Techniques Magazine Techniques March 2011 : Page 14

Q & A An Interview with Gary Weese, ACTE’s 2011 Teacher of the Year off from school. My wife probably made the biggest sacrifice because she was semi-retired. ACTE: Tell us about coming from industry into teaching? What do you think about that as a pathway for CTE teacher education? GW: I think that’s the best way to do it. When you’re in business, you can see what is needed for someone to be a better employee for you. You can see what you need to train these young people in, in order to increase their employability skills. Also, when you’re in business, particularly in the area where you’re teaching, you have already made certain contacts out there. That’s one thing I can say about our program. And it didn’t happen overnight, of course, but we have a very, very strong business and education council that is involved with our automotive program. We use the AYES model to help benefit everybody else. There are several functions that we’ve done through our AYES Business and Education Council that includes the entire school. ACTE: What did you do to turn the school’s hobby shop into an AYES program? GW: Ms. Flowers—the principal who hired me—had already looked into National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation certification. What that entity does is to certify a program. There are 10 different standards that programs are evaluated on and there is a tremendous amount of paperwork involved; there is also a team coming to review the paperwork and the training at the facility. They make sure that the instructors are certified through ASE, an Gary Weese was awarded the distinction at ACTE’s Annual Convention and Career Tech Expo in Las Vegas last December. ACTE: Tell us about being ACTE’s 2011 Teacher of the Year? GW: It’s awesome. I wasn’t expecting to achieve such an award at this time in my life, especially in teaching. I’ve been involved in everything else, and I’ve only been teaching for 12 years. It was just a great award for me to go with all the awards in 2010 that our program has been able to achieve. ACTE: Give our readers a rundown of your biography. GW: I grew up in West Virginia. Then I got into the Air Force and I ended up in Shreveport, Louisiana. At that time, I had my own automotive repair business. My family basically has come back in, come out of retirement—at least my wife did—in order to run the business, so that I can go teach. I’ve always been on the Vocational Advisory Council for Caddo Parish, and been very involved with students at that level—especially with DECA. Whenever they asked me to teach, I went to my family and told them that I was interested in doing it. My oldest son said, “Go ahead, Dad. I’ll run the family business, and mom can help me and we’ll go from there.” So, he took over the family business. I still go by and talk to him and help him out all I can each day and also the days I have 14 Techniques March 2011

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