Impact to Teachers

Steve Ellis, 
Industrial Technology 

Dean Jennissen, 
High School Principal

Lisa Danielson, 
Family and Consumer Science

“The CTE expansion project would
do a number of things. First and
foremost, it would address outdated 
and poorly laid out electrical and
ventilations systems in the welding
and machine shops. It would also
provide updated metalworking machines. Some of the machines
D/C has are over 50 years old. In
addition to updating some pieces
of equipment, acquiring additional
metal forming machines to closer
mirror industry and offer a better
educational experience for students
entering the workforce.”
"To me, the CTE initiative is about
meeting the needs of students while
preparing them to enter the workforce
or post-secondary schools more
quickly.  In doing so, we will be
meeting the needs of our business
and industry partners and our communities.  We believe at DCHS
we have “something for everyone”
and this initiative will only strengthen
programming for all of our students."
 “The renovation and reconfiguration of the high school Family and Consumer Science area will create more opportunity for the high school students. By updating the cooking classroom, students will be able to see, use and practice on equipment that is closer to industry standard. Many students work in food service either during high school or throughout college, after high school. This hands-on cooking experience is essential as they get their first job, live on their own or enter a career in food service, catering, or hospitality. "

"The additional space that will be separate and used for textiles and sewing, will be beneficial as we are currently using the same classroom, counters and tables with sewing and food. It is a recipe for spills and accidents. The separate spaces would also provide more opportunities for other classes and teachers to use the kitchens on days we are using the sewing room, or vice versa. Creating flexibility and separation will be an asset to the students as well as for me, the teacher, as I plan lessons in a safe and functional way."

Jon Nelson, 
ALC Director

Neil Schlagel, 

Andrew Hegdahl, 

“As the director of the ALC,
I think having the ALC on the
high school grounds would be
fantastic!  By partnering with the
Ag. Department, we would have
the space to provide our day,
and night school students with
opportunities that they don't have
right now. The space would allow
us to partner with local business
people and community experts
and have them come in and share
their expertise with our students.
These hands on opportunities
would give our students the
chance to learn valuable skills
that would help them be
successful employees, and do
well on the job. Being closer to
the high school would also allow
our students to access the
support staff there such as counselors, social worker, etc.
The majority of the students at
the ALC also take classes at
the high school, so being closer
to the high school would make it
very easy to go from building to building without the students
missing valuable class time.
These are just a few of the many
reasons why it would benefit the
ALC to be nearer to the high
 “The building expansion will allow students to understand what it is like
to run a "real" business.  They will be
able to see what small business
managers and owners have to do
every day.  It will allow them to
creatively think of different ways to
generate revenue.  They will learn
valuable collaboration and negotiation
skills  when they are able to work
with different vendors.  This will also
give students the opportunity to
create products and witness the
entire production chain from supply
to the sale.On the personal side it makes it much more realistic to
teach the above topics.  When
students can put into practice what
they are learning instead of dealing
with theoretical there is much more
of a connection. It will also allow
more flexibility in my schedule.  
Since I teach at the ALC and the
High School it will be convenient
to go back and forth.”
 "As the head robotics coach and the teacher of the robotics class, CTE building expansion will create a flexible space that will better accommodate robotics. This flexible space will be retrofitted into the current Ag teachers room. This will give the robotics team convenient access to the wood and metal shops, which are frequently used during the robotics season. Currently, all of the equipment for robotics is stored in a science classroom. This leads to difficulties in organization due to the large volumes of materials required for both robotics activities. The new location will allow us to design a space to better organize and maintain those materials.The main purpose of this space is to serve all students as a “makerspace”. A makerspace is a place that has equipment that helps students build, create, and learn. Items that you might find in a makerspace include 3D printers, machines for coding, access to bandsaws, drill presses, sewing machines, really anything students can use to bring ideas to life. Creating this makerspace will provide opportunities to expand how and what students learn. Teachers in all subject areas are encouraged to use this space to enhance student learning experiences."

Eric Sawatzke, Ag Teacher

How will the building expansion positively impact you?

“As an agricultural educator, the "content" that I teach is almost exclusively hands-on content.  My curriculum includes tools, machinery, livestock, plants, soil, and so much more.  Having a facility that is designed specifically for agricultural education will be so much more useful than teaching from a standard classroom and trying to complete hands-on work in a setting that wasn't necessarily meant for that type of teaching style.  

Although the district has done an amazing job of supporting Ag Education and the FFA, this new facility will remove so many barriers that have kept my classes from being the very best that they can be.  When planning lessons in the new facility, the issues related to limited resources and space will be all but eliminated.” 

How will the building expansion positively impact your students?

“Simply spend a few minutes in one of the current Small Engines courses and you will see that great learning is taking place, but that the students are very limited in what they can work on and learn from due to space, tools, and storage restrictions.  A student whose family may have a small tractor, vehicle, ATV, or other piece of equipment has no outlet to currently learn how to properly repair those items.  We are currently restricted to working what we can fit through a 36" service door.  By adding bays to a shop with overhead doors, automotive lifts, industry-standard tools, and proper/safe storage, our students are going to have some of the absolute best opportunities to learn mechanics and basic repair principals.  

