Teacher Tuesday: Ron Streit

 Way up North, where the North Dakota and Minnesota border collide is the city of Fargo, home of the Eagles. There, at Fargo Davies High School, Ron Streit is the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Instructor, as well as the SkillsUSA Advisor.

Ron Streit has been a teacher for 31 years. In the beginning of his career, he worked as a teacher in Grenora, North Dakota and as a contractor to learn many different skills. Streit launched his own business, Ron's Home Repair, back in 1994. This was a way to make an income during the summer break and has since created a reputable name for himself in the community. He now works with homeowners, teaching them how to remodel and make repairs. In 2007, he was approached by a colleague to pursue a career in teaching construction, after getting his state certification and working 8,000 hours in construction, the rest became history.

With Streit's impressive background and experience, he is a pivotal factor in his student's success. Fargo Davies High School motto is, "Educating & Empowering All Students to Succeed," and Streit is doing just that by providing essential skills and life lessons.

For the past fourteen years Mr. Streit and his Construction II students have been working together to build houses from scratch! Each student is supplied with their own personal set of tools provided by the school, and if they graduate and pass his class, they get to keep them. In their Construction I course his students learn how to build a nightstand, a raised panel door, and a storage shed, all which lead up to tackling this extensive project. An advocate for safety in the workplace, all of Streit's students participating in this project are required to take CareerSafe's OSHA 10-Hour Construction course. In doing so, this ensures all of his students understand how to properly handle equipment and follow safety rules and guidelines on any job site.

In January of 2020, the CTE department was able to host an open house to unveil the grand 1,800 square foot house to family and friends. The students even got to work closely with the customer, a fellow teacher from the school, from time to time to make adjustments and customize the home to their liking. With three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms, it was expected to cost upwards of 95-thousand dollars. As a student-built home, there is no absence of quality, as these students have to meet the same criteria as professional contractors.

It is beyond doubt this project brings the community of Fargo, North Dakota together, from the support of neighbors, teachers, local companies donating materials, and a feature on KVRR local news, there is no wonder a waiting list has been created for those interested in purchasing these one-of-a-kind homes!

During this 2020-2021 school year, things have been a little more challenging due to the COVID-19 restrictions, however, Streit and his students are still eager to tackle this difficult undertaking. This home building project not only teaches technical skills, but life skills as well. Students are learning how to communicate, problem-solve, and work together to complete the astonishing task of building a house. This year's project is set to complete in the Spring. Once completed, this home will be relocated by the purchaser.

When Mr. Streit is off the clock, he enjoys coaching basketball at the local junior high, relaxing, and spending time with his family, but even that does not stop him from staying busy, Streit said, "I am from the era where I was taught to work hard, I enjoy working, and I'll do it till the day I tip over I'm sure." Mr. Streit was supposed to retire last year but decided against it because he enjoys his students and the opportunities he has to make an impact in their lives. He has built a valuable reputation of being a challenging teacher because he does not accept laziness in the classroom. Mr. Streit goes above and beyond to push his students to be self-sufficient, and he has full confidence in his students to be successful because of the tools and knowledge his program provides. He shares this word of advice for students in CTE programs, "You're going to take an auto class or a construction class, you're going to drive a car and you're going to live in a house, know something about it. Be a wise consumer by the end of the day. Not all of you are going to be carpenters, not all of you are going to be mechanics, but when you buy your own house you can make your own repairs."

Mr. Streit is a delight to speak with and has an abundance of wonderful stories about his students and his exceptional experience in the industry. Our Midwest Representative, Kimberly, told us, "It has been a privilege and honor working with Mr. Streit, to say he is a great teacher is an understatement. His dedication to his students' success and safety is something to be admired." CareerSafe is extremely proud of Mr. Streit and for the program he has created to help his students succeed. Congratulations!

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