March 17 - High School Redesign generates student excitement

North Branch Area High School’s redesign process is creating new opportunities for high school students, especially in the area of career and technical education (CTE). To better serve students and families, North Branch Area Public Schools worked with Century College and Pine Tech. to insure offerings such as welding, machining, and Introduction to Industrial Technology align with post-secondary options. 

The alignment of CTE classes with post-secondary institutions allows for students to collect more transferable post-secondary credits while in high school, which not only gives students a head start on a career path, but saves families money in post-secondary tuition.

At a recent listening session, high school students talked about the new opportunities these initiatives and equipment provide. Alex Holmberg talked about how helpful it is to have real world applications for subjects like Algebra II, and how the new equipment will attract students. “It’s going to be a huge help for all of us students,” he said.

Spencer Larson talked about his experience with Computer Integrated Manufacturing using robots to design factories and equipment. “It was a great program because it really set you up to succeed in the workplace.”

Tanner Moriarty talked about his multiple CTE classes. “I am excited to try out the new welders and new welding booths.” He also talked about the potential to get his hands dirty in the advanced Auto Tech. course. “I think that will be a blast,” he said.

Grace Johnson, who indicated she hadn’t had much experience with technical classes, talked about how welcoming welding class has been and expressed excitement for advanced welding as well as Auto I and II. “I’m excited to get into a new shop and I hope in my future to work in a tech career,” she added.

Nicholas Rogney, who has taken two CTE classes, said, “I’ve learned so much about this new field. I’m so grateful the school district has gotten these new machines,” he said, adding, “it’s going to be so much better for the grades to come.”

Cole Eichholz talked about his experiences taking technical classes such as welding for the first time. “I think this is a pretty cool path to take,” he said.

Education is all about connecting students to their purpose and passion. We continue to engage with industry partners to expand opportunities for students that align with industry needs. Many of our students see the value of career opportunities in the trades and we will continue to design a high school experience that expands learning in the trades! If you have ideas, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to reach out anytime at We continue to think big in NBAPS. We are better together thanks to many partners- and our efforts are validated through the voices of our students. Go Vikings!