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News and Updates

Welcome to the South Tech news archive where we feature stories on students, school programs and activities, alumni and professional partnerships.
Web and Computer Program Visit Maritz Corporation

The Maritz Corporation recently hosted an Information Technology (IT) Extravaganza for our Web & Computer Programming students. On April 18th, students were treated to a panel discussion, lunch, and tours of IT departments.

Denise Gibbs, a DBA-SQL at Maritz and advisor to our program, put together the visit and speaker panel. Her goal was to help students realize the wide variety of IT professions open to them. Students heard speakers from several departments who shared their backgrounds, described the education required for their position, and answered student questions. Speakers included: Valerie Gemmingen – MITS HR, Michael Gorzel – NOC Operations, Jerry Johnson – Big Data, Mark Renaud – Windows Administration, Joe Epplin – Application Development, Lisa Spahr – Project Management, and Amy Detzel – Security. Gibbs has served on our advisory board for over 30 years and graduated from our former O’Fallon Tech campus. Epplin and Harwell also serve on our board. Students also learned about several tools currently used in quality application development such as Hadoop, Ploymer, Swagger, Angular, AOP, Spring, VM Management, Jump Box, and AWS.

Leah Harwell, an applications developer and 2009 South Tech Web & Computer Programming graduate, also met with students and shared information about her post-secondary education and her Maritz career. Allowing our students to see Tech alumni in their work environments is always an engaging experience for them.

Students toured the Network Operating Center, which runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. During a tour of the server room students learned about the programming and systems analyst positions at Maritz along with other supports. , the server room, the area where programmers and systems analyst reside and other parts of the Maritz Corporation.

Beginning to build the real world skills required for a career in information technology is one of the many benefits of participating in a South Tech program. For more information about Web & Computer Programming or to apply, please visit: http://southtechnical.org/programs/.

South Tech Sweep at State SkillsUSA Competitions!

South Tech students excelled in this week’s SkillsUSA competitions held in Jefferson City, Columbia, and Linn, MO, bringing home 39 medals. Several students, including five who competed nationally last year, are eligible to advance to the national competitions which will be held in Louisville, KY in June. SkillsUSA sponsor, Sally Difani, was thrilled with our students’ accomplishments, but even more so with their character and dedication. “All of our students represented their instructors and our school admirably. We should all be proud of what our students accomplished this week,” she said.

Congratulations to our students, their instructors, and all of our SkillsUSA sponsors. A complete list of the winners is below. Photos from the competition can be viewed here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/XseqLI0jIuuPjmyH3. We will continue to add photos to the gallery as they are made available. This is TECH!

SkillsUSA Hands-On Competition Results

Joel Besch Welding 1st
Logan Blandford Plumbing 4th
Shurya Brown Commercial Baking 16th
Andrew Caldwell Mobile Electronics Installation 1st
Steven J Chalmers Internetworking 5th
Thomas Derryberry Firefighting 6th
Mark Devaughan Web Design (Team) 1st
Zachary E Dillon Sheet Metal 3rd
Nathan Fanz Diesel Equipment Technology 24th
Andrew M Fischer Sheet Metal 1st
Tim Frahm Teamworks 3rd
Joseph Haynes Mobile Electronics Installation 5th
John D Jenkins Collision Repair Technology 2nd
Lucas Johnson Building Repair Technology 3rd
Jacob Klinckhardt Mobile Electronics Installation 9th
Avery Kment Teamworks 3rd
Dominic Lane CNC Turning 2nd
Dan Lang Teamworks 3rd
Anthony J Leeker Sheet Metal 2nd
Kevin P Mccue Welding Fabrication 9th
Patrick Mcdonald Diesel Equipment Technology 7th
Hadley S Mcneill Customer Service 1st
Austin T Menning Firefighting 5th
Christopher Moore Internetworking 1st Computer Networking TI 2nd
Nathan C Muir Welding Fabrication 9th
Tim Muldoon MLR 2nd
Eric J Reinartz Welding Fabrication 9th
Juwan Rice Commercial Baking 3rd Job Demo A 3rd
Logan Roderick Electrical Construction Wiring 10th
Elijah P Stein Plumbing 5th
Kobe K Stevens Customer Service 11th
Kristopher Triggs Teamworks 3rd
John G Werner Power Equipment Technology 5th Power Equipment TI 1st
Hailey Williams First Aid/CPR 2nd
Justin P Wingerter First Aid/CPR 3rd
Jacob A Witt IT Services 2nd
Evan E Young Web Design (Team) 1st

