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Larchmont Students Play Reporter on Career Day

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -Emma Biermann reported from Hommocks Middle School studios Friday morning that traffic conditions were so bad on Boston Post Road, students had to hop out of their parent's car and walk the rest of the way to school.

Biermann, 11, volunteered to report the traffic for an impromptu student broadcast with the help of a real-life NBC anchor and Larchmont parent, Michael Gargiulo. The Today in New York anchor, whose show weekdays from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m., was one of 48 parents and community members who gave students a glimpse into their work lives during Real Work/School Work day at Hommocks.

"I didn't know that he woke up at 2:30 a.m.," said Biermann, a Larchmont resident, who knows Gargiulo's son Andrew. "I learned a lot of things I didn't know before."

Biermann has a special connection to journalism. Her mother Rachel is an editor for In Touch Weekly , and has let her daughter conduct interviews with celebrities. Although she didn't get a chance to use her interviewing skills, she had fun in the role of traffic reporter.

Gargiulo had students read a Today in New York script from two days ago, which featured stories on a new MTA subway map, among others. Unlike her classmates who read the news, Biermann didn't have a script, and had to improvise.

"Our weather and traffic people did a great job, because you don't have a script to rely on," Gargiulo said. "In real life, the traffic person and our meteorologist don't have scripts like the anchors do. They really have to, what we call, ad-lib - make it up as they go along. They have their facts, and improvise."

Gargiulo visited English teach Lisa Manheim's classes, which included his son Andrew.

"I've been here three years, and this is the most engaged I've seen the kids with Real Work/School Work," Manheim said.

Seth Weitzman, principal of the Hommocks, began holding career day ten years ago. "When we started this, we had trouble getting presenters because it was new," he said. "Now we have the opposite problem. We have to put term limits on presenters."

Presenters were broken up into four categories: business and creative arts, public sector and law, health/wellness and science/technology. The list included fireman, policeman, elected officials, an advertising and marketing strategist, local author Robert Sharenow, news anchors Gargiulo and Gregg Jarrett of Fox News, business owners Wendy Weinstein-Karp of Plates and Beth Feldman of Sweet and Social and a few others.

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