In the wake of some of the highest academic achievement in Beaver Dam High School’s (BDHS) history, BDHS continues to keep a sharp focus on the balanced needs of all students, regardless of postsecondary goals. Most recently, Beaver Dam High School was awarded the silver nomination by U?.S. News and World Report as one of the best high schools in the nation, placing it in the top 10% of schools at the state and national level. Contributing to this trend of excellence, BDHS had 197 students participate in 342 AdvancedPlacement courses and exams in 2015, with a pass rate of 80%. This pass rate is substantially above both State and National benchmarks and a 14% increase from 2014.
BDHS will continue to lead the way with a balanced approach to students’ educational experiences by ensuring that opportunities are growing in both college and career readiness. Not all students attend college, but all students will enter our workforce. Having the skill set to be gainfully employed and work as positive and productivemembersofsociety’sworkforceisessentialforourstudents’andcommunity’sfuturegrowth. Mark DiStefano, Principal of Beaver Dam High School, states: “We are very proud of our immediate and extended school community for the academic growth we have seen in the past few years. A big part of our success as a school has and should continue to be an emphasis on career preparation. Many of our students move right into the workforce after high school and have the opportunity to develop those readiness skills, which benefits our students and their prospective employers.”
Within the realm of Career and Technical Education (CTE), BDHS continues the trend in growing youth apprenticeship opportunities and participation. Joe Kutzler, Technology and EngineeringEducation Teacher, states: “S?tudents are exposed to a range of skills and experiences that we cannot provide in a school setting. Students get to interact with other employees and customers, hold more responsibilities, learn about trades and careers that work in conjunction with their interests, and build a strong relationship with that company for possible future employment. It really gives students an opportunity to grasp the expectations of the work world while still attending school. That student can then use a youthapprenticeship opportunity to help give meaning and direction to a career choice.”
The youth apprenticeship program is overseen by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and is a part of the statewide schooltowork initiative that offers students an opportunity of working onsite at a local employer while taking related coursework within the high school. BDHS is focused on reaching out to our students and encouraging a youth
apprenticeship opportunity during their junior or senior years in high school. During the 20142015 school year, there were six youth apprentices in hospitality and three youth apprentices in the manufacturingcareer clusters. Mr. Kutzler notes three local success stories: A?pache Stainless Equipment Corporation, Karavan Trailers, Inc., and Kirsh Foundry all reported a successful experience with a local youth apprentice during the 20142015 school year. All three students were offered fulltime positions upon graduation or the option for the company to assist in a tuitionreimbursement program. One specific student was working for a local manufacturer
and excelling in the area of welding and decided to pursue a degree in engineering. He is now enrolled at a UW institution while holding a wellpaying job in this area of interest.
Beaver Dam High School is striving to place 18 students within the career clusters of hospitality and manufacturing during the 20152016 school year. Sue Shore, Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Teacher at BDHS, agrees and states that the benefits of placing students in youth apprenticeships and working with local businesses includes an “improved job performance, a connection between classroom learning and the work environment, the opportunity for students to earn school credit and a state certification from the Department of Workforce Development as well as a positive interaction between the education and business communities.”
Lastly, Joe Kutzler, Technology and EngineeringEducation Teacher, and Rebecca Droessler, SchooltoWork Coordinator for Beaver Dam High School, participate on the Manufacturing Business Alliance (MBA) of Dodge County. Local employers, educators, and community leaders meet quarterly to discuss and implement strategies regarding the future workforce in manufacturing. Visit h?ttp://www.manufacturingworks.org/ to learn more about the Dodge County MBA.
What’s on the horizon? Beaver Dam High School staff are currently in the research and development phase of implementing a schoolbased enterprise within the manufacturing department at BDHS that will work directly with local manufacturers to provide custom designed and manufactured parts and services in a nocompete environment. We want to thank the business community of Beaver Dam for their support and guidance and look forward to our continued mutual successes. Thank you!