Kudos for Ramona High School’s industrial arts program, teachers

By Debbie Hankins

As a parent, Ramona High School alum (Class of ’83) and a lifelong resident of Ramona, I would like to share with you my pride in my community, the youth in the community, and the educators tasked to advance their knowledge.

This past week (spring break) my son Andrew Hankins participated in the National Automotive Technology Competition in New York City and the State Skills Competition in San Diego. I was able to witness firsthand the dedication and commitment to excellence the team of volunteers from Ramona High School gave to the students. I say “volunteer” because each of these teachers took the time from their holiday break to reinforce the lessons they teach in the classroom, and these lessons are helping to propel the kids to become successful citizens. This generosity cannot be overlooked.

At the start of spring break for RHS, Mike Saavarda, RHS auto teacher, and Mike Jordan, retired RHS auto teacher, took my son Andrew and Tyler Pavlick to compete in the National Automotive Technology Competition. Not only did their guidance result in a team ranking 8th in the nation for Auto Technology, they shared the rich history of New York City with our Ramona boys. The leadership and help they gave was impressive and appreciated.

The end of the spring break week started the state championship in SkillsUSA. I was impressed that 19 of Ramona High School’s top competitors qualified to participate amongst 1,700 other students throughout the state competing in almost 100 different skill sets ranging from automotive to cooking all the way to welding. RHS teachers Robert Grace and Laurie Ivers oversaw and guided these 19 kids from Ramona to an overwhelming success. With three gold medals and three silver medals, Ramona High School and the entire community should be proud with the accomplishments on a statewide level.

If you ask the kids, “how did you get to be so good?” Their typical response is that they have great teachers. The industrial arts teachers at Ramona High School continue to be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the solid education of their students.

Robert Grace in particular goes that extra mile to engage, inform, and support each student on his or her quest to enlightenment. He is truly an incredible teacher to his students, inspiration for his peers, and solid investment to our community.

Thank you, Ramona Unified School District, for providing such a dynamic learning opportunity for my son, the countless many who have already passed through these halls of industrial arts, and all the students yet to benefit from this program.

Debbie Hankins, a Ramona resident, owns Hankins Construction Inc., a business headquartered in Ramona.

Related posts:

  1. Ramona High celebrates two state awards for excellence: Distinguished School and Exemplary Career Technical Education Program
  2. RHS SkillsUSA students earn six gold medals in state competition
  3. Program pairs high school tutors with younger students
  4. Wanted: Messages, stories about Ramona High’s six retiring teachers
  5. Ramona SkillsUSA earns national awards

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on Apr 13 2013. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

4 Comments for “Kudos for Ramona High School’s industrial arts program, teachers”

  1. Jane Tanaka MD

    As a Plumber's wife, and as a Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist, I would like to chime also, and applaud the Industrial Arts program at Ramona High School. I worry however about future budget cuts effecting RHS's Industrial Arts program, as such programs have been cut statewide. There is an article "The Death of Shop Class and American Skilled Workforce." http://www.forbes.com/sites/tarabrown/2012/05/30/....
    It has been predicted that there will be a shortage of skilled trades people in the US due to lack of training programs.
    To get into a union shop that sponsors young folks to undergo extensive training ( for eg the ABC trade schools) is tough nowadays due to hiring freeze/stagnation. ROP funding also is dwindling. Funding for certification in green industries exists still, but doesnt emcompass the basic industrial arts. Jr college classes are full and also hard to get into sequentially to complete certification.

  2. Jane Tanaka MD

    Also, the RUSD may wish to consider accessing the following State of California funding for teaching energy efficiency technologies as part of the Industrial Arts Program perhaps: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?sec...
    Funding started in 2011, but its not too late; ends in 2017/18. The money is just sitting there. Not many districts have bothered to make use of this fundng yet. 8 million dollars .

  3. I agree completely that vocational instruction in high school is incredibly valuable. It gives students the opportunity to learn a professional trade from qualified instructors. Some of these students graduate and immediately enter the workforce. Many continue their education in college, going on to a career with a very bright future for advancement in their chosen profession.

    Both of my twins benefited from the vocational programs (automotive technology & architecture) in Ramona, and both have gone on to be very successful in college and beyond.

    Our schools in Ramona do an excellent job presenting this opportunity to our students. Kudos to those instructors, students, parents, and the community, in creating a partnership for student success.

  4. I agree completely that vocational instruction in high school is incredibly valuable. It gives students the opportunity to learn a professional trade from qualified instructors. Some of these students graduate and immediately enter the workforce. Many continue their education in college, going on to a career with a very bright future for advancement in their chosen profession.

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