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        Page 16                                                                                                Electronic Edition:

                   Central CTE Teacher Receives National Award

                                                                               partnered  with  local  businesses  to  give  my   tires can’t fall off when the vehicle drives out
                                                                               students  valuable  apprenticeship  opportuni-  of  the  shop. The  customer  gets  the  value  of
                                                                               ties for career exploration and employment. I   an inexpensive repair (we charge $10-20 for
                                                                               feel that what I teach is a lifelong skill, that is   repairs or sometimes just a box of doughnuts)
                                                                               transferable to other career options and will   and the students get the experience of fixing
                                                                               save my students thousands of dollars in their   real  problems.  An  A  in  this  class  can  earn
                                                                               adult life.”                        college credit as well!
                                                                                                                       “I feel that what I teach is a lifelong skill,
                                                                               This class is taught outside of the   that is transferable to other career options and
                                                                               traditional classroom.              will save my students thousands of dollars in
                                                                                   Auto  2  is  taught  at  a  shop  located  two   their adult life. I want to prepare all of my stu-
                                                                               blocks  away  from  the  main  campus.  It  was   dents for success, no matter their race, color of
                                                                               originally  a  Skellys  gas  station  back  in  the   skin, gender or economic status. Without my
                                                                               1940’s.  In  1971,  Skelly  donated  the  shop  to   program, many urban youths would not have
                                                                               the  St  Paul  School  District,  and  it  was  con-  exposure  to  the  subject  matter  and  struggle
                                                                               verted  into  an  automotive  shop/classroom.   with  the  inevitability  of  vehicle  ownership,”
                                                                               It’s a small, two-bay garage. Quite often we   says Matt.
                                                                               do  repairs  outside  due  to  the  limited  work   “I  identify  myself  as  a  hardworking,
                            Matt working with a student in the tire lab.       area. In the last few years, the district gifted   passionate educator. As in my career in auto-
                                                                               the  program  with  two  new  hoists,  new  tire   motive, I want to be the best at my teaching
        Congratulations Matt!               for the NSHSS Educator of the Year award.  machines,  an  updated  security  system,  new   profession.  I  feel  that  my  students  deserve
                                                For  more  about  the  award  visit  https://                      nothing less. I truly love my job at Central and
            Ask  any  highly  accomplished  adult,  in        LED lighting, a new heating system and a new,   enjoy teaching a diverse student population. I
        any  profession,  to  name  an  individual  who                        beautiful, epoxy floor.             feel that the best part of my job is connecting
        played a pivotal role in their success and they  A Hidden Gem              Auto 2 is available to students in grades   with students and getting to know them on a
        will  likely  name  an  educator.  The  National   Matt  Lijewski  has  been  teaching  auto-  10-12 that have successfully completed Auto   personal  level.  I  have  found  that  the  key  to
        Society  of  High  School  Scholars  (NSHSS)   motive  technology  at  St.  Paul  Central  High   1. Students learn everything from brake jobs   student success is taking the time to build that
        provides  its  high  school  members  with  the   School for the past 14 years. His path was not   to  engine  removal.  This  class  specializes  in   all important teacher/student relationship and
        opportunity  to  acknowledge  high  school   the traditional one taken by most teachers.  general vehicle maintenance repairs, not auto   treating students with equity and respect. Each
        teachers,  counselors  or  administrators  who   After graduating from high school, Matt   body repairs. The unique part of Matt’s Auto   student brings in a unique set of skills and life
        have made the most significant contribution to   pursued  an Associate  Degree  in Automotive   2 program is that they work it like a real shop.   experiences that provide excellent opportuni-
        their academic career by nominating them as   Technology and went on to work in the auto-  Students learn on teacher/student/community   ties for us to learn from each other.”
