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
Previous Comment     Back to List of Comments
11/6/15  9:37 pm
Commenter: Jonathan Calma / Huntington Ingalls Incorporated - Newport News Shipbuilding

Support for the Engineering Teacher Endorsement

Support for the Engineering Teacher Endorsement

My name is Jon Calma and I am an Engineering Director in the Nuclear Propulsion Division (NPD) at Huntington Ingalls Industries - Newport News Shipbuilding (HII-NNS).  I graduated from Old Dominion University (ODU) in 2000 with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Mechnical Engineering and obtained a Master's of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2001 from ODU. After graduating from ODU with my BSME, I accepted a position at HII-NNS as an engineer in the Nuclear Engineering Overhaul Department.  After approximately five years as an engineer with increasing responsibilites, I was promoted into supervision in this engineering department.  As an engineering manager for several years, I was given the opportunity to lead and manage several engineering sections in Nuclear Engineering and work with many engineers with varying disciplines and backgrounds.  It was very enlightening to hear each engineer's educational background and experience as I got to know them over the years.  I was promoted to Director of Engineering four years ago in the same Nuclear Engineering Overhaul Department.  In this new position, I was able to hire new engineers and help mentor the engineers in my department as well as other engineers within my Engineering Division. I also got involved in other engineering initiatives at HII-NNS to help promote engineering to local middle and high school students through the Career Pathways program in the company.  I have always been a proponent to promote STEM programs and encourage students to enter STEM fields of study and continue to encourage and support students to pursue technical and engineering disciplines.  I have found this career in engineering at HII-NNS very self-satisfying with a larger purpose in protecting our country through great assets such as the nuclear carrriers and submarines we build at HII-NNS!  Several months ago, I took over the positon as President of the Peninsula Engineers Council (PEC) and through this group, I will continue to encourage and endorse engineering careers for all students.

I am writing in support of the new Engineering Teacher Endorsement and provide the following statement:

The Peninsula Engineers Council (PEC) is comprised of seventeen professional engineering societies active in the Hampton Roads area. We represent thousands of practicing engineers from private industry and government laboratories.  Our members span many engineering specialties including but not limited to aerospace, chemical, civil, electrical,  material, naval architects and marine, mechanical, nuclear, structural, systems, and welding engineers.  Our members’ formal education ranges from Bachelors and Masters degrees to PhD.  Outside of work, they support apprentice programs, community college programs, and K-12 education STEM programs throughout Hampton Roads.

In 2012 and 2014 the PEC wrote letters to the Virginia Department of Education expressing our beliefs that there is an insufficient offering of engineering related classes in the Virginia Public School System and that there is an insufficient quantity of qualified teachers to teach these classes. The letters were written over the signature of the PEC President at those times: Dr. Christopher L. Rumsey and Gary Fuller respectively.

The PEC continues to support the concept of creating an engineering endorsement so that engineers may become teachers without having to qualify as technology education teachers, and so that our children will have engineering teachers who are best qualified by training to teach engineering. As we see it, an engineering endorsement should not replace technology education teachers with engineers, rather it is to recognize that engineers are uniquely qualified to teach pre-college engineering classes and, because of their deeper curriculum background in math and science, they are also potentially discipline-qualified to teach other math or science classes.

In closing, the PEC applauds the efforts of ABTEL for the language they have developed to create the new Engineering Teacher Endorsement. Thank you for this opportunity to participate in this very important teacher licensure revision process.