Name: Dave Howlett

Job position: Industrial Technology Instructor

School district: Ballard Jr.-Sr. High School

How long have you been employed at your current school district? 30 years

Have you held any other jobs, either at the district or elsewhere? Yes. Clear Lake Junior High School (1 year); Waseca (MN) High School (2 years); Mankato State University (1 year)

What initially attracted you to your current position? The good reputation of the school, great location, the Ind. Tech, facilities and the opening for the Head Varsity Wrestling Position.

What do you like about your job? Pretty much everything! I like the diversity that each day brings. Seeing students experience success in my classes, an outstanding and supportive staff and administration, parents that appreciate the valve in what I’m teaching and the numerous friendships and business connections that I’ve developed over the years.

What have you enjoyed about your time in the district? I feel very blessed that I’ve been a part of the Ballard Family for the last 30 years. The last two years in the new Ballard High School have been most enjoyable! I just love what I do and have some the best facilities in the state! It’s also very special when my former students stop by the school to visit with me about their accomplishments and share with me what they learned in my Ind. Tech. classes and how it gave them a jump start in preparation for college and their careers.

What is your favorite memory from the time you’ve been at the district? I have too many to narrow down to just one, so here are a few: The times I coached and officiated wrestling were very memorable. Before and after school welding open labs were special times in working with students. Learning and applying the new technology, especially the latest and greatest CAD programs were gratifying for me to put in place.

Why did you decide to retire? I actually qualified for rule of 88 at the end of the last school year for my IPERS pension, but I worked too hard and had too much fun in planning and working in the newly designed and equipped Ind. Tech. area to leave then. But, now I’m ready to have more time for some extended weekends & vacations with family and expand my concession business.

What will you miss the most after retiring? Being around my fellow teachers, the open welding labs, my CAD classes and all the good humor and student experiences that went along with it!

What do you plan to do after retiring? I will keep extremely busy with my concession business this summer and fall. I’m already working for CSC security firm part time. I hope to teach at DMACC in the near future in the welding area and possibly some part time high school teaching.

Further comments? Here are some tips for beginning teachers: You need to be well prepared, constantly willing to learn new things and incorporating new technology, stay positive, smile and enjoy what you do or get out! Mr. Howlett’s farewell quote: "Be Safe! Work Hard! Have Fun!"