SkillsUSA Leadership Contest Results

Leah Atkins Job Demo Open 7th
Alex Bathke Quiz Bowl 14th Related Technical Math 1st Technical Spelling 14th
Sofia Belisle Quiz Bowl 14th
Michael Bertke Quiz Bowl 14th
Chloe Bick Pin Design 2nd
Benjamin Bodily Career Pathways 1st
Jacob Brauner Medical Math 2nd
AbigailChampion Employment Application 1st
Riley Chard Chapter Business Procedure 2nd
Hayley Cobb Quiz Bowl 14th
Andre Cotton Quiz Bowl 15th
Michael Crunkleton T-Shirt Design 8th
Ashlynne Dietrich Quiz Bowl 14th
Jotham Flores Job Interview 2nd
Robert Fox Employment Application 5th
Samuel Gregory Job Demo A 4th
Myles Hurt Quiz Bowl 15th
Kelaiah Killmade Quiz Bowl 14th
Benjamin Kotthoff Quiz Bowl 15th
Joshua Kuehnle Job Demo Open 2nd
Erik Lucy T-Shirt Design 5th
Julia Lutzenberger Pin Design 6th
Emily Mask Medical Math Did not compete
Christopher Moore Computer Networking TI 2nd Internetworking 1st
Hannah Mueller Chapter Business Procedure 2nd
Amanda Ohlau Action Skills 1st
Lindsay Perrett Quiz Bowl 15th
Ashley Queen Action Skills 9th
Eric Ray Chapter Business Procedure 2nd
Juwan Rice Job Demo A 3rd Commercial Baking 3rd
Christopher Rousan Extemporaneous Speaking 2nd Related Technical Math 5th Carpentry TI 5th
Emilie Rozanski Quiz Bowl 15th
Lilly Russo Chapter Business Procedure 2nd
Jake Sage Employment Application 2nd Career Pathways 1st
Ethan Schrunk Related Technical Math 4th
Nakailah Shields-Robinson Prepared Speech 2nd
Chris Siebold Career Pathways 1st
Marcus Stokes Extemporaneous Speaking 10th
Jordan Ware Action Skills 4th
John Werner Power Equipment Tech Info 1st Power Equipment Tech 5th
Michael Winans Chapter Business Procedure 2nd
Wyatt Wooden Chapter Business Procedure 2nd

South Tech alumnae Mirela Mujakic was recently spotted on Fox 32 Chicago, sharing the latest hair styling trends for spring! She started climbing her career ladder as a South Tech Cosmetology student in 2011. Her passion for this field and dedication to learning have resulted in a fast track to success.

Mujakic knew she had discovered her career path while still in high school. She was accepted to South Tech’s program and determined to earn her cosmetology license upon graduation. When she learned her family would be moving to Illinois, she feared she would not be able to continue her training in high school as so few districts offer this unique opportunity. “Most of the schools in the Chicago area required a high school diploma (to begin attending),” she said, “but Mrs. Langhorst actually found a school for me and ensured that my credits would even transfer,” she said. Mujakic was able to earn both her diploma and license, then quickly begin her career with Supercuts (owned by Regis) in 2013. At age 17, she was the youngest stylist in the company.

Robyn Langhorst, Cosmetology instructor, isn’t the least surprised that Mujakic is so successful. “She was always so willing to learn…like a sponge,” Langhorst said of Mujakic, “I just loved having her as a student.”

Currently serving as a Senior District Manager and overseeing 8 northwest Illinois salons, Mujakic has remained with Supercuts. She has served as a salon leader, district leader, and a brand ambassador for media and cosmetology education. Her commitment to Supercuts was based on solid research she did during high school regarding company benefits, education opportunities, and growth potential.

