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  • Writer's pictureTerry Bierwirth

Shop Class Sparks a Student's Imagination

February is CTE month. For those who are unaware, CTE in the world of education is defined as career and technical education, a term applied to schools, institutions, and educational programs that specialize in the skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation. As described by The Glossary of Education Reform, "career and technical programs—depending on their size, configuration, location, and mission—provide a wide range of learning experiences spanning many different career tracks, fields, and industries, from skilled trades such as automotive technology, construction, plumbing, or electrical contracting to fields as diverse as agriculture, architecture, culinary arts, fashion design, film making, forestry, engineering, healthcare, personal training, robotics, or veterinary medicine."

Scott Touchette

Students in Scott Touchette's shop class learn valuable hands-on skills.

My Work My Future reached out to Scott Touchette, a very dedicated CTE teacher at Springfield High School, Springfield, Oregon, who goes above-and-beyond for his students everyday. Touchette teaches fine woodworking and construction technology at the school.

How long have you been at Springfield High School? I am in my 17th year.

Where did you work prior? Six years at North Eugene High School in Oregon; one year at Triad High School in Illinois (my alma mater); one year at Gardner South Wilmington High School in Illinois.

Have you worked in the construction industry? Some, basically as a laborer. American Transfer Corp. summer 1989 and 1990. While I was in college, I also had industrial internships with Ralston Purina, Trailmobile Semi Trailers. In 2015, I interned with Wildish in Eugene, Oregon.

What is your favorite thing or things about teaching a hands-on curriculum? Hands-on curriculum mimics on the job atmospheres perfectly. It is fun to see student imaginations light up when they see all of the cool things they can do in our shop space.

How important are CTE classes? Industrial Ed and Professional CTE classes are fun. They are important because they help inform students regarding potential career interests. They are an avenue for student to use skills they are taught in the core classes throughout the day.

Thank you Scott Touchette for your dedication to teaching students in our community.

Springfield High School offers skilled trades CTE classes in automotive, industrial, construction, manufacturing technologies, drafting and more. For more information, call (541)744-4700 or visit their website.

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