Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
Licensure Regulations for School Personnel [8 VAC 20 ‑ 22]
Action Comprehensive Revision of the Licensure Regulations for School Personnel
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 11/6/2015
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10/19/15  8:12 am
Commenter: Austin Mantay STEM instructor, engineer

Proposed Engineering Endorsement

My name is Austin Mantay.  I am a STEM teacher & a PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER w/ 4 college degrees.  My father worked for NASA for 40+ years, and I have been around the engineering disciplines my whole life.

That being said, I am one of the FEW STEM teachers in VA that would qualify to CONTINUE to teach the engineering courses our students need.  Yes, it would be a UTOPIA if fully educated engineers with real world experiences could teach the STEM courses with the word ‘ENGINEERING’ in it, but it is a genie wish, riding a unicorn looking for a leprechaun with a pot of gold, a.k.a., it will NEVER WORK.

Example:  Engineers that get out of universities with a 4-5 year bachelor or another 2-3 years for the graduate degree, will want to make the 80k-140k+ a year they deserve, not the 40k a teacher makes.  Plus, most schools only have 1-2 bells of engineering courses per year, so the ‘engineers’ are also going to teach photography or construction, which they will not want to do.

Also, in my 14 years of teaching, I have watched 5 different engineers try to retire/ transition into teaching STEM, and 4 only made it just 1 year and the other made it 1.5 yrs, before going back to industry in the middle of the year.  They often are brilliant, but have no idea on what classroom control is (they can’t handle teenagers).  This coupled with a paycheck that is 33% of what they were earning, in a field where there are PLENTY of engineering jobs available, why would they stay? 

I DO NOT SUPP%0%RT this bill, as it will drop back the TECH ED/ Trade & Industries/ STEM education system that we have been building up since the 1980’s.  Students love doing hands on activities, and many of the high school engineering teachers I know are TECH ED/ Trade & Industries/ STEM educated, and are still GREAT ENGINEERING INSTRUCTORS.  Often students learn math and science principles while applying engineering skills.  If you pass this silly pants of a bill, each school will just re-adopt the 2 year Principles of Technology Curriculum from the late 90’s, and the engineering teachers will still teach the SAME WAY, so don’t waste our tax dollars trying to slow us down, we will just shift directions to continue to teach the students of tomorrow engineering principles.

The comments from these individuals have the wrong attitudes/ trying to get great STEM teachers transferred/ forced into moving/ resignation.  The engineers making 80k-140k will not apply for those pie in the sky jobs you’re dreaming up.  Sorry for the wake-up call fellas:

@ Jim Batterson, Former Sr. Advisor to the Commonwealth for STEM Initiatives

@ Donald Williams