On Thursday, May 18, Northwood Technical College celebrated 20 years of the student project house with its annual Open House event in Rice Lake. The next day, Scott Theilig, construction and cabinetmaking instructor, won an Instructor of the Year award for his work with Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin carpentry apprenticeships after he was nominated.
For the student project house Open House, construction and cabinetmaking students and faculty were present at the event to answer questions and discuss the project and its process. Attendees were given a tour of the home by the students themselves to view its craftsmanship, layout, and design. To celebrate the twentieth year, there was also a live radio broadcast by WJMC of Rice Lake which allowed area residents the chance to hear from the faculty, students, staff, and Northwood Tech President John Will about the project itself and all the amazing programs, projects, and partnerships that are taking place at Northwood Tech as well.
In response to Northwood Tech’s connection to our community, Deb Kutrieb, dean of skilled trades stated, “Having 20 student-built houses in our community is really a testament to the quality of Northwood Tech's construction and cabinetmaking program. Our students have developed their skills from our excellent instructors.”
John Will, president of Northwood Tech echoed Kutrieb’s sentiment stating, “This is a great milestone for a great project. Through the years, we’ve had many partners to help make the experience so valuable. It’s one of Northwood Tech’s best examples of hands-on, real-world learning. Our students and faculty always find a way to make each house special.”
Not only has the program been building homes in the Rice Lake community for 20 years, but one of their instructors, Scott Theilig, has been working on the houses with students since the project’s inception. Regarding the huge milestone and their students’ interest in showcasing their skills, Theilig added, “This year’s open house was a huge success with over 200 people attending. It was very rewarding for myself and Mick Rosenow to see the students take pride in their work as they were giving personal tours of the house. The students were very proud of their work, and it showed in their enthusiasm and excitement as they talked about what they did in the house. Both Mick and I look forward to next year’s student house project with another great class.”
Scott Theilig with his Instructor of the Year award from ABC of Wisconsin
Theilig was not only thrilled to celebrate the anniversary on Thursday, May 18, but to also be presented with the award the following day. ABC of Wisconsin presented Theilig with the Instructor of the Year award for his work with the carpentry apprenticeship program at Northwood Tech.
In response to being honored with the award, Theilig said, “Receiving the Instructor of the Year award is a huge honor for me. I have been teaching for 25 years total with six years for the ABC carpentry apprenticeship. It’s not often one receives the Instructor of the Year award, so for that I am truly honored. For the students to nominate me and then to hear what they all wrote was very humbling for me. People have always asked me why I teach. I guess I can honestly say it is so rewarding to make a difference in their lives and to see them succeed in life. I want to say thank you to the class that nominated me, and I will do my best to continue to uphold the standards of Instructor of the Year.”
Mick Rosenow, Trent Pritzl, Carson Knutson, Bryce Keilholtz, Kyle Semling, Lucas Kuechenmeister, Sarah Yeske ; Back row, left to right: Trent Degerstrom, Benjamin Mayer, Garrett Thon, Tavius Morris, and Scott Theilig