ACE Success Stories

  • Rob Berger, Durant

    Teacher(s): Tim Rouse

    I originally joined Mr. Rouse's classes for the simple fact that I did not have much knowledge of the construction industry. I grew up in a neighborhood where many homes were being built and I always found the construction of the homes very interesting. Mr. Rouse's classes offered a great insight into the typical construction practices and the sequencing of a project.

    I took many of Mr. Rouse's classes that covered small projects as well as construction topics. In his classes I would find an item that I would like to build, and I would then begin to draw a plan set that I could build from. The plan set was very important and served as a guide to help not only me, but Mr. Rouse as well to achieve the desired final product. The plan set also made me stop and think to make sure that the dimensions made sense and that the item could be constructed the way I had envisioned it. One of the class projects I enjoyed the most was the opportunity to build a miniature scale house. This was a great way to put what we learned into practice with understanding how structural headers work and how a house is typically framed.

    I believe that Mr. Rouse's classes have helped me get to where I am today by giving me the interest to pursue a field that I find very interesting and challenging. His classes gave me a great starting point in which to build off of to further my passion and knowledge of the industry. Since taking his classes, I am a recent graduate of Iowa State University with a bachelor's degree in construction engineering, and I am currently working as a project engineer for Bush Construction Company located in Davenport, IA.

  • Jason, Cedar Rapids Kennedy

    Teacher(s): Barry Wilson and Dave Smith

    In the year 2000 Jason came to Kennedy.  When he came in the door he was sure of one thing, college was not for him.  In his own words, “Maybe a trade of some kind.”  Jason’s grades were not high but passing. 

                Jason joined the electric car program as a freshman and was involved until graduation.  During that time he learned a lot as his interest in the projects grew.  He learned to read drawings and fabricate parts as he built the cars he and his classmates drove.  Jason learned the geometry needed to set up the steering and suspension and the required physics to calculate gear ratios for the electric car.  He learned to work together with others because he realized how important all members of a team can be. Jason learned to set goals and to not quit until the checkered flag waves.  This made him and fellow teammates Iowa state champions for three consecutive years, a record that has not been beaten.

                When it came to his senior year Jason decided to include Building Trades in his class schedule. His goal was to learn as much as he could and to look at all of the trades that are involved in construction.  During the construction of the house he had a very rewarding experience working with the bricklayer installing the masonry on the house.  After continued discussions and guidance from teachers and family he decided to become an apprentice bricklayer. 

                Ten years later Jason is a journeyman mason.  Because of the work ethic learned in his classes and projects at Kennedy, Jason has thrived in his job.  He has purchased a house and he has a Sport Mod to play with on weekends.  All of this and he is not yet 30 years old.

  • Matt Neumiller, English Valley Schools

    Teacher(s): Chip Fritz

    Matt Neumiller, graduate of English Valleys Schools, is the owner and general manager of Neumiller Electric. Matt got his start doing electrical work for his father in the Twin Cities area in 1997. He moved back to Iowa in 1999 and worked for a couple of electrical companies in the area until 2003. 

              At this time, Matt had experienced how things were run in the electrical world and thought it made sense to start his own business. He wanted to be able to offer more input to a business plan and wanted more decision making power.

            Matt decided to create a company that focused on customer service – whether a large commercial job, or a small residential job.  He also wanted to create an environment for employees where they would enjoy what they did everyday which would therefore reflect in their work. 

    Neumiller Electric grossed over 7 million dollars in sales the past two years. The business has many employees which include three past English Valleys Students, Devin Hunt, Nate Phillips, and Jon Schaffner.