Seymour School District referendum aims to expand tech education labs

Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 10:21 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Students in Staci Sievert’s tech education classes at Seymour High School are learning firsthand what a career in the trades would be like.

“It’s so much different than regular school. It’s actually what I like to do because I live on a farm, so I do stuff with my hands all the time,” said Austin Maass, a junior in the welding class.

The district says enrollment in the school’s tech education courses is up 52 percent in five years, which has teachers making upgrades to the program.

“We improved all of our woods equipment to be to the manufacturing standards, we added metals equipment and curriculum to match that so our students would learn machining and we added designated welding classes,” said Sievert, who turned to teach the tech education courses after the district had trouble filling the position.

The school offers entry level courses in welding, woodworking, automotive and home construction; but wants to add a design lab, fabrication lab and robotics lab accessible to both middle and high school students.

That’s why the district is asking for the community to back a $6.5 million referendum on April 6.

“Everything is crammed into one space as we’ve grown. So, it’s really designating those spaces so it’s a better learning environment for our students,” said Superintendent, Laurie Asher.

The district is also working on expanding its credit offerings in partnership with Fox Valley Technical College, which will help fill a skills gap being seen by trade industry professionals.

“The need for skilled employees is as tremendous as I’ve seen it in the 25 years that I’ve been with Fox Valley Tech,” said Mark Lorge, instructor of wood manufacturing. “Applicable math skills can’t be stressed enough. Employers are looking for people who can come in and read a blueprint or take direction on how to do a specific step.”

The referendum also includes improved traffic flow around the school.

The district has two community information sessions planned: Monday, February 22 and Tuesday, March 9. The meetings will be held both in-person and virtually from 7-8 p.m. in the high school library.

For more information on the referendum, click here.

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