Not only will students interested in mechanics be impacted.  All Ag Ed classes will see significant improvements.  In our current Animal Science class we are limited to learning in the classroom by reading, watching videos, or doing class activities.  Our new facility will be designed in a way that lab-based coursework will be the leading learning style emphasized.  Students will get to work with livestock right in the classroom and even conduct labs on living and non-living livestock to learn about their systems.  

This entire plan is centered on dramatically improving opportunities for student learning.  The DC Ag Ed Department will be able to provide some of the highest quality instruction possible with the development of this new facility.”

Derek Levno, Industrial Technology

How will the building expansion positively impact your students?

“The CTE Building Expansion project would positively impact our students greatly. The most important thing that this project would do is give our shops a makeover, not only in looks, but equipment. With the remodel of the Industrial Tech areas we would get our shops up to industry standard. This would have a large impact on our students because this would help ease the transition from high school or a tech school to the workforce because they would be working in shops that look like industry and using equipment that they will be using in industry. We would be helping to set up our students to succeed in a hands-on career after high school. Another thing that we would gain is more shop space, which would make it easier to work in the shops and give us more storage space for projects and supplies. 

How would the potential build expansion impact you?

The space and equipment would allow me to do a better job preparing my students for the workforce and hands-on, technical careers because I would have state of the art, industry standard equipment and shops to better help me educate and train my students. Throughout this process we have worked very closely with local companies and businesses. They have helped us to determine what is the best for our students, what we need in order to better prepare our students. Through our meetings with these companies we have a better idea of the equipment and curriculum that we need to meet the needs of industry. This knowledge and equipment will help me be a better teacher and our students will in turn benefit.”

Justin Larson, Media Center Specialist

How will the building expansion positively impact you?

“The media center is not only a high school space, but it is also a community space for the residents of Dassel and Cokato. We host many events and meetings in the media center after school hours and during the weekends. Renovating the high school media center would give us a much more flexible space that could be reconfigured to suit the needs of much more community groups. It would also increase our capacity to hold a larger audience, or multiple smaller groups at the same time. We would be able to do all of this by redesigning the existing space, and not adding on to the existing footprint.”

How will the building expansion positively impact your students?

“A redesigning of the media center would allow the high school to create an environment that would be much more beneficial to students and their learning.  A lot has changed at DCHS over the last couple of years with our 1:1 environment.  Our existing media center was designed to display books and have a full computer lab.  As our non-fiction circulation continues to transition to online databases, and with the elimination of the computer lab, we have been left with a space that doesn't meet the needs of our students.  In today's schools, the media center is a place where students meet to collaborate on group projects, check out video cameras, work towards independent study classes, and complete work for online courses along with checking out books!  We've created spaces where students can complete these tasks, but many of the fixtures and structures in the media center limit our ability to help students with these tasks.  Redesigning would allow us to create many places where small group collaboration could be done with current technology to support that work.  It would also allow us to use fixtures that can be moved and rearranged so we can accommodate larger groups as well.  Basically, we would be able to create a flexible space that could adapt to the needs of the students today, and also be adaptable to future needs of our students.

One other specific thing a redesign would provide is a more appropriate space for our students in DCTV, our weekly TV show that is created by students at the high school. In DCTV, students learn video and audio technology that is used in production studios, and also work with advanced video editing software. Through DCTV, we've had students discover a talent or love for video production, and these students have gone on to college to pursue this passion. A redesign of the space would open up many more opportunities for students to experience more advanced technologies and techniques that we currently cannot provide in the existing space, and allow us to expose many more students to this exciting and fun career.”

Randy Johnson, Middle School Industrial Technology

The proposed expansion of Dassel-Cokato's Middle School tech area will create an ideal environment for students to be exposed to a variety of technology related experiences. The new addition, designated as a woodshop and construction area, would alleviate our current overcrowding issues with many classes. The reclaimed classroom space would allow room to house equipment and components necessary for providing our learners with vastly improved hands-on experiences. The CTE Bond would have an enormous impact on our middle school students since they are enrolled in a trimester long tech class each year in grades 5-8. Their studies in robotics, videography, woodworking, construction, CAD drawing, 3D printing, and laser engraving, to name a few, will all be greatly enhanced with the improvements made from this investment in our kids' education.

Alisa Johnson, Middle School Principal

The CTE initiative will positively impact the students at the Dassel - Cokato Middle School in two ways. The first will be to expand our Industrial Technology space.  This expansion will allow for DCMS students to have two spaces to work within their one class.  It creates an area for computers and technology while having another area for the woodshop/architecture side of things. The second benefit from this CTE initiative bond will be the installation of  a fire suppression  system throughout the building.  Providing students a strong foundation in the world of CTE within the middle school can only enhance their experience as they move into DCHS.