As a Technical Education Teacher and Construction Career Pathway Instructor for the White Bear Lake Area School District, Dan Rossiter is committed to helping students interested in pursuing a skilled trade after high school. But it was over the course of the last year-and-a-half, when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the education of his students, that Rossiter went above and beyond the call of duty.
Each year, the Workforce Innovation Board of Ramsey County (WIB) honors individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the support and empowerment of Ramsey County’s youth through personal, academic or career development with the Vern Vick Memorial Award.
The award is dedicated to the memory of Vern Vick, a widely respected member of the Ramsey County community, an inspirational leader and role model in the field of youth development. Throughout his life, Vick dedicated himself to working with, and improving the lives, of Ramsey County’s youth through his long-term involvement in education as well as his participation in organizations and activities designed to develop the full potential of our county’s youth.
Helping Youth Realize Their Potential
In addition to his day-to-day work as an instructor at White Bear Lake Area Schools, Rossiter has been instrumental in helping students make informed career decisions so they are career ready by graduation. His efforts toward career readiness also have included serving as a leader with the Minnesota Trades Academy (MTA), a program of the Construction Careers Foundation (constructioncareers.org). With the MTA, Rossiter completely pivoted from a traditional in-person classroom experience to hybrid learning so that every student could successfully complete the program.
Ling Becker, Ramsey County Workforce Solutions Director said Rossiter’s work has gone “above and beyond in providing opportunities and removing barriers for our youth during this very challenging time (COVID-19 pandemic).”
Paul Nikstad, Chair of the WIB’s Youth Committee said, “When selecting this year’s award recipient, it was clear that Dan exemplifies the spirit of this award.”
Rossiter’s dedication and commitment to serving youth is evident this summer as he continues to lead a Minnesota Trades Academy team in White Bear Lake.
“We’ve partnered with Dan and White Bear Lake Area High School for a number of years to support his construction trades courses with career information and extracurricular activities that students can participate in to supplement their training,” said Mary Stuart associate director for the Construction Careers Foundation, which oversees the Construction Career Pathways statewide initiative.
“Dan’s dedication to his students and his passion for the trades gives many students their first AH-HA moment when they realize a career in construction is a match for their learning style and interests,” Stuart added.