All revved up! Pellston High School introducing PowerSports Technology class in 2021-22 school year

Posted on February 24th, 2021

‘These skills will be applicable to boats, personal watercrafts, motorcycles, snowmobiles, watercraft, lawn and garden equipment, and other ATVs and UTVs.’

A new career and technical education class set to launch at Pellston High School next school year will really get students’ motors running. 

The PowerSports Technology class will focus on small engine repair, and students will even be able to bring in their own equipment like snowmobiles and dirt bikes to learn how to fix them.

“We know our students are going to be very excited to enroll in this course and get their hands dirty working on engines,” said Enos Bacon, Pellston High School Principal. “These courses that teach students hands-on skills are extremely important, and our students love them. We continue to expand our offerings to help our students become career and college ready.”

PowerSports Technology will be modeled after similar CTE programs in Wexford-Missaukee Intermediate School District and Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District. Staff from both of those ISDs have been in close contact with Pellston school leaders and Char-Em ISD career tech representatives to get everything squared away for the launch of Pellston’s program in the fall 2021. 

Students in the PowerSports class will learn how to identify engine and chassis components and use factory repair manuals to diagnose and repair various types of outdoor power equipment. Theory, maintenance and repair of equipment such as inboard/outboard marine engines, snowmobiles, motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, and lawn and garden equipment are also studied. Students will gain practice in precision measuring, diagnosis/problem-solving and failure analysis which are evaluated by performance testing. 

These skills will be applicable to boats, personal watercraft, motorcycles, snowmobiles, watercraft, lawn and garden equipment, and other ATVs and UTVs. Two- and four-stroke systems will be covered as well electrical systems. 

“In this region where power sports are a major recreational activity, this will be an extremely beneficial set of skills for our students to have,” Bacon added. “As the current workforce continues to age, we foresee many job opportunities on the horizon for young people with these technical skills.”

Aiden Klungle, a Pellston 10th-grader, is one student excited to enroll in the new course. “I work on my snowmobile all the time. I love to tear things down and try to fix them. I am excited for the opportunity to work on snowmobiles and engines during school,” said Aiden. “And I am excited to learn the more technical aspects of engines and how to make them run!”

David Mackey, Power Sports & Equipment Instructor for the Wexford-Missaukee ISD’s Career Technical Center, said the class has been very popular with students and he was thrilled to help Pellston with materials and soon, donations of equipment, to get the program here launched. 

“Our program was one of the original programs when our Career Technical Center was started. We average around 20 students in our morning and afternoon classes. We have been successful because of our relationships with our students. They come to realize early that we have high standards in our classroom and we are trying to get them ready for the next step in their lives,” Mackey said.

Mackey said his program focuses on everything from chainsaws to airplane engines. “I have former students working in aviation and the railroads,” he noted. “Several students are making more than six figures with a 12-month education after my program.”

Pellston district leaders are planning for the same success for their students.

“We see this new class being extremely popular, and that our students will find meaningful employment in this area or elsewhere with these skills,” said Pellston Superintendent Stephen Seelye. “Knowing how to repair small engines is such a great skill to possess, whether professionally, for personal enjoyment of powersports, or taking care of items used around the home such as lawnmowers.”

The PowerSports Technology program will initially be open to juniors and seniors. Any student from any district can enroll; Pellston students will have first priority and any remaining slots will be made available to other districts’ students. Students can inquire about enrolling with their school counselor. 

District administrators say they will accept donations of used engines for the class, including motorcycles and dirt bikes, snowmobiles and the like. To donate, contact Seelye at (231) 539-8801.

The PowerSports program will join a host of career tech training program in Pellston, including Aviation Science and Technology, Business Management and Administration, Construction Technology, Health Occupation, Public Safety (NEW this school year!) and Welding Technology, in partnership with Char-Em Intermediate School District. 

“The Char-Em ISD CTE team really enjoys working with Pellston’s school leaders to develop new opportunities for kids,” said Jim Rummer, Director of Career and Technical Education for Char-Em ISD. “They truly see the many benefits of offering students a broad array of courses and opportunities to learn the skilled trades and prepare for career and college. We are excited to help them launch the PowerSports Technology class!”

For more information about the PowerSports Technology class, contact Jennifer Dilworth, Middle/High School Counselor, at jdilworth@pellstonschools.org or by phone at (231) 539-8801 ext. 10028. 

PICTURED: Two Pellston High School students who are eager to enroll in the new PowerSports Technology program at their school in fall 2021 are Aiden Klungle (left) and Waasmowin Craven, both currently sophomores.

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