Page 1 - TTMNJan2023
P. 1


                                                                                                          Winter 2023, Volume 1
                                                 MINNESOTA’S K–12 EDUCATION CONNECTIONTODAY                                     MN                ™

                      Mounds View Students Build                                                  A Hidden Gem and

                      Solar-Powered Ice Fishing Houses,                                           a Different Path —

        Gain Real-Life Construction Experience
        (and College Credit!)                                                   St. Paul Central High School Automotive

                                            of working with both their minds — and their   Matt  Lijewski  has
                                            hands – in construction-related careers such as   been  teaching  automo-
                                            plumbing, pipefitting, welding or ironworking.  tive technology at St. Paul
                                               Fortunately,  that  gap  in  educational   Central  High  School  for
                                            opportunities  for  some  high  school  students   the past 13 years. His path
                                            is  changing. And  a  good  example  of  this  is   was not the traditional one
                                            the Construction and Solar Energy pathways   taken by most teachers.
                                            program offered through Mounds View Public   Matt  was  born  and
                                            Schools (District 621). The program is avail-  raised  on  the  east  side
                                            able to both students of Irondale High School   of  St  Paul  and  attended
                                            and Mounds View High School, the two public   Sacred   Heart   Catholic
                                            high schools within the 621 District.  school  through  the  8th
                                               “Several years ago, we realized we needed   grade.  While  attending
                                            to offer opportunities for our students to learn   Harding  High  School,  he
                                            more  about  high-demand,  high-wage  jobs  in   discovered  his  passion  in
                                            the construction-related trades,” says Michael   life, automotive. “I had an
                                            Werner, Mounds View School District’s Coor-  incredible  automotive  teacher  (Mr.  Walker)   be a new and interesting career where he could
                                            dinator  of  Post-Secondary  Planning.  “By   that fueled my knowledge and interest in my   utilize his personal experience and extensive
                                            partnering with the MnSCU system, we now   passion for cars.”          automotive knowledge to educate the youth of
                                            not only offer opportunities to begin learning   After graduating from high school, Matt   St Paul.
                                            a trade, but a process that allows them to earn   pursued  an Associate  Degree  in Automotive   “My interview went very well, and I was
            Across  the  United  States,  high  schools   credit toward a two-year or four-year degree.”  Technology and went on to work in the auto-  immediately given the position as automotive
        have responded to the needs of high achiev-  “In  other  words,  we’re  creating  more   motive industry for 20 years as a transmission   instructor  as  a  licensed  community  expert,”
        ing high school students by offering numerous   options  for  our  students  —  they  can  either   and driveline specialist. Holding certification   said Matt. “I entered the teaching profession
        opportunities to earn college credits, from AP   pursue  a  career  in  construction  immediately   as a National Institute for Automotive Service   without the benefit of any teacher education or
        and IB courses to partnerships where students   out of high school, or they can enter a Min-  Excellence  (ASE)  and  Automatic  Transmis-  training. Basically, I was given the keys and
        are  taught  entry-level  college  courses  in  the   nesota  state  college  or  university,  or  both,”   sion  Rebuilders  Association  (ATRA)  master   had to either sink or swim. Unfortunately, the
        high school.                        Werner  says.  “More  options  is  a  good  thing   technician,  he  worked  very  hard  to  become   former instructor had taken all of the materials
            For the most part, college credit is geared   for students who are trying to discern a future   the very best in his automotive career by con-  with them, and I had to create my own lesson
        to  students  who  plan  to  attend  a  liberal  arts   career path.”   stantly training and keeping up to date on the   plans, worksheets, tests, learn how to interact
        college  or  university,  with  courses  being   One  such  opportunity  being  offered  to   latest  technology  changes  in  the  automotive   with staff and students and most importantly,
        offered in subjects such as biology, calculus,   students attending the district is the Construc-  field.   making sure my students left the shop with all
        world history, or a language, such as Spanish,   tion and Solar Energy course. The two-hour,   Matt felt his career had become stagnant   of their fingers and toes intact.”
        French or German.                   one  semester  course  (September  through   and was looking for a change that was both   Matt worked to become a fully licensed
            Often  overlooked  are  students  who   January)  taught  by  instructor  Mark  Ahlers,   challenging and personally fulfilling. He heard   teacher. In 2015, he graduated with a degree
        intend to take a different path with their lives                        of a job opening at Central High School as an
        following  high  school.  Students  who  dream   Continued on Page 4    automotive  instructor  and  though  that  might   Continued on Page 16

                         thank you to our advertisers for your generous support!

                          First Technologies, Inc. • North Dakota State College of Science • Project Build Minnesota

                         Minnesota State University Moorhead • North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters
             South Dakota State University • Minnesota State College Southeast • Minnesota Utilities Contractors Association
                      Ziegler Cat • Aggregate and Ready Mix Association of Minnesota • Autism Society of Minnesota
                 Finishing Trades Institute of the Upper Midwest • Titan Machinery • Southwest Minnesota State University
   1   2   3   4   5   6