“Tech was the best opportunity to get a jump start on my career,” Mujakic said about her time at South Tech. “I was so thankful for the tech team for helping me continue to pursue my dream career.”

To see Mujakic on Fox 32, click here: https://goo.gl/5ChwN1.

To learn more about our Cosmetology program and how to apply, click here: http://southtechnical.org/programs/.

South Tech Triumphs at FBLA State Competitions

Seven members of the Missouri Future Business Leaders of America – Phi Beta Lambda Chapter from South Technical High School recently traveled to Springfield, MO for the Missouri Future Business Leaders of America – Phi Beta Lambda State Leadership Conference. This five-day conference, beginning Friday, April 6, featured dynamic workshops, innovative keynotes, and professional networking opportunities with Fortune 500 companies for middle school through college students.

New activities this year included LeadershipEDU, an in-depth focused workshop designed to help uncover a student’s true leadership potential, SpecializedEDU, a series of workshops on topics like Discovering Your Passion and Maximizing LinkedIn, and a brand new interactive conference mobile application.

Over 5,000 students and advisers came together for the event, with over 150 business education related contests running during the event; contest topics range from accounting to website design, marketing to mobile application development.

Overall, South Tech brought home many awards, including:

  • First Place in Network Design—Team of Adam Green, Andy Nguyen, and Chris Moore
  • First Place in Network Concepts—Chris Moore
  • Third Place in Network Concepts—Nathan Scott
  • Tenth Place in Network Concepts—Andy Nguyen
  • Eleventh Place in Network Concepts—Dakota Smith
  • Fifth Place in Computer Problem Solving—Nathan Scott
  • Seventh Place in Management Information Systems—Team of Steven Chalmers and Danny Fitzgerald

Of these winners: Network Design Team and 1st & 3rd place Network Concepts winners qualify to compete at Nationals in Baltimore, MD from June 28-July.

Missouri FBLA-PBL, a chartered member of National FBLA-PBL, is a registered 501©3. Their mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs. Missouri FBLA-PBL membership exceeds 15,500, making it the second largest state chapter of the organization in the nation and the second largest CTSO in Missouri.

Lily Bedwell doesn’t shy away from a challenge, so when she was told to shoulder 300 pounds of rebar, she marched right up to the pile and did what needed to be done. “I wasn’t the only one who needed help hoisting it,” she said. Many view Bedwell’s career choice as non-traditional, a term used to describe career paths commonly sought by one gender.  When asked if she found that term troubling, she said “I don’t find it offensive at all. I instead respond with positivity and stay motivated.” Having a minority status in her pre-apprenticeship class at Local 396 Iron Workers is clearly not going to be a problem for Bedwell.

Bedwell graduated from South Tech’s Welding program in 2017, then applied for and was accepted to Local 396 in June.  She chose to pursue this career because she enjoys the work, she is excited about earning money while she is training, and because the skills she will learn are in demand all over the world. “I’m going to see as much of this planet as possible,” she said. After completing training, her prospects are outstanding. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts faster than average growth in this profession that will help rebuild an aging infrastructure in the United States and abroad and young women in the trades are more likely to be hired as firms strive to embrace diversity.

Bedwell will start her traveling a bit earlier than her fellow students as she was chosen to participate in a special 3-week course specifically for women in construction.  The 180-hour course will take place in Benicia, California and include mentoring on a large portion of the pre-apprenticeship curriculum. Bedwell’s current employer, Hollyberry Catering, has allowed her to take time off for the conference.  Bedwell supports herself by working full time for Hollyberry while attending her pre-apprenticeship class from 6 pm to 10 pm each night. To help cover her expenses during her work hiatus to attend the conference, Bedwell’s mom has established a Go Fund Me account at https://www.gofundme.com/HelpkickstartLily-snextchapter.  At last check, the fund is short of its goal only a few hundred dollars short of its goal. Once the pre-apprenticeship course concludes, Bedwell hopes to begin her paid apprenticeship in September.

Bedwell is thrilled with her experience so far, as was evident when she recently visited with students in the welding program.  She shared information about how others can apply for apprenticeship programs along with her experiences thus far in the pre-apprenticeship course.  The challenges she will face would be discouraging for some, but Bedwell views them as fuel to energize her natural “I’ll show you” attitude. “You are the creator of your own destiny,” she said.  With such determination and dedication, we will certainly be hearing future stories about her success!

