Bandstra to lead CTE program.

July 11, 2021

Jamie Bandstra

Bandstra to lead CTE program.

West Shore School News is a presentation of West Shore Educational Service District in partnership with Mason County Press and Oceana County Press.

By Kate Goodman, MCP/OCP correspondent 

VICTORY TOWNSHIP — Jamie Bandstra will begin the 2021-2022 school year as the new director of the West Shore Educational Service District’s Career Technical Education (CTE) program. 

“It is a great program not a lot of people are aware of and I look forward to the start of next year,” Bandstra said.

Based on the main campus of West Shore Community College, the CTE program, allows high school students to interact hands-on with a career they might be interested in. For the last two years, the program has been led by Dale Horowski, former principal of Ludington High School.  

Bandstra has most recently serviced as founding superintendent/principal of Gateway To Success Academy (G2S) in Scottville. Bandstra is a 1989 graduate of Big Rapids High School. He has a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in psychology from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree of educational leadership from WMU.

Bandstra said he has always enjoyed the idea of teaching and inspiring others. Following in his parents footsteps, who are both professors at Ferris State University, Bandstra said his biggest goal as an educator was to “be there for his staff and students.” With more than 30 years in education, Bandstra has always had what he describes as an “overall passion for students.”  His passion has been evident over the last 15 years in Mason County where he worked as the principal of the alternative middle/high school, Journey, before becoming the principal/superintendent of G2S. CTE will be a change from alternative education, but Bandstra remarked, “It’s an opportunity to move to a new phase of my career.”

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the CTE program has a wide variety of classes offered to high school juniors and seniors. Programs ranging from welding, allied health, IT/graphic design, to even agriculture. The program is a “skill builder for someone who wants to go into that field,” said Bandstra. The program allows students to get a feel for the field before making a final decision after high school. In some cases, the programs offer certificates and high school credits. An opportunity to start your chosen career right after graduation.

The CTE Program “is very established,” remarked Bandstra,“To consider new programs is a goal,” but not always guaranteed. Bandstra plans to travel around the state to visit different CTE Programs before the start of the year to see “what needs improving and how we can be the best we can be,” he said.

As the start to next school year fast approaches, Bandstra said he is “excited to get back into the building(s)” and work alongside Horowski as he guides him through this new step. Bandstra’s goal is to “make people, whether it be parents, students, or local businesses aware of the program”  and to “create a connection between the staff and students,” he said. With a passion for education and his students, Bandstra is excited for the “new phase” of his life. 

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