a man sitting on a stool and holding a plaqueCongratulations to James Burke, a teacher at Tyee Middle School, who was selected as this year’s recipient for the WITEA Program of the Year award for the state of Washington. The Washington Industrial Technology Education Association (WITEA) is specifically designed for those who teach classes in the Engineering, Construction and Manufacturing (STEM) trades.

Burke was nominated for the award by Marilyn Henselman, CTE Director, for his continuous efforts to connect with local businesses to find projects for students to do that resemble real-life problems companies face. Henselman states, “He has also partnered with Microsoft to design engineering projects that are low cost and can be duplicated in countries with minimal resources, using straws, sticks and tape. He has trained teachers in various countries on these engineering projects throughout the summer. He has a robust and dynamic program at Tyee that serves all students and encourages creativity”.