Sean Datar is no stranger to SkillsUSA competitions- he has competed 3 times in Related Technical Math, a competition that is a written test. Contestants must demonstrate skills required to solve mathematical problems commonly found in the skilled trades. Even though the math sounds completely in the ordinary, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, Related Technical Math includes many exquisite problems. According to Sean, the most difficult part was “the specific problems”, other than that it quite easy. After going through the immense competition, Datar won gold and has qualified for the national competition in Louisville, Kentucky, where he will compete in the same area. After having the medal placed over his head, a humbling Sean felt nothing more than “Good.”
Unsurprisingly, Sean’s talent to solve such math problems is what he plans to make his career out of. He will go on to study Electrical Engineering at University of Michigan- Ann Arbor were the same insane problems will be the main part of his day to day operations. “What advice do you have for anyone who dares to take on this competition?” he was asked after being enlightened to the world of related technical math. “Make good use of online resources, good night sleep and a good calculator,” said Sean.
Mr. Dean Malerba has been the DECA (Distributive Education Clubs America) organizer since starting at Minuteman four years ago. He has told us that DECA is a professional organization for students whose goal is to provide leadership and career oriented opportunities to develop tomorrow's business leaders. DECA has provided 300,000 in scholarships, provides community service, instills professionalism and students get to compete in a category of their choice. DECA students practice interviews, learn how to be a good test takers, and attend business lectures (last year was at Gillette Stadium). The DECA club helps with many opportunities to help others, with this month's community service focusing on a clothing drive.
Q. How did the clothing drive start?
A. I came up with the idea, Minuteman DECA voted on it and Mr. Dillon approved it.
Q. Who is responsible for it?
A. Each student in Minuteman DECA has a role in the clothes drive. For example, Olivia Cassidy is responsible for the morning announcements, Sean Datar folds the clothes during his lunch to keep the boxes orderly, etc. Also, Design & Visual Communications designed and printed the clothes drive labels.
Q. What has been the track record and how do you measure success?
A. I have made the clothing drive an annual event and this is our second year. I measure success in the following criteria, student involvement, positive public relations for Minuteman DECA and the school, not interfering with other school functions and collecting a impressive amount of cloths.
Q. How does it help Minuteman and others?
A. It helps people in need. The clothing drive is a good team building project for the students, I think it is healthy for young people to get exposure that involves helping people that are less fortunate, it reinforces a positive value system, it portrays Minuteman & Minuteman DECA in a positive light and it is the right thing to do. One of my teachers told me "think globally by acting locally."
Q. Please add any other comments that would make for a good interview
A. My intention is to make Minuteman DECA one the best clubs this school offers and the clothing drive is a part of my larger goal and I want to thank Mr. Dillon, DVC for all their support and the students of Minuteman DECA for another fine year. Always---Bigger & better!
As many graduates of Minuteman High School go on to pursue successful careers or college lives, some individuals still question the legitimacy of Career and Technical education.
Matt Mori graduated from Minuteman in 2016 from Design and Visual Communications. Mori, having clearly taken advantage of his education from Minuteman, is currently studying Graphic Design at Lesley University. He starts the day by walking out of his dorm building, and heads straight to the Lunder Arts Center. "[My shop] has given me such an advantage over the rest of the class because I have better knowledge of the software and how to use it," says Mori. However, it has not been entirely of benefit, saying that shop has "held me back a bit as I still am getting used to doing design work outside of class," stating that it has been difficult having to manage time. Mori plans on designing identities, typefaces, and apparel once he graduates- something he could not have done as effectively if he attended an all-academic school. He also has plans to serve in the armed forces after he gets his degree.
Nate Etienne is also part of the graduating class of 2016. He has clearly gotten a benefit from his shop as well, saying that it has given him a "leg up" in his graphic art compared to others on his campus. Etienne currently studies at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt), and plans on becoming a graphic designer and/or a creative director once he graduates.
Okay, so does Minuteman truly prepare students for college and continuing studies?
For Matt Mori and Nate Etienne- that answer is absolutely yes, but they cite challenges and difficulties along the way.
"One thing that is much different is college athletics" Mori says, who runs on Lesley's varsity Cross-Country and Track teams. "It's something I'm very passionate about." He also adds that Minuteman does not have an acapella group, a group which Mori also participates in at Lesley, named 'Harmogeddon'. Lesley also has a lot more resources for tutoring and mental health facilities which he found to be essential last semester.
"You will make mistakes, and have to learn to manage your time" Nate Etienne stressed, while also emphasizing his freedom in picking his own classes and areas of study as an enjoyment.
The sheer amount of time spent in shops has led to a number of people believing that a student must pursue a career in the technical area they majored in. However, every year many students choose to find jobs that had nothing to do with their shop. One of those individuals is Matt Collins, who used to work as a cashier at The Home Depot.
"DVC honestly has had no impact on my job whatsoever." Collins says. When asked why he chose not to pursue a career in design, he spoke about the job outlook as the main reason, citing uncertainty, especially when doing freelance work, the cost of equipment, and varying individual philosophies all as challenges. "It's hard to work on professional audio/visual work when one doesn't have the money to afford any of the Adobe suite." Collins added.
Does this mean that DVC was just a waste of time? To Collins, absolutely not.
"I won't lie that I've learned a lot through my short time in DVC", Collins says, pointing out that he uses his skills in the audio & visual manipulation work that he does. "Honestly I was confused and pressured in high school so I ultimately picked the most personally appealing vocation to be in." Collins added. Additionally, he emphasized that he has made a lot of friends and worked on a lot of neat stuff along the way, but he did not see himself working in graphics design for a living. Collins also added that it was hard for him to work on professional audio and visual work because he could not afford the Adobe creative suite.
When asked if there was anything important he wanted to tell the students at Minuteman, Collins gave a clear answer- "It's what I originally wanted my senior quote to be before it was replaced with something I never said. "Find something to believe in, and find it for yourself. When you do, pass it on to the future." No matter what you do, play it smart and take things easy, one day at a time." '
So why did Minuteman not use Collins' original senior quote? "I honestly don't know." Collins replied. "It was even more confounding because some of my friends submitted pictures as their quotes, but my simple saying was too much? I don't know. Maybe the paper holding my senior quote got lost on its way to whoever published the books." Either way, Collins is glad people know about it now.
Welcome to our new, online student newspaper. We are excited to use this blog to bring you all the Minuteman news.