Prince William Sound College sat down with Rex Hamner, one of the teachers attending the NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) camp at PWSC. During this camp, he and other teachers from across Alaska trained in the core curriculum in math and language arts and engaged in hands on electrical wiring and plumbing projects. Once they complete this course, these teachers can then certify high school students so that upon graduating, they can begin working in welding or plumbing programs.
PWSC: Hi, Rex. Thank you so much for doing this interview. To begin, please tell me a little bit about yourself.
Rex: I moved to Alaska last year in July from Wyoming. I retired from teaching in Wyoming and my wife and I are building a ranch for troubled youth there. I have to do something until she's 65 for insurance purposes, and I’ve always wanted to teach in Alaska.
I taught in Wyoming for 33 years at two different schools. I was an agriculture teacher, teaching welding, greenhouse aquaculture, small engines, plumbing, and electrical wiring. I also taught an animal science lab class. I got a job up here at a high school in Tok, where the superintendent and the district wanted to add an agriculture program. They were running a CTE [Career Technical Education] program, including welding and small engines, and they wanted somebody to operate the greenhouse and teach those skills for their FFA chapter.
PWSC: So how did you hear about this program here at Prince William Sound College?
Rex: I got an email from somebody about NCCER. I needed this core information and classes to be a certified teacher and get my high school students certified. The first class I'm gonna be doing is called NCCER core. And that will cover safety, which I have already covered, and hand tools, power tools, operations of different things.
By doing it with the [NCCER] curriculum, I can get kids certified to where, if they
are going to work straight out of high school, they have a leg up on someone who hasn't
been through the program. They can show their certificate that they've been through
a core program. And with my background, I'll be able to get them a level-one Heavy
Equipment Operator Endorsement or a Welding Endorsement. So that just gives them one
up on others, and it opens the door a little wider for students coming out of Tok
school to be employed.
PWSC: That's great. Given your experience, would you recommend this course?
Rex Yes, I would.
Learn more about the NCCER for Teachers programNCCER for Teachers