSAS Principal David Gilligan, FFA Chapter Vice PresidentMelissa Janisch and Special Guest Speaker, Dimitri
Hatzigerorgiou, Area Director for Starbucks.

Marc Schulman with Lucille Shaw, Master Ag Teacher, FFA Advisor and BIg Bear Fan

Eli’s Marc Schulman with Starbucks Dimitri Hatzigerorgiou, CHSAS Principal David Gilligan and Chicago Public Schools Education to Careers Chief Officer, Jill Wine Banks.

Christine DeCoudreaux, a CHSAS student spoke about her three day intensive internship at Eli’s in January.

It was inspirational for the students at CHSAS to learn about Dimitri’s career. From his graduating from the hospitality program at Cornell University, to joining Starbucks when it was a small but fast growing coffee chain from Seattle and then bringing Starbucks to Greece, it was a message that was very beneficial for all in attendance.


A trip to CHSAS wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Barn. Under the leadership of Dr. Joan White, the school Animal Science instructor, CHSAS students are learning about careers in veterinary medicine for both pets and large animals.