Let us introduce to you, Erick Lehet. We heard so many good things about what he’s doing and the impact he’s had on career and technical education (CTE) students, that we spent time with him to find out what where he gets his energy and what he sees in CTE that others can learn from.
Who are you and what do you do?
Erick Lehet: I’m Erick Lehet. I work at the Northeast Metro 916 Career & Technical Center with many job titles such as Technical Skills Assessment & Concurrent Enrollment Coordinator, Instructional Coach, Lead Teacher, and Professional Development Chair.
Life is busy around the Lehet household as my partner and I work split shifts. I love being involved with my son’s elementary wrestling team two nights a week, coaching my daughter’s traveling hockey team three-plus nights a week, and celebrating the midpoint of earning my doctorate. I love winter and participating in our weekly Mendota pond hockey league, where I am also a former city councilman. I’m super excited for our family trip to Yellowstone National Park this summer—we rented a motorhome!
Lehet: Before I came over to the world of career and technical education (CTE), I was a high school math teacher. The most common question I always got was, “When am I ever going to use this?” In the world of CTE, I never hear that question.
As a high school math teacher, I always thought it was someone else’s job to help students plan for college and think about career choices. In CTE, our industry-trained instructors are balancing the responsibility of high quality pedagogy, students earning certifications/credentials, as well as having students explore the multitude of career and college options related to the training they are receiving. I just thought it someone else’s job to teach students 21st Century Skills—I had math standards to focus on. But in the world of CTE, 21st Century Skills are taught alongside state and national standards in the classroom. When we do this, students can see how the knowledge they’re acquiring applies to the real world around them. This is probably why I’m never asked by CTE students, when and where, they will use math. This combination ensures students are well-rounded and better equipped to confidently pursue higher education and embark on a career path that is sure to lead to success.
Can you think of one technical skill that every person should know how to do?
Lehet: Learn to read a ruler! It’s important.
Erick was awarded the 2016 C. Thomas Olivo Outstanding Service Award by NOCTI, the nation’s largest provider of industry partner certifications and industry-based credentials for career and technical education programs. This is a national honor recognizing his dedication and commitment to CTE.