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Education SceneCACC Automotive Service Technology Instructor Named CTE Teacher of the Year12SCENE 4403 I EDUCATION ISSUEAccording to the awards program, theBY TERESA OSBORNE, PR/Marketing CoordinatorCareer and Technical Education allows students a hands-on opportunity to learn skills in a variety of career fields. One, which is very popular among students at the Calhoun Area Career Center (CACC), is the Automotive Service Technology (AST) Program taught by Mr. Tom Lowe.ACTE Teacher of the Year Award recog- nizes the finest Career and Technical Ed- ucation (CTE) teachers at the secondary school level who have demonstrated in- novation in the classroom, commitment to their students and dedication to the improvement of CTE in their institutions and communities.Team,” said Steve Yurisich, CACC Prin- cipal. “He frequently models instruction- al strategies and classroom management techniques to staff through professional development presentations and profes- sional learning communities.”Upon entering the AST classroom and lab, you might suspect that the pristine automotive shop, that would make any mechanic or car enthusiast envious, might be the key attraction to the program. But, when you talk to the students one com- mon theme resonates, it is Mr. Lowe and his ability to connect with his students and understand their needs, that makes them want to be there.To that end, Mr. Lowe has worked to align the curriculum of the AST pro- gram to NATEF and State Standards. He has developed and integrated work ready practices necessary to be a successful em- ployee, and fundamental literacy in math, reading, writing and communication. Mr. Lowe uses book studies and reflections, the development of program specific math content that ties directly to the technical work the students do, and project-based learning to help students connect the the- oretical learning with the real world ap- plication inherent in meaningful projects.Having served 20+ years in the Unit- ed States Army, many of his technical skills were mastered working on military vehicles. He passed his knowledge along to other soldiers by teaching while serv- ing in the Army. Upon his retirement, he moved to Michigan where he applied for and accepted a teaching position at the CACC. During his time at the CACC he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Automo- tive Technology, he is ASE Certified and has a Vocational Teacher Certification. In 2018, he was able to secure direct articu- lation for his students by becoming an ad- junct professor at Glen Oaks Community College.After 16 years of teaching AST at the CACC, Mr. Lowe received the ACTE Teacher of the Year Award on Monday, January 28, 2019, during the Michigan Career Education Conference in Grand Rapids.“Tom Lowe is a leader for the CACC, serving on the School ImprovementWhen asked how they felt about Mr. Lowe’s recognition, the overwhelming response from his students was that it was well-deserved.Ben Ostrander, a senior at Calhoun Christian, says, “Mr. Lowe gives us what we need to do and lets us work at our own pace, as long as we meet the deadline. He pays attention to us individually.”Macen Landis, a senior from Homer says, “Mr. Lowe knows what he’s teach- ing us firsthand from his experience in the industry.“I think it’s awesome that Mr. Lowe received this Award, he deserves it,” adds Pharoah Clark, a senior at Battle Creek Central. “He has that military voice that makes you want to pay attention and I like how he incorporates his military skills into analogies for the class. It’s because of this class that I want to be a technician.”When asked what makes his teaching unique, Mr. Lowe says, “I feel it is unre- alistic to think that every student is go- ing to learn the same thing, in the same way, in the same timeframe. I try to ac- commodate for those differences in my teaching style.”This June, the CACC AST Program will once again be hosting the Cruising Toward Careers Car Show, a fun activi- ty that also allows the students and staff to showcase their program (see ad on this page).

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