Michigan Teacher of the Year Applauds Career Technical Education as Key to Student Success

Paul Galbenski is the first Career Technical Education (CTE) teacher to be honored as Michigan Teacher of the Year. Galbenski is a Business Management, Marketing and Technology instructor at Oakland Schools Technical Campus Southeast in Royal Oak with over 19 years of classroom experience. In a video shared by Michigan State Director Patty Cantu, he shares his passion for CTE.

Galbenski’s remarks from the video include:

  • The focus of CTE is to make sure students are college and career ready. It is not an ‘either-or’ situation, but an ‘and ‘ solution
  • Academic rigor and hands-on technical skills need to be married, so students benefit
  • Project-based learning is the key to program success; engagement increases, students see relevance, and stay in school because they are following their areas of interest

Galbenski also shared two success stories on the video:

  • A student who participated in the Transportation Technology Career Clusterâ„¢, who subsequently graduated from Michigan State University with a marketing degree, won out a job with General Motors over hundreds of other Marketing candidates because she was the only applicant who ever worked on a car
  • Five students who participated in the Information Technology Career Clusterâ„¢ earned 24 college credits by their senior years, enabling them to save substantially for their postsecondary educational training

In a quote from the Michigan Department of Education Web site, Galbenski said “I feel my greatest accomplishment in education is engaging and working with students on a personal level as they are preparing for post-secondary education or employment. In my eyes, being able to build a trusting relationship with students is one of the greatest accomplishments a teacher can experience.”

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

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