The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

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Ethan Armstrong is a senior at Owatonna High School. He participates in baseball, football, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the musical and Concert Choir. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends,...

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Blake Fitcher is a junior at Owatonna High School. Fitcher wanted to join Magnet because he wanted to try something new and different, as well as wanting to meet new people and work on his social skills....

Pathway to firefighting at OHS

Owatonna+firefighters+and+firefighting+students+encounter+a+live+burn+during+a+skills+day.
Photo submitted by Ryan Seykora
Owatonna firefighters and firefighting students encounter a live burn during a skills day.

This year, OHS introduced a new career pathways class, firefighting, as an opportunity for students to gain career readiness. In this class, students have the opportunity to discover more about careers in firefighting. This career focus is giving OHS students the ability to define their own pathways outside of traditional schooling.

Firefighting may not be the first career path students think of, but firefighting teacher Mr. Ryan Seykora is trying to change that. Mr. Seykora said, “We’re trying to open this opportunity that I never knew was available.” A career in firefighting does not require a four-year degree. Students can graduate with a two-year fire science degree. Mr. Seykora said, “I went into a four-year degree because I didn’t know that there were other options. I thought that’s what you had to do to be successful after high school.” The firefighting class is creating awareness of new ways that students can define their path without a four-year degree.

The firefighting class is a college-level, hybrid class at OHS. The coursework gives a beginner overview of firefighting techniques while incorporating hands-on learning. Students participate in “skills days” on one Saturday each month of the course. Recently, students participated in a live burn to gain firsthand experience with fire. Senior Aaron Ginnetti said, “The best parts of the class are the hands-on learning days. We do exams to make sure we know what we’re doing, but then we go down to the fire hall, and we’re taught how to do things in person.”

We’re trying to open this opportunity that I never knew was available.

— Mr. Seykora

Through hands-on learning, students can obtain knowledge that aids in making career decisions. Mr. Seykora said, “It’s still a successful program if we find students who decide firefighting maybe isn’t for them because that can help guide them to a different path.” OHS is focusing on providing students with the opportunity to define their own pathway through career-based learning.


Originally published in the January Print Edition.

About the Contributor
Amanda Clubb, Writer
Amanda Clubb is a junior at OHS this year. This is her second year on the Magnet staff. Clubb is involved in student council, DECA, SHOC, band, Students for Life, tennis and track. Outside of school, Clubb loves to read, play the flute and spend time with her family and friends. She joined Magnet because she loves to write and be involved at school. Clubb is excited to be a part of the OHS Magnet staff this year and is looking forward to her junior year.