Another group of teachers connected their students at Mid-Coast School of Technology with industry professionals outside of Maine. Based on the challenge Bobby Deetjen, Director, gave the teachers this fall to connect with an industry member beyond the border, and they have risen to the occasion.
The Auto Technology, Small Engines/Compact Diesel, and Auto Collision programs participated in a remote presentation with Michael Morneau of Stewart-Haas Racing. Morneau is a 2003 Oxford Hills Technical School graduate from the Auto Tech program. Being an Oxford native, he spent a lot of time watching and racing at Oxford Plains Speedway. His Auto Tech teacher, Mitch Greene, encouraged him to attend NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, NC. After completing the NTI program, he was recruited by Haas CNC Racing (now Stewart-Haas Racing). For most of his 15-year career, Morneau has been the Rear Tire Carrier for Kevin Harvick. During that time, his teams have won 55 races and 2 Cup Championships.
Morneau took the classes on an extensive, remote tour of the Kannapolis, NC facility. They were able to visit shops and labs from all aspects of the team. Students saw everything from the CNC shop, brake shop, pit practice area, gym, travel bus, vinyl wrapping shop, and everything in between. Morneau explained how all of the shops worked together to accomplish the same goal. He encouraged students to be open to post-secondary options and to pursue their dreams.
Both teachers and students took a lot away from the presentation. Mr. Hupp commented, “how great it was for our folks to see our skillset at work in a different geographic location and a non-traditional setting.” Students were amazed at the cleanliness of the entire facility and the amount of money it takes to operate the racing team. The professionalism and organization shown during the presentation were inspiring to everyone involved. Mr. Hupp continued by saying, “Absolutely the win we needed at this time of year in education!”