South Tech Welders Triumph at MWI Competitions

On January 26th, 2017 students from Mr. Holt’s Welding Program competed in the 8th annual Missouri Welding Institute Vo-Tech welding competition in Nevada, MO. The students were among 182 high school level competitors who participated in a variety of 90-minute long tests.

South Tech swept the competition and earned a total of $34,000 in scholarships and prizes. Our winning students were:

  • Joel Besch – 1st place (full tuition) paid scholarship, a new Lincoln Ranger 225 welder/generator, and a trophy  (Total value $18,393)
  • Blake Meine – 2nd place (half tuition) paid scholarship, Victor Cutting Torch, and a trophy (Total value $7,627)
  • Kevin McCue – 3rd place (quarter tuition) paid scholarship, a new auto darkening welding helmet, a trophy, and 200 pounds of Lincoln Electric Welding Rod (Total value $4,143)
  • Sam Aufmuth – 4th place $1,500 scholarship, a $1,000 competitor scholarship, a new DeWalt grinder, and 50 pounds of Flux-Cored welding wire (Total value of $2,700)
  • Joey Knoll – 6th place $1,000 scholarship and trophy
  • Nathan Flecke – 10th place $1,000 scholarship and trophy
  • Zach Hedrick  – $1000 scholarship
  • Eric Reinhartz –  $1,000 competitor scholarships

Congratulations to South Tech’s outstanding welding team!

Machinists Gear Up for BotsSTL

Fast Cheese is still under construction, but will soon be ready to destroy! Precision Machining juniors Lili Rodriguez, Lauryn Giesler, and Matthew Haugsness are hard at work preparing their bot, named Fast Cheese, for competition in BotsSTL on April 21 at Ft. Zumwalt South High School.

BotSTL is a program to boost interest in and exposure to manufacturing careers sponsored by the National Tooling & Machining Association. This STEM-focused, project-based learning competition encourages confidence, teamwork, problem solving and creativity. Local manufacturing firms provide support and mentorship to student teams throughout the competition. Cultivating interest in manufacturing makes good sense for our region as St. Louis employs well over 100,000 people in the industry and opportunities and demand are expected to grow.

STROCO Manufacturing, Inc. is supporting South Tech’s team. STROCO manufactures and assembles metal products for the aerospace industry and high precision industries. South Tech’s instructors, Bob Arcipowski (Precision Machining) and Albie Mitchell (Design & Entrepreneurship), are also helping other student teams in the area prepare for the competition.

Our three-student team was drawn to compete due to South Tech’s 3rd place win in last year’s inaugural BotsSTL competition. As they construct and program their robot, they must meet weight limits while ensuring their robot will withstand the competition. Rather than designing to complete a task, Fast Cheese must instead be built to fight other robots and survive their attacks. Additionally, our students will be able to network with representatives from industry.

We are looking forward to the competition results and wish our team the best of luck!

Industries Seeking South Tech Talent

Our Construction Innovations and Welding juniors are being sought by area employers. Representatives from several St. Louis construction-related contracting and design firms presented to our students last week and shared comprehensive presentations about the opportunities available.

Industry partners in attendance were AMF Electric, Mosby Building Arts, ABF Security, the Independent Electrical Contractors, and Roeslein Engineering, Fabricators & Design. All emphasized that jobs are available and they are eager to hire young, talented, and ambitious new employees. South Tech students were able to ask questions and meet with the representatives after their presentations.

Barclay Hirth, COI and Electrical Trades instructor and organizer of the event, said he was pleased with the level of engagement and the interest among students. Creating opportunities for our students to meet directly with employers is a key contribution our teachers provide to enhance instruction. Students appreciate meeting with mentoring employees, human resource professionals, and others from their program’s related industries. We are always ready to meet with new companies who would like to join our schools as industry partners. If you or your company would  like to explore a partnership with Tech, please contact Kevin Andert, our Manager of College and Career Readiness, at 989-8256 or KGAndert@ssdmo.org.

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