        an Educator of Distinction.         motive industry for 20 years as a transmission   member vehicles. Students must diagnose the
            Matthew  Lijewski,  the  automotive   and driveline specialist.    problem, write up the vehicle, order parts and
        instructor at Central High School, was nomi-  Feeling  his  career  had  become  stag-  complete the repair. The main benefit of this
        nated  by  his  students  for  a  Claes  Nobel   nant and looking for a change that was both   type  of  working/learning  set  up  is  that  stu-
        Educator of Distinction award. Matt, a 1988   challenging  and  personally  fulfilling,  Matt   dents  are  working  on  real  world  problems,
        graduate  of  Harding  High  School,  is  in  his   explored a job opening at Central High School   the vehicle must be repaired correctly, and the
        14th year of teaching with SPPS.    as  an  automotive  instructor.  He  thought  it
        Matt said about his award:          might be a new and interesting career where
                                            he  could  utilize  his  personal  experience  and   SPPS Automotive Program
            I appreciate this award because a student   extensive  automotive  knowledge  to  educate
        took time out of his day to nominate me. It is   the youth of St Paul.
        nice to know that what I teach has a big impact                         Saint Paul Public Schools          Automotive Course Descriptions
        on  students’  lives  and  the  choices  that  they  Matt talks about the program  The  Saint  Paul  High  School  Automo-  Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair 1
        make after they leave Central. I am proud to   The Automotive Program at Central High   tive Center, as part of the Districtwide Career   Course Description:
        teach  a  subject  that  provides  a  student  with   School consists of two levels: Auto 1 and Auto   Pathways program for all high school students   Allows students to explore career oppor-
        very valuable information/skills and may lead   2. Auto 1 is offered to grades 9-12.  in 10th grade and up, just underwent their 5th   tunities  and  requirements  of  a  professional
        them into post-secondary education to become   “In  my  introductory  Auto  1  class,  I   ASE  Education  Foundation  5  year  Program   service technician.
        a professional automotive technician, which is   educate my students about the basics of auto-  Accreditation  review.  This  process  ensures
        a high demand/high-paying career.   motive knowledge and repair. How to work in a   that  the  automotive  program’s  curriculum,   •  Content  emphasizes  beginning  trans-
            The  student  that  nominated  me  for  the   shop safely, hand tools/power tools, maintain-  tools  and  equipment,  and  instructor  training   portation  service  skills  and  workplace
        award  got  a  job  this  summer  working  at  a   ing your vehicle, tires, batteries, starters, and   meet the high industry standards set forth by   success skills.
        local automotive repair shop and loves it! He   alternators. The goal of the class is to prepare   the governing board of ASE. With this latest   •  Students study safety, tools, equipment,
        saved enough money over the summer to buy   my  students  for  purchasing  and  maintaining   accreditation the Saint Paul High School Auto-  shop  operations,  and  the  fundamentals
        his first truck.                                                        motive  Center  will  continue  the  tradition  of   of  operation,  maintenance,  and  basic
                                            their  own  automobile  and  avoiding  common                              repair procedures for automotive engine
            Educators of Distinction are outstanding   problems  associated  with  vehicle  ownership.   delivering  training  excellence  since  1979  to   mechanical  systems,  heater  and  air
        role models and exemplary practitioners who   In addition, we explore career options in the   students of SPPS.  conditioning  systems,  and  drive  train
        have made a lasting difference in a student’s   industrial trade industry, which is a well-pay-  Students attending the program can earn   systems.
        life by encouraging them to strive for excel-  ing, essential, high demand career. This class   ASE Student Certifications, apply for summer
        lence, not just in their academic pursuits, but   is taught in a traditional classroom setting.  internships, as well as earn articulated college   •  Classroom  and  shop  activities  simu-
        in all their endeavors. Educators of Distinction   “In my advanced Auto 2 class, I prepare   credits. The Districtwide Automotive Program   late  automotive  service  industry
        are invited to attend the Society’s free member   my students to become a “do-it-yourselfer” or   shares  a  location  with  Global  Arts  Upper   operations  through  the  use  of  train-
        events around the country and are recognized   to  enter  post-secondary  automotive  training.   School and is led by instructors Ron Rybicka   ing aids, shop vehicles, and customer
        with  a  personalized  certificate  presented  in   I accomplish this goal by providing a mixture   and  Henry  Velasquez  and  supported  by  the   work as available.
        honor of NSHSS Founder Claes Nobel. Educa-  of  traditional  classroom  education  with  real   Office of College and Career Readiness.
        tors of Distinction are also eligible to compete   world/hands on training. In addition, I have                         Continued on Page 17
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