Building from the inside at Huron High School


HURON, SD (KELO) — The new school year comes with a greater opportunity for hands-on learning at the High School in Huron.

The CTE classes at Huron High School offer a lot more than you might expect.

“It’s not your traditional class, you don’t sit, it’s not a lecture style, it’s all hands on,” said Jolene Konechne, Director of ESL, Federal Programs, CTE, & Accreditation for Huron School District.

CTE or Career Technical Education teaches students an array of trades including culinary arts, health science, hospitality and tourism, auto and welding, and building.

“You’re cooking, you’re taking blood pressure, you’re building a house. There’s… more project-based activities for the students to do,” Konechne said.

The building trade class meets every day for the entire year. Students build a house from the foundation up. Up until now, kids would build the house outside of the workshop.

“In the fall Mother Nature always had a-kind of ruled our schedule in trying to get the housing closed before the weather got bad. So, we could deal with anything from wind and rain to snow and ice and whatever came our way,” Bush said.

Matt Bush has been an instructor at Huron High School for the last 24 years. In that time, his students have built 24 houses, including his own.

“During the winter when we are inside, we work on installation, sheet rocking, painting, installing cabinets and doors, all your finish work, your baseboards, your trim, window trim. So, the house is pretty much complete when we are done with it at the end of the year,” Bush said.

Konechne and Bush worked together to write the grant to build a large indoor facility to build future homes. The shop is heated and will allow students to work on the houses all year, inside.

“Being able to come and teach every day in the same environment and being able to teach whatever we need to teach that day and not dictate that due to weather,” Bush said.

“We anticipate that we will be able to do a little bit more this year, provide a little bit more experience in H-VAC, drywall and plumbing opportunities and electrical for students to see,” Konechne said.

Seniors Ty Cell and Aiden Glanzer will be students in the upcoming building trade class, and are excited for the hands-on work.

“I think it’ll be really fun to try something different other than sitting in a classroom,” Glanzer said.

“I like carpentry, I’ve been looking forward to this class for a while, I helped Matt Bush in the summer occasionally working on houses and stuff. So, it’s exciting to build an entire house and be part of that,” Cell said.

They will be the first students to work inside the new facility.

“I’ve been messing with some of my older friends who had to do it outside in the cold, making fun of them that I get the nice, heated shop,” Cell said.

The new building is near completion with just the finishing touches left. Konechne says the addition will allow the program to expand even more.

“It was just the right opportunity for our growing district to continue to grow and look at what opportunities we provide our students beyond what we were in the CTE program already,” Konechne said.

The open house will take place on September 1 at 2:00 pm at Huron High School.

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