Joseph Gannon grew up in a rural area in Illinois where having technical skills was important. His grandfather was a woodworker and both of his parents were teachers. Their influence led him to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Career and Technical Education (CTE) – Trade and Industrial Education at Appalachian State University.
Now, he works for Stevensville public schools in Montana teaching middle school and high school students in general shop/woodworking, metalworking, construction and CAD/drafting. He is also an assistant wrestling coach.
While a student, Gannon said he enjoyed the balance of education and technical courses the degree program offered him.
“It’s a cool split because I got to work in the College of Education, where a lot of the professors are continuously researching curriculum development. There’s a lot of research in the technology department too. You get a lot of first-hand information,” he said.
Gannon speaks highly of Appalachian’s Reich College of Education.
“Education is the backbone of Appalachian. As far as technical education goes, the emphasis on sustainability is what sets Appalachian apart from other schools,” he said.
As part of his degree program, Gannon completed an internship at Watauga High School with the welding instructor.
“It was a good mix of learning and being in the classroom. I got to lead a couple different projects, but was also able to observe the teacher,” he said.