For the past eight years, Electricity Instructor Mark Wamsley, of West Bend, has had the same goal in mind at the beginning of every academic year, “to help each student that walks through the door in August walk out in May with their head held high and with more confidence to go out and start a career that not only makes them a good living, but also makes them excited to go to work and provide a service for others.”
His students who participated in this year’s SkillsUSA competitions can certainly hold their heads high. Five Moraine Park students, including Norberto Almaraz, Eric Stone, Devin Kissinger, Alex Piwoni and Jed Prange, each placed in the top three of their categories at the state level. Kissinger also went on to compete and win at the national level.
Moraine Park students weren’t the only ones who received recognition at the competition. Wamsley himself was named Wisconsin SkillsUSA Advisor of the Year.
“Winning Advisor of the Year was totally unexpected. I do these SkillsUSA competitions strictly for the students and Moraine Park’s electricity program. It’s not about me, it’s all about them,” Wamsley said. “So I’m honored by this award, truly, but if I didn’t have the right students – the ones that put in extra effort, then I wouldn’t be doing this. At the end of the day, it’s them that drives me to do this, so I have many students to thank for this award.”
The SkillsUSA competition is a hands-on competition which brings together top students to compete in different trade, technical and leadership fields.
Besides teaching electricity students in the classroom, Wamsley has worked with youth at Moraine Park’s Toolin’ It Camp as well as Tech Knowledge College. In the past, he has assisted students in setting up temporary power for Enchantment in the Park, a holiday lights display at Regner Park in West Bend.
Even though this fall is the start of Wamsley’s ninth year of teaching, it’s still a fresh experience for him with a new group of students.
“Every year there are always a few students that really stand out and go the extra mile. Students like that make this the best job I could’ve asked for. It’s also these students that end up teaching me new things at the same time.”
To learn more about our electricity or other programs, visit morainepark.edu/programs.