TWINSBURG — Critical thinking skills. Proper workplace etiquette. Good communication.

These were among the skills stressed by a panel of professionals at the Sept. 11 kickoff event for the Academy at Twinsburg High School.

The kickoff "was a great evening," said Norman Potter, curriculum director. "The panel was amazing."

About 100 people attended the third annual kickoff for the academy, which is a voluntary program students can register for that introduces its participants to various careers, particularly manufacturing and medical. Programs such as Twin Talks, job shadowing opportunities, volunteer opportunities and Ahuja Medical talks, are a few of the opportunities presented through the academy.

The evening included a panel of three professionals: Jennifer Goings Smith, Director of Delivery for the Eaton Corp; Dr. Roger Goudy the President of Amateur Athletic Union of the USA; and Roseanne Potter the CFO of the Cleveland Foundation (no relation to Norman Potter). Students prepared questions for them, which were read during the panel presentation.

Goudy said that they should not be afraid to make mistakes.

"Be bold, and don't be afraid to fail," Goudy said. "That's how you learn, you learn from your mistakes."

Rosanne Potter said that communication "is absolutely critical."

"You have to be a good communicator, and not just dialogue," Potter said. "You have to be a good listener."

Knowing the proper etiquette for electronic communication also was vital, said Goings Smith.

"In my job, I do a lot of communication via email, and there's a sensitivity to what makes a good email and what makes a bad email," she said.

Josh Martin, a sophomore participant in the academy, said he enjoyed the evening, and particularly appreciated the "tips they gave us for entering the workplace and the things we can do while we are in school."

Sophomore Aaron Booker said that he "liked the discussion about studying for different careers and talking about the fundamentals of industry."

For details about The Academy at Twinsburg High School, visit http://www.twinsburg.k12.oh.us/TheAcademy.aspx

Reporter April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423, ahelms@recordpub.com, or @AprilKHelms_RPC