by Lisa Tome
When Rising Sun police chief Chip Peterson retired from the Maryland State Police, he planned to put law enforcement behind him.
Instead, Peterson wanted to sell real estate and live on a beach somewhere. The economic downturn pushed Peterson back into police work.
That's what Peterson told students at the Providence School during Chat and Chew, the school's informal lunch time career day held before Christmas break.
Sitting next to Peterson was Ryan Sharpless, a Conowingo native who made his path in life by working in retail. He started in the field as a teen, working at the Martin's grocery chain. About a year ago, Sharpless began working as a manager for Rite Aid drug stores.
The students got to hear each of the men discuss their career path - the educational requirements, pay scale, demands, hours, benefits and more.
Once a week during the month of December, Providence School hosted local professionals for an informal career day.
Ethan Keller, transition coordinator at the Providence School, said that the Chat and Chew program was so well received that it will be held again during February.
He said that only the Providence School students who are performing at the highest levels within the school were permitted to meet the business professionals. "It's a privilege from them (students) to be here," said Keller.
Sharpless said he felt it was his privilege to be able to speak to the students. "I think it's important to reach out. I've always wanted to do volunteering. I grew up in Conowingo and went to Rising Sun High School. I have strong ties to the community," said Sharpless.
He also said it was nice to meet Chief Peterson, again.
"He pulled me over once. He gave me a warning," laughed Sharpless.