Minot Public Schools lauded at tech conference

The information technology programs at Minot Public Schools received the Director’s Award of Excellence at the 44th annual Department of Career and Technical Education Professional Development Conference in Bismarck. Pam Stroklund, CTE director, and Maria Carpenter, Sandra Lambert and Eric Pearson, program instructors, accepted the award.

The program was recognized for providing the opportunity for students to take dual-credit courses, of which six IT courses meet this qualification through North Dakota State College of Science; partnering with local business in offering summer internships for the IT students, one of whom was placed at the Computer Store and was then offered employment; and making the online college course format more easily understood through the use of the online forms being used in its daily curriculum. It also has provided a niche for students with high interest in technology/computers and challenged them to become better in that field.

Also, the Technology and Engineering Education program at Minot Public Schools was presented the Director’s Award of Excellence during the opening session at the conference. The award is an acknowledgement of superior career and technical education programs in North Dakota. Accepting the award were Pam Stroklund, CTE director; and Gabe Rauschenberger, Jacob Fylling, Delton Brown, Joel Lawson and Cindy McKay, program instructors. The program was recognized for: Providing the students with hands-on adventures every day, from robotics to 3D prosthetic limbs, through the use of SMART Boards, personal response systems, iPads, keynote assessments, video cameras, websites, and the addition of 3D printers to all schools; actively engaging the students through Engineering by Design and shifting to use the more current Technology and Engineering pathway; and applying the lessons learned in geometry and sciences in an active, realistic, and tangible way through the use of VEX robots, Maglev car making, Go Green Generators, etc. These students then see the relevance of their other, traditional coursework and find how it connects to real world application through this program.

Also, LaDonna Elhardt, retired Career and Technical Education Director for Minot Public Schools, was presented the NDACTE Lifetime Achievement award at the North Dakota Association of Career and Technical Educators’ annual conference held Aug. 11-13 in Bismarck. This award recognizes individuals whose dedicated contributions have been identified with the work and purposes of the Association over an extended period of time. Elhardt is currently retired after a 39-year career in CTE, including teaching Family and Consumer Sciences and finishing her career as the Career and Technical Education Director of the Minot School District.

Elhardt will advance to the ACTE Region V Conference being held April 15-18 in Kansas to compete at